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Sharing the Love at BlogWorld – Thoughts on BWE10

bwelogomain 300x196It was a last minute decision in between the 140 Conference and Digital Hollywood, but I hopped on a plane to attend BlogWorld in Las Vegas to join my social media friends and experts, and I was sure glad that I did.

Going to Las Vegas is always a whirlwind trip, and my experience at BlogWorld Expo was no exception to the rule.

Over 3000 attended the BlogWorld Expo to learn the latest trends in podcasting, social media marketing, blogging, monetization, and the most up to date information from panelists, bloggers, and social media experts.

There were parties galore at BlogWorld 10. Our friends at KLOUT picked up guests in their VIP Hummer limo, which seated 20 for their BlogWorld Kloutup reception at the Palms Hotel. Afterwards we gathered at the opening party hosted by Techset at the new Liquid Pool Lounge at the Aria Hotel.

It was a time to see old friends and meet new ones to move our online friendships to offline. I was most excited to meet Joel Williams, Blog Tech Guy, who has been part of the Cyber-Dating Expert and Social Media and More teams for almost two years.

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Marsha Collier at BlogWorld

I graciously and regretfully passed on Brian Solis’s midnight after party at the Wynn Hotel to rest up for a full day of sessions on Day 2. I stopped to say hello to the folks at BlogTalk Radio, Audio Acrobat, signed the Ford Focus Rally car along with many others, and engaged in meaningful conversations in the Sony New Media Lounge.  I very much enjoyed watching a few of the Techmunch sessions in the exhibit hall curated by Babette from Bake Space.

My friend Marsha Collier hosted one of the Techmunch panels and was at the Wiley booth signing copies of her new book, Facebook and Twitter For Seniors For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech))

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Executive Chef Karl Marsh and Todd Simon, Sr. VP Omaha Steaks

In the evening, we were treated to the BlogWorld Bistro Tasting, hosted by Omaha Steaks in the private Foundation Room at House of Blues. Chef Karl Marsh was on hand serving up amazing appetizers including Filet Mignon Spring Rolls, Bull Wings, Coconut Shrimp, and Jumbo Cooked Shrimp. Our friends at Mashable hosted the Mashbash party at Haze at the Aria hotel.

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Julie Spira and Heather Meeker at The Love Party

Afterwards, my friend Stephanie Michaels, @Adventuregirl hosted The Love Party at the Beatles Revolution Lounge with a portion of the proceeds to benefit Operation Smile.

On Day 3, I hosted Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert Radio Show live from BlogWorld with my guest Dan Abelon, co-founder of SpeedDate. Dan called in to talk about the latest trends in mobile dating as well as their focus on matching based primarily on chemistry over compatibility. SpeedDate now has over 10 million members looking for love online.

And they did save the best for last with final Keynote Address.

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Penn Jillette, Adam Carolla and Rob Barnett

We were promised a closing session full of laughter by former radio executive Rob Barnett, who started My Damn Channel four years ago. We were not disappointed. Shira Lazar introduced the session with guests including Penn Jillette of the famous Vegas duo of Penn and Teller,  Adam Carolla, Cali Lewis, Mark Malkoff, and Jeffrey Hayzlett.

Penn, who has over 1.6 million followers on Twitter and writes his own tweets, says he types what’s in his heart.  He told the group that Social media helps us tell the truth as we see it. Penn multitasks his career with Penn Point on Revision 3 and about 8 others at once.

Adam Carolla talked about getting fired from his job and his extraordinary comeback as a super-successful podcasters. The Adam Carolla show now has 200,000 downloads a day.

Mark Malkoff, the comedian who is best known as the guy who filmed himself at 171 Starbucks locations in Manhattan as well as the guy who lived in IKEA told us that he stayed in his bathroom for 5 days to detox from Internet addiction. His funny stories get picked up by the major news outlets including CNN.  You can find him on MyDamnChannel.com/MarkMalkoff.

