Posts Tagged ‘Silicon Valley’

Mitzi TV to Debut on American Television

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

It had to happen sometime: the Mitzi TV madness has not only reached across the pond via the internet, but is reaching across the pond via broadcast television. The new Mitzi TV video “Bear Necessities” will be broadcast for the very first time in the USA on television, airing on KAXT (which serves Silicon Valley/Santa Clara County and most of the San Francisco Bay Area), SureWest (which serves the Sacramento region), and NPG Cable (which serves Saint Joseph, MO).

Note that broadcasts are ongoing. Hope you’ll tune in and tell them you want to see more Mitzi TV!

TV Provider: KAXT-1.8
State: CA

TV Provider: NPG Cable
State: MO

TV Provider: SureWest
State: CA

TV Provider: SureWest
State: CA
Broadcast Scheduled at: 2009-11-11 10:34:30, 2009-11-12 06:34:30, 2009-11-12 16:34:30, 2009-11-12 21:34:30, 2009-11-11 05:34:30

Screwy Rabbits: The Dangers of Twitter

Thursday, October 8th, 2009
Me and Mr. Bunny

Mitzi Szereto with bunny

I know what you’re thinking: that Mitzi, you just never know what she’ll get up to next. Now she’s dating Bugs Bunny!

Okay, I admit he’d be one hell of an improvement over any of the male members of the human species I’ve known and loved. But before you go getting all excited and churning up the rumour mill, let’s put a bit of perspective on the situation.

On second thought, why bother? Who needs perspective and logic and all those other things that take the life out of life (and the love out of love)?

I have a confession to make: as a kid I used to adore those wonderful old classic Looney Tunes cartoons. Elmer, Bugs, Porky, Daffy (are you thaying I have a thpeech impediment???)… I wanted to live in those cartoons. In fact, I still do! And judging by the above photo, you’re no doubt assuming I got my wish.

Me and Bugs, walking off into the sunset together. Oh, and Teddy, of course! I won’t go anywhere without my beloved little bear by my side. You’d have to pass muster with him before you get anywhere near me!

As for meeting screwy rabbits…

I use Twitter.

Therefore I can only blame Twitter for landing me in the furry arms of a lascivious rabbit the other evening. Yes, I said lascivious! Bad enough he shed all over my black top. People were plucking his fur out of my hair all night long. It was as if I’d suddenly gone white, like what you hear happens when someone’s experienced a traumatic shock. Hmm… perhaps that wasn’t too far off the mark.

You see, I’d innocently headed out to London’s famous Carnaby Street for an evening of networking with other like-minded Tweeters, only to end up fending off the amorous attentions of a Tweeting bunny. All I can say is, he might have been hearing “Some Enchanted Evening” playing in his big white floppy ears, but I sure as hell wasn’t. The truth is, I never really fancied hairy guys, especially sweaty ones. As for a sweaty hairy rabbit…

…It just wasn’t going to happen. Besides which, he was too tall!

I guess this is what I get for being a social media maven. I’m terrified to think what might happen if I ever went to a Facebook event. Aside from being the officially recognised Queen of Facebook (and Robert Scoble thought he was popular? – no one even knew who he was till I friended him on Facebook!), I have enough trouble with Mark Zuckerberg as it is. The Silicon Valley boss man of Facebook simply refuses to let go. There’s something terribly heartrending about seeing a man cry – especially when you’re the cause of it. I tried to let him down gently, I really did. I mean, could I help it if Teddy didn’t take to him?

As for my floppy-earred suitor, I have serious doubts about it going anywhere. He just came on too strong for my liking.

I’m sure Bugs Bunny would not have behaved in such an ungentlemanly fashion.

Molested by Bunny

Mitzi Szereto molested by bunny

Move Over Sergey, Here We Come!

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

Mitzi Szereto with the KebabCampers

“The best startup in town, we don’t make anything, we just eat.”

Google Schmoogle. Who needs Larry Page or Sergey Brin?

