MTV/MySpace Presidential Dialogue & YPulse Tween Mashup Request

Posted on September 27, 2007. Filed under: Conferences of Interest, MTV, MTV News, MTV/MySpace Presidential Dialogue, MySpace, Tween, work, YPulse |

Today is the historic MTV/MySpace Presidential Dialogue featuring John Edwards.

The MTV/MySpace Presidential Dialogue with John Edwards will take place Thursday at 12 p.m. ET. The entire dialogue will be webcast live through both and, and will then be rebroadcast on MTV on Thursday at 7 p.m.

Tired of scripted, old-style Presidential debates? MySpace & MTV join forces to empower you to ask questions directly to top Presidential candidates and respond to their answers in real-time.

… Because of this, I am not at the YPulse Tween Mashup conference I was talking about back in August (see My Musings: Thoughts on Tweens and the Mashup (I want to go) ). Is someone going to be liveblogging at this conference? I hope so.

Definitely visit or right now to catch the live stream. And of course, check back at for the on-demand version that we will be working on all day. It’s pretty exciting to be involved with something that has never been done before. Will it be successful? What kinds of questions will the kids ask? We’ll find out…

EDIT: The on-demand version has been online since 3:30pm. Click here to watch!

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Facebook/Work Culture: Just Good Times or A Requirement To Stay Connected?

Posted on July 18, 2007. Filed under: Facebook, My Musings, work |

It’s not surprising to me that my company/work culture extends into Facebook. It’s a space that encourages that behavior in ways that continue to make it superior to MySpace in terms of true social networking capabilities.

Many of my coworkers have profiles on both sites, but it’s the activities on Facebook that are primarily a part of the proverbial water cooler convos. It’s just easier to keep track and up to date on all your coworkers habits and interests on Facebook than MySpace, thanks to the News Feeds and endless integrated third party apps that track and make public our activities such as Twitter, Last FM, ILike, etc.

You can visit your friends MySpace page, but can you tell what groups they’ve recently joined? What images they added to Flickr an hour ago? What movies they recently rated, what conferences they plan on attending — All from your own home page? Nope, and that’s why Facebook is rapidly becoming the place where the employable (and those aspiring to be) go to play, snoop, connect, and seek out professional opportunities.

According to the Facebook blog, their new hires use the network to friend and get to know their coworkers. Imagine that – Before making the rounds on your floor, you would browse profiles? That would be your first (and internally encouraged) impression of your colleagues? I wonder how I would perceive my own coworkers if I based my first impression on their social networking profiles, rather than day to day interactions. Would it affect my opinion, and how? The question is no longer “is this a good idea?”, but should be “since this is happening, how does this effect my job conditions?”

Like with Facebook employees, there are office inside jokes at my place of employment centered around activities within the network. Those who aren’t periodically checking in miss out. Is this important? On a small scale, no. Not attending every work related function is a comparable example; It’s not that important for you to know who’s zombie bit who, who’s graffiti said what. None of this activity is mandatory/need to know info, but it can be useful in some respects.

Now more than ever, there is an alternative window into discovering the alliances and social groupings of your workspace. If you are in an industry where who you know is almost as important as what you can do (in terms of job security, advancement, and professional development) staying connected is a must. And that is pretty much every industry, so how does this information change your work habits? A little? A lot? Have you considered how all this information can be used for or against you?

Not everyone abides by the same rules, or attends the same parties, and there is no cookie cutter social networking equation to success. But it would be a good idea to consider how much all this connectivity is both helping and inhibiting you.

For the next generation, it won’t be a novelty for their employer to discover their primary social networking profile. It will be a line on every application for every job. If you think that’s Big Brother talk, wake up – We are all our own Big Brother right now.