Cali Lewis from GeekBeat TV shared her passion for social media saying it takes 16 hour a day 7 day a week to keep up with her personal brand. She added that she’s enthusiastic about taking over the world.

It’s always a treat to see former Kodak CMO turned bestselling author Jeffrey Hayzlett speak about social media marketing. Hayzlett talked about the 118 from his book The Mirror Test: Is Your Business Really Breathing?

He claims it takes 110 seconds for the average elevator ride in New York City and 8 seconds to hook someone in. Hence, the elevator speech about what you do must be honed down to 118 seconds. He added that “Scale is the “New Black.” In other words, you’ll need to add several 000s to prove your concept.

All in all it was a gathering of sharing information, meeting some of the kindest people in social media, and an educational forum to build our businesses all created by our passions in our niches.

Congratulations to Rick Calvert and Dave Cynkin, co-founders of BlogWorld on a very successful and wonderful experience for social media enthusiasts. I look forward to seeing everyone again at BlogWorld 11.

Live on Broadway: Promises, Promises

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I just returned from a 48-hour whirlwind trip to New York. No trip to New York City would be complete without a stop on Broadway. This time, I had the honor of being a guest at the revival of the musical comedy, Promises, Promises starring Kristin Chenoweth and Emmy award winner, Sean Hayes.

Back in Los Angeles, I’m still humming to the songs of “I’ll Say a Little Prayer” and “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” sung so sweetly by Chenoweth. The show is heartwarming, especially for a Hopeful Romantic like myself. As I witnessed the emotional matters of the heart and relationship woes,  I watched and wondered will the boy get the girl he has the crush on? Will the girl get over the married man she believes she is in love with? Will they ever fall in love again? If you have the chance to be in New York, I highly recommend seeing Promises, Promises. I promise, you won’t be disappointed. The performance makes you realize how important it is to open your heart to the possibilities and that a heartbreak isn’t the end of the world.

During my brief stay, coincidentally, over 2500 female bloggers were in town for Blogher 10. I stopped by Single Edition’s Bloggers in Babeland gathering and snuck in a quick trip to the Met to see the Picasso exhibtion, along with Ringo Starr’s gold drum, and Big Bamboo on the rooftop of my favorite museum.

If you can’t make it to New York, you can purchase the soundtrack of Promises, Promises on Amazon.com.

Take me out to the Ball Game

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It’s been years since I attended a baseball game at Dodger Stadium. I often wondered why baseball was America’s favorite past time.

One day, an invitation arrived on Facebook from an old friend I hadn’t seen in 30 years. It simply said, “Let’s Go Mets!” I couldn’t resist saying no, so I accepted the invite from a true serious New York Mets fan. More than a Mets fan, my friend is a Mets fanatic. He arrived wearing his Mets tee shirt and shorts proudly displaying his favorite team’s emblem. He talked about how his life had changed years earlier, after attending Mets fantasy camp. The enthusiasm about the New York Mets playing against the Los Angeles Dodgers was contagious. I couldn’t wait to get to Dodger Stadium.

I sent out a tweet that said “Let’s go Mets!” and my online conversation started about the upcoming team.  A friend of mine sent me a tweet saying the Mets will win by 5 + runs. The Mets had been on a losing streak, but I was hopeful they would win this one game. My Mets fanatic pal talked about his years of following the team around the country. It was his greatest passion. He had over 500 shirts with Mets logos on them and a house filled with museum quality memorabilia.

I arrived in time to watch a home-run. I got excited. I watched another ball player smash his face into the fence to catch the ball. It could have been a million dollar catch. I witnessed a marriage proposal on the big screen which said, “Robyn will you marry me? Love, Andrew” followed by, “She said yes!”  I immediately shared this experience on Twitter. We sang “God Bless America” and “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the 7th inning stretch. We talked about love, marriage, relationships, and my friend admitted he had a crush on me 30 years ago.

