SD Comic-Con 2009: Free WiFi and iPhone App

San Diego Comic-Con 2009San Diego weather and Comic-Con 2009 — enough said. 🙂 This year marks the 40th Anniversary and looks to be the biggest and best convention ever! With free WiFi available in all areas of the convention center except the Exhibit Hall courtesy of iGoogle, updating my status and sharing photos on Twitter and Facebook is going to be a piece of cake.

Comic-Con 2009 AppOn top of that, there’s an official Comic-Con app available for the iPhone and iPod Touch that provides access to the latest news, programs, exhibitors, special guest appearances,  and my favorite feature…maps!

I’ll be heading out shortly to Comic-Con so stay tuned for more updates and pics with folks that dress up.  I didn’t forget about Dexter from last year that came to the Con dressed up as MySpace, I can’t wait to see what his costume is this year.

New Google Profile Cards Arrived

google-profile-cards Earlier this month Google launched their profile pages and partnered with iPrint.com to offer free Google Profile business cards to the first 10,000 people to claim them. The promotion included 25 cards that feature the Google.com home page with your name in the search box and the address for your Google profile printed in green.

With a Google profile you can help people find the right information when they search for you on Google. You can check out my Google profile here. There’s still a lot of work to be done in the photo and bio section but I’m happy so far with the progress.

Thanks to Google and iPrint for the awesome promotion, I can’t wait to hand these out at Interactive Day San Diego next month on June 18, 2009. Discounts are also available for Ad2 members and students. You can register for the event here.

If you’ve already created your Google profile, feel free to post a link in the comments. I’m looking for some inspiration. 🙂

San Diego 12for12K Charity Event

upload_12for12k_2This past weekend, my husband and I participated in a nationwide Tweetup for 12for12K and Mom It Forward to support the non-profit organization Yehu.org. Yehu is a microfinance organization in the rural coastal region of Kenya for the poor, by the poor. They provide financial services, business opportunities, and skills training for poor rural entrepreneurs in Kenya.

Yehu’s mission is to enable these entreprenuers to save and earn interest while providing these entrepreneurs access to micro-loans which can help them start or expand their business.

To support Yehu.org, 12for12K and Mom It Forward teamed up and hosted special events throughout the month of April with 100 percent of the proftils going towards the cause.

The San Diego 12for12K charity event was held at the Hard Rock hotel’s newly relaunched rooftop bar and lounge, Float, where fellow San Diego tweeps met up to to help raise funds and awareness. It was great to see so much support and finally being able to meet tweeps in person. In fact, a big congratulations goes out to Rachel Kay Public Relations, Downtown Rob of WebWizards.net, Cinthya “Sugar” Jones, and promotions partner Rich and Creamy for hosting a wonderful event. I especially enjoyed the 12for12k-tini, the photo booth, and look forward to supporting next month’s charity. At the end of the night, the event raised $1500. Awesome work everyone!

To learn more about The 12for12K Challenge and support for Yehu.org, visit the official 12for12K blog.

Since the month of April isn’t over yet, you are more than welcome to chip in for the cause.

Credits: Photos courtesy of James Gose and template created by Leiko Beck Designs.

Avoiding a Business Card Hiccup

Last week I met up with my old colleagues at a Happy Hour 2.0 in La Jolla. It was the perfect opportunity to catch up with them since I recently started a new job and to mingle with other marketers, developers, and other web people. The only drawback was that I didn’t have my new business cards or any moo cards to hand out. Fortunately, HeyStephanie.com was easy for my new friends to remember and I was able to get by with giving my email address.

Meanwhile, I still don’t have any new business cards so in the interim, I had to find a solution to my business card dilemma. Luckily, I stumbled across MyDropcard.com which lets you easily share your contact info with your phone—for free!

Once you’ve registered and entered all of your contact information at the site, you’re good to go. As if that wasn’t cool enough, you can create two separate profiles; one for business and the other for personal contacts.

When you meet someone new, simply text “drop” and their email address to “41411” and Dropcard will deliver your contact info directly to their email. You can even add your social network profiles on your dropcard (i.e. LinkedIn) or your blog.

Dropcard also has convenient text messaging shortcuts so you don’t have to waste so much time texting. For example, you can replace the “@” symbol when typing your friend’s email address with a space and Dropcard will know what you mean. And if your friend’s email is on Gmail, even better! Text “drop” and their email address without “@gmail.com” and you’re done. For more ways to cut your text time, check out more Dropcard shortcuts here.

Not only is this handy, it sure beats carrying 100+ business cards to hand out at a conference. On top of that, soon they’ll be offering users more features (i.e. personal logo, attachments, statistics, etc.) for $4.99 a month. That might be helpful for the hardcore networkers.

So what about you? Is there a different service that you use to send contact info to colleagues through your phone? What would you do in this type of situation?

Brickfish® at Web 2.0 Expo NYC

Special thanks to Ashley Futak for her post on Brickfish at the Web 2.0 Expo that was held in New York City last month. To get more information on where Brickfish will be next, contact Ashley at AshleyFutak@brickfish.com.

The Web 2.0 Expo in New York was filled with firsts for Brickfish. It was the first time, as a company, that we were an exhibitor for an event of this scale. It was my first time attending an Expo, let alone orchestrating the whole thing (you would be surprised how much work goes into putting an exhibit together!). It was also the first time we were able to explain Brickfish to a crowd of people who were intimately familiar with Social Media and all that Brickfish has to offer.