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Hip-Hop’s Greatest Groups & My MySpacey life

Posted on February 22, 2007. Filed under: Hip-Hop's Greatest Groups, MySpace, work |

…Just added a new promo to the MTV News MySpace page…

Hip-Hop’s Greatest Groups: The Preview 

MTV’s Brain Trust sits down once again — this time to debate the best acts with at least two MCs. Watch the action unfold beginning Monday at

Getting paid to be on MySpace

Ok, so it’s not that glamorous. However, it makes me wonder how many other people out there are like me – where a pretty hefty chunk of their day is spent updating their company’s MySpace page, researching trends within myspace, reading/approving comments, etc.  

Four years ago when I first signed up and created my own profile, I certainly never predicted I would one day be paid (as part of the rest of my job) to “play” on MySpace. In fact, part of the reason I was hired at MTV News was because I was so adamant about us having a presence within MySpace.

You would think managing/updating a MySpace page  would be easy, but in fact it’s actually not and is often a bit of a pain in my behind. However, it is rewarding to work with Jane and Alex, managing editors here, who contribute their blog entries, promo decisions, and support the growth of our friends and budding community. The MTV News MySpace page started out like any other – it’s a free account and I tweaked it/”pimped” it out like any other regular user.

For the longest time, no one could search for our page, which kept our friend #s low. We now have over 4,000 friends, which in contrast to other pages isn’t a whole lot – however considering we have no budget for promotion within MySpace, and it being more a labor of love than anything else, I am proud of what has been achieved so far. It would be nice if there was a tangible way to track how many clickthroughs we get from our MySpace page to the story/video links on, but that’s another story.

For now, it’s just nice to see all the friend requests in my inbox, even if it is a pain at times to deal with. The people who add us are a combo of MTV fans, fans of the specific artists we promote on the page, bands seeking promo/love, various small time promotional companies, record labels, and people with general curiosity. As much as people & the press say that MTV is behind the times (and in a lot of ways, they are right), it’s pretty ignorant to ignore the fact that there is still a huge audience watching, and as long as I work for this company I will do my best to nurture our community within MySpace, other social networking portals, and wherever else we are welcomed.

As far as my personal MySpace profile goes, it would be a lie to say that my activity level on it has not suffered. I definitely don’t blog within there/post bulletins as much as I used to. I check out my friends bulletins/blogs and respond to their messages, but in general my page has become kind of a dud. Oh well. I only have so much energy and I get enough  MySpace at work.

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It’s Tuesday but it feels like a Monday.

Posted on February 20, 2007. Filed under: Chris Webber, links I like (today), Me Complaining, MTV News, work |

… Chris Webber is from my hometown. My mom loves The Sacramento Kings. So, here’s a link to the Chris Webber news package my coworker Monty produced and that I built for the Overdrive News channel.  “The Pistons star talks about his African-American artifacts, how hip-hop influenced his game and what he jams to in the locker room.”

There you go mom, go crazy.

Some links I clicked today (well, this morning)

MTV and NPR adapt to changing demographics – The MTV wigitizing/joost collab/embed decisions are not news to me, but I found the contrast with NPR’s changes interesting.

Viacom Turns on YouTube, now Greets Joost with Open Arms – In case you didn’t know.

surveillance infrastructure – MySpace using content-recognition software

Excerpt – “As media companies struggle to reclaim control over their movies, television shows and music in a world of online file-sharing software, they have found an ally in software of another kind. The new technological weapon is content-recognition software, which makes it possible to identify copyrighted material, even, for example, from blurry video clips. The technology could address what the entertainment industry sees as one of its biggest problems — songs and videos being posted on the Web without permission.
Last week, Vance Ikezoye, the chief executive of Audible Magic in Los Gatos, Calif., demonstrated the technology by downloading a two-minute clip from YouTube and feeding it into his company’s new video-recognition system. The clip — drained of color, with dialogue dubbed in Chinese — appeared to have been recorded with a camcorder in a dark movie theater before it was uploaded to the Web, so the image quality was poor. Still, Mr. Ikezoye’s filtering software quickly identified it as the sword-training scene that begins 49 minutes and 37 seconds into the Miramax film “Kill Bill: Vol. 2.””