The best part of the evening was, the Mets beat the Dodgers, 6-1. My friend on Twitter must be thrilled that he picked the game, my Mets fanatic pal got to see a victory, and I learned a little more about baseball, crushes, and friendship.

A Hollywood Bowl Beatles Celebration

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Beatles Celebration at the Hollywood Bowl

As Ringo turned 70 this week with a performance at Radio City Music Hall in New York, Beatles fans in Los Angeles got to celebrate the Beatles 45th anniversary of their first performance at the Hollywood Bowl.

It was my first official evening for the summer at the world famous Hollywood Bowl where the Fab Four performed in August of 1964 for their first time.

Although there were no signs of Paul or Ringo on the west coast, we did get to enjoy the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra conducted by Brian Wilkins and leading a variety of performers including Patti Austin who opened up with “I’m Looking Through You.” She followed up with her sweet soft version of “She’s Leaving Home” and delightful renditions of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and “Penny Lane.”

Musical heartthrob Brian Laufler sang “Something” and “Across the Universe.” Guests in nearby boxes were singing along and enjoying the evening. Tony award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell sang one of his favorites, “Fool on the Hill” and added in “Norwegian Wood.”

After the intermission, R & B singer Bettye LaVette took the stage. If my eyes were closed, I would have thought it was Gladys Knight on stage. I have to say my favorite part of the show was the performance by musical genius Todd Rundgren. Todd opened up with “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite” and played “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey.” I had a feeling he’d select one of his favorites. He ended with “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and reflected about he had had performed with birthday boy, Ringo Starr. We heard “A Day in the Life” and “Let it Be.” Meanwhile, sitting in my box, I was reminded of memories of Todd Rundgren performing live in Central Park in 1970s which was memorialized in a vinyl album that I still cherish today.

We all expected everyone to join together at the end and had bets on “Hey Jude” for an encore and we weren’t disappointed. Along with Hey Jude the four performed “All You Need is Love.” You won’t get any arguments from me with that title. The crowd was waving their iPhones and BlackBerries as if they were holding a match or a flame to show their appreciation for the performers who honored the memories of The Beatles music all night long.

The Beatles Spectacular will continue on Saturday, July 10th and Sunday, July 11th.

Butterfly Ball – A Night of Glee and Support for the Homeless

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Julie Spira and Glee's Matthew Morrison

The 9th annual Chrysalis Butterfly Ball in Brentwood, brought out a combination of Hollywood Executives and celebrities to honor those helping the homeless in Los Angeles.

This year’s event honored Seth MacFarlane, Creator and Executive Producer of Family Guy, Ryan Murphy, Creator of Glee and Executive Producer of Eat, Pray, Love, and Brett Ratner, Director of Rush Hour and Chrysalis Board Member.

Ratner’s acceptance speech brought both himself and the attendees to tears. He thanked his grandparents, now in their 90s, and shared the story of how he saw the father he barely knew, alone on a park bench, homeless. His father was too embarrassed to reach out and ask for help. Ratner decided to dedicate his life to Chrysalis, an organization committed to reuniting people with their families and help economically disadvantaged and homeless individuals become self-sufficient through employment opportunities.

Cast members of Glee were in attendance, including Matthew Morrison, Amber Riley, and Mark Salling. Morrison sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” the song he performed during his audition for Glee. Other celebrities in attendance included Ryan Phillippe, Christina Ricci, Sophia Bush, Eva Mendes, Ashley Greene, and Ben Stiller.

Chrysalis has three locations in Los Angeles. Event co-chair and 20th Century Fox Television Chairman Dana Walden said she just visited their location on Skid Row in Los Angeles. Other locations include one in Santa Monica and the San Fernando Valley.

For more information and to make a donation, visit ChangeLives.org

Live from New York – Sex and the City 2 World Premiere, BookExpo and more

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I’m quite excited to be back in New York. This week, the excitement can’t be missed with tonight’s World Premiere of Sex and the City 2.

