Well, I didn't win that About.me contest but I'm delighted to share news of the man who did. Although I didn't come close to his 2,832 votes, I am still very proud that I placed in the top 5% and again, want to extend my sincerest appreciation to everyone who supported me. So again, thank you, thank you, thank you.
Stratford resident Ricardo Murillo will have his name and a photo he took displayed on a billboard in Times Square next month for winning an online contest.
By Jason Bagley - Stratford Patch
The story of a Stratford resident who will soon have his face on a billboard in Times Square begins 15 years ago.
As a teenager growing up in Norwalk, Conn., Ricardo Murillo would sketch designs on T-shirts with a marker.
"Art has always been a part of me," said Murillo, 30, now living in Stratford with his girlfriend of seven years and two sons. "I used to draw to clear my head."
When, in 2009, Murillo lost his job at a sports clothing store in Southport, he bought his first camera and started to capture the culture of the street through film.
"I had nothing to fall back on to feed my family," said Murillo, who would post the "random street photography" and photos of his two boys on various Internet and social media sites.
A year after the photography endeavor began, Murillo was invited to San Juan, Puerto Rico -- though he had to pay his own travel expenses -- to take photos of the 2010 Latin Billboard Awards. While wandering around city streets between shoots, Murillo stumbled across some graffiti, which featured a depiction of a ragged blue whale with a dopey eye. Naturally, he had his camera on him and took a photo of the facade.
And come Oct. 8, that image -- along with two photos of Murillo and his first and last name in big blue letters -- will look down on the tens of thousands of people who bustle about Times Square on any given day.
The image, photos and letters are all part of Murillo's online social-media-gathering profile on a website called about.me. Murillo submitted his profile into a contest sponsored by the website in August, and last week he was notified that his "digital business card," as he calls it, received the most online votes with 2,832.
The top ten vote getters are awarded play of their about.me one-page profile on a revolving digital billboard in Times Square starting Oct. 8, and running for four subsequent weeks after that. However, the top three get the most face time and are treated to an all-expenses paid, three-day trip to New York City on Oct. 10.
"Millions of people are going to see it every day," said Murillo, who started two of his own businesses, SELFMATHEMATIKS Clothing Co. in 2006 and SELFMATHEMATIKS Photography in 2009. "Who knows who will look at it ... It's huge for my career."