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My Experience At The Xbox Kinect E3 Event With Cirque du Soleil

Project Natal for Xbox 360 is now Kinect for Xbox 360!Earlier in the week I had the opportunity to see the fruit of many, many weeks of labor.  Microsoft teamed with Cirque du Soleil to present the Project Natal event at the Galen Center in Los Angeles, which kicked off the week for E3, the biggest gaming convention in the world.

First, a brief explanation of my role in all of this.  Our company, M80, is the social media agency of record for Xbox, and as such we get to do some wicked-cool things with them, but this was one of the best.  For several weeks we’ve worked with teams inside and outside of Xbox to come up with hashtag programs,contact and invite people to the event and just to create general “buzz” strategies around all of this.  We use social media to amplify messages, and this event was no exception.  Without going into granular detail, I will just say that the teams at M80 and the other groups we worked with spent countless man (and woman!) hours working  to create excitement and conversation around something that most people had no detailed information about…they just knew it would be grandiose and awesome.

The event was put on two nights, Sunday the 13th and Monday the 14th, each identical to the other, and each designed to reveal the new name and features of the long-speculated and anticipated “Project Natal”.  So, at 9pm on Sunday the 14th the name was officially released to the world: the new controller-free gaming and entertainment system for Xbox will be called “Kinect“.

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My New Role In Social Media Marketing and Strategy

logo-v1Those of you that have been following my adventures for a while know that I put my heart, soul and mind into social media.  Since writing my own blogging platform a decade ago (the billion dollar idea that I never capitalized on…) to my almost-obsessive fascination with brand interaction on channels like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, I am constantly observing and strategizing ways to make the interaction and engagement between companies and customers better through social media. I have spent quite a bit of time over the last couple of years consulting businesses of all types and sizes regarding their engagement (or lack thereof) within these online communities.  From Fortune 100 companies that distribute hardware all around the world to non-profit agencies that are doing their best to make a difference in the world, I have worked with groups to lend insight, support, ideas and action to social media programs. Given all of that, I’m quite pleased to announce that I have taken a new role within the industry.

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140Smiles TWTRCON Pre-Event

operation-smileWhen Adventure Girl Stef Michaels invited me to the 140 Smiles event I knew I couldn’t say no.  140 Smiles is the official pre-event for TWTRCON and is designed to raise money and awarenes for Operation Smile, a 501(c)3 organization that helps children all around the world.  I’m going to ask for your help with this (just scroll down a little if you want to get right to it), but wanted to share with you a blurb about what this great organization does.

Since its founding, Operation Smile volunteers have treated more than 130,000 children born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities and the organization has a presence in 51 countries. In addition to contributing free medical treatment, Operation Smile trains local medical professionals in its partner countries and leaves behind crucial equipment to lay the groundwork for long-term self-sufficiency.

To know me at all is to know that I am extremely sympathetic to groups like this and have personally worked to help people (particularly children) around the world in different ways for most of my life.  I know that most of you feel the same way, so I want to ask you for your help.  It’s really quite simple, you’ll make a huge difference and you get to play around with Twitter! What could be better?

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Excellent Job Seminar In Santa Monica

resume-bucketI know the folks down at ResumeBucket in Santa Monica, and I’ll vouch for them, they have an awesome thing going.  If you are a job seeker in Southern California they are hosting an event this Thursday night and you won’t want to miss it.  Here are full details, do yourself a favor and make a point of being there.  If I weren’t out of town consulting a client I wouldn’t miss this…so go for me, and take good notes!

WHEN: Thursday, May 21 – 7:00pm to 8:30pm

WHERE: The Santa Monica Library, Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium

ResumeBucket.com, a local Internet company that specializes in helping people find jobs with free online resume posting, is holding its first “Get Hired 2.0” — a free event that will provide insight into the current job market for local jobseekers. A panel of top hiring managers and HR professionals from successful companies will be advising attendees on the best practices of getting a job in this unique economy.

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Mobile Geeks of Los Angeles

mgolaIf you are in Southern California Thursday, May 7th and you like tech stuff (particularly mobile) then join us at the Cat & Fiddle for the Mobile Geeks of Los Angeles (MGoLA)!  We’ll be gathering for an informal evening of mobile story swapping, gadget playing and maybe a drinks.  This is a no-host event, but is brought to you by James Whatley of SpinVox fame, Jeb Brilliant, mobile consultant,  and your’s truly.

I think this is going to be a blast!  This is a pretty central location for Los Angeles, and I know that there are many of you that I’ve wanted to meet in real life as we’ve come to know each other online.  Please come by and say hello, even if it’s just for a quick drink…I would love to put a face with the name, more than a 24×24 avatar. ;)

BTW, this is a very casual event, so come as you are!  Personally, I’ll be in flip flops. 

Go check out the official Facebook page and RSVP, and feel free to drop me a tweet if you have any questions or comments.  Check out the short video below from James (you may also know him as Whatleydude), showing the sick amount of hardware that he’s bringing over from London for this meetup.  I hope to see you there!

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Silicon Valley Rocks!

Last night I attended the 1st Annual Silicon Valley Rocks at The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. Billed as a show of “tech professionals by day, garage band by night…” I wasn’t sure what to expect, although the promise of geeks and music wrapped up into one event certainly sounded good to me. 

I wasn’t disappointed.  For a first time show I think it turned out well. I met some interesting people (though somehow I didn’t run into anybody that was tweeting it) and was able to talk geek.  The music was surprsingly good for “garage band” talent.  I think my favorite of the night was the Punjabi-Hip Hop Jazz Funk Experience of blacKMahal.  I streamed the end of their set on Qik, but it’s kind of hard to hear since I was just a few feet from the stage and pretty much right in front of the speakers.  Check out the diversity of this group though…they were excellent and a crowd favorite.