Author Archives: Julie Blaustein

By Julie Blaustein

We are all so distracted these days multi-tasking between our Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and dealing with all our responsibilities in life that sometimes we forget how to just be. Harmony Festival reminds you what its like to just take a deep breathe and enjoy the moment.

It was Harmony Festival’s 33rd. year of celebrating health, music, arts, ecology and spirituality for 3 activity-filled days June 10th-12th. Everyone who attends has an experience that makes them want to come to next year’s festival as there just is not enough time to enjoy it all. It has something for everyone – its like a Green Festival, Burning Man, X-Games all in one. There are workshops, action sports, over 300+ vendors, more than 100+ bands and speakers, a Steampunk Garage, The Sustainable Living Road show, Whole Foods Experience, a Silent Disco and more.

Michael Franti & Spearhead, set to play at 8:30 pm Friday evening at the main stage, made a surprise appearance in the tiny Goddess Grove at 4 pm. While their energetic, acoustic songs including Hey Hey Hey and the Sound of Sunshine were played on stage, Yoga Tree’s Janet Stone led a yoga session. A crowd spontaneously formed and followed Janet’s every move, forgetting anything they were planning to do other than follow her loving instructions to the lovely music in the background. I spotted Myles Weissleder with his daughter Summer at the Goddess Grove. I usually run into at his SF NewTech events in San Francisco. I asked him how the festival fit into his technology world and his response, “I try to avoid any techie angles while I”m at the Harmony Festival,” sums it up nicely how to be at this most special Festival.

 

To see more photos from this year and past years go to my Harmony Festival Flickr Collection.

Harmony Festival 2011

Michael Franti of Michael Franti & Spearhead

 

Harmony Festival 2011

Janet Stone of Yoga Tree Leads Yoga

 

Harmony Festival 2011

Myles Weissleder of SF NewTech and Daughter Summer

 

By Julie Blaustein

The Social Media Club Panelists: Moderator Chris Heuer, Peter Kim, Jen McClure and Michael Brito

The Social Media Club of San Francisco held their monthly meeting at PeopleBrowsr offices on Tuesday, May 17th. in SOMA. It was a conversation that included Chris Heuer, Founder of the Social Media Club as Moderator, Peter Kim of Dachis Group, Jen McClure of Thomas Reuters and Michael Brito of Edelman.

There appears to be a shift in the way that companies are messaging themselves; rather than conducting Social Media its preferred to be known as conducting Social Business. Much of the discussion centered around how each of the panelists define social media in terms of their companies and how it relates to social media. All agreed that social media has evolved from when it first came into our consciousnesses around 2004. Brito saw that when it first debuted to companies it was creating chaos but now companies are making sense of it and embracing it. McClure whose company has a large workforce felt that the term itself is being used less and its now more about it becoming part of the social organization and enabling employees to communicate with one another. Kim shared how the social media term is on the “outs” with the story of  how his client, Zappos‘ CEO Tony Hsieh, fined $1 to anyone who even uttered the term social media.

The panelists also shared their own definition of Social Business. Kim saw it similar to how you connect consumers but in the business world. Its how you communicate with employees through technology such as Jive Software that provides social networking, collaboration software, community software and media monitoring. Kim said, it “pains him when people use social business as social media which it is not.” McClure sees social business as a platform to connect and help employers learn from. Brito shared his definition of social business from an infographic that he has created. As he defined it, its the natural evolution that companies go through internally to equip themselves with customers. It starts with the people internally in a company such as the CMO and as a result processes are established within and technology brought on to manage it results.

Google Trend Comparison of Social Media vs. Social Business

A comparison between Social Media and Social Business in terms of search and news interest demonstrated how Social Business is barely a blip, yet its most definitely of importance to those in the enterprise social world. In the end perhaps the discussion was mostly about the semantics of language as it was agreed that social media is the umbrella term, with social business being a niche version of it. Some examples of those companies as seen in the forefront of this focus on Social Busienss were IBM, SAP, Cisco, Intel. Kim though felt at tis time no one is doing Social Business Particularly well but just getting started such as Disney and AT&T. There is still a huge amount of opportunity for companies to join the social world in a business way in the near future.

Join the Conversation with the Social Media Club SF at #SMCSF, view the video and photos from the event.

Social Loco Conference

 

The Social Loco Conference, held at the Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco on Thursday, May 5th., was where it was at for The Future of the Social Location Revolution. The theme of this year’s conference was convergence, the merging of distinct technologies, industries, or devices into a unified whole, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. What better keynote to represent the convergence of the social-location landscape than Google’s Marissa Mayer, VP of Consumer Products. She talked of Google’s “Evolution of Location.” and had a three pronged approach to Location that included Exploration and Discovery, Interactivity and New Perspectives.

 

Starting with Google Places, Meyer talked about how key it was to be able to get a real sense of a place when you seek information about it – its look and feel. According to Mayer, the best way to connect with the places you love is at Google Places. Live for just 6 months, Google Places already has over 50 million Place Pages that include over 5 million ratings and reviews which is a rate of 1 million a month. Its success is due to its social interaction of users who can gain personalized search results via Finding, Rating and Sharing Places. Mayer announced the launch of Google Business Photos in Google Places at the Social Loco conference. Google is offering FREE photo shoots for owners at their request. The photos are high- high-quality, panoramic photos. A great Q & A about their new offering is provided by Google. Not only is it being launched in the US, but also in Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Another exciting Google announcement shared at the conference was Google Earth for the Android Tablet. Google’s Product Manager Peter Birch spoke of how the idea of holding the whole world in one’s hand has always appeared to be fiction, but it is now a reality with Google Earth’s special free version for the Android Tablet. It includes a Motorola Zoom and Android 3.0 (honeycomb) offering system. It is also very social as high-resolution photos are submitted of places through a community of photographers. The coolest thing about it is for the first time on any mobile device, 3D Viewing of Buildings is being offered.

