Work Stuff

Posted on September 20, 2007. Filed under: Beta tester, MTV, Work Stuff |

If you are curious about the changes happening over at, sign up as a Beta tester.

It’s interesting to read some of the comments kids are leaving.

You can read more about the community beta launch on the MTV Labs blog.

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Yeah, It’s Been A While.

Posted on September 10, 2007. Filed under: Las Vegas, MTV, Video Music Awards, Work Stuff |

It’s 5am over here in Vegas and I am on my way back to my hotel room. This has been my home since last Wednesday… The photo is a shot of Vegas from my window on the plane. There are more Vegas pics in my Flickr account, mostly from my first night here, as that was the last time I really had to myself.

My first experience working on location for the job will end in two days. It’s been amazing/hard/fun/tiring/incredible/stressful/awesome, and has strangely inspired me to do some serious thinking about what I want my future to be like. 

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Las Vegas, Zefrank, Context, and The Tipping Point. aka Today’s Ramblings.

Posted on August 23, 2007. Filed under: 2007, 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, Book Reviews, Las Vegas, My Musings, The Tipping Point, Video Music Awards, Work Stuff |

In September I am going to Las Vegas for the 2007 Video Music Awards. Even though I was born and raised in California, I have never been to Las Vegas. I don’t have any “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” stories. I don’t even know what that means, but I bet it’s dirty. When all my friends were piling into tiny cars like circus clowns to live it up in the desert sin bin, I was…. not. ^_^ What was supposed to be “next summer” or “next vacation” ended up never happening.

Because I am going to Vegas for work, I am sure there won’t be any time for that sort of sordid action anyway. So like with most places I know I am not going to be able to fully immerse myself in to the degree I would like to (Antarctica, Mars, Womens Prisons), I used the lovely internets to search for information about Las Vegas.

What I found was this hysterical video by Zefrank, who I have been vaguely “internet aware” of for a while, but never checked out any of his work. Sometimes I am suspicious of people who are universally loved.

When Ze Frank ended his year long online video project this past March, the Los Angeles Times offered this quote:

“Ze Frank’s online show was a grand-scale viewer-participation experiment.”

Why did he stop? Well, for one thing, last summer Sharon Sheinwold, a partner at United Talent Agency, arrived at from the Web log and spent the next three days “getting lost” in the site. Soon after, she and U.T.A. owner Nick Stevens flew out to New York to meet Ze Frank in person. She described him like this:

“He’s a self-generating comedic force and magnet for talent à la Judd Apatow, Ben Stiller, Mitch Hurwitz, Imagine—albeit in his nascent state of bloggerdom,” said Ms. Sheinwold, who became his agent soon after that meeting. “He’s a guy who, when we connect him with the right people, will be able to do whatever he wants.”

I just finished reading The Tipping Point today, and I keep amusing myself with how much of Ze Frank’s creative life and the community that surrounds him illustrates the points made in the book.

New book on my radar ~ 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl

Book Description
Cross James Merrill, H. P. Lovecraft, and Carlos Castaneda -each imbued with a twenty-first-century aptitude for quantum theory and existential psychology-and you get the voice of Daniel Pinchbeck. And yet, nothing quite prepares us for the lucidity, rationale, and informed audacity of this seeker, skeptic, and cartographer of hidden realms.

As I mentioned yesterday, I read about two new books a week and would love to write reviews for myself (and you), if it meant I didn’t have to glue myself in front of a computer screen… I may start researching mobile devices after all this work, moving, and other assorted craziness evens out.

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My Documentation: Lollapalooza and the new You R Here site

Posted on August 3, 2007. Filed under: MTV News, Work Stuff, You R Here |

In a few minutes it’s going to be nuts here at the job, but wanted to give my readers a heads up that the new MTV News user-generated site You R Here is being promoted along with all our Lollapalooza coverage that started earlier today and will run through this weekend.

The above photo was taken and uploaded to my You R Here account a few minutes ago. I copied my coworker Rachel :). We will be working through this weekend from the MTV News office in NYC to support our team in Chicago. The first report will be on the site within the next few minutes.

This is (I think) my 5th experience supporting a major event while working for MTV News, and it’s still pretty exciting as it gets closer to crunch time.

