As Seen on Facebook

Today I posted this picture to my facebook wall because I thought it was ironic that a US Olympian, who was ridiculed by the media last year for smoking marijuana, is now the most decorated Olympian of all time. Normally I keep my political and controversial positions to myself, realizing the internet is not a great place to air your personal opinion, especially if you use it for business, but I decided this was a pretty bold statement considering the current events in our world and country. By the end of today my post had been reshared 14 times by my personal network, making it clear that my opinion was shared, literally, by my facebook friends.

So in this day and age, when we are connected to thousands of people at any given time, with our information, photos and ideas being shared around the world, sometimes even without out our knowledge, how do we handle this responsibility?

We are told we have to be careful with what we put on facebook not just because what our grandma or little brother might see (my 12 year old brother joined facebook today as well, giving me even more to think about on this subject,) but also our bosses or clients.

This guy may not want to advertise he drinks and drives.

Recently I have had the interesting experience of “meeting” several people in person that I before only knew on facebook. I have had people know things about my life, my travels and my business who I have never met before and while it is flattering it has also brought to my attention the importance of protecting your online brand.

In my industry it is known that Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and now Instagram can be important tools to getting your name and business out there. Your “online brand” is not just important to entrepreneurs or business owners, but to anyone managing their social media profiles.

In a recent Jobvite study, 92% of recruiters said they are using or plan to use social media in their hiring process.

The survey polled more than 1,000 companies. Since they started using social media sites to hire, 50% reported finding more candidates, and 43% said they now find better candidates.

How do we find a balance between being ourselves, sharing our style, opinions and humor without hurting our chances at a future job or even a relationship?

My first suggestion and what I spent a few days last week doing, is to go through old albums and pick out the best and moving them to another album of “keepers.” Many of my albums were old, some even from 2008 and while I stand by my 19 year old self and all the  fun time and decisions I made, I don’t need everyone I connect with on facebook to see. I made many of my albums available to “ONLY ME” with the privacy setting under the edit album setting. This way I still have the photos but they are private to me.

I don’t want to delete all my cherished photos from Spring Break 2008 in Rosarito, but I don’t need the world to see them either.

If you haven’t already, put your family, business associates and potential clients or co workers in a restricted list. This way, if you want to share something with your buddies, like your Vegas vacation photos, you will not regret it when your boss asks if you are feeling okay after such an exciting weekend.

Social media has helped me build my business, raise funds and awareness for non-profits and maintain and build friendships all over the world. It can be a great asset to your life as well if you use it for good, not for evil (unproductive hours wasted on stalking your ex or  playing farmville.) Remember to be positive and to only post things you will be proud of a month or a year from now because once it is on the internet it is there for good!

My video on Your Positive Brand Online!

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Breaking the Cycle of Poverty with Love & Education

I knew my trip to India would not be a vacation by any means, but nothing could have truly prepared me for the sights, smells, intense heat and humidity and most of all the extreme differences in culture from what I have grown up with.
I have traveled all over the world and experienced the poverty in which much of our world lives in and it is never easy to stomach, especially when you realize the cycle in which it continues. However, for me, the most unsettling part of this whole trip has been the serious social issues and lack of equality amongst the people, both because of the caste system and the serious sexism.


Being raised by a liberal, single father I grew up being told I could do anything and that not only was I equal to every man, but every human is equal and deserves the same rights. It has been drilled in to me from the minute I was born and so it is still so appalling to me to see the way other cultures view and treat other humans. In a few occasions I have lost my cool and have been fed up with the constant sneers, awkward and intimidating stares and most recent invasion of privacy by one of the male staff at our “safe & secure” ashram where we are staying. I realize these things are harmless and comparatively speaking, laughable, considering not too far from this part of the world women are still being stoned to death for “disobeying” their husbands. I have to remind myself that Ghandi, this nations peaceful leader in freedom and human rights did not achieve his dreams through rage and outburst but by compassion, tolerance, resiliance and perseverance. My passion must not be misguided but focused on the solutions that will bring a balance to this world.


As I sat in the tiny one room medical clinic/elementary school in the slums of Barota, India, I watched as Dr. Mistry wrapped a little girls arm in an ace bandage while he questioned her father as to why the 9 year old had never been to school. He was mostly blind and the mother worked full time to support the four children so the little girl had to work cutting vegetables in a local restaurant. I thought about what this little girl’s life would be like. It was almost too easy to predict and the doctor later confirmed it was all too common that these girls worked from the youngest age until the time they were married off around 14 or 15 to then continue the cycle.


