Thursday, October 30, 2008

My day with Nonsociety

Nonsociety girls blogging

I'd read so much on the Nonsociety girls - Julia Allison, Megan Asha and Mary Rambin - since they started up back in the spring. Before that, really, if you count when Julia Allison was doing this sort of "lifecasting" solo. In fact it was probably about a year ago, when she was dating Jakob Lodwick and they had that Jakob and Julia blog. I was just beginning to date a Jacob myself and so I found myself tuning in to see their adventures.

For those of you undoctrinated into the Julia Allison phenom that all we New Yorkers are fascinated with, a brief history. Julia Allison is a 20 something journalist who moved up to New York after leaving Georgetown University to follow her dreams. She got a job at Star Magazine as their editor at large and started writing a dating column for Time Out New York. Somehow (I'm not clear on the details since I've read so many different accounts) she caught the eye of Gawker editor Nick Denton and the snarky Gotham based blog started writing about her and her adventures on a sometimes daily basis. Someone told me once that they took it upon themselves to see if they could, just by posting about someone, make them into a celebrity. And they certainly did - not without Julia's help, of course. In fact, say what you will about her, but she is a marketing genius! As a self-promoter in the minor leagues through Rebels of Romance and my book writing, I am in awe of all she's able to accomplish. I want her secrets!

She's posted online about her life through relationships, break-ups, successes and failures - posting even the painful stuff online for the world to see. Sometimes reading about her can be unbearably painful and you just want to hug her or tell her to stop oversharing because you know there are people out there who are just waiting to hurt her for doing so. Sometimes you think it'd be amazing to be her, othertimes you couldn't imagine undergoing the public scrutiny.

I'm digressing too much - all I wanted to do was write about my day with the girls. So to sum up, last spring, Julia enlisted her two best girl friends - Megan (a former hedge fund manager and self-professed geek) and Mary (a handbag designer) and together they started "lifecasting" through their new company Nonsociety. Each day they post stuff about their daily lives - both professional stuff (dating tips, technology updates, and fashion advice) and personal (sometimes very personal - though they told me they've learned how to draw the line the hard way.) They started an internet based show called TMI where they chat about these topics as well. Basically the whole thing is a like a multi-media magazine and diary combined.

So, of course, I figured the whole thing would make a great story for Better TV. To talk about what lifecasting is, why they feel compelled to do it -- the good, the bad, the ugly, etc. But I have to admit I was a little nervous to meet them in real life. It's weird to meet someone for the first time that you've read about for a year. Made me almost feel stalker'ish or like a voyeur who finally comes out of the closet, admitting they've been watching. But, I realized, that was silly. After all, they want to be watched. Otherwise they wouldn't be online to begin with.

Well, I needn't be worried. They were open and friendly and allowed me in without a filter. They talked openly about their experiences both on-camera and off. They're very much like their onscreen personas in real life and yet you get a touch of something more three-dimensional when you talk to them one on one. They're very enthusiastic about their company and what they plan to do with it. They have hopes and dreams and are having a ton of fun reaching for the stars. They're very honest that not every day is sunshine and roses, but in the end, they find it worth it.

I got a lot of great footage and I think it'll be an interesting piece that my viewers will really be into. Of course of all days I forgot my camera but here are a few iPhone shots and a couple I stole off their own blogs.

Interviewing Mary Rambin

Nonsociety girls blogging

Here they are filming their show "TMI."

Me interviewing Julia.

The gang all at Merkato 55 - where I set them up to have dinner. More on the fab meal there soon!

And lastly, here's a video they took while Mike (my photographer) was taking a video of them!

Merkato 55 from Meghan Asha on Vimeo.

All in all it was a really fun day and I walked away with a newfound respect for what the Nonsociety girls do. Keep at it, girls! And know that for every loser who has nothing better to do than to cut you down to make himself feel good - there are hundreds of other people whose days are brightened by what you do!


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