"Spend less time being interesting and more time being interested in people and the world" - Shira

Shira’s Awesome Pick of the Week

Launch of The Partners Project on YouTube

This week was crazy. Not only are the holidays coming up and everyone is wrapping up the year to welcome 2011, but I launched my new weekly series on YouTube called, "The Partners Project". The show is the talk interview show of YouTube and each show profiles one of its stars. For the first episode, we spoke to Daneboe who has built his character The Annoying Orange into a full out brand with over 1 million subscribers, over 6 million fans on Facebook and over 300 million upload views.

Here's the 1st episode:

But go to our channel to watch behind the scenes footage and subscribe to stay up-to-date with upcoming episodes. Plus, every Tuesday we'll be releasing Partners Pro Tips aka YouTubers tricks of the trade.


You can also check out our site at: http://partnersproject.com

Facebook and Twitter too!

Ok that's enough site linkage for now.

First and foremost, I want to thank my amazing team who helped to put this whole project together. My co-creator and EP Damon Berger (the show is produced by our company Disrupt/Group) and Christian Bretz for producing and editing up a storm.

Thanks so much to Dane for being so awesome and making me a Peach in an episode that aired yesterday with the incredible James Caan:

Thanks to all our interviewees you'll be seeing in the next coming weeks for their time and fantastic contribution to this new series.

Thanks to Tubefilter.com for a fantastic writeup of the show and to everyone who has showed support by watching, tweeting and spreading the word.

Thanks @RyanSeacrest!

I have to admit as a broadcaster and brand, Ryan Seacrest, is an idol of mine. So I was really excited to see that he had posted a recent video interview I did with YouTube viral star Graham Stookey on his site.

The 18-year old singer/songwriter/high schooler from Littletown, Colorado was taped playing an incredible acoustic guitar set, which he then posted on YouTube. Someone sent me the link and after watching the video it was easy to acknowledge the amazing raw talent and chops this kid had. After seeing the views begin to rise, I knew it was time to snag the story before it hit the morning and talk show circuit. So I found Graham where every teen is these days—on Facebook (thank god for social networks).

Due to the fact that I'm a web savvy digital reporter, I also don't need to wait for my ideas to get the green light by execs for TV. If I see something I want to cover, I can jump on it and post the story as quickly as possible and get that so-called "exclusive" or story before it really hits the mainstream.
This year specifically, I've become really fascinated by viral culture and stardom online and its proliferation on sites like YouTube. From Double Rainbow to Antoine Dodson and Graham, I've had the opportunity to share the stories of these personalities that have since embedded themselves into the pop culture ether. Some are just that-- personalities—and others are truly gifted. In the past, they would have no opportunity to be heard, but we have entered into a different time where you don't need to come to Hollywood to get discovered. Instead, they might just come to you, blog and tweet about your video. And so the domino effect of online discovery begins and continues to spread. That's why I love the Internet!

Interview with Directors of Skyline

The Brothers Strause have become a go-to pair for sci-fi effects for years working on blockbusters like  Iron Man, Avatar and X-Men. They made their directing debut in 2007 with Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, and now they're back with the Skyline. While people might have different opinions about the movie, I was still impressed and fascinated by their process. They were inspired by Paranormal Activity, and so they shot the whole film in their house, with an under  1 million dollar budget and then sold the rights to the studio. They call it the new wave of filmmaking-- the independent blockbuster. Here's my interview for GeekChicDaily on IFC's The Grid, airing tonight on TV:

Final Episode of MSN's The Tastemaker

After 6 weeks, 6 contestants and 3 challenges, we ended The Tastemaker competition today. The 11th and final episode was posted on MSN announcing the winner. For those of you who may be out of the loop, I've been hosting, The Tastemaker web series on MSN for the past 2 months and I must say it's been a blast. I've been able to flex a different muscle hosting this show and feel so fortunate to have worked with an incredible team of people. From the contestants who literally gave up their lives to partake in our time consuming social media savvy challenges, to our 3 awesome judges (biz guru Kelly Perdew, Twitter maven Stefanie Michaels and filmmaker Jason Pollock) and the wonderful crew. Our EP Scott Ehrlich is also the wiz behind the incredible franchise launched on Hulu, The LXD. An additional shout out to MSN and Reed Price for supporting this project completely!

Looking back, there's a lot that we could improve on, but I do believe this is a concept that resonates in this world where we're all looking towards social media and the online space to connect and create new opportunity. When describing the show, I would tell people--"it's like The Apprentice, but for social media". I really do believe the time is now for a show like this and it's something the public not wants to watch but participate in as well.

If you missed the series, you can still watch it in its entirety at TASTEMAKER.MSN.COM. In the meantime, the finale is below. Enjoy and remember to stay connected... at least until you're done watching the video 😉

Live from the White House with the Secretary of Education!

I had the honor of going to the White House last week to interview the Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. We took questions beforehand and during the live stream, which aired on MSN.com and WhiteHouse.gov. It was such an incredible opportunity to do live chat (which I already love doing), but to do it from the White House and talk about such an important and relevant issue on the minds of all Americans right now might it that much more special.

You can also read the transcript of the interview HERE.

Live Chat at The White House

I couldn't be more honored and excited to be hosting a live-stream at the White House this coming Friday with Arne Duncan, The Secretary of Education. The chat will be hosted live on MSN.com and WhiteHouse.Gov- submit your questions now RIGHT HERE.

Hosting "The Tastemaker"- The Latest Social Media Competition

I've always wanted to host a reality competition and now I've been given the opportunity to blend all my passions--hosting, tech and social media into one fun show. The Tastemaker launched last week (here's the Tubefilter article about it), with 12 episodes running through October 21st and new one's airing every Monday and Thursday. I like to describe it as The Apprentice for social media. We have 6 contestants, which will be weeded down to the winner who will win The Tastemaker title and $10,000 dollars. Each task is judged by our 2 great judges--Kelly Perdew (winner of The Apprentice Season 2) and Stefanie Michaels (@adventuregirl on Twitter with over 1 million followers). Be sure to check it out at TASTEMAKER.MSN.COM to watch, follow the competition and vote for your favorite contestant.

Also, if you're in LA it's Social Media Week this entire week. The Tastemaker is hosting the opening and closing night parties, so be sure to RSVP for a fun evening celebrating all things social media and to schmooze with me and the contestants.


Donate Your September B-DAY for Charity:Water

I've always been a big fan of Charity:Water and founder Scott Harrison. Today, they launch their September campaign.

Read my post about the campaign and and watch my interview with Scott on Huffington Post Impact today!

Twitter Movie Trailer : Rated Awesome

Thanks so much to all my friends at Next New Networks and The Key of Awesome for my mini cameo in this parody of The Social Network trailer aptly called The Twit Network:

My Explosive Interview with Sly Stallone

I had the opportunity to be part of a really fun video with Sly for his latest film, The Expendables. I can't embed it- so just go to HTTP://YOUTUBE.COM/EXPENDABLES to watch and be blown away! 😉