Napa: #Crowdsourcing Book Event #4

My last #CrowdsourcingBook Tour event took place August 11 in Napa, co-hosted by VinTank and Wine Sisterhood. It was a great way to end my trip up the coast, connecting with colleagues, meeting new people, and getting another chance to talk about crowdsourcing principles and processes.

Here are a few photos from the event. (Note: the blurriness of photos has nothing to do with the wine!)

Thanks again to Wine Sisterhood for the wines and uTest for tour support and swag!


The Daily Crowdsource Interview with Aliza Sherman on Crowdsourcing

David Bratvold, founder of The Daily Crowdsource, interviewed Aliza Sherman about crowdsourcing during her #CrowdsourcingBook Tour.

Read more about crowdsourcing at The Daily Crowdsource.

Book Tour sponsored by The Daily Crowdsource, uTestWine Sisterhood, CrowdFlower, VinTank, MySearchGuru, and Social Media Club LA.

Scenes from LA: #Crowdsourcing Book Event #2

I was graciously hosted by Social Media Club LA at the Microsoft Store in Century City. SMCLA President Natalie Petouhoff interviewed me and went into the audience Oprah-style for additional Q&A on crowdsourcing. Here are a few photos from the event.

photo by Karen Woodward

Photo by Karen Woodward

Photo by SMCLA

Photo by SMCLA

Photo by Karen Woodward

Next stop…San Francisco with CrowdFlower!

Images from San Diego #Crowdsourcing Book Party

Had a blast at my first book party in San Diego hosted by The Daily Crowdsource and MySearchGuru. While I didn’t do a reading (who wants to hear a reading of a “How To” book?), the evening turned into a Karaoke party (all my fault). But what could be better?


and at the end of the night, the Karaoke singers and fans took a last photo…

Thank you Wine Sisterhood for the delicious wine enjoyed by all and the complimentary books which we gave away as gifts to attendees. And thank you to uTest for the swag (great pens!) and the support.




Kindness (Day 1: #CrowdsourcingBook Tour)

I thought as I wrote about my #crowdsourcingbook tour, I’d be keeping a diary simply of the day’s events as I worked my way from San Diego to Los Angeles to San Francisco, Napa and Oakland. But already something else is taking shape so I’m just going to go with it.

Today, I was struck by the kindness of others. It all started when I had lunch with a woman I’ve known for years, mostly through online networks. I actually don’t think we’ve ever met in person or at least not sat down before to chat. I was struck with how energetic, enthusiastic and creative she was. And how kind. She generously offered to help me with a project, and together we brainstormed another. I felt lucky to have had the chance to spend some time with her.

Later, I ran into Lisa Stone, one of the founders of BlogHer, at the elevators of the conference hotel. As always, she was incredibly gracious and engaged in our conversation as we rode the elevator. I am always so impressed with how accessible the BlogHer founders are and how generous with their time and attention. Lisa, Jory des Jardin and Elisa Camahort, to me, are the epitomy of powerful, influential successful women who are also kind.

I don’t know why I’d think they’d be otherwise, although I have met many women who have achieved a wide range of degrees of success who are not so nice. And I know how much pressure there can be with the myriad of demands on one’s time and attention. Yet every time I see the BlogHer women, I am struck by their warmth and their attention to the moment, to the person in front of them. They are incredibly kind.

Finally, I went to get my hair done for my book party (will post about the party tomorrow after I get some sleep). I showed up at the salon, and they told me that I was an hour late for my appointment. It was probably my fault – I’m really bad with clocks and calendars. I was so stunned and upset that my best laid plans were screwed up. The guy behind the reception desk was starting to protest in that “well, there isn’t anything we can do” way, but then he paused and went to the back room. He returned with the hair stylist who I had apparently “stood up.”

I was bracing myself for some admonishment for my tardiness or for a snide “Sorry, we just can’t fit you in.” But instead, she looked at me kindly and said “Let’s see what we can do. I’m not sure if I can take care of you the entire time, but let’s just go back and see what we can do.”

No scolding, no refusals. Just the kindest approach that melted away my stress.

“Just breathe, just breathe,” she said gently, and even apologized for not being able to spend more time washing my hair. I was just grateful for being able to get properly prepared for my first book tour appearance. A silly thing, I know, but at the moment it felt important. It felt even more important to be treated so kindly.

Her name is Kelly, by the way, and the salon is called Tonic.


Kindness. It doesn’t take much (or maybe it does for some). A kind word. A kind smile. Making time, giving attention, offering help. I hope I was kind today to those around me to put those good vibes out into the cosmos.

Have you been kind today? Who has been kind to you lately?

Landed in San Diego

I’m here in the land of sun, sand and surf, for the start of my #Crowdsourcing Book Tour. As I took the Advantage Rental Car shuttle to the rental office, the bus driver commented on the heat.

“How hot is it?” I asked, resisting the temptation to check the Weather app on my iPhone. This was, after all, real-life conversation.

“Must be 75 degrees,” he said. I checked a little while later. It was 88 degrees, not 75.


At Advantage, they kindly upgraded me from a Smart Car to a Toyota RAV 4 for a “few dollars more.” Well worth it since I was going to be picking up nine boxes of my Crowdsourcing book and some uTest swag to giveaway and would need to haul it all up the West Coast for my upcoming book parties.

I then got my first lesson in using a GPS device in a car. I’ve relied on my iPhone and Google Maps for getting around the parts of Alaska where there is cell signal and have never actually used a GPS unit. Particularly not one that spoke to me. It immediately reminded me of this video “Tomorrow (GPS).” Worth watching (only 1:10 min).

As I drove to see a friend, Aparna, I realized that I hadn’t remembered how arid San Diego is, and was grateful for A/C, something I haven’t had to use all summer in Alaska.


Had dinner and an animated conversation with Aparna about careers. I was really conscious of how many times I grabbed my iPhone during dinner. Once to take a photo of my beer because, well, because it was Negra Modelo, and you can’t get that where I live. Plus, it made a cool Instagram image. And once more to take a photo of my meal. Foodspotting, of course! I think that was it.

In this day and age of constant connectivity and uber-sharing to social networks, I have found that we all have the tendency to reach for our smartphones out of habit, carelessness, automatic reflex. And when you’re with someone who totally doesn’t give a hoot about social media , their look of horror when you reach for your smartphone at dinner at a restaurant is telling. But do we even notice anymore?

When you’re with someone who lives and breathes this social media stuff, you can both end up sitting in the same space, across from each other, and barely look up from your screens, accepting the fact that the person you are having dinner with is sucked in by the vortex just as you are or at least resigning yourself to that fact.

I am happy to report that my dinner with Aparna had few smartphone interruptions. Other than my post to Instagram and Foodspotting, Aparana sent a few texts to her babysitter and her husband and later I saw she had sent one tweet about our dinner.

And then we talked. You know, face to face, with voice sans Internet. Yeah, TALKING.


While I’m excited about documenting my two week tour on all my favorite networks using all those handy mobile apps, I’m even more excited to meet people, connect with people, reconnect with people, and just talk.

If you’re on the West Coast, hope to connect with you along the way!

Next Up: 8/3 6pm San Diego Book Party
Hosted by The Daily Crowdsource and My Search Guru. Books and Wine courtesy of Wine Sisterhood. Sponsored by uTest.