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Meet L.P. Neenz Faleafine of Pono Media

Posted on June 20, 2009


Can you give us a quick intro to yourself and your connection to Hawaii?

L.P. “Neenz” Faleafine — Founder of Pono Media, Chief Evangelist for Alltop

Bred, born, and raised on the island of Oahu with my two sisters and younger brother, and scores of cousins, but no partridge in a pear tree. I grew up through humble times, but my parents worked very hard to provide a good childhood for all of us. They kept us busy in school, sports and between seasons we’d spend a lot of time camping in Waimanalo or picnicking at Ala Moana beach. Once we were at the beach and I had permission to dive into the ocean, not even the setting sun or wrinkled fingers could lure me from the water. My maternal grandparents, Nanny and Papa played a big role in my life. My Papa would take me to the markets in China town to pick up lunch after mowing the lawn. My Nanny, a Kumu Hula probably was the biggest influence on me being such a social (media) butterfly. She would have performances all over the island and regular gigs at the Ala Moana Hotel and Pacific Beach Hotel. If you already couldn’t figure it out, I don’t have the grace to be a hula dancer; however I have a love and appreciation for the art, so I wouldn’t miss a performance. Today, I share and create the same good-hearted memories with my own children.

Can you give us a quick overview of Pono Media — why was it created?

I have always been an entrepreneur since I could remember, except that one moment at age 4 or 5 when I thought working at McDonald’s for a lifetime would be ideal! Little did I know back then that owning a McD franchise would have been the path to the buckets of Gold(en Arches). I’ve explored the MLM market and realized after a few attempts, the business model just didn’t suit me. When I lived in Texas I had a modestly successful cleaning business, unfortunately much of my clients worked for Enron. Returning home to Hawaii in 2003, I immediately went to work for my father’s Property Management company. I was grateful, but there was always something inside of me wanting a bit more, something completely different. When I first learned about social and new media I began researching and learning. And, the more I learned the more I realized not only will social media be the preferred choice of communication; but I felt so comfortable, so at home in the industry. A social media marketing company, Pono Media is a combination (or mashup if you will) of my entrepreneurial spirit and my passions.

Who are you helping?

Part of my philosophy and approach is creating my own opportunities. I do this by investing my most valuable asset — my time. I volunteer my services, remain open-minded, and have an extreme work ethic that my mentor Guy Kawasaki likes to call “grinding it out.” This philosophy in turn allows me to build my network and strengthen my community. And, Pono Media aims to help others build their communities through social media.

What problem or void are you solving via your service?

During these economic times I’ve been sharing with others that it’s time to “pot luck our skills.” These days startups and small businesses cannot carry the burden of building the business and providing services and/or products alone. It takes the strength of an entire community. Pono Media helps to build communities.

As a local resident who calls Hawaii home, can you give us some insight into a side of the islands that you feel visitors should know?

An overall asset that each island offers, aside from its natural beauty are its people. And, as does each island offers its own uniqueness — so are  its people. The residents of Hawaii are some of the most generous people that I know. Their time, their knowledge, their hugs are given freely with sincerity.

From fine dining to plate lunches; and from breakfast to dessert Hawaii has the world’s most delicious foods! Now, despite appearances, I haven’t eaten all the way around the globe; however as an appreciator of food I can say that without a doubt, Hawaii has the most delicious foods!

What do you do in your spare time?

Do email interviews! I spend a lot of time with my children and my family. My children have an active schedule as well with canoe paddling, swimming lessons, ukulele classes and most recently soccer. One of the great things about social media is what I do in my spare time is also research for content on my sites. I recently purchased a new bodyboard and have rekindled my love with the surfing. It’s summer time, so it looks like I’ll be working a lot more in the evening. Besides, with my iPhone, HP netbook, and Sprint air card — spare time and work overlap.

If you already live in “paradise” then what’s your idea of a vacation? :)

Oh, I love to travel and experience different places. My target audience, my community is also in the other 49 states and then the other continents. In order to build my community, I have to step from behind the screen and go to them. This is another example of mashing up my entrepreneurial spirit and passions; including now my passion to travel. If our schedules sync and of course the budget is available, I bring my family along.

Any other interesting things you’d like to share with us?

I try to bring in the senses…my favorite sound in Hawaii is the crash of the ocean on the shore and the silence while in the barrel of a wave. My favorite scent is our fresh air. And my favorite pidgin word is “choke” as in plentiful. “My stomach hurts because I ate choke mango.” :)

About Neenz

Bred, born, and raised in Hawaii; L.P. “Neenz” Faleafine is the Founder of internet marketing company, Pono Media and the Chief Evangelist for the leading news aggregation site, Alltop. Using social media tools to build online relationships, Neenz has a successful reputation for developing those relationships into real-life, prosperous communities.

From the Mind of NEENZ is her personal blog and chronicles her voyage as she paddles her canoe through the waters of life.

Hawaii Tech 5.0: A history of research, science and technology development in Hawaii’s emerging innovation industries. A comprehensive resource of the history of the technology industry in Hawaii since statehood.

Hawaii Traditions: Traditions, Values, and Culture…Hawaii Style acknowledges the history of Hawaii, the islands, its people, and their local culture.

Pono Media: Building Communities Through Social Media is a craft. Learn about techniques, strategies, and tools used by individuals and organizations to build their communities.

About Pono Media

Pono in Hawaiian means righteousness. To live pono is to honor your past, acknowledge the present, and do what is right today for the future.

Social media is a mashup of traditional print, television, radio and film; with word-of-mouth, water cooler fodder, stoop chatter, coconut wireless, and tin cans on a string that can be delivered in a heartbeat using innovative technology. In a coconut shell, social media is communication. And, we’ve learned that effective communication involves keen listening, and keen listening will create action.

Your listeners, your action takers are your communities. Pono Media builds communities through social media.

For most of her life (there was a brief moment at the age of 4 when she thought that working at McDonald’s would be the best job ever!), L.P. “Neenz” Faleafine has had the entrepreneurial fire burning within. It wasn’t until 2007 when she began working for, founding partner at Garage, co-founder of Alltop and internationally known author and speaker; Guy Kawasaki that she finally found the right waters to paddle her canoe.

Explore more here.

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