Yeah, I know, everyone’s an entrepreneur. And everyone’s got a startup – from your crazy Uncle Jack who’s always grabbing the breasts of strange women to your potty old Aunt Tillie from Temecula. Hell, even your cousin Ernie with that twitching left eye and the embarrassing case of Tourette’s fancies himself as the next Jeff Bezos. Oh, and let’s not forget all those socially inept internet geeks with Asperger’s (a word of advice, ladies: don’t ever get into a relationship with one of these guys! If you’re not sure who they are, just think Mr. Spock).

In Silicon Valley alone you’ll find yourself tripping over the number of people doing startups, and let’s not forget their little brother on the East Coast, Silicon Alley. Frankly, I’m surprised there are this many things to actually START UP. Admittedly, London is lagging a bit behind its Yankee relatives, but hey, we’re catching up! Of course not every startup king (or queen) has a cunning master plan, but not to worry. If they don’t, they’ll most assuredly have a team all set to go… providing they ever come up with that startup idea they hope will set fire to the world (or, at the very least, set fire to their garage “headquarters” when things go down the pan). I believe this is known in the business as “an escape plan” – ie start up, then get the hell out!

Therefore not to be outdone, here is yet one more startup to add to the fray: KebabCamp. And I’m damned proud to be a founding member of the team.

We don’t need fancy offices in Canary Wharf or some “campus” in Palo Alto full of tykes playing Hide and Seek or frolicking in sandboxes. (Err, wait – that’s for the employees, not their kids!). And we don’t need some grungy garage either. Hell, we don’t even need a business plan! You won’t hear us bandying about terms like “Venture Capitalist” and “Angel Investor” and “Seed Money“. Who needs capitalists and angels and seeds when you’ve got a nice juicy kebab staring you in the face? Nah, we’re above all that stuff.

We hold our meetings over an orgy of food in a Tower Hamlets‘ kebab house. No, I won’t tell you which one, since it’s a bitch to get a table there even if you’ve booked. Mind you, I’m sure we’ll have an easier time of it in future, since last time we were there one of the waiters kept taking a perverse delight in brushing against me whenever we passed one another. (Is that a gun in your pocket…) But hey, if it gets us better service, who am I to complain? I’ve made sacrifices before – what’s one more?

When our team isn’t out kebabing in the East End, we’ll be busy Skypeing, since everyone knows that any startup worth its weight in bootstraps holds meetings on Skype. You’ll find us online day and night, 24/7, rain or shine. No one sleeps. Who has time for sleep when you’ve got a startup to start up? From various locations in and around London, there we’ll be: eyes and fingertips glued to our computers, an ethernet cable stuck up our arses, because baby, we mean business! If things go well, we might even launch an IPO.

So keep an eye out, because KebabCamp may be coming to a ticker tape near you!

Tweet, Tweet, Tweet: Will Someone Please Shoot That Effing Bird?

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

If you’re a regular user of social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, does the following look familiar?

lying in pool of own vomit w/ @parishilton @britneyspears

cottaging in 4 seasons toilets w/ @georgemichael

caught massive dose of clap off @skankypantz

disembowelled outside palo alto starbux by @mansonlvr

I’m sorry, but I can’t take it anymore. No, I’m not talking about the man who done me wrong. I’m talking about this endless twittering, tweeting, and retweeting… So what was wrong with two cans and a string to communicate our news? Andy Warhol must be turning in his Campbell’s Soup can. I doubt even he could have imagined this kind of fifteen minutes of fame.

Hey, don’t get me wrong – I’m all for social networking, I think it’s great and it serves a useful purpose! I admit that I’m totally addicted to it. Just call me a social networking crackhead – if I’m near a computer I’ll be online, even if I’m at someone’s house. I’ve even done it at parties! I’ve stuck myself up on a ton of sites, and now I can update them all via a simple one-stop shop at However, a lot of this social networking has gotten out of hand. Fine, keep people up to date, but don’t make us want to run out and buy and gun and go postal with it. There’s a huge difference between being informative and being excessive. And baby, the line has been crossed.