Later in the day more little girls showed up to the doctor’s office, peeking their faces through the door way, shyly spying on me, curious to this strange looking visitor but too shy to enter or speak. The doctor told me that the girls attended the classes that he and his wife ran at the clinic every morning and they were avid learners. The girls are the most passionate about learning, he told me. The young females seeking education are the moving force to building up the country to be strong and healthy he said.

This is why he has left his private practice of 21 years in New Jersey, to return to the slums of his home town of Barota in Gujarat, with his wife, educating the children and providing affordable and available healthcare.


It was such an inspiration to meet someone who walked away from their comfortable lives in the US to return to where the help was needed, where it will make the biggest impact and where it is much appreciated.
The next time I returned to the clinic/school I brought a group of college students, members of Dr. Interns summer medical internship program who I have come to India to help support through marketing and program expansion.

The students were as excited as I were to hear Dr. Mistry’s story and I was most excited to see the little girls who had gathered the courage to come sit by me and even posed for pictures for me and with me. They mimicked my English and were obviously hungry to learn anything I had to teach them. I was excited to meet these girls who’s situation seemed grim but who’s futures looked bright.


The next time I returned with an even larger number of excited students and arms full of school supplies including all my favorite things: crayons, colored pencils, markers, coloring books, chalk, UNO cards, notebooks, pencils and erasers. We were happy to contribute to the Mistry’s school/clinic and I was excited to speak more about expanding our program to assist with their work. This is what I came to India to do. This is what I am on this planet to do.
The little girls ran from their houses to greet me in the street with cheerful “Hi’s” and hugs with huge smiles on their faces.

As we sat around Dr. Mistry’s office/clinic/school the room quickly filled with small children who were all excited to see strange new faces in their neighborhood. The energy in the room was amazing and even though the little children had trouble keeping quiet while the doctor explained his story ( now for the third time for me, yet still as genuine and full of passion) it was sweet to see how much it meant to them that we had come and with supplies for their school.

I wanted to hug each one of them and tell them I was so proud of them for getting an education and to stay with it. I wanted to let each one know that they were special and worthy of having a better life, one of opportunity and freedom but with the little Gujarati I knew I was stuck with formalities but the love and compassion was felt between both the children and us.

We poured our love on to them with smiles and photos and laughter and found a renewed purpose in our work here in India, something that is easy to lose sight of when faced with the giant hurdles of social issues. However, like when we spent the day delivering reusable waterbottles to the children enrolled in school in the rural village of Ratunpura we realized with every act of love and support, regardless of how small, making a difference in the life of a child is the greatest action a person can take in life.

Settling in to India

Our first few days in India were a whirlwind. The 15 interns trickled in at scattered times and in between each airport pickup we enjoyed the sights  of some suburban areas of Mumbai. The majority of us were able to walk through a local market and had lunch at a local restaurant where we got to know each other. We had such a great time laughing and enjoying our last meat meal for the next month that the surrounding tables were all staring and shushing us because our laughter was over taking the restaurant. It is no doubt we are a lively bunch and definitely stick out from this tame culture.

After the entire group had finally assembled, we left the airport on our chartered bus around 3 am and drove through the early hours of Friday until we reached the Muni Seva Ashram after what felt like we had crossed the continent. It was one of the longest, hottest and most exhausting bus rides of my life and I am proud to say I have made many 3rd world bus rides.  We were pleased to have arrived but due to jet lag, lack of sleep and relief, we were most happy about our very comfortable beds and air conditioned rooms of Atithi Mandir, the dorms where we are staying at the ashram.
I slept almost 12 hours to catch up from the days of sleepless travel and awoke the next day feeling like a new person.

Sunday, like most places, is a day of rest so the Ashram was very quiet and almost abandoned of people. We ate a small breakfast and had a tour of the entire the hospital and the different wards.

It was impressive the amount of advanced technology and equipment this hospital has in such a rural area. This hospital has the first mammography unit in Gujarat and is the leading cancer treatment facility in the whole state.

Pictured here is the CT scan that is a rare piece of equipment in Gujarat.

We visited the senior living community, Vanprasth Mandir, where many seniors, men and women, are cared for who cannot be cared for by their families.