I’m on my way to Radio City Music Hall to attend the premiere, happily dressed in a Herve Leger dress worn by Kim Cattral in the first film to get in the mood. If you can’t make it to Radio City, make sure you check out the live stream of tonight’s Red Carpet event starting at 6:00pm, ET.

On Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 1:00pm, I hope you can join me at the Meet the Author Series at the New York Public Library during New York Book Week. You’ll hear some of my personal stories from  my book, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. I’ll be discussing some of the similarities of Sex and the City and my memoir. A book signing will follow.

Book enthusiasts, publishers, and agents will all be at Book Expo America on May 26-28th. Join me at 9:30am on Wednesday, May 26, 2010 in the Authors Autographing Area where you will receive a complimentary signed copy of The Perils of Cyber-Dating. I’ll be at Table 21 from 9:30am – 10:30am. The lines start early, so put it on your calendar now.

On Wednesday evening, join me at the Opening Night for Sex and the City with the Midnight Madness Tour from On Location Tours. Get your tickets before it sells out. You’ll see real sights from the film and tv show, have dinner, and meet Willie Garson, best known as Carrie Bradshaw’s pal, Stanford Blatch from Sex and the City before our midnight screening of the film. Click here for tickets>>>

The excitement will continue all week long, so grab your Skyy Vodka Cosmos and Moet Chandon Champagne and enjoy the week.

A Day of Inspiration with Jennie Garth and Step Up Women’s Network

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Julie Spira and Jennie Garth

It was a festive and heartwarming day for Step Up Women’s Network’s annual Inspiration Awards. For the 7th year in a row, Step Up honored women in the entertainment industry. The luncheon, held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel,  started off with the teens who are a part of the mentorship program talking about how the organization has made a difference in their lives. These underserved teens are now college-bound, due to the support of Step Up’s mentors.

Honorees included Kim Martin, President and General Manager of WE TV, tv agent Sonya Rosenfeld from CAA, and Jennie Garth who was introduced by her actor husband, Peter Facinelli from the Twilight film series. Facinelli read a poem that was written by one of their three daughters called “Infallible.” Jennie started her career as Kelly Taylor on Beverly Hills 90210 and appears in the new 90210 series. She was a recent performer on Dancing with the Stars and serves as a National Spokesperson for the American Heart Association.

Prior to the luncheon, Susie Cakes served 800 cupcakes to the mostly female attendees and there was a silent auction of luxury purses to benefit the organization.

During the luncheon, we learned that it cost $1000 to support one teen in Step Up’s program. We were all asked to contribute $20 to help raise $10,000. Other celebrity attendees included Gossip Girl’s Kelly Rutherford, former wrestling pro Stacy Keibler, Rules of Engagement’s Megyn Price, and Lesley Ann Warren.

Step Up is a national nonprofit membership organization dedicated to connecting and advancing women and girls.100% of the net proceeds will support Step Up’s charitable progams for women and girls.

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Kelly Rutherford

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Stacy Keibler

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Megyn Price

Ultrasuede: A Flashback to the 70s with Halston

If disco fever, Studio 54, and pillbox hats are more than a distant memory, put on your Halston dress and go see the film, Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston.

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Whitney Sudler-Smith and Julie Spira

This week, the Costume Council of LACMA along with support from Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Elizabeth and David Netto, Katherine Ross, Cameron Silver, Angelique Soave, and Alexandra Von Furstenberg, presented the west coast premiere of the documentary film by Whitney Sudler-Smith. Following the film, guests were treated to a reception in the Los Angeles Times Center Court at the museum.

We had the opportunity to remember Halston, America’s first celebrity designer, and hum a few songs, including “Big Shot” by Billy Joel and “Le Freak (Freak Out)” by Chic. Joel included a line in his song, “You were all impressed with your Halston dress” in his 52nd Street album and Chic’s song was inspired by a night the disco band couldn’t make it past the roped off line at Studio 54 for their own appearance.