Why I am Tired and Sick

I had a three day weekend like most of you, but I spent the entire time working on my short film. These last three days have been my least favorite part of the whole experience, because we are now dealing with the audio. Oh god, I hate it! I can’t wait for it to be over. Important lesson – I do not have any talent at scoring. Good to know. Next time, I will put this in the hands of someone who actually knows what they are doing. I work with Rich Sancho at MTV, who besides being a rock star on the job is also a scoring genius in his spare time, so perhaps next time I will ask him for assistance in this area. …Because I think it’s pretty clear at this point that I really suck at it.

Title update – It is no longer called “Lily’s Evening”. The new title is “Proximity”. I will have a youtube link up either tonight or tomorrow, so stay tuned.

I was so stressed out this weekend I somehow became sick from the stress, and now I have a runny nose and a ginormous head ache. I also got in an argument with my creative partner on this project and stormed out last night. *sigh* I am such a drama queen.

However, Proximity will be finished this week, and despite this minor obstacle I have really enjoyed the process. I hadn’t made a short film in two years so this was a long time coming. I am still submitting it to The Lot, I mean I know it’s past the deadline but hey – I have seen some of the submissions on their website… I think in comparision Jennifer and I have a fairly good shot.

What needs to Happen… soon.

It’s very difficult to find that healthy, delicate balance between work, your creative projects, time with friends, general personal upkeep/chores, and maintaining your sanity.

After I am done with this short film I am going to take the time to sit down and prioritize the gajillion things I need and want to do.

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The 2.0 Life of Daniela

Posted on February 13, 2007. Filed under: Beet TV, Jose Castillo, Latinos in Tech, PodcampNYC, Think Jose, Urban Latino Magazine, work |

So, besides the other 2 million media related things I involve myself with, I am also a columnist for Urban Latino Magazine. ..Although I find it to be an interesting read, their website is poo, but don’t blame me because I didn’t design it!

The best part about contributing to this rag is that it exposes me to upcoming Latino artists and creative types. I was introduced to Pistolera by reviewing their debut album (who I contacted through myspace), which turned into me directing/producing their first music video, so I find it interesting how my life is connected by all these random threads…

Last month I profiled new media guru Jose Castillo for the first installment of my Latinos in Tech column (that I wish I could link to, but can’t because of Urban Latino’s very un-web 2.0 site!!!). I “found” Jose through one of my favorite sites, Beet TV, where he was featured speaker on online video trends.

Jose is going to be at PodcampNYC and I think I’m going to go too, just to hang out with him in person and fill my head with lots of podcasty goodness.

MTV soon to let you Snag (woohoo)

… I keep reading everywhere that the “big news” is that MTV is going to start allowing viewers to grab video. This has been in the works forever so it’s not really big news to me.

Mika Salmi, MTV Networks president of global digital media, was quoted as saying: 

“We need to open up our websites and content both for consumers and for other companies.”

Comedy Central already lets you embed their clips, so I will be excited (I guess) when all channels/divisions including MTV News have the ability to do this. … But in a way it’s kind of like trying to get excited about, let’s say, gaining the ability to draw a circle. It’s good that it will happen, but it’s sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo about time. geez.

In any case, right now you can get around not being able to download MTV News content in Overdrive by subscribing to our video podcasts. I have seen many of our podcast files in youtube, which means some of the smarties in our audience are doing their part to share what they like.

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My Weekend & Grammys Work

Posted on February 11, 2007. Filed under: Grammys, MTV News, work |

… Check out what I have been helping to build all evening for Overdrive…


See Blige, Mayer, Luda, T.I. and more gab with John Norris on the Grammys red carpet.

… I’m going to be here til midnight or so working on various Grammy related things, making this weekend entirely about production… On Saturday I shot a short film that I will be submitting to The Lot. It was a lot of fun but also a lot of hard work. I haven’t made a short film since I moved to NYC, and although I was exhausted after it was over, I told Jennifer that I was happier than I had been in I don’t know how long….

