Applicant #24: Benjamin Row

Benjamin Row is a 24-year-old from Portland.

Benjamin's video application:

Benjamin's current situation:

I'm a professional actor and social media marketing designer, and also work as a head bartender/server at a Fine Dining restaurant in the Old Port. I live, work, and play in Portland, Maine.

Benjamin's blog post:

Between Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and the growingly elusive Myspace users, technology has a strong-arm on every aspect of our lives. Where we go, who we converse with, and what we think is in constant broadcast to not only our local networks and communities, but the world. Now is the time to put this technology to work: to inform and reform our generation about “Buy Local” practices, sustainability, and local economic growth!

Nothing could be more effective in this regard, then going viral. The presentation of information to our emerging generation is key. Without knowing it, our generation is exposed to these practices and information every moment of every day. We get our world news from Facebook. We formulate opinions and redesign ourselves and our personalities digitally. It's how we define ourselves.

This is evident in current marketing practices. Companies like ACN, a social marketing company, has revitalized word-of-mouth advertising and allowed companies like Verizon, DirectTV, Dish Network, and the revolutionary 4G Wireless Internet company Clear to cut out mass mailing and telemarketing – two of the biggest monetary money-sinks in marketing today. This allows them to offer their product at a much more competitive price. Face-to-face contact, both digitally and physically, makes a much stronger tool in presenting information or a product than a piece of paper without a voice.

Being informed in a dynamic, exciting way is at the heart of Free & Clear living. That's what it's all about, right? Feeling empowered. We are at the beginning of a new world – one that will be centered around responsible fiscal practice, and sustainable economic growth. With all the strife that has stricken our country and the world, be it natural disaster or greed-driven financial collapse, never has there been in a time in our history as a race where the responsibility of our world really falls to each and every individual. We all feel that pressure, at the pump and in our homes.

Large incorporated financial firms and franchised business must become a thing of the past if there is to be a future. Where better to start than to inform the residents of the this fine state about the locally run and owned credit unions. Even if you put “Buy Local” aside, the convenience, customer interaction and real face-to-face/voice-to-voice customer service these institutions provide are on a level the larger, syndicated corporations will never touch. That, to me, is a beautiful thing.

So, let's take action. The Maine community is full of passionate, empowered people. Time to set an example for the rest of the country and world as to how to turn around this economic decline. One state, one home, one person at a time.