Blogher 2010 – New York, NY

Where do I even begin? Blogher 2010 was absolutely incredible! From the great seminars, inspiring keynotes, the celebrities, fun exhibit halls and I can’t forget the swag. This was the best conference I have ever been to (and I’ve planned conferences). San Diego Blogher 2011 here I come!

It was so nice to finally meet some of my tweeps face to face, plus make some new friends. Plus the hubs and I had a little date night Friday and headed over to China Grill. The food was amazing and their mango martini to die for. People have asked me what the highlight of my trip was and I don’t have one. I have a gazillion!

Due to all the fun things I want to talk about relating to Blogher 2010, I’m going to break it down in different posts based on topic. Stay tuned!

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The Princeton Sports Bar & Grill – The New Celebrity Hot Spot

Recently the hubs and I were invited to the Grand Opening and VIP party at The Princeton Sports Bar & Grill. We were thrilled to be invited and be one of the first to check out a new pub in one of our favorite towns, Princeton, NJ.

Many of you may remember The Princeton Sports Bar & Grill as Sotto Ristorante or even The Annex. Boy has it changed. Owner John Procaccini added 15 hi-def flat screen TV’s around the bar, so you will never miss a game. Finally there’s a sports bar in town! It’s the perfect place to grab a drink after work, watch a game and for of-age college students to hang out.

Energy filled the room at the VIP party. Outstanding appetizers were passed around. I especially liked the buffalo shrimp. We also tested out the crab fries with cheese which were delish as well.

Dan the bartender - "The Best Bartender in Mercer County"

While there, I dubbed Dan the bartender as “The Best Bartender in Mercer County”. First of all I must say that Dan makes a mean dirty martini, but what we loved most about him was his personality. Dan was so full of life, what you want your bartender to be. He was personable, fun and mingled with the customers. So often we go out on the town and the bartenders are just miserable and lack a personality. Not Dan! Dan really is the man at The Princeton Sports Bar & Grill.

Besides finding “The Best Bartender in Mercer County”, our night was filled with a few other surprises. We ran into Doug Palmer, former Mayor of Trenton.

Doug Palmer, Former Mayor of Trenton

Ed Tseng was also there in high spirits signing his book “Game. Set. Life.”

Ed Tseng

To top the evening off, we chatted it up a bit with famed Princeton professor Dr. Cornel West.

Dr. Cornel West

Talk about a party! We had some night out!

So head on over to The Princeton Sports Bar & Grill, tell Dan I sent you. Dress your best, because you never know who you might run into.

Wedding Industry Networking Event 7/27/10

Tonight the hubs and I headed over to the Marriott Lafayette Yard in Trenton, NJ to meet up with our good pal Michelle Lawlor, owner of Lucky 17 Photography to check out the NJ Wedding Industry Networking Event. I had been invited by my good friend Erik Kent, owner of NJWedding.com. The go to source for any Jersey Girl bride-to-be.

I chatted a bit with Erik about the event. Here’s what he had to say.

I even ran into Denise Taylor, owner of Great Looks 4 Less. They are located in Mercer Mall, right off Route 1 in Lawrenceville, NJ. Great Looks 4 Less specializes in ethnic hair and offers a wide selection of services and products. Stop by and check them out.

I also met the women of Anywhere Childcare. They specialize in special event childcare & babysitting services. They provide children with a kids reception while the parents are at the “adult” reception. How cool is that? Check out my brief interview with the ladies.

We truly had a great time networking with all the industry professionals tonight.

Busy Day Today

Had a very busy day today! For someone who is not employed, it’s amazing how busy I am. The exposure from PARADE magazine’s “What People Earn” project, along with my segment on “The Early Show” has kept me super busy. It seems as though I’ve become an “unemployed expert” which is a bit funny if you think about it, since I’m currently unemployed.

I woke up this morning to an email from someone who saw me on TV and wanted my advice on a few things. We corresponded throughout the day. I then spoke on the phone with a LinkedIn contact of mine who also saw me on TV and is aware about the PARADE project. He wanted to know more about what I’m doing with everything. We discussed social media in great detail and we discussed the possibility of me developing a social media strategy for a group he is working with, as well as social media as education for his group. Potential job? Quite possibly.

I then spent a good portion of my day connecting with people on LinkedIn. I reached out to some connections by email through LinkedIn, asking them if based on my experience they might be able to connect or “introduce” me to some of their LinkedIn connections. I also reviewed people that are part of various groups I belong to on LinkedIn to look for potential networking opportunities. I found a good amount and reached out to some myself and asked to be introduced to others. With that, I received a lot of positive responses. A woman with a very well read blog is interested in interviewing me and writing a blog about me, which is very cool. Another individual is interested in scheduling time to chat with me about what I’m looking to do and how he might be able to help me.

I spent a lot of today on LinkedIn, but I really feel strongly about it. It is a great tool to build your network and make connections. As I always say “It’s all in who you know.”