We were surrounded by companies that live and breathe Web 2.0, and engaged with people that truly welcome this “new media” and speak in those terms. We were overwhelmed by the number of companies and people anxious to learn something new, and to apply their learning’s to their

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business models or to their everyday life.

That said…our booth was packed! From the moment the Expo opened until the moment it closed, we were busy sharing the Brickfish experience with anxious listeners! If we weren’t giving demonstrations, we were walking visitors through the Brickfish site, or handing out our new marketing materials.

It was so exciting to watch this start-up company from San Diego emerge onto the playing field with some of the biggest names on the Web today, and to establish ourselves as the leader in Social Media Advertising.

Survive an Email Avalanche

Companies encourage their hard working employees to reap the benefits of work-life balance, to go on vacation, and take a break from the office every now and then to recharge.

For some of us, getting out of the office isn’t difficult but for the 15% of workers that forfeited their vacation days last year— it is. What makes leaving the office so difficult? One answer that comes to mind is the avalanche of emails that you receive when you get back to the office. Opening your Outlook to find 50+ or even 100+ unread emails waiting for your response can be overwhelming.

Fortunately there’s HitMeLater.com, a cool website created by Philip Kaplan, that lets you hit the snooze button on your emails. Simply forward an email from your inbox to 24@hitmelater.com and they’ll resend the email to you 24 hours later.

Even more helpful, you can swap out the number 24 to any other number or day. For example, if I want an email to be sent back to me two hours later, I just forward the email to 2@hitmelater.com. How easy is that?

So the next time you feel like your drowning in a sea of emails, try HitMeLater to see if it lightens up your workload. I know I will.

(Photo Credit: Philip Kaplan)

FD Career – More Fun Than What You’re Doing Right Now

Special thanks to Jun Loayza, author of Living the Startup Life, for his guest post on the launch of FD Career.

As an undergrad, I played video games during the day, partied hard all night, and just barely had enough time for my classes. My future career was the last thing on my mind. I figured that if I got straight A’s, I’ll eventually find a job that I like and that pays well. If this is you, boy are you mistaken.

The time to think about your career is now. Monster.com and your career center help you apply for jobs. Vault.com helps you research companies. But there’s nothing out there that helps you find out what you want to do career-wise or that helps you get there. Furthermore, most career sites are so boring that you would rather go back to work or homework than to spend time on the site. That’s why we created FD Career.

Our career approach is simple, yet unique – live your life as if it were a video game. Think about the last video game you played. Did you just sit around idly waiting for things to come to you, or did you explore the map, slay demons, and gain new abilities and features? There is a direct relation to real life. Think about what you did last week? Did you sit around, watch TV, and play video games, or are you a go-getter who constantly meets new people, reads articles and books, and looks for every way to develop yourself personally and professionally?

In FD Career, every time you gain an internship, get a high GPA, or become a leader of an organization, you gain experience points and level-up. As you increase in level, you gain prestige, get new abilities and features, get access to new areas of the site, and are able to recruit with more prestigious firms. This is what we call the FD RPG.

What do you want to do with your career? If you want to be a Consultant, you can go on FD Career and choose the Path of Business. From there, you can take Quests to level-up in 5 different personal qualities:

  • Education – Knowledge in your field
  • Experience – Your ability to execute your knowledge
  • Leadership – Leading teams
  • Social – Your overall social influence
  • Initiative – Your motivation and drive to develop yourself

For example, an Experience Quest for a Consultant could be a business analysis quest. The user would have to solve a profitability problem that a company is having and submit their solutions online on our website. Our panel will judge your recommendations and give you experience points accordingly. A Social Quest could be to increase your social status and influence using Twitter. The quest could be to increase your number of followers to 100.

We plan on launching our first nation-wide competition this October. The competition will be to create a market penetration and product development strategy for a real life company. The winning team will be featured on our website and could be funded the money to execute their business plan.

The next time you’re watching TV or playing video games, ask yourself, “Isn’t there something more fun than this?” There is, and we have it at FD Career.

The New Face of MySpace

If I had to award one costume from Comic-Con as the most entertaining, it would go to Dexter and his tribute to MySpace. I literally laughed out loud when I saw Dexter coming around the corner in his costume because it was so original and well thought out.

In fact, when I asked if I could take a picture of him he insisted that I be in the photo with him. I honestly didn’t know what he meant until he unhooked the back of his contraption and he swung out the “Who I’d Like to Meet” window – how creative is that?!?

Even more entertaining, I read at Rama’s Screen that a guy that actually works at MySpace took a picture of Dexter to share with Tom. I can only imagine what Dexter has planned for next year’s Comic-Con!

Summer Highlight: San Diego Comic-Con 2008

San Diego Comic-Con International 2008

Since 2001, we’ve been going to the San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) and this year we didn’t miss a beat. This week’s theme will feature highlights from SDCC including plenty of photos, updates on must-have games, ridiculously talented artists, and websites that you’ll definitely want to check out. Stay tuned for Stephanie and Storm Troopers – you don’t want to miss it.

If you went to SDCC, let me know what you thought or share links to photos and videos that you captured.