Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Golden Age of Digital Storytelling | SMW NYC

From web collaborations to innovative marketing tactics, many different brands need to think outside the box when it comes to standing out in the digital world. In a fascinating panel at the Hearst Tower, featuring people from Mini USA, HBO and BuzzFeed, I learned about "The Golden Age of Storytelling."

Josh Sternberg - Media and Publishing Reporter, Digiday; @joshsternberg

Lee Nadler - Marketing Communications Manager, Mini USA; @leenadler
Sabrina Caluori - Vice President, Social Media and Performance Marketing, HBO; @sabrinacaluori
Jon Steinberg - President & COO, BuzzFeed; @jonsteinberg

L-R: Lee Nadler, Jon Steinberg, Sabrina Caluori, Josh Sternberg

"This is one career where you can learn without a college degree." - Sabrina Caluori

Lee Nadler also emphasized that you should be careful when trying to digitize everything. At Mini USA, they focus on bringing their brand and marketing into real life. One of his examples was when they created a mobile stage on one of their vehicles and collaborated with musicians to perform during traffic. I thought that was a really cool idea. 

My favourite part of the session was when Sabrina Caluori incorporated HBO's hit show Girls to demonstrate different marketing strategies that helped make it into the show it is today - in addition to Lena Dunham's sheer genius of course. They collaborated with BuzzFeed and created a series of different articles and posts that could relate to girls all over the world.

And while we're on the topic of Girls, have you all seen this video?? Chelsea Davison's impersonation is spot on:

Anyways, more SMW NYC coverage coming up! Sorry, as a result of being sick in bed for a couple days, I'm a little behind - oh well, better late than never!

- Christina
Follow my adventures on Twitter: @christinaaa28

Democratization Of Fashion: Are Consumers Haute Or Not? | SMW NYC

In addition to the official Social Media Week events, there were tons of other independently organized events that took place throughout the city. One of these organizers is Blogads, a company that pairs advertisers with blogs and their audiences and helps blogs make money. 

The first panel on Thursday, February 21 at the Helen Mills Theatre was "Democratization Of Fashion: Are Consumers Haute Or Not?" which took a look at the influence of consumers and online culture on today's fashion industry.

Kate Studwell - PM for; @katestud

Eugenia Chien - Blogger & Marketing Manager for Polyvore; @eugeniachien
Stefan Loble - Owner & Inventor of Bluff Works; @stefanloble
Carrie Hammer - Designer,; @CarrieHammer

 I love how Carrie's tights were perfect for Social Media Week!

More SMW NYC coverage coming up!

- Christina
Follow my adventures on Twitter: @christinaaa28

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

It's Complicated: Dating and Relationships in the Digital Age | SMW NYC

On the morning of Wednesday, February 20, I got to immerse myself in a discussion on the world of online dating. Some of the industry's key players and speakers came together at the Hearst Tower for a panel moderated by Joyce Chang (@joycemarg), Executive Editor of Cosmopolitan. It was such a great group of people, with very distinct points of view that made it incredibly interesting and entertaining.

Sam Yagan, Co-Founder and CEO, OkCupid@samyagan
Brian Schechter, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, How About We@BSchech
Rachel Pasqua, VP, Mobile, iCrossing@rachelpasqua
E. Jean Carroll, Author of Ask E. Jean, the longest currently-running advice column in American Publishing; Co-founder of

What's the biggest challenge in online dating?

Rachel Pasqua: I think for the consumers, it's weeding through the false advertising. If you think about it, digital dating is a lot like digital advertising in that you can really create whatever image you want of yourself, whatever you want people to perceive. You can build yourself up, you can make yourself seem more this or less that in a way that you really couldn't really pull off in the offline dating world.

"People tend to gravitate towards people like them in general." - Brian Schechter 

Tips from E. Jean Carroll

"The minute you decide this is the one, what happens? It's over. Because you start acting like he's the one and as soon as you start acting like he's the one, you start to lose that sexy, enthralling thing you were doing at the beginning and then he loses interest and then you start to cling and then he loses more interest and then he's out the door. One of the biggest mistakes a man or woman can ever make is never to decide this is the one. Big mistake. Always leave your options open, even when you are married."

"The best place to meet a man is the men's washroom at a Knick's game."

"Do it all, online and off, because that's a fun way to live. You're only young once -- or you're only middle-aged once, thank god."

"The only reason we are on this earth is to enjoy as many lovers as we possibly can."

"My advice for guys is: Don't have a photograph of you and a fish. You know those guys who have a photo holding a damn fish. What are they thinking? Guys, don't put a picture of yourself with a goddamn fish."

Tips & facts from Sam Yagan:

"Offline dating is a lot of work. The average non-online dater goes on an average of 4 dates in a year. So whatever work you do when you're single looking for a date, that year of work results in 4 dates. The idea that online dating is work is a little bit of a red herring."

"People today are spending more time single than at any point in recorded human history."

"Whether you get to the first date by an online dating service, a match making service, meeting someone through a friend, once that first date happens, how you got there is irrelevant."


Tips from Sam Yagan on putting together your online dating profile:

1. If you want to look younger, don't use flash. Using flash adds seven years of age to your attractiveness. A 32-year-old who uses flash looks like a 39-year-old.

2. Online equivalent of bad breath is bad grammar. If you don't care enough about your profile to actually spell words preoperly and to use grammar, that's a message that you don't take yourself seriously and that you aren't taking dating seriously.