I’ve been eating way to much food while working, because my desk is near the kitchen and there’s a ton of cuban deliciousness in there and a ginormous fruit bowl. Someone help me!

Nina Simone singing an Isreali folk song (awesome)!

Eretz Zavat Chalav u’Dvash (“Land of Milk and Honey.”)

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Frozen Toes and Works in Progress

Posted on February 9, 2007. Filed under: film resources, Grammys, MTV News, My Projects, Pistolera, work |

Another edition to my slowly growing list of film resources…

Not Coming to a Theater Near You assumes a bias towards older, often unpopular, and sometimes unknown films that merit a second look.

So there is a lot of “news” happening right now related to death that many media entities are reporting on, including MTV News, and it’s made me aware of a disturbing trend that I have seen among bloggers… Writing a post specifically on something sensationalistic/what everyone is probably googling right at that moment, for the sole purpose of showing up in results.

I’m making a personal choice not to do that. ..Just because I know it might mean I will get more hits/subscribers, doesn’t mean I am going to take advantage. I mention my work and tag it as such when it’s relevant, however the point behind this blog was to create a public face and to share current & future creative endeavors with the world. I will have to pick and choose what I think is appropriate to mention here about my work life, and to be honest I am a little tired of hearing and working on assignments related to death.

I would rather finish up this week on a good note.  A real one, that actually applies to my life – Tonight I am going to a dinner for someone’s birthday. There will be a lot of people there who I have never met before, which should be fun because due to this awful weather I haven’t gone anywhere in a long time. I wore an incredibly cute skirt today with heels and within the first few minutes of being outside, my toes lost all sensation. Luckily I brought black low top converse, which go with everything.

I am going to live it up tonight, and Saturday I am spending all day shooting a short film. I am excited about this because the finished product will be my first short film that I will make available on the web, so stay tuned.

…The Pistolera music video for “Cazador” is almost done! I will premiere it here next week for the whole world to see, before it starts showing up on video channels that I will name on a later date. This was my first time directing/producing/shooting a music video so obviously, I am psyched.

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MTV News html redesign & Hilarious Multiple Horror

Posted on February 5, 2007. Filed under: lists, MTV News, multiple personalities, Sisters, The Tenant, work |

Our website is a lot easier to read/load now. Check it out. The first time I tried to use the site in an all flash environment, I thought it looked really “fancy” and there was definitely a lot of eye candy going on. But soon I realized it wasn’t user friendly at all and things took forever to load. This redesign has been in the works for a while, and I actually think it makes the text and images stand out a lot more. It’s still in beta of course but, it’s definitely a step in the right direction…

The Tenant = <3, but ???

…Maybe it’s because I watched De Palma’s Sisters right before The Tenant, but I couldn’t help but think about all the movies I have loved that have explored multiple personalities.

The Tenant isn’t exactly about multiple personalities as it is about a man’s descent into paranoia-induced madness, but he does a major portion of the film in drag, imagining himself to be Simone.

Sisters is about Siamese twins and how after a botched surgical procedure takes the life of one twin, the other absorbs her personality as a coping mechanism and murders any man she sleeps with.

In Sisters, De Palma uses a lot of split screens, and in The Tenant, Trelkovsky sees himself through binoculars both in the shared bathroom and when he is visited in the hospital. Fragmented perception (as a theme and as a visual style) always hooks me.

My Favorite Multiple Personality-themed Films

Sybil – Psycho – Mommy Dearest – Fight Club – Never talk to Strangers – Nurse Betty

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No Excuses for me + The haps at work

Posted on January 31, 2007. Filed under: MTV News, MySpace, vlog, Webcam Correspondent, work |

So apparently I’m a horrible blogger because I fell off the planet for, oh, five days.

… Well if it’s any excuse, I was in Los Angeles for a while and wasn’t feeling particularly motivated to log on and account for my whereabouts. So in the future, if four days go by and you don’t see anything on here, hopefully it means I am on vacation again. Otherwise, please alert the authorities.