Perhaps I didn’t notice it that much before, or at least not until Facebook decided to sneak into Twitter’s back garden and grab their knickers from off the clothesline. Hello Mark? Does your “new” newsfeed not look just a wee bit familiar? Where’s that innovative Silicon Valley spirit? Or did it go careening off a cliff on a mountain bike? They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Frankly, I’m not buying it.

I admit that I try to exercise a reasonable amount of restraint when it comes to my own status updates. But how few are too few and how many are too many? That is the question, Hamlet, and it’s a bloody hard one to answer. Of course I want people to see my name, get involved in what I’m doing, follow my little exploits, be they mundane or exciting. Yet I’m also very aware of how I myself react when I see the same people continually posting, and I mean posting like a machine gun – rat-tat-tat-tat-tat – one after the other, like those butch Italian cowboys being shot down in a Spaghetti Western when you know there can’t possibly be any more bullets left in the gun. I mean, it’s not like these folk actually need to keep updating and updating. Often you’ll find the updates are nearly identical. They remind me of a student I taught in a university creative writing module who stubbornly refused to engage with the process of redrafting and thought she could get away with changing a couple of words here and there.

As for this ad nauseum updating business, I know several users who have deleted other users from their Twitter and Facebook accounts – and I’m talking very high-profile users (many even of celebrity status) whose updates were getting to the point of either being analogous to spamming or making everyone ill. Do they not realise how annoying this is? If you’re losing followers on Twitter or friends on Facebook, then maybe it’s time to acknowledge that your social networking methodology might be backfiring. Granted, you don’t have to be high-profile to spiral into overkill.

Can you imagine if we had Count Dracula constantly updating his status? (It would likely be at night, unless he was inside his coffin during the day sending tweets from his mobile phone.) It would probably go something like this:

chowing down flies w/ @renfield

taking a bloodbath w/ @dracsbride

hiking in carpathians w/ @jharker

debating wooden stakes v silver bullets w/ @vanhelsing

I’ve now reached the point where I’ll comment on people’s updates just to wind them up. In fact, I recently engaged in a bit of a Facebook fracas with a gentleman who was attending a convention (I won’t say which convention, though you might be able to guess). He kept updating his status every few seconds – yes, I am serious: SECONDS, so I thought I’d tease him about it, interjecting little jests under his various updates, hoping he might come to realise just how ridiculous this was getting. Alas, the point of my repartee was completely lost on the fellow, and finally I could take no more. I said, “hey, if you want to see some updates that are actually entertaining, take a look at my page.” And do you know what he replied? “Oh, I don’t really have time to look at other people’s updates.” Umm… excuse me? Needless to say, I clicked that little X alongside his updates, opting for one less nuisance in my busy social networking life. Hey, if I have to read your updates, it’s only fair you read mine, right?

Now before you hardcore updaters drag me off to the stake to be burned, realise that all I’m saying is this: before you update your status for the gazillionth time, ask yourself the following:

1. Do I really need to update when I just updated a minute ago?

2. Is it absolutely necessary when I’ve pretty much said the exact same shit in my previous update?

3. Will anyone be remotely pleased to see my update or will they pray that lightning strikes me dead?

I think you know the answer.

(By the way, it’s @mitziszereto in case you want to follow me on Twitter! xxx)

Facebook: The Anti-Social Social Network

Friday, November 14th, 2008

You know that expression “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”? Well, how about “Hell hath no fury like a social networker scorned”?

A couple of weeks ago I had my Facebook account disabled with no warning or explanation. I’d been online in the evening and had left the page open while I took an overseas call. When I returned to the computer – BANG!! No more Facebook. Needless to say, I was not amused. I figured it was yet another of their multitudinous technological glitches – the very same glitches that have prevented me from accessing many of the applications I have loaded. I mean, I can receive Poke Pros, but I can’t seem to send them back out. What’s the world coming to? I figured this time something truly major had malfunctioned. However, when my bear was able to get into his Facebook account, I realised that things were definitely not kosher.

