Category Archives: Blogs

Catching Up


Boy, where did the time go?  I’m back now and will soon be blogging at my new website www.judysandra.com, but for now I’ll post here again for the time being.

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Sorry for the hiatus…


Good morning, readers. Where has this month gone? I apologize for the long hiatus in posting, but I’ve been out of town and then busy creating new projects, which I will let you know about when they are more tangible. 

I’m working on a new post this morning, which should be up in a few hours.

Regards, JS

Ladies Who Launch Great Thoughts


Arianna and me If you’re wondering who is the woman standing next to Arianna Huffington in this photo, it’s none other than your fearless blogger JS.  Many thanks to Courtney Newman, who took this picture for JS Media Blog.  Yes, I’m short but please note that Ms. H. is wearing flats, because, as she candidly told the gathered crowd of 400 women, she can’t wear heels anymore.

I met the ever gracious Arianna Huffington this past Saturday at an event called “Ladies Who Launch Live”, which was held  in Carson City, Ca., at the headquarters of Dermologica, one of the sponsors of the all day conference. (For those non-SoCals, that’s a little south of LAX.)  Ladies Who Launch is an organization founded by Victoria Colligan and Beth Schoenfeldt, who quit their corporate day jobs and started a company that encourages and supports other women who also want to quit their day jobs and start their own companies. The organization and website offer workshops and services to women entrepreneurs, whom they claim launch differently than men.

Ms. Huffington was one of the keynote speakers, along with best-selling author Jackie Collins, and an assortment of other entrepreneurial women with businesses and books. In her workshops and new book Zero to Zillionaire: 8 Foolproof Steps to Financial Peace of Mind, financial advisor Chellie Campbell teaches how to reduce financial stress [move over Suze Orman] and affirms affirmations: “People love to give me money;” “I make lots of money doing the things I love”.  And my personal favorite: “My affirmations work, even if I don’t believe in them”.

On the lighter side was syndicated humor columnist Lisa Earle McLeod and author of Finding Grace When You Can’t Even Find Clean Underwear.  Even the founders of LWL now have a book coming out soon, called Ladies Who Launch: Embracing Entrepreneurship & Creativity As A Lifestyle, which they wrote with Amy Smart, coordinator of the LA chapter of LWL.

Ms. Huffington offered insights from her book Becoming Fearless: in love, work and life and shared how she has handled her personal and professional life and struggles and how she launched her own entrepreneurial effort–The Huffington Post.  She also announced–and we can’t wait for this–that she is about to launch a second blog called “23/6”, which will be a satirical look at politics and the news.  As she described it, the new site will be a 24/7 blog in the style of The Colbert Report, except “you know we’re busy so we can only do it 23/6”.   It’s even funnier when she says it in that signature Greek accent.

Jackie Collins, who couldn’t be more genuine or more unlike her scandalous characters, spoke to us in a deliciously still discernible British accent about being a teenager in Hollywood, her writing process, her two independent daughters and her wildly successful career.  Statistics hard to grasp are the fact that she has sold 400 million books in a career that has spanned almost four decades, while each of her 26 books are still in print.  For those who wanted, she signed her latest in paperback Lovers & Players and announced that #27, a new Lucky Santangelo novel called Drop Dead Beautiful, will be out in June. 

After a long day of listening, meeting, card swapping, and being inspired to launch with hundreds of other women, it was awfully nice of sponsor Naturalizer to give us each a pair of comfortable shoes.  A little Oprah moment there. 

So, what am I launching?  My freelance career, of course.  “I make LOTS of money doing the things I love”.

Susie Flynn on YouTube:


My attempt to get a Susie Flynn yard sign in the white house

Re: Greetings From Brazil


I was pleasantly surprised to get a comment from my post on The Brazilian Solution from Jose Murilo Junior of the Brazilian Ministry of Culture. [See Comment on Pirates of the Millennium Part II: The Brazilian Solution].  He is also spearheading one of the Ministry’s innovative cultural programs, which uses web technology to reach low-income youths called “Hotspots“.  According to the description on Murilo’s eco-rama blog: “A hotspot is established with a broadband connection, infrastructure made with recycled equipments and, most of all, technical workshops of open-source software, allowing anyone to digitalize their creativity.”