It was Halston, they said, who gave birth to ultrasuede in the U.S. It was Halston, himself who said, “You are as good as the people you dress.” I arrived wearing the only ultrasuede dress I could find in my closet.

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Authors, Judith Krantz and Julie Spira

The film starts with Liza Minnelli, wearing her velvet Halston pants, talking about her personal relationship with the designer. Minnelli wore a yellow Halston dress when she accepted the Academy Award for Cabaret. We are reminded that Halston created the first pillbox hat for Jackie Kennedy for the Presidential Inauguration.

From his start at the Halston department at Bergdorf Goodman, where women were required to wear hats, through the decadent days at Studio 54, the film covered it all. Clearly, the 70s belonged to Halston.

Among the others interviewed in the film, were Sex and the City stylist Patricia Field, who shared her story on how she dressed Sarah Jessica Parker in Halston in an episode where Carrie was dating a politician. Fields said, “It was a play on Jackie O.” Angelica Huston shared some of her runway moments and we

Other attendees included designers James Galanos and Kevan Hall, author Judith Krantz, and Alexandra von Furstenberg, whose mother Diane appeared in the film.

17th Annual Race to Erase MS – A Star-Studded Benefit

The stars came out to shine for the 17th annual Race to Erase MS, hosted by Nancy Davis and Tommy Hilfiger. The charity event benefits the Nancy Davis Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis and was held at the Hyatt in Century City.

Celebrities and supporters, including Linda Gray, Loni Anderson, Buzz Aldrin, Nicky and Paris Hilton, and Anne Heche attended the cocktail reception after walking the orange carpet.

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Deidra Hoffman and Loni Anderson

During the reception, I spoke with Loni Anderson who attended the event with her daughter Deidra Hoffman. Hoffman was diagnosed with MS last year. “As soon as I found out my daughter had MS, Nancy Davis was the first person I called for help and guidance,” said Anderson. This was the first time that the two attended the event. Anderson added, “My job now is to be a mother.” I wished them both a Happy Mother’s Day.

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Linda Gray and Dan Gordon

Former Dallas star Linda Gray looked absolutely stunning. She attended the event with Dan Gordon, writer and director of her upcoming film, Expecting Mary, which is due to be released in September.  Gray shared her enthusiasm of her female cast including Lainie Kazan, Cloris Leachman, Della Reese, and Cybill Shepherd, all who are over the age of 50 she pointed out.

Buzz and Lois Aldren attended the event before flying off to Washington, where Buzz is scheduled to a guest on Top Chef.

Once inside, we were treated to the annual fashion show from Tommy Hilfiger. Performers included 70s rock band Heart, Dr. Hollywood, and Avril Lavigne.

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Brooke Burke

Dancing with the Stars Brooke Burke helped with the live auction for “Puppy Love” which raised $9000 for the 12-week old Maltese, who warmed everyone’s hearts. Other auction items included four tickets to the season finale of American Idol and a 2010 Lamborghini, which was sold for $210,000.

Congratulations to Nancy Davis for another sensational evening to support Multiple Sclerosis.

La Cage Aux Folles with Kelsey Grammer

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Kelsey Grammer and Julie Spira

No trip would be complete to New York without a stop on Broadway. It was a last-minute treat where I was invited to go with my new social media friends to see La Cage Aux Folles starring Kelsey Grammer.

In pure social media style, I sent Kelsey a message via Twitter and he kindly responded that he was looking forward to seeing me and my friends after the show, and signed it “Cheers.”

La Cage Aux Folles, based on the book by Harvey Firestein,  is playing at the Longacre Theatre. Grammer plays Georges and will eventually switch roles to play Albin, so I may have to come back again.  I enjoyed the music as much as I did the first time, over twenty years ago.

The cast truly looked like they were having a great time on stage. After the performance, we spent some time with Grammer, who was a great sport as we took numerous photos of us with the former Cheers star. Now that I’m back in Los Angeles, I’ll send my regards to Broadway, until we meet again.

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