We also visited the Bhagini Mandir center for mentally disabled women who also could not be cared for by their families or needed further treatment for a variety of reasons. At the facility they receive care but also have regular chores like cooking and cleaning based on their abilities and do crafts and create decorations for the community so to keep them involved. They all seemed in such high spirits and were pleased by our visit. One girl even sang us a song.

We toured the Gaushala, where the they house cows used for breeding and dairy farming. The ashram depends on the dairy, green house farming, and agriculture products to feed the hospital and ashram and also educate through programs for sustainability.

The cowshed project also fuels the bio mass gasification project that is saving 100% fossil fuel and powering much of the ashram. The Ashram runs a majority of their electricity from the extensive solar panel project all over the campus as well. Even the outside lights are equipped with panels. There are many solar cooking systems used also and a solar powered crematorium.

The Muni Seva Ashram is quite impressive in its programs and technology and is the result of the hard work and dedication of one woman, Anuben Thakkar who began the ashram in the 70s as a place to take care of children in need. Today it now serves as not only a hospital but has an orphanage, kindergarden, primary through higher secondary school, and now even has a nursing school. The work of one woman has grown into a community of people helping the sick, poor and uncared for and is a testament to the compassion and possibilities of humans caring for each other.

We are honored to spend out summer assisting in this incredible place. The adventure has just begun! Stay tuned.

 

Since my return I made this video for Dr.Interns. Enjoy!

Travel with a Purpose – A summer in India for Dr. Interns

Travel is one of the most rewarding experiences a person has in their life. Whether it is a family vacation, a semester abroad or a backpacking trip with friends, these experiences not only stay with us our whole lives, but shape who we are and how we see the world.

In today’s age we are lucky enough to have easy and affordable means of travel to just about anywhere in the world and with technology and the internet we can book these arrangements from anywhere with a press of a button. It is no doubt remarkable and in a lot of ways makes our planet a much smaller place. Where we could once only read about or see on a screen we can now visit ourselves, embarking on great journeys and having exciting adventures of our own.

It is a wonderful thing to see so many people of our time going out in to the world to see, touch, taste and experience first hand the wonders of different cultures and while it is breaking down barriers that once made us feel so different from one another, it is also an  opportunity for us to become better global citizens.

Our neighbors are not just the people on our street or in our city, they are in the bordering country or opposite continent where most of our products are produced and services provided. We depend on each other so much more than we realize, not just for business, but for assistance. There are so many organizations out there doing great things to assist our global neighbors in need and yet there is still a great need for more help.

Instead of just visiting these amazing places, taking cool photos in front of a monument or pristine nature scene, I have sought out to be an active assistant to the communities I visit. Even if it means collecting garbage from a popular hiking trail or beach, I want to be a positive impact, not just another tourist stopping by for a photo op. In each trip I take I look for a different cause I am passionate about and an organization I would be a good fit to volunteer with.

Dr. Interns is one of those organizations. With a mission of bringing sustainable healthcare solutions to very capable, developing parts of the world they are connecting college students interested in the medical field as well as travel to experiences in the world outside their own neighborhood. Dr. Interns is creating a new kind of world traveler; a traveler who is making a difference.

I am excited to begin my first experience of India, where I will be assisting with the marketing campaign for Dr. Interns at their first international program at the Kailash Cancer Hospital in Gujarat, India. I am joined by Ketan Patel, the passionate and intelligent organization director, and 15 incredible college students dedicating their summer to assisting at the hospital as well. We will be recording our story with the goal of inspiring many more to travel and to be active global citizens. Changing the world is easier than it looks. Don’t believe me? Try it.

-Lindsay M Hawley

Dr. Interns Marketing Director

 

Protect our Coast with Live Music and Margaritas at Sunset at the “Baja Bash” June 2