For several days running, I sent copious emails to copious Facebook email addresses, as did many of my Facebook friends, who wished to lodge their protests over my apparent and tragic assassination. I hadn’t done anything I could think of to bring the wrath of the Silicon Valley gods down upon me. My only consolation that it had all been some dreadful mistake was down to the fact that on the very same night my account went missing, so too did my mother’s. Now this was truly bizarre, especially since she uses it nowhere near to the slavish and fanatical extent in which I do. I smelled conspiracy. And I was out for blood. There was more at stake here than simple social networking. I had things on my Facebook of great sentimental value to me – and perhaps this was what hurt the most: losing them forever.

To say that I was ready to recruit any surviving members of the Weathermen (or those not still in prison) to come with me to Palo Alto and do some major sorting out would not have been an understatement. (I should add that I’ve been told I look pretty hot in khaki too.) Had I actually boarded that flight to Northern California, well… let’s just say that Mark Zuckerberg (can we think of anything that rhymes with “Zuckerberg”?) would have been wise to pack up his cojones and head for the Mexican border. This was NOT how The Queen of Facebook should be treated!

When I received an email containing a Washington Post link from a friend about what can only be described as an indiscriminate cull by Facebook against its users, I really freaked out. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but there definitely appears to be a discriminatory policy in operation here. My bear has been the victim of it; so too have a number of his mates who, like him, don’t qualify as sharing the same species as you and I do. Having said that, I know plenty of homo sapiens who have likewise been treated unfairly, having their accounts randomly and bizarrely disabled for reasons known only to some anonymous entities hiding behind a computer screen whose sole source of social interaction is derived courtesy of their own hand. Bad enough to get scolded for adding too many friends or joining too many groups, but where will it end? Delete accounts of people who have a big schnoz? (Guess Babs Streisand will be shit out of luck on this one!)

To make the situation even more bizarre, only a few weeks before my enforced disappearance from my favourite social networking site I received an ominous message from the Facebook gods that a photo I’d uploaded had been removed due to a “violation of terms of use”. Now that puzzled me. What could I possibly have posted that could even remotely have violated anything? A photo of me at a book launch? A photo of me at my mother’s house? A photo of me with my bear? WHAT? Hell, I’ve seen stuff on Facebook that’s downright pornographic, to say nothing of the kind of groups they allow to proliferate – groups which should only be allowed on a subscription porn site, not on a mainstream social networking site. Hell, I’ve seen profile photos of women who look as if they’re plying their dodgy wares on a street corner. But who gets a threatening message about violating terms of use? Me! So I combed through my various photos, trying to figure out which one had been excised out of existence. And guess what? It was the book jacket for my anthology Wicked: Sexy Tales of Legendary Lovers. I nearly fell off my chair. Okay, it’s got nudity, but it’s artful and subtle nudity, not pornographic nudity. You see raunchier stuff on a postcard from Miami Beach. I couldn’t help wondering who in my circle of 4,000 plus Facebook friends would have complained about the cover of a book I’d done, especially if they were interested in having me as a friend in the first place! Ironically, Wicked has been and still is being sold by major booksellers – and placed out on the front tables, not relinquished to some unreachable top shelf in the rear of the store next to the toilets. Clearly, Borders and Waterstones have no objection to the book jacket. Go figure.

Anyway, my story has a happy ending… at least for now. I’m back online at Facebook and, I am pleased to say, was apparently sorely missed. In fact, I received a number of messages and wall posts from people I’d never even spoken to before, welcoming me back and saying that it had been really boring without me. Gosh. Perhaps there is something to this social networking gig after all. I mean, a little bit of mass adoration can go a long way.

And who knows? That random poke you receive might develop into the love of your life! (If it doesn’t lead you into the arms of a serial killer first.)