(Photo courtesy: LiLu)
If you write a blog in this city then you should already know who LiLu of Livit, Luvit. If you don’t, you probably do but don’t know it yet. She was an organizer for the Bloggerational Ball when Obama won the White House; an editor for DC Blogs; and a part of the team over at 20 Something Bloggers.
When I first moved to the DC area and was looking for local blogs to read, I noticed that this “South-i-fied Masshole” frequented the blog rolls of most of the blogs I stumbled upon. Clearly this was one blogger I had to meet. I would later have the pleasure of meeting her at a BBQ and experience the monthly happy hours she puts on for other local bloggers.
Now she’s out to take her social media skills to a national stage. Recently Lilu was named one of 20 candidates to become MTV’s first ever TJ, or Twitter Jockey. Not only is MTV stepping it up in the social media realm, but they are continuing their tradition of straying away from playing actual music videos- who needs a Video Jockey when you can have a Twitter Jockey?
The job couldn’t be any sweeter: a 100K salary, the ability to rub elbows with famous people, and the chance to become bigger than Sway.
The DC resident of three years is currently fighting for the chance to become one of the five finalists, who will rumble in a live showdown to pick the winner on August 8th on MTV. Four of the finalists will be chosen by MTV but the fifth will be selected by fans via American Express’ ZYNC Facebook community.
So far LiLu has been actively campaigning through her blog and Twitter profile as well as completing challenges assigned to the contestants from MTV. The online challenges have resulted in hashtags like #savethefurbabies and a quest to get as many celebrities as possible to follow her on Twitter.
After seeing all this madness unfold on my Twitter timeline we exchanged some e-mails to learn more about her love of DC, blogging, and potential future as MTV’s Twitter whore (and I mean that in the best possible way.)
You originally from Massachusetts, went to school at UNC, and ended up in DC. It has certainly been quite the East Coast tour for you…
I actually did my first year at Brandeis near Boston… NEAR. Not in. Big difference when you have no car. Within two weeks I knew I wanted to transfer to a big all-American kinda school. It came down to UVA and UNC Chapel Hill… UNC gave me a free laptop. The rest is history.
I’ll never forget what my years in the South did for me. It was hard at first, being a loudmouthed, opinionated, fast-walking Northerner… but I adjusted. Found a balance. And some of the best friends a girl could ever have- my sweet Carolina girls (best in the world, like the song says).
After school, I knew I wanted to move to DC, because I’ve always been a city girl at heart- the ADD in me craves the busy and the constant stimulation/excellent people watching of it. But to me, DC also represents that same balance between North and South. So when a friend up here offered me a couch while I job-hunted, I took it.
(Also, New York was too expensive. And no one there had a couch. But MTV says they have one for me, so I’m ready for it now!!!)
Of course most people in the DC Scene know you from your blog, what drove you to start blogging and eventually create a social scene for other area DC bloggers.
Boredom drove me to start the blog, actually. I was at an admin job so slow I, quite frankly, just needed something to DO. And a lot of inspiration from one Jenny the Bloggess. She will always be my bloggy hero.
The social stuff happened very organically. It snuck up on me. I just love meeting new people, making new friends, and as I met more and more, it slowly grew from “a few e-friends grabbing a beer” to organizing a monthly “THE MORE THE MERRIER!!!!!! Happy Hour”. All I do is try to put the word out and make sure everyone knows they will be welcomed with a bear hug, whether they like it or not.
I personally think that Washington, DC is right up there with LA and New York when it comes down to the blog scene- what’s your take?
I think we’ve got something really amazing right here, truly. There’s just so MANY of us, and being that we’re all in DC, it’s a fair bet that we’re inclined to want to network and meet people, but it’s more than that. We’re truly social creatures, and ridiculously open-armed and friendly. I think it’s a huge benefit of being in a “transient” