Last year, we went on a quest to find the most popular Westchesterite on Facebook. Now, someone has stepped up and thrown the gauntlet at the social networker we crowned last year. “I noticed I have more friends,” our new contender wrote in an e-mail. Of course, we immediately put the two in a head-to-head match.
The Champion: Lindsay Rego, then a University of Albany student from Hastings-on-Hudson with 3,189 Facebook friends.
The Challenger: Joshua Elstein, Armonk native and co-owner of Diamond Affairs Catering and Bellefair Country Market in Rye Brook with 3,391 Facebook friends and counting.
The Winner: Lindsay Rego—still. Since the publication of our article in June 2008, Rego reached the maximum number of friends allowed on one account—5,000—and then started a second profile for the 500-person overflow.
However, both Rego and Elstein are winners, since they’ve managed to use their online rosters of friends to help them achieve real-life successes. “I’m currently working on building my empire, which includes a restaurant, a catering company, a wholesale food company, and the beginnings of a second restaurant,” Elstein says. “They have all started from online interactions or research. Through Facebook, I have met a lot of food business owners and big-business CEOs and VPs.”
And Rego? “I was found through Facebook to become an associate at Pitney Bowes Business Insight during my senior year. Following that, I put up a video of me singing and five minutes later, I was asked to record the new 2009 SunSilk commercial. It only aired in Asia, but still, thank you Facebook. I was also asked through a Facebook message to promote a high-end salon in Westchester, and received fifteen-hundred dollars worth of beauty supplies.” Just out of college, Rego is a senior vice president of accounts for WellnesSpace.com. “I have reached out to many huge companies through Facebook and LinkedIn,” she says. “I have recently had meetings with executives at PepsiCo and MLB, all beginning with a simple message through the networking sites.”
Ready to get to it? Follow Elstein’s advice for making (and keeping) friends: “Be nice, simple, and direct to the point. A lot of people are very busy, so time is limited.”