I was born here in San Diego 23 years ago to Park Ranger / Lifeguard / Surfer parents who, at the time of my arrival lived in a beach front condo in Imperial Beach, about as close to the water (and the border) as anyone can be. Before I could walk I was on a boogie board and almost every day of my childhood was spent playing in the waves. My dad taught me about the currents and to ride the waves. He showed me how to catch sand crabs, the magic hidden in tide pools, the birds, fish, mammals and plants that depend on the ocean and unfortunately, on us, to keep it clean and safe. From an early age I understood that mother nature ruled our planet but without our help to keep it clean it would not be a safe place for any living thing.
Now as an adult I want to be apart of the movement to protect our nature and to preserve it so that my children can swim in the same waters I learned to surf in without fearing for their health.  I participate in every beach clean up and water shed clean up I can, I collect trash when I visit the beach or see something in storm drains that will end up in the ocean. I educate my friends about ways we can keep our coast clean and beautiful but that is not enough. There are things out of our control like pollutants being dumped into the ocean by big companies and developments up and down the coast that threaten our oceans and many species that share the coast and oceans with us.
That is why I am a supporter of WiLDCOAST. Not only am I a proud daughter of a board member, but this organization of  strategic, smart, passionate and relentless conservationists are doing more to change legislation, monitor and protect water ways and conserve land by purchasing it before it becomes developed and educating people about our need to conserve coastal and marine ecosystems and wildlife.
  • In 2011 WiLDCOAST protected 4,371 acres and 2.3 miles of coastline along the Valle de los Cirios Pacific Coast through direct land purchases and conservation easement agreements.
  • WC has conserved 77.7 miles of shoreline around Laguna San Ignacio through an innovative partnership with Mexico’s National Commission for Protected Natural Areas.
  • To date, WiLDCOAST has conserved more than two million acres of coastal wildlands and wildlife habitat
  • In 2012, WiLDCOAST is expanding their reach by building Chapters throughout Baja California to continue to work with local communities to clean up, restore, and conserve the amazing coastal and marine resources.
For $75 you can support their work and have an amazing time at the WiLDCOAST “Baja Bash”on June 2nd at the Broadway Pier in San Diego . Your ticket includes a show by Nortec Collective : Hiperboreal (a song by them below) delicious sustainable culinary treats, wines and margaritas. A trio of rochstar chefs are preparing the menu, including internationally known chef and restaurateur Javier Plascencia, of Mision 19, who has been featured in the New Yorker and the Food Network; Diego Hernandez, the lead chef at Corazon de Tierra in the Valle de Guadalupe; and Benito Molina and Solange Muris, from Manzanilla in Ensenada. You won’t want to miss their creative culinary creations!Along with their tasty and sustainable menu, the Baja Bash is featuring the wines of the Valle de Guadalupe, including Adobe Guadalupe, a premier winery from the area. They are also serving wines from Casa de Piedra, Paralelo and other unique wines from the wine country of Baja. Peligroso Tequila has created a special ‘WiLDCOAST margarita’ for the toast during the sunset cocktail reception.Parties for a purpose are what I live for and this one will be a blast so don’t miss out.

Nortec Collective: Hiperboreal performing “Mexican Madness” at SXSW

Earth Day at Coachella: I’m Talking to You, “HIPPIE”.

Coachella Music Festival has been compared to the Woodstock of our generation. A 3 days festival of music, love, dancing and freedom; full of a bunch of hippies. Right?

Well then why were the grounds just covered in plastic cups and disposable water bottles last weekend when I was there? And the weekend before, the year before, and the year before that?

Could it be ALL of the hippies at attendance are too drunk or high to notice? Not possible. I was not able to dance, let alone walk without kicking a cup or having a bottle kicked at me in some sort of ricocheting madness. The plastic disposable mess was everywhere.

My hopes for this last weekend, seeing as it was EARTH DAY on Sunday, was it would be different. I was happy to see the real hippies come out of hiding and BRING A REUSABLE WATERBOTTLE for water to be refilled at filling stations. (It was a pleasant temperature in the 100s F so water was a necessity!)

I was pleased to have a refill station at the Riviera Resort in Palm Springs while I mingled at the Rolling Stone Party but the ones at Coachella were far apart and had horrendous lines! Where is Calistoga, Arrowhead, Brita and the dozens of other water companies at to sponsor this desert party? Hello, you don’t need to be a marketing expert to know getting thousands of thirsty festival attendees gathered around your mist tent all day to refill their branded water bottle and holder is a good idea.

HOLD ON TO YOUR CUPS! They serve their 11 dollar drinks in tiny cups and they are just about finished before you walk past the line so why not just hold on to that little guy and have them refill it when you go back for another? Imagine if a group of 6 people took turns holding on to their 6 cups. I’m no mathematician but that is a lot less garbage heading to the landfill after our 3 day festival in the desert.