3. Be specific. If you say you like travel, that's not a point of commonality - who cares. If you like to go backpacking in developing countries and I like to backpack in developing countries, that makes for interesting conversation. Just saying travel is useless.

4. Use humour. Trying to make someone laugh early on is a good ice breaker.

5. In general, write longer profiles. Profiles that are more than 250 words generally get 30% more communication.

6. If you're in urban areas, talk about yourself more. If you're in rural areas, talk about what you want in a date more.

7. If you're in urban areas, you can be more negative, talk about what you don't like. If you think about New Yorkers, we bond over the things we hate.

8. Tip for guys writing that first message: If your first word is 'Hi' or 'Hello' you'll get 30% fewer responses than if your first word is 'Howdy' (or something along those lines). The idea is, if your first word is interesting, you're almost forced to write an interesting message.

9. Highlight what is different about you. Stand out, you don't want to be average.


It's pretty interesting stuff! And after that session, E. Jean Carroll is basically my new favourite person.

More SMW NYC coverage coming up.

- Christina
Follow my adventures on Twitter: @christinaaa28
All photos taken by me | Please contact for use

Monday, February 25, 2013

Up Close With A$AP Rocky & the A$AP MOB | Plus A Giveaway!

Last Wednesday, I got to be in the audience for a private concert featuring 4th Pyramid (reppin' Toronto!), Bodega Bamz, A$AP Ferg and the one and only A$AP Rocky. The event was hosted by Scion AV and you had to win your way in to get a spot on the list for the show at Public Assembly. I was lucky to be one of the Twitter winners.

It was such a crazy experience and I had an amazing time. Highlights: A$AP Ferg kissed my hand and A$AP Rocky grabbed my hand....sigh. I went home a very happy girl.

Check out my photos & videos below:

 4th Pyramid

 Bodega Bamz

 A$AP Ferg

A$AP Rocky - front row, no big deal...

Great view

I gotta say, seeing F*ckin' Problems live was one of my favourite moments of life...that, and seeing Snoop Dogg perform Drop It Like It's Hot live (check out my coverage from Osheaga HERE) - I love crossing things off my bucket list.

AND I'm having a Twitter giveaway now! The prize: an A$AP Rocky bracelet straight from the show! Re-tweet this:

Anyways, be sure to follow Scion AV for upcoming events.

- Christina
Follow my adventures on Twitter: @christinaaa28

Hiring For The Social Web | SMW NYC

Tuesday, Feb. 19th, ended off at the BuzzFeed HQ, where I learned all about what companies are looking for when hiring for potential employees in the digital world. 'Hiring for the Social Web' was moderated by BuzzFeed's Executive Editor Doree Shafrir and featured a panel of people from some of the biggest websites based in New York:

Hillary Frey - Yahoo News, Editor-in-Chief
Lockhart Steele -, President & Founder
Amanda Michel - Guardian US, Open Editor

"Almost all of the jobs that we've been hiring for are jobs that have not existed before. So it's not like we're replacing someone and have experience knowing what this job is or what this person does.  And I think it can be really challenging for people coming in to have to try and define what that role is." - Doree Shafrir

"If you're a young writer, the best advice I can give you is to move to Miami, Florida because there's no one down there. Really, with the couple exceptions of the folks who network for me who understand subject-verb agreement and can put sentences together. I'm not joking at all. New York has great writing talent ... but other markets are really a challenge." - Lockhart Steele

"I really look for people with strong personalities first." - Lockhart Steele 

"[Twitter is] definitely a place where you can showcase your personality, even if that's not the job that you are especially hiring for. It is a place where people get to peek at who you are in a different way."- Hillary Frey

"I don't focus much on education ... I prefer scrappy, really smart and a good team player. I think in the environment that we're working, personality makes a really big difference." - Amanda Michel

"I'm finding it easier these days to teach reporting skills than teaching how to have a strong voice as a writer. It amazes me some of the things that people don't know about reporting. We had an intern in, a journalism major from one of our nation's fine journalism schools, and they were asked if they could call to check a fact and couldn't grasp what that meant." - Lockhart Steele

"Be a fan of the place you want to work - but not a crazy fan." - Hillary Frey

Only at the BuzzFeed HQ...
More SMW NYC coverage coming up!

- Christina
Follow my adventures on Twitter: @christinaaa28
Photos taken by me | Please contact for use

Sunday, February 24, 2013

So You Think You Can Start Up? | SMW NYC

The digital startup world has been booming with new and innovative businesses and I've been lucky enough to see into that world by previously working at the Ryerson Digital Media Zone, a startup incubator in Toronto. But I've become especially interested in startups that bring together fashion and technology.

On Tuesday, February 19th, Hearst Magazines hosted a fashion startup competition 'So You Think You Can Start Up?' for budding fashion tech entrepreneurs to share their pitches to the SMW audience. The winner would receive a editorial coverage on

The judges:
 L-R: Drake Martinet - Social Editor, NowThis News;
Aliza Licht - Senior Vice President, Global Communications, Donna Karan;
Amina Akhtar, Executive Editor,

The contestants:


Julie Mahloch, Founder & CEO

Phil Bjerknes, CTO, Co-Founder

Jennifer Yassen, Head of US Partnerships

After much deliberation and votes from the audience, the winner was chosen...

Congrats to Bloom!

More SMW NYC coverage coming up!

- Christina
Follow my adventures on Twitter: @christinaaa28