Connect with me on LinkedIn

The Early Show

As you know, I’ve been working with PARADE magazine on the “What People Earn” project. Please Become a Fan on the “What People Earn” Facebook Fanpage.

PARADE pitched their story about the project to CBS’s “The Early Show”. Since I had been chatting with PARADE about my job search, employment history, social media and the NJ Unemployed networking group I created, they thought I would be a great candidate to go on “The Early Show” and discuss how I’ve been using social media and networking in my job search, as well as my NJ Unemployed networking group. As I’ve mentioned, the NJ Unemployed group started as a way for individuals who are unemployed in NJ to come together, share experiences, stories and struggles. I plan to bring in employers looking to hire, as well as presenters to speak on resume writing and business etiquette to the group as well.

“The Early Show” producers agreed that social media is a great way to network and hopefully gain full-time employment. So on Monday, April 12, 2010 between 8:00am-9:00am EST, I will be discussing social media and unemployment, as well as the “What People Earn” project. I hope you will tune in. If you are one of the lucky ones who are employed, set your DVR!

Why Tweetup’s & Social Media Events Are So Great

Today I attended the “Techlicious” presentation on 3D TV’s at Mrs. G’s on Route 1, Lawrenceville, NJ. This was part of a 5 part blogger series that Mrs. G’s has been so grateful to offer.

Debbie Schaeffer the owner of Mrs. G’s gave a warm welcome to the group and briefly stated how she thinks it’s so great to have events and Tweetup’s because you are finally able to meet the individuals you are connecting with online.

It got me thinking. That is so true. If you’ve never been to a Tweetup, it’s incredible. It’s not like going to a party where you don’t know anyone and you are scared of feeling awkward. Most people at the Tweetup are people you’ve been following, or vice versa. So you already know them, but from a distance.

The moment you walk into a Tweetup and tell people your Twitter handle, they usually react with a “oh I think I follow you.” It’s an opportunity to finally come face to face with people you already know that you find interesting. Sometimes at a party you end up talking to someone you maybe have no interest in talking to, because it’s forced interaction. At a Tweetup, you’ve more than likely already had a conversation with these individuals.

You follow people on Twitter because you find them interesting, or find a value or benefit in following them. So there is already an interest. Coming face to face and sharing stories and getting to know the individuals in person, is unlike anything.

I’ve never felt uncomfortable at a Tweetup. Every time I’ve attended one, I’ve walked in and immediately ran into someone I already knew (on Twitter that is). The conversation comes easy. Usually they are held at a fun location, with food and drinks. Sometimes there are ice breakers like speed dating. Other times, there may be a presentation on a social media type subject or from a company who has a large presence in the social media community.

As you know, I recently planned my own Tweetup for the NJ unemployed. Tweetup’s are typically geared towards a specific area i.e. Central Jersey, mom’s, bride’s, anyone can host a Tweetup and its simple and easy to do.

Find a local meeting space that will be able to hold the number of people you expect. Try and get some free grub, if possible. It’s always a plus. Then put together an invite (I like Twtvite). All that’s left is inviting people and letting them know about your event. This is simple, because you’re on Twitter, so you just have to post about your event and let your followers know.

If you’re not ready to host your own Tweetup, you definitely need to at least get to one. You can search http://www.twtvite.com for Tweetup’s in your area. Everyone is always looking for something. Whether it’s a job, a service or advice on a particular subject. And networking is key. So get out there and see what’s going on in your area.

Why an NJ Unemployed Tweetup?

Why an NJ Unemployed TweetUp?

I sent out a tweet on Twitter asking who else was unemployed in NJ and received an incredible response. I figured I had to do something.

When I received this response from my Twitter followers that so many are unemployed in NJ, I felt the immediate urge to do something to help the situation. How can I put a positive spin on being unemployed? Society has given unemployment such a negative stigma. Why not turn it into a positive.

So in an effort to help the community and change the stigma of unemployment, I decided I was going to host a TweetUp. I thought about when and where and figured during the day would be best, since we all have no jobs to go to anyway. It’s an opportunity to get out of the house and do something. Where? I secured Panera Bread in West Windsor on Route 1 since it’s central, easy to get to, plus inexpensive (hey, we have no money). I reached out to everyone that contacted me about their unemployment and let all my followers know about the event that I had set up using Twtvite.

This first TweetUp will be a way for NJ Unemployed Twitter users to get together, share experiences and stories and find a way to help each other. I have tons of ideas for upcoming TweetUps which include inviting employers looking to hire, inviting press, etc. This is an opportunity to turn something that is perceived as negative into something positive.

I’ve received a few responses so far and looking forward to more people signing up to attend. If you are interested in attending the first ever NJ Unemployed Tweetup on March 29, 2010 at Panera Bread in West Windsor, NJ please visit http://twtvite.com/NJUnemployed and make sure you follow hashtag #NJUnemployed on Twitter and myself @kdevito.

If you are interested in hosting a NJ Unemployed TweetUp at your establishment or are interested in press coverage on this story please contact me.