I’d love to see programs like this in the U.S.  Also, I like the implications for these youths to be able to connect with people outside of their immediate environment.  Instead of sister cities, we could have brother/sister Hotspots.

The Brazilian kids already have a blog, flickr page and a video on YouTube. Unfortunately, for us, they are all in Portuguese. But the body language is loud and clear. These kids have something to tell us. And lots of creativity. Check out their flickr photos. However you say it in your language, you go, Brazil!  Greetings from America!

Does Viacom Suck or Rock?


Sucks, evidently, according to the people’s Internet, Yahoo Search API search engine and an amusing new website called sucks-rocks.com

As noted in my previous post on piracy, the Viacom v. YouTube controversy is doing a lot to damage the public image of both companies in the eyes of its customers and audience. When you take a boardroom fight to the streets, this is what you can expect. 

Sucks-rocks.com allows you to search any number of keywords to see how much they “suck” or “rock”.  The website gets its results from a formula worked out from the occurrence of negative and positive phrases regarding each keyword and reduces the results to a scale of 10-1, in which 10 Rocks and 1 Sucks.

According to info on the website, the phrases they measure by are: 
Negative:  “X sucks, X is lame, X is crap, I hate X”.
Positive:    “X rocks, X is sweet, X is awesome, I love X”.

Seems clear enough. So, I couldn’t resist applying this to the Viacom/YouTube controversy.  In my own personal campaign to prove that there really is such a thing as bad publicity, here are my search results for the following keywords:

My Search Term:

10 -1  rating 
Illegal Download 9.0 (Rocks)
Pirates 8.7  
Google 7.2  
YouTube 6.4  
Piracy 4.2  
MySpace 4.1  
Viacom 1.2  
GooTube 0.5 (Sucks)

                                           
 

Nabaztag, not just a silly Rabbit


tagtag2.jpg

Nabaztag/tag — the new Rabbit

The I Want One! Department. About New Stuff.

No, it’s not silly. For sure, this is a very smart Rabbit, and I want one!

The Rabbit, or officially Nabaztag (Armenian for “rabbit”), is a robotic device that connects to your wireless router box and talks to you. Released in Europe in May of 2006, the Rabbit can read aloud your email, tell you today’s weather, the stock market report, read you the online morning paper or your favorite blogs, or send a love letter to your soulmate’s Rabbit, and at the appropriate hour, practice Tai Chi. Did I mention it wiggles its ears?

You don’t just buy a Rabbit, you adopt one. You can then join the Rabbit community like a social network and your account is called your “burrow”. There’s a blog, natch, and even accessories to dress your Rabbit up. The second generation of Rabbits, called Nabaztag/tag, also play podcasts and MP3 WebRadios, and can “hear” voice commands and send voice messages to other rabbits.

Rabbit is the bunny of Violet, a Paris based “smart object company”, which was founded in 2002 by a team of web developers with the mission of creating “products and services based on calm and emotional technologies”. With the use of what they call “Ambient Intelligence”, Violet aims to create “calm technology”, which they define as technologies that “softly bring information or emotions into the user’s environment in a non-intrusive mode (as opposed to telephones for example) and a non-exclusive or time-consuming mode (such as the television or the Web). As these technologies can be placed into any smart object, there may be a whole zoo of them soon.

The main point of the Rabbit and calm technologies is to get us de-connected from and un-beholden to our computer screens. I bless them for that, considering that I have eye strain this week from staring too may hours at my much too bright laptop screen. Having to write everything down becomes rather tedious hundreds of emails later (I’m not exaggerating) and time consuming. I wouldn’t mind dictating a message or two over my wireless bunny. My personal preferences aside, calm technologies looks like an intriguing new trend to watch.

And who wrote that brilliant, catchy electronic music theme song for the website? Is there anything this company is not getting right? Not only are they techie high brows and award-winning designers but marketing geniuses, too. How chic! that?