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As an actor and producer of 35, the first scripted web series to stream live on the Internet, Kathryn Jones is reinventing the concept of "theater techie." No longer is it only about shadowed souls clad in head-to-toe black, frantically whispering into headsets, trying to perfect the lighting on Juliet's face as she waxes poetic about her happy dagger right before plunging the rusty tool into her broken heart. No - because of Miss Jones and her crew, theater techies now perform a much more visible bow at curtain call. In fact - curtain call has taken the form of rolling credits behind the glow of our computer screens, and the theater techie, now clad with multiple cameras and vigilant live-editing skills, has risen, lens first, into the limelight.

Founded by three women, Better Left Unsaid is a cross between a play, an online video and a live-streamed event - and with already six performances under their belt, Jones (producer) has already broken cross-industry ground by merging theater, technology and social media.

Written by Joey Brennaman, the play follows eight lives as their secrets are revealed, ultimately asking the question "How well do you know the people you love?" Performed in front of a live audience in Manhattan, the production is shot with multiple cameras, mixed in real time, and streamed live so that anyone anywhere in the world can watch, and interact during the show and via the post-show discussions 'What You Said.'

Don't leave Better Left Unsaid unsaid! SPREAD the word. And WATCH their second round of live performances, starting THIS Friday, in your pajamas at home or with armloads of flowers and applause at Center Stage in Flatiron District (48 West 21st Street, 4th Floor, between 5th and 6th Ave., Subway: F or N/R to 23rd).

Theater and online performance times:

Friday, Feb 4 – 8pm EST

Saturday, Feb 5 – 8pm EST

Sunday, Feb 6 – 3pm EST (optimized for European audiences respectively - 9PM GMT )

Sunday, Feb 6 – 7pm EST 
Theater tickets are $18 while interactive online viewing tickets are a suggested donation of $2-$18.

For more information and tickets, visit www.betterleftunsaid.tv.


 
 
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There is a space that exists between ambition and success, the dull and delicious, static and fresh – a demure gap of inspiration that can catalyze global movements, or remain entirely invisible.

That space is called the AHA. A flash instant, in which our entire perspectives are shifted, swirled and flipped inside out – revealing a new playing field of ideas and opportunities.

My spicy soul sister, Shauna Mei, harnessed her AHA moment and launched AHAlife this past Monday. And curious minds all over the world will soon be kowtowing in gratitude.

AHAlife.com is a discovery platform of innovative lifestyle products built for savvy, socially conscious consumers. The experience they have created is unerringly reflective of how we are growing as a society. As our lives become more and more cramped with information and shiny new things, we naturally begin searching for ways to filter and curate. We yearn to cut out the noise, so that we can save time and focus on what’s most important, interesting, inspiring. Which is exactly what AHAlife does for the consumer palette. 

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Their mantra, “1 product. 24 hours. 100% inspiring,” leverages urgency, scarcity and crowd-sourcing to break the heavymold of e-commerce by creating a shopping process where the only sales pitch is one we make to ourselves. Because the real ‘aha’ behind AHAlife is their growing network of curators who suggest fiercely inspired products from all over the world.  And though that list of curators includes the likes of Diane Von Furstenberg, Tim Gunn and Vivienne Tam, anyone can submit products for consideration. The platform gives us the chance to be influential tastemakers, ultimately guiding ourselves to become a new generation of more sophisticated, conscious and self-generated consumers. You could say AHAlife is a tastemaker of tastemakers. And it is precisely this move that will be the source of their viral success.

Hey Shauna. You always said you loved when people make everyday objects beautiful. Well – look what you have done to the entire industries of e-commerce and media. You. Go. Girl.

There is a force that sits quietly, waiting to be noticed. A bolt of lightning willing the Earth to obtain a charge.

That force is called the AHA. It stops time, allowing us to discover and recognize a piece of life at its fullest. And it is that AHA that pulls our everyday ordinary into a state of infinite beauty.

*For more information, sign up to be a member at AHAlife.com

 
 
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Today has been a devastating social media day for me. One of my FAVORITE third party Twitter apps, Hootsuite, added some really cool geo-features, but decided to run a dirty rag over their user interface, letting the font and white space shrink like a pair of prepubescent balls stuck in a cold front. 

If you know me, you know that I'd rather get my wisdom teeth yanked out in Tijuana (true story) than have to look at bad UI. Hell, I'd rather have NO Internets than look at shitty Internets. 