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Work ‘Ish, JETSET Love, Crepe-tasticness, and Beet TV suprise

Posted on July 24, 2007. Filed under: CNN YouTube debate video, Crepes in NYC, Hottest MCs In The Game, Jet Set Show, Jim Jones, MTV News, Work Stuff |


Hottest MCs: Get Fired Up!

Get a glimpse of our Hottest MCs in the Game debate. It’s time to ring the fire alarm!

A considerable amount of work always goes into these kinds of specials, but I felt compelled to give props to everyone involved with MTV News: Hottest MCs in the Game. Especially to Sohyung, who built the feature. I’ve watched everything several times by this point and passionate debate is always something that makes me smile.


YouTube Debate Gets Heated

See the Democratic presidential candidates faced with some unusual and downright ballsy video questions.

Michelle’s package on the CNN/YouTube debate went online earlier today. Even though I’m up to my eyeballs in Web 2.0+ work, news, and research all day long, the way this debate functioned still kind of blew my mind.


* Yes, you know what JetSet is. But did you know they are having an online party Monday, July 3oth @ 6pm PST to celebrate the 500th member on MIX? There will be pizza, surprise guests, lip sync battles, and cool geek prizes.

What a great way for them to further engage their audience, by rewarding them for their participation through interactive entertainment… Smarties!

** Like Crepes? Live in NYC? Check it out. Check out my hilarious interaction with The Barnes as well. Ok, it’s funny to me.

alantra (4:03:39 PM):

DanielaInfinity (4:03:51 PM): I WANT TO GO ON A CREPE ESCAPE

alantra (4:04:57 PM): if you were a boy

alantra (4:05:01 PM): and you yelled that in public

alantra (4:05:06 PM): i bet somebody would beat you up

alantra (4:05:08 PM): lulz

DanielaInfinity (4:05:11 PM): lmao

alantra (4:05:14 PM): rue des crepes looks good

alantra (4:05:45 PM): that sounds like something that the rich bitchy girl from willy wonka would say

alantra (4:05:54 PM): “daddy, i want a crepe escape! i want it now!”

*** Beet TV FINALLY is available as a podcast! I’d like to think that my constant complaining about this in my blog and the one time we met in person has something to do with this, but it probably doesn’t. Whatever – it happened, great.

**** Last week’s pipe blast was just a ways across town from where I work. People were talking about it all day, and the debris clouds were really frightening. Check the flickr images.

My friend made a comment the other day: “I saw [something random on the street] and was going to take a picture of it but then I thought ‘it will end up on flickr anyway’ so I didn’t bother and just found it later that week.”

I wonder how much will change in her life and those who benefit from citizen journalism when Flickr video begins…


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WidgetCon 2007: I want to go.

Posted on July 3, 2007. Filed under: Conferences of Interest, widgetcon, widgetcon 2007, Work Stuff |

A few weeks ago my coworker/pal Justin Tormey who is now Director of Digital Distribution – Product Development, clued me in to WidgetCon. Back in the day we worked together on developing some widgets for MTV News, so he knew I would be interested.

As a result, a while ago I posted the WidgetCon widget in my Facebook feed. I also followed up with some people on Facebook who I thought would be interested in attending. Among them was Lynne, the Senior Editor for one of my favorite magazine’s Fast Company. Per the widgetcon attendee list (that anyone can scroll through), she is now going to be checking it out.

Social networking and transparency in action? Hm.

If my work lets me go, I plan on liveblogging the event, or at the very least taking a million notes. I’ve never live blogged anything before so it would be a fun thing to attempt.

If I end up not being able to go, I do hope that the producers of WidgetCon livestream the panel discussions and also offer them as an audio/video podcast feed.

At the very least, I hope they offer something along the lines of the OnHollywood Conference video archive page (they also live streamed).

Date: Wednesday July 11th
Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm,
Reception to follow
Venue: Tribeca Cinemas, NYC

WidgetCon is a full day event to be held at the Tribeca Cinemas in New York on July 11th. Its objective is to begin to look towards the smart growth of widget marketing, through conversations on everything from standards to metrics to production and economics, as well as creative and media strategies.

Click here for list of WidgetCon Conference Speakers.