What Happens when you Leave…

Gideon quit last week, and I am purposely NOT linking to Idolator, even though they “broke” the news two minutes after the email was circulated.

One of my favorite blogs, NewTeeVee, interviewed Matt Sunbulli re: his Webcam Correspondent dispatches. Although the tone is a little nasty, I still think it’s cool that he is getting recognition for his work. Despite their poking fun at his enthusiasm, I suppose most people take into account how difficult it is to initiate anything new within a major media corporation, and truly vlogging is new terrority for MTV, sad to say. So I am looking forward to seeing what Matt has in store for viewers, and thinking up ways to help promote his packages in the future on our MySpace page.

The bilingual bands package I pitched is still a work in progress – one set back being that at the last second The Troubadour would not let the west coast crew in to shoot Los Abandoned perform last week. I am not worried about seeing this story come to fruition and I am getting better about not stressing out over the little things.  Working on the digital side of News limits how much involvement I have in preproduction (even if it is my idea), but it still feels good to be a part of the process.

When I was hired at MTV News, I knew that I would be working with the Digital team to produce content for Overdrive and for podcasts, and although some things that are created exclusively for OD do end up on air (like many of our RAWs), my role is primarily to support So any time I am given the opportunity to be a part of the on-air/production/running-around-a-location world, it’s pretty awesome.

.. But to be honest (at least on the TV side, not necessarily for film), I wouldn’t ever want to just work strictly on location or in post production again without any involvement in the digital side. It’s way more interesting to have a hand in both.

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Introducing Los Abandoned… *kinda*

Posted on January 25, 2007. Filed under: Bilingual Bands, china_poblana, Enjambre, Ismada, Los Abandoned, Los Super Elegantes, Manic Hispanic, Mas Maiz, MTV News, Mun2, Nacotheque, Perez Hilton, work, Zigmat |

Near the beginning of September ’06 I pitched a show idea on bilingual bands, to feature Los Abandoned.

 I had discovered them in early August ’06 through doing album reviews for Urban Latino Magazine

The best thing about reviewing albums is free music (yay), and I probably wouldn’t have ever bought this album on my own. But I digress…

At the time that I reviewing Mixtape, I was regularly attending the brainstorming meetings and bringing new show ideas each time. Since I had only been with MTV News for two months at that point, I didn’t think my ideas were being taken that seriously. So in October when I was told that my bilingual bands show had been green lit, I was more than a little psyched.

..Because of all the other projects I have been working on, it didn’t really occur to me until today how long it has taken from the time I came up with the idea to when they actually began production on it. Multiple projects are in the works here constantly, so I figured it might have been lost in the shuffle despite the fact that people seemed to really be into the idea.  …But today Los Abandoned is being interviewed and their show is being covered at the Troubadour, and this along with other awesome *surprises* will be included in the upcoming MTV News feature on Bilingual Bands.

I don’t want to give away what the show will cover (besides the obvious topic), but I will say that compiling research for this show gave me a lot more insight into the bilingual music scene, and I ended up discovering a new local favorite – ZIMGAT.

The lead singer, Monica Rodriguez, sings in both English and Spanish. This band rocks! I saw them perform back in December at the NYRemezcla launch party, which I attended to gain further insight into bilingual/latino culture. The crowd was dancing like crazy and although it was super dark, I shot footage that I plan on uploading someday ;P.

So, Los Abandoned will soon be reaching a much wider audience and it will be neat to hear back from viewers what they think about this band, and the bilingual music scene in general. Los Angeles and Austin have thriving scenes but it will be cool to hear from areas that you wouldn’t normally think such a scene would exist.

After the jump I’m going to include some of the extensive research I did on bilingual bands (along with the NYC Latino alt music scene)… I think that the best part about researching anything is that although you may not use all the info you find, it’s great fun to learn new things in the process… (WARNING: copied and pasted from various emails in a disorderly fashion)


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