Social Loco Conference

Meyer also chatted with John Battelle of Federated Media in a Fireside Chat. Battelle, known to draw juicy nuggets of information from his subjects, did not fail us this time around. Meyer sees Larry Page as CEO once again as a positive change due to his tremendous focus on technology. Mayer is also thrilled to be focusing now on Location rather than Search which she has in the past. The Search Group is expanding to becoming more expansive and includes Contextual Discovery based on where you are in context to your location. Although she wouldn’t officially say anything specific about Google Offers, she did suggest that they are like a movie in pre-production and at this time they are just casting – figuring out their next moves. And that Groupon purchase that never came to be, she was also not too open to discussing but did suggest that its the reason for Google’s focus on offers now and that they are open to more acquisitions. She did confirm that Google’s strategy is to definitely grow in this fast moving space known as Location.

 

Go to #socialloco and follow the conversation about the Social Loco Conference.

I wasn’t quite sure what I was attending when I was invited to the 2nd. Swagapalooza at the DNA lounge last Tuesday. It turns out they pretty much invite bloggers and then they reward them with swag by attending and hopefully promoting the event. Most of the bloggers were foodie bloggers as most of the demos were about food. There really was no theme. The food wasn’t anything to write home about, mosty pizza. But it was a fun, excitable, heckling crowd who was happy to be there as were the presenters that were introduced on stage by Alex Krupp, the host and organizer.

First up was Justin Kahn of Justin.TV as the Keynote. He shared the virtues of quitting your day job and going after your dream with the young and impressionable audience who eagerly listened to his “lessons in life”. Fortunately for him, its all working out. Not only has Jason.TV taken off, he has now started his own mens-ware line.

Kristen Slow of Sabateur had Jason model her signature jacket from her mensware line. She demonstrated how any liquid will just roll off the Invincible Man’s Jacket. Although definitely a cool item to own, I was a bit sticker shocked at the price, $600! But she hooked us up with some real swag, a real men’s shirt with real men’s cuff links!

Transcendent Man, the movie about Ray Kurzweil, one of the world’s leading futurists was introduced by its director, Barry Ptolomy. Its going to be released in every conceivable medium that is available – YouTube, Apps, TV. You can even watch it here now! It suggests that computers will have conscience thinking and even cure death in the near future.

Will Hauser of Two Degrees shared with us the virtues of his all-natural, gluten-free bars. Their mission is to feed over 200 million children, one child at the time. The audience though was all a twitter and tweeting how HOT he was.

I never realized how fun recycling could be. John Funk of FlingBins popped up his 13 gallion recyclable bins to show us just how easy it is to whip one out at a party and have a good time with your garbage.

Swipe your credit card with Swipegood and do good by rounding up your transaction to the nearest dollar and then contribute that amoutn to your favorite charity. Steli Efti shared the many reasons why this is something you just automatically CAN do and DO good.

Stunner of the Month shared the cheesiest but entertaining presentation of all. Todd Smith modeled his offerings, quite the deal for $9 a month. You receive a new pair of shades and a funky tape to go with it in the mail. The perfect gift for all occasions!

Tracy Lee and her partner threw out Magic Panties?  Whatever they were, the crowd was going wild to catch a pair.

You would think that the Boom Boom Revolution would be something thumping but rather its a card deck where folks are prompted to do acts of kindness and then share them with a community of do-gooders. Turns out that Mary Beth Campbell, a former teacher was so shocked that her students were into acts of kindness she felt compelled to share it with the world.

Seems there are lots of people seeking to connect with others when they are not digitally connected. Eddie Lu of Grubwith.us and his partner realized this when they moved to Chicago. They set up a community where strangers can eat and meet one another at restaurants around the city.

Danny Grabiner of SourFlour is also creating community through his bread. He made 172 loafs of bread and greeted each and every attendee upon arriving at the event with their very own loaf. It was yummy but such a huge loaf that I gave it to one of the homeless on my way home.

And last of the bunch was Amerilab Technology which when it came down to it, they provided a possible solution to one’s hangover with their product, the Drinkin’Mate, although according to laws, they couldn’t come straight out and say that. Their secret ingredien: guava leaf extract. As part of my goodie bag I was swagged with one of their products so we’ll see if it actually works.

For the real fun follow the event at #swagapalooza. And check out the after party pics and some more pics here.

Alex Krupp, Host of Swagapalooza

Justin Khan of Khan.TV and Kristen Slow of Sabateur

Barry Ptolemy of Transcendent Man

Will Hauser of Two Degrees

Steli Efti of Swipe Good

Todd Smith, Stunner of the Month

Eddie Lu, Grubwith.Us

Tracy Lee and Partner

Chris Biggs and Partner of Ameritabs

By Julie Blaustein

The launch of the Data 2.0 conference was held Monday, April 4th. and was a huge success.  Organized by midVentures Group with the help of Arabella Santiago and gang, it was full of data, content, cool ideas, product launches, presentations,  pitch contests and even the announcement of Twitter’s newest data partner MediaSift. Attending and presenting were hackers, business types, those seeking out the Next New Thing. Check out the coverage in photos here and view my Flickr album or the Group Pool for more! You can also catch it live streamed on UStream. And you can follow the conversation from the event at #data2con.

Winner of the Pitch Contest - Micello

Cathy Casserly, CEO of Creative Commons

Oren Michels, CEO of Mashery

Jay Adelson, CEO of SimpleGeo

Andreas Weigend, of Social Data Lab and former Chief Scientist of Amazon

Vivek Wadhwa, TechCrunch Contributor

Data 2.0 Conference Organzers

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