I was shocked to see the amount of plastic cups, plastic bottles and cigarette butts, wrappers and all other garbage thrown around the festival grounds.

Coachella Arts & Music Festival has made an effort to be more environmentally friendly by creating a Sustainablility program with Global Inheritance to create multiple initiatives to reduce waste and encourage awareness.  Carpoolchella offers prizes for cars spotted with Carpoolchella displayed on them and at least 4 people in the vehicle.

THRASHed is a program that made recycled art and decorated trash cans and the Recyclesaurus Rex was a giant dinosaur that eats recycled water bottles and poops plastic cubes. There was a contest fot he most creative use of the plastic cubes at Coachella.

If you brought in 10 empty plastic bottles you got 1 bottle of cold water free! A great idea but with only 1 station to do this, and being back at the entrance, it wasn’t too accessible or enticing. I really respect their creativity but it just wasn’t enough to reach the majority.

The worst thing I saw on Earth Day at Coachella was during DJ GirlTalk’s set at the OUTDOOR Stage. He released hundreds of balloons into the air and as I watched them float off in to the desert night sky I couldn’t keep dancing or singing along to the catchy pop hits he mixes together. All I could think of was how long that balloon would take to pop, fall to the Earth and be eaten by a bird or land critter mistaking it for food. He does it at every show but OUTDOORS on Earth Day? Come on Greg Gillis, “GirlTalk”. Can you do me a favor and tweet @GirlTalk to STOP littering balloons at outdoor shows? REAL talk: http://www.balloonsblow.org

Enjoy yourselves friends, but not at the expense of our planet and our future. We all share responsibility. Its my dream that one day we will all be carrying our own waterbottles, reusable cups and food packaging will be biodegradable. Everyone will care about the plastic bottle that will outlive us all and our children and grandchildren will not live in a world covered by our litter.

 

Here are a few videos I made with some super simple tips of living a greener lifestyle and easy ways to show love and gratitude for our one and only Earth.

Every Day  we live on Earth it is EARTH DAY!

Peace. Love. Coachella. Pacha Mama.

Coachella Season. Are YOU ready? Tips & Tricks from a Music Fest Vet.

Its that time of year again, kids. When thousands of music lovers and fashion forward hippies and hipsters fill the desert valley of Coachella for the 3 day music festival. The festival has become such a massive event  it is now two weekends of not only music shows, but parties that rank among some of the greatest I have ever seen and been apart of.

This year I am happy to say I have only one client at one event I am managing , GUESS, rather than last year my double duty with GUESS sponsoring a party during the day and Cosmopolitan Hotel at night. It was nuts, but nothing this promo pro couldn’t handle.

Aside from the obvious advice, (drink lots of water and don’t take so many drugs you pass out in the middle of a crowd,) I have put together a few videos to help with those little things you might not be considering.

GET THE COACHELLA APP FOR YOUR SMARTPHONE! It is Free and will totally help you  map out and plan your schedule.

**It seems as if Coachella is a complete dead zone for cell phone service, regardless of how many Gs you have. Your best bet for communicating with your friends are walkie talkies or get the pay as you go phones. Those worked all over because they run off different towers.**

How to Pack, What to Wear, What NOT to wear, Weather proofing and such:

What to carry with you, key accessories, safety and such:

A MUST HAVE! Kinsey debuts her BRAND NEW Kinsey Scarves line just released for Coachella! Many ways to wear it, for men and women. Adds a colorful, unique touch to any outfit, anywhere! Get yours in time for Coachella, pool parties, summer time, anytime!

www.KinseyScarves.com or contact her directly on KINSEY SCARVES FACEBOOK to get yours quick and support a local young entrepreneur who is pursuing her passion for fashion as well as a career and is giving back to the community! My kind of girl!

Hats off… err.. Scarves off to you, Kinsey!

Want the scoop on one of the hottest parties in the desert this weekend? Rolling Stone is hosting some fun in the sun and I got permission to SHARE! RSVP quick, before it gets too full!

Peace. Love. Coachella. (& Scarves!)

Vlogging. It’s SO Hot Right Now.

Video + Blog = VLOG!

You may have noticed a serious amount of videos being uploaded by myself and several others recently, all thanks to a good friend of mine, Tim King of Tim King Photography who has challenged his network to Vlog once a day for 30 Days. 30DayVlogChallenge.com

I have been meaning to step up my video and social media presence for some time and since I recently forced myself to learn basic video editing on imovie I thought, why not? I accepted Tim’s challenge.

