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



Julia Allison, Me & Caroline McCarthy at foocamp

Non Society's Julia Allison, Me & CNET's Caroline McCarthy at foocamp

Last weekend, I was invited to Tim O'Reilly's campus for the 2nd Annual Social Web Foocamp. They invited 170 thinkers and pioneers in the social media space ranging from developers and founders to journalists and bloggers. It was different than any other conference I had been to before- it's actually pegged as an unconference. I would describe it as a thinktank or a meeting of the online minds...

1) Everything is kept pretty much kept confidential- what happens at foocamp stays at foocamp.
2) Most people stay at the campus over the two nights, camping in tents outdoors or setting up their sleeping bags in office cubicles. Thanks to Dave Morin from Facebook who let me stay in his super cool RV!
3) Sessions are not organized before the event, but are created by the participants the first night who are encouraged to put up the sessions they want to lead on life-size schedule boards.
4) Some hot topics included Open ID, social network privacy, web TV, bringing together the geek and non-geek communities and social media for social good.
5) Werewolf (which I had never played and still remain horrible at) is the late night game of choice!

Speaking of that, watch this interview I did with James Cox during a game of Werewolf that he was leading. James started the CNNBRK twitter account that initiated the big hoopla with Ashton Kutcher the other week. CNN has since "acquired" the account from Cox. He hasn't revealed if or what he was paid by CNN, but he remains a consultant of sorts.

So what did I get out of foocamp? Besides meeting an array of truly fascinating individuals that are constantly thinking about what's possible and what's next, I was reinforced with the fact that we all need to really work on WORKING TOGETHER: silicon valley & the non valley folks (L.A.-NYC) as well as the developers and content creators.

See what people were buzzin' about at foocamp #swfoo


Lying on the replica of the bed where John Lennon and Yoko Ono's had their bed-in for peace

Lying on a replica of the bed where John Lennon and Yoko Ono

This past week, I flew back to my hometown of Montreal for the 40th Anniversary of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's bed-in for peace. Over a week in May of '69, the two staged a peaceful protest during their honeymoon at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel. It was during this historic event that they also recorded the iconic song, "Give Peace a Chance."

Check out my video on Hotel Chatter getting a tour of the suite by reporter Ritchie Yorke who participated in the bed-in 40 years ago.

I also went to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts for a preview of a current exclusive exhibit- Imagine: The Peace Ballad of John and Yoko, featuring their unpublished videos, artwork and photographs. WATCH THE VIDEO OF THE HERE ON JAUNTED


Thanks to blahgirls.com for this fab interview! Click the pic to read!


I was back on the travel beat at SXSW writing for Condenet's pop culture travel guide, Jaunted.com

Here's my SXSW travel guide including my own personal tips- and of course those from my twitter community! READ IT HERE! (and don't forget to retweet the link yourself :) )


I just got back from an incredible trip to Austin for SXSW Interactive. It’s the section of the conference focusing on the web and new media space, which has grown exponentially since it began years ago. Despite this horrible economy, attendance was up 20% from last year, while music is down. THAT SAYS SOMETHING PEOPLE! What’s so great about the conference is that it’s the one time that the online community from every city comes together to share what’s next, meet new people, meet face to face with virtual friends, exchange ideas to inspire and advance the conversation. I wanted to share some individuals and panels that truly stood out for me:

Gary Vaynerchuk, Tony Hsieh-CEO of Zappos.com, Social Media for Social Good, Randi Zuckerberg and Facebook, Brian Cooper- CEO of A Glimmer of Hope Foundation



Dress by daliaonline.com

Dress by daliaonline.com

Ok it's only been 3 days since the Oscars, but as it goes in this 24-hour hyperactive newsworld, it's already old news for many. However, thought I'd recap my evening for y'all. It started off at the 10th Annual Children Uniting Nations viewing party where Black Eyes Peas performed and DJ AM was spinning. It's a great non-profit organization providing care and mentoring for at-risk and foster youth.

The evening continued at the Hollywood Life party at the Mondrian where young hollywood mingled and I vented about the following:

- I predicted Sean Penn would win for Milk, but was really annoyed that he not only didn't thank his wife but the individual who's legacy allowed him to win- yes- HARVEY MILK himself!!

- I want Kate Winslet to be my sister. She is talented, beautiful and just so gracious! While she has the Hollywood presence, she still maintains an groundedness and accessiblity to her- now that's talent!


Check me out tomorrow live at 8pm PST hosting Causecast's coverage of the 6th Annual Global Green Pre-Oscar Party on Myspace Impact and Myspace- watch the video below for more info on how you can watch and submit your questions to celebs:

Pre-Oscar Party 2009 with Causecast and Global Green


"Well ... the world needs crazy ideas to change things, because the conventional way of thinking is not working anymore," Alexis Ringwald

From an article I just read in the NY Times about two recent Yale grads who did a roadtrip throughout India in a solar powered electric car they developed. It's all possible!  HERE'S THE LINK


Interviewing Business Week's and author Sarah Lacy during last week's Twiistup 5, which I hosted/emceed

Interviewing tech journalist and author Sarah Lacy last week during Twiistup 5, which I hosted/emceed

I've spent the day catching up on emails and reading some interesting blogs and articles.
I haven't been as present on my blog these days, because I've been busy and glued to the Twitter world. It seems micro-blogging on Twitter is more relevant, spontaneous and easier to follow. Whether you're in or out of the twitter loop, here's a great article to read: "Life is tweet: How the Twitter family infiltrated our cultural world"

So besides this blog, another great way to follow my adventures is at twitter.com/shiralazar

With that in mind, I've tried to think about ways to distinguish my blog from my twitter. My blog is obviously a place for longer, more in depth posts. Also, since there are so many updates on twitter it's easy to lose track of standout items that I really want people to see. That's why a blog is still extremely useful.

I've also been thinking of doing more posts based around whatever inspires me that day. It could revolve around a person, event, article, video or link that I stumble on. Yes it's completely random, but hopefully they will be posts that are informative, relevant, make you think, laugh or simply entertain.

Here are some interesting links/people I've been checking out today:

Duke Stump- I've had the honor of being connected to Duke, who's the founder of The NorthStar Manifesto. He's the former brand builder at Nike and a master of getting what is now and what is possible. After attending the TED conference for the first time, he wrote this really interesting blog post about what he learnt.

He's also developing a blog called "The Real 100"- a list of the new generation of pioneering thoughts, individuals and brands.

I actually got very emotional after watching this video about Maggie Doyne, founder of Blinknow Foundation. At 20 years old, she has dedicated herself towards enhancing the quality of  life for children in Nepal by creating an orphanage and non-profit. She is truly inspirational!

Also, check out Kit Cooper's Best Life Practices site that just launched. He has done some great interviews with leaders and entrepreneurs like Richard Branson who not only talk about their professional success but their personal life practices that keep them grounded.

I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO and founder of the Acumen Fund who was given this advice from her mentor:

"Spend less time trying to be interesting and more time being interested in people and the world."


Taking in the breathtaking view in Patagonia, Chile

Taking in the breathtaking view in Patagonia, Chile

I recently went to Chile for 7 days where I blogged and vlogged daily for CondeNet's pop culture travel guide, Jaunted.com


Enjoy and remember to breathe and stay adventurous :)