And so, when my dear beloved Hootsuite decided that they would suck the life out of the style that made them who they are, I heaved a great sigh and re-downloaded Tweetdeck. I even tried changing all the colors to try and match Hootsuite's. But it's just not the same.

HEAR MY SIGH. HUUUUUUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

That owl used to be cute and encouraging. But now, it's just mocking me.

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This past Saturday (May 8th) saw the Launch of Girls in Tech China

WHAT an experience:

Because I planned the entire event in Beijing . . .FROM New York.
Because I have an amazing team (special shout out to @acrosstheC and @eiyssa for being excellent mid-wives for the deliverance of #GITChina).
Because we launched an amazing #GITChina cocktail: Girls in TECHquila by @beijingboyce.
Because we had an amazing panel of female Influencers (Tudou, Wall Street Journal, Mobinode, Zebra Media) moderated by Twittamentary's @sioksiok
Because we officially announced the 2010 Search for Girl 2.0 (to be launched on June 1st).
Because it's history in the making. 


Video of the event will be out soon. Watch this space. 
 
 
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I'm all for some Robin, George, Juju and Sam in the morning, but Good Morning America is slowly starting to piss me off.

Mostly because I'm a Twitter evangelist. And because I actually use Twitter in a meaningful way. Which means I understand and have experienced the value and effects of sharing real-time information and connections.

So, when #GMA keeps inviting dumbasses onto their show, who say things like "I just don't get Twitter. I don't understand why people would want to know when you go to the bathroom and that you're drinking coffee," there is a lot of credibility to be lost. 

First, on the part of the dumbass who opens her old fart mouth and blindly comments on a platform she obviously doesn't use. Because if she did use it, she would know that while there is a population of other dumbasses who solely use Twitter as their personal journal of simultaneously creepy and banal entries, the platform has really altered communication as we know it. Ever heard of GOOGLE, lady? Maybe if you had, you would have done your research and found the thousands of stories of how Twitter has changed lives and industries, before pretending to be a snarky know-it-all and embarrassing yourself in front of millions. Where is the 'Dumbass' censorship when we need it?

Second, on the part of #GMA. Come ON, #GMA! Robin! I heart you, but why are you jumping on the stupid bitch bandwagon? You're better than that! Just because your guest has as much insight as a bucket of cement, doesn't mean you have to pour her into your news crevices and let them harden into painful clumps of permanent dumb. If she ate a hundred donuts, would you also? I didn't think so. You want to keep your svelte figure. Just like we Tweeters want to keep the Twitter love going. And it's hard to do that and watch your show at the same time. Because when you guys make ignorant comments and then adorable Sam actually USES twitpics as a form of news, it makes me want to turn to 'My Name is Earl' on channel 9 and then gauge my eyes out and pour homemade lemonade into them. And that would be bad, because then I would have to make more lemonade. And more importantly, I wouldn't be able to tweet and rant, and tell everyone that #GMA seriously needs to get their act together. After all, you don't want a bunch of seething digerati, coming after you with their 90-words-per-minute wrath. Because we'll bring it. And it'll be more than just a stylized picture of an angry blue bird on some random person's blog.

And third, sort of on the part of Twitter. You guys probably didn't know that your initial intentions of creating a space where people were talking about what sandwich they just ate would be crowdsourced into a Mecca of international sharism. And sure, you're famous now, and have a bajillion users. But from a how-can-I-make-my-business-better, or hey-let's-conquer-the-world, or even, the-right-branding-and-positioning-will-land-us-more-users standpoint - there is a LOT you could be doing to gain more market mindshare. Don't you have a department of people who think up ways to take over the digital world or something? You should definitely send them a memo entitled: "Let's find a way to show non-Tweeters, in layman terms, the value our platform can bring to them." You could at least try, Twitter. Because then I wouldn't have to write blog posts like this, and everyone's day would be better. Momma would be so proud. 
 
 
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I remember when Facebook just started out. It was called The Facebook and only circulated among a few universities, Vandy being one of them. I didn’t want to join at first, because I thought it was an egotistical way to plaster pictures of yourself online; eventually, I was too curious not to. And then it was love at first sight. Since I moved around a lot during my childhood, Facebook found my kindergarten playmates 15 years older, helped me keep in touch with high school friends and stalk ex-lovers. And even though I have an account, I was never a MySpace gal. Facebook, with its simple design, straightforward info boxes and easy search system held my loyalty. It was just that good.