A week in and I have already lost 1 water proof camera to the ocean, hours of sleep and possibly friends who are sick of me vlogging while we hang out, talking about vlogging, or forcing them to be in my vlogs. After only one week I know I am not the only one on this challenge wondering, “What was I thinking?”

Well daddy didn’t raise no quitter and it doesn’t hurt that I feel the guilt if I miss a day from my friend Tim. I’m sticking with it.

Even if its sometimes ridiculous, stressful and hours of work, like most things that are a challenge, it will be worth it. The content I will be putting out and the quality of my videos will continue to improve.  I have already seen a spike in my traffic to my youtube channel, social media pages and website and I am excited to continue the progress as well as learn from all the other amazing vloggers on the challenge.

Here is a few of my favorite so far. I promise they will get better! 😉

SXSW… nothing but AWESOME!

The 2012 South by Southwest Festival has finally ended but my brain (and feet) are still recovering. My phone, appropriately nicknamed the “bounceberry” after the abuse the past 10 days, is covered in glitter, chocolate and tequila. (I don’t even drink Tequila) Despite living on a diet of delicious tacos, burritos, gourmet hot dogs doughtnuts and tater tots served from “fusion” food trucks I have lost 6 lbs in a week due to extreme dancing. The entire town of Austin, which is a very different town than the rest of Texas, is transformed with giant parties in every parking lot, performances on every street corner and a vendor of delicious treats at every turn. I was on sensory overload to say the least.

Rolling solo as usual, I had a blast bouncing from party to party, sometimes with friends, sometimes with someone I met in line at Kabobalicious, a favorite food truck of Austin. The less I planned the more fun I found. Lucky for me, my friend and business/philanthropy idol, Tony Hsieh of Zappos and author of Delivering Happiness was in town the first weekend for interactive and had brought not one, but TWO buses fully equipped with all the essentials for a fun 5 day weekend including disco balls, wigs, megaphones, a fully stocked bar with snacks and a great sound system. Tony is a warrior for fun and weird and did not disappoint in any of our adventures. Our first night we just had fun party hopping and cruising on the bus and the second night we were not told where we were going until after an hour long bus ride that ended in up breaking down on the hill to the mystery location. As we walked up the hill in a sort of weird pride parade, a shuttle bus appeared out of no where and took us to our destination; a “mystery mansion” built by video game inventor and astronaut, Richard Garriot. It was full of secret passage ways, tunnels, moving walls and my favorite, a dungeon full of skeletons, human parts like hearts, fetus, mummified hands, shrunken heads and strange “magical” entities like Victorian era vampire hunting kit, a Gorilla’s head and Amazonian battle axes.  It was truly a high light of my trip and was lucky to share it with some magical friends, Dan and Nadav.
A little video I made, capturing some of our magical adventure…
I met some really amazing new friends who were not only a lot of fun but very intelligent and motivated to create great things for our world. It was so refreshing to be surrounded by so many awesome people, fun geeks, just my type of people. Now let’s be clear, the term geek is not a negative one. I found this great illustration that explains it perfectly.
Geeks are Hot! 
 
And so are mustaches! I was in facial hair heaven here in Austin. Apparently this is another mecca of fixie riding music loving hipsters with incredible fashion and facial hair. Here is a collage of my favorites.
This past weekend was quite different than the first. The geeks all went home and the cool, trendy music and film people came out in full force. The streets were even more packed, the lines were even longer and the fashion was in your face! I had the opportunity once again, to partner with LMH client, GUESS, for another fabulous event. They partnered with NYLON magazine to produce a two day pool party at the W hotel with a full day of performers, both bands and DJ’s including Kimbra (amazing vocalist from the catchy, “Somebody I Used to Know”), Of Monsters & Men (“Little Talk”), Bleached, Static Jacks, Howler, DJ Dillon Francis, Sofi (Deadmau5 singer on “Sofi Needs a Ladder)  Cisco Adler, (half of the group Shwayze) Dev (“Fly Like a G6” & “Dancin in the Dark”) the band FUN, (“We Are Young”) to name a few! The event was great and each performer came through the GUESS celeb lounge where we gifted them with new GUESS eyewear and they gave interviews to NYLON TV.  It was such a blast.

The Party Gods stepped in once again at the perfect timing and crossed my paths with some cool LA kids I had met before who were heading to some concerts after the GUESS pool party Saturday night. I hopped on their party train and found myself backstage   for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (“Home”) and  Mumford and Sons. It was a great show, including a marching band on stage and a seriously awesome performance by a band that has swept the music charts with their folky/banjo/rock n roll.

In typical my typical whirlwind of awesome, after an interesting ride in a hurst, I found myself on stage with DJ A-Trak (one half of Duck Sauce, superstar creators of “Big Bad Wolf” and “Barbara Streisand”) dancing like it was my destiny. As if it couldn’t have been more of a dream come true, some friendly stranger passed me half of a tambourine and I was in heaven. (Anyone who knows me knows of my constant offer to play back up tambourine for ANY touring musical group. Offer stands.)
Needless to say it was a great finale to a great week of events and networking and yet another festival this girl can not miss ever again! See you next year, SXSW.
YEE HAW!

My First SXSW Interactive

You might have heard about South By Southwest.

No, it is not a Southwest Airlines Conference. It is a week long event in the beautiful city of Austin, Texas, where their nightlife regularly thrives, music scene is world known and the people are much hipper than the rest of Texas. Many have compared it to my beloved San Diego and I can see why!

SXSW.com explains it simply: “where the future of media is defined. This unique event connects leaders in the Music, Film and Interactive industries with the companies and agencies needed to succeed.”

SXSW Interactive, which just ended, is focused on emerging technology, a focus which has earned the festival a reputation as a breeding ground for new ideas and creative technologies. The past few days I have felt as if I was in the center of the future, surrounded by brilliant minds and passionate hearts, all creating change, progress and exciting things for our World!  My mind has been swirling with excitement for all these ideas and incredible inventions/solutions people are creating. I have found myself in some of the most intelligent, genuine and meaningful conversations of my lifetime, often with people I just met. People are interested in what you think, have to offer and have so much to offer back.

I also must include, I enjoy the look on people’s faces after I respond to their inquiry about “what I do”  or “what brings me to SXSW.”  I love breaking down stereo types that people have about someone who looks “ditsy” and seeing the way they completely change their tone or the topic of the conversation when they realize I have unique thoughts and a passion for learning and helping others. It has happened multiple times a day and instead of being annoyed for people being “blonde prejudice”, I’m happy to be changing so many people’s opinions! Moral of the story, don’t judge a brain by it’s cleavage.

Thanks to some generous friends passing on their credential badges to me, I have been able to participate in some awesome panels and lectures including “Blogging for a Cause” and “Philanthropy for Everyone” where 4 experts sat on a panel and gave talks on different tips and answered questions.

My favorite was a lecture by Seth Priebatsch, CEO of SCVNGR and the new company LevelUp which takes the daily deals model and incorporates “gaming” elements and incentives that will keep consumers coming back for more, not just “hittin and quittin” when they use their deal. It was my favorite because it was most informative to the way the market is moving in that area with mobile payments (using your phone instead of cards) and several LMH Promotions clients (ClubHost.com, theDrinkCity.com) are using similar tactics for hospitality.

Attending these workshops with me were Nadav Wilf, of DiscoverSD, an awesome friend of mine who appeared in previous blog What Would Love Do? and fellow Love enthusiast and all around passionate and positive person, Daniel Band . You will be hearing a lot of great things coming from both these inspiring people!

Tomorrow is the final day of the tradeshow, which I am excited to attend and learn more and network with all of these growing technology / social companies and solutions.

As I can hear from my room on the 37th floor, SXSW Music has started, and  with more than 2,000 performers playing in more than 90 venues, SXSW Music is one of the biggest Music Festivals in the US.  I have been keeping an ear to the street, literally and virtually for the best shows in town and have been RSVPing to as many cool shows, among them being DJ’s GirlTalk, DuckSauce and Skrillex, bands The Shins, Neon Trees, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., We Are Serenades and soooo many more I hope to get to see.

I have been advised to go with the flow, which is what I do anyways and trust the Party Gods will put the right adventure in front of me. Be sure to keep an eye out for my blog on the parties and “fun” stuff I have been experiencing here in Austin. Which believe me, there is TOO much fun to be had in this amazing town during this exciting time. Too much to even fit in this post. Until then, nerding out and loving it!