Some interesting people who are going (per their badge creation):
Sharon Gross – Manager, Online Marketing – Showtime Networks
Allen King – Interactive Media Director – Turner Broadcasting
Brett Dennis – Director Media Marketing – T-Mobile USA
Simon Assaad – CEO – Heavy
Chris Marentis – CEO – Clearspring
Zal Bilimoria – Product Marketing Manager – Google, Inc.
Samir Mehta – Product Manager – Yahoo Inc.
Michael Shields – VP Media Strategy – Warner Music Group

Some Current Buzz

Mashable – …I think it’s incredibly important for businesses to engage in this type of discussion, and more so for companies that have put forth business applications. From the looks of the list of other speakers, most of those involved with WidgetCon hail from media or other non-professional networking sites. Nevertheless, with LinkedIn’s recent announcement of creating a platform for developers, we’re seeing the powerful convergence of business marketing through widgets across the board.

Widgify – …This is making out to be an interesting event and will be the second official Widget-only conference ever. The first was Widgets Live held last year. That event grew out of organic blog commentary and was a smashing success.


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MTV’s You R Here Blog: Team Dresch & Antler!

Posted on June 26, 2007. Filed under: MTV blogs, MTV News, My Projects, reunion show, Studio B, taking french lessons, Team Dresch, Work Stuff, You R Here blog |

Check out my music show adventures from this past weekend on MTV’s You R Here blog.

I didn’t plan on writing anything but decided if I truly am a music fan, the least I can do is help Team Dresch and Antler get some coverage.

– via mike fischer’s flickr set 

In totally unrelated news, I met with my French instructor this morning and we are in the process of plotting out the summer syllabus. If you know of any places in NYC where I can practice my French speaking skills with native speakers, please leave me a comment.

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ADD Video Friday: I Love Creepy Toys

Posted on June 22, 2007. Filed under: gross key chain, My Videos, Work Stuff |

Last night at work I had to stick around a little later than I usually do.

My co-worker Brian Jacks gave me the most awesome key chain/stress toy. It’s The Hills Have Eyes 2 shwag — A red ball filled with fake blood and eyeballs that make squelchy noises. Love it.

Tonight I am going to a rock show and hope that it is face-melting musical genius.

…Well, I hope it’s at least a decent show and no one touches me or my dress.

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MTV News reports on Wizard-Rock

Posted on June 7, 2007. Filed under: Harry and the Potters, MTV News, music by Harry Potter fans, wizard-rock, Work Stuff |

I recently sent some follow up info to a bunch of Wizard-Rock sites/communities. Jennifer’s package is pretty entertaining so I thought I would share link info with anyone searching for interesting coverage on music made by Harry Potter fans.

Story Link:

Harry Potter Fandom Reaches Magical New Level Thanks To Wizard-Rock Bands

You can access the video package through a link on the right sidebar within the article.

Deep Link to Wizard-Rock package (news story + two performance clips):

Also through MTV News Video Podcast

INSTRUCTIONS: (for podcasty people and those outside of USA who cannot watch the video)
If you go to you will find the package through our daily news video podcast feed. If you use itunes to subscribe to podcasts,
click on the wizard rock icon and it will try to add our video podcast feed rss to whatever reader is in your cookies.

You can also simply drop the headlines video podcast feed into itunes to get it automatically:





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2007 MTV Movie Awards memories

Posted on June 4, 2007. Filed under: 2007 MTV Movie Awards, MTV News, Will Ferrell and Sacha Baron Cohen, Work Stuff |

*yawn* Sleepy.

Luckily today is not as hectic as last night’s team effort to put the entirety of the 2007 MTV Movie Awards show online. Quite an interesting way to get back to work after a week in Paris.

Among other things, I assisted with producing the online 2007 MTV Movie Awards Under Surveillance backstage show.

If you go to you can catch up on all the festivities, as well as delight in Will Ferrell’s and Sacha Baron Cohen’s delicious man kiss.

At 3am, a bunch of us were still around and although they are not all in this photo, I think you can get an idea from the crazed grins that as a whole we were all a little punchy, although satisfied with a job well done.

(L to R) Rich, Me, Justin, Jonathan, Ben, Jennifer, The Jacks

You can read an interesting perspective of last night’s exploits on Benjamin Wagner’s aka da boss’ blog — I’m still jetlagged and unwilling to do much beyond what is expected of me at work today, and going home to eat chocolate and watch Requiem for a Dream for the millionth time.

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