But as all passionate relationships that happen too fast go, things spun out of control. My world of simple profile templates started receiving heroes ability and be a billionaire! requests, friends for sale and emo bands invitations, and 125 other extraneous piles of poo that I am still scooping and tossing.  And then the tracker started, recording our every move: relationship to single, updated photos, Jenny is-es. It was almost too much to handle. But I held strong; I staunchly defended my Facebook against My Spacers, and faithfully checked in every day.

Today, my Facebook crossed into adulthood. Her (Facebook is a She) beautiful, untainted innocence was shattered into a trillion tiny shards that pierced my heart in places I didn't know could be pierced.

I was puttering around my apartment when I heard Her Chat make its friendly popping sound, letting me know someone had sent me a message. I ran to the computer and saw that one of my best friends from high school, Courtney F, had messaged me. That's when the ball dropped, the goose was cooked, the cat skinned, the candy stolen, the rug pulled, the last straw plucked, the pie burnt and the fat lady sung. Facebook as I knew it, had changed forever.

I pasted our conversation below (with director’s notes in italics):

Couldn't retrieve chat his8:45pmCourtney
Hey

8:46pmCourtney
Jenny???

9:01pmJenny (Hooray! I haven’t talked to Courts in ages)
HI
muah muah muah

9:01pmCourtney
How are you?

9:01pmJenny
i'm good - YOU?
you're back in MA?

9:03pmCourtney
nope

I am stranded in London
i got mugged at a gun point, it was a brutal experience, all cash i had on me were stolen and my credit card was collected too now i'm left with no money here

9:08pmJenny (Wait, WHAT? Poor Courts!)
oh NO
have you gotten hold of your parents?

9:09pmJenny (Hmm, I should to be more supportive. But I’m in China! How am I supposed to help?)
is there anything I can do? (Wait, I know!)
I have a credit card

9:11pmJenny
hello?

9:12pmJenny
COURTNEY

9:13pmCourtney
yea i have but the $$ they wired isn't enough

9:13pmJenny
how much do you need

9:13pmCourtney
I need you to loan me $800 to add up with the $$ my parent's wired to me

9:13pmJenny
Sure (That’s weird; Courts would never say anything like “I need you to loan me . . .” She must really be frantic.)

are you at the airport? (Little red flag going up. Maybe I should double check, just to be safe.)

tell me something only you would know so that I know this is you

9:14pmCourtney
nope i am still in the hotel.. The Hotel Manager is letting me stay here until i can get help
I am also using his PC to talk to you right now

9:16pmJenny (She’s not answering my question . Come on, Jenny – put your thinking cap on. How can I check to see if she is really stranded at the Hotel? And why couldn’t her parents just wire her more money? Wait! I can call her mom. But I don’t have her phone number. Hmm. Who would have that number? )

are you going to tell me something only we know together? (Yes! I know! Haley just moved back to MA – she would know. I check Haley’s profile, which says:  Haley is laughing about CF’s hacked facebook page – she was not mugged and is not in London.)

9:22pmCourtney
jenny???

9:22pmJenny
sorry
i can't help you

(My god – I almost just gave her my credit card number.  A rush of anxiety fills my fingertips, like I almost got hit by a bus but didn’t, but then thought what if I had. Shudder.)

9:22pmCourtney
the server is kinda slow
why not?

9:23pmJenny (Getting angry)
because the Courtney I know isn't in London

9:23pmCourtney
we went to the same high school
Jenny

9:23pmJenny
what was your roommate's name, sophomore year?

9:25pmCourtney
Its you Jenny

9:25pmJenny (Mother-fucking weirdo who can’t even speak English. Who the fuck is this person?)
sorry, wrong answer (you fuckwad)
you should do more research before you pretend to be someone else

(Temporary panic; what if this person has kept me on chat long enough to figure out my Facebook password? Can that happen? Maybe I shouldn’t be such a smart ass to him)

who are you anyway?
bastard.

(Oh god. He’s going to send me a virus. Oh shit. He probably already checked out my blog and looked me up in the Vanderbilt alumni section, or called my office. Damn it. Stupid hackers.)

9:30pmCourtney is offline.

*

Oh the horror. I will never be able to look in Facebook’s eyes again. The damage cannot be undone. The cherry has been popped, chopped, dyed and fried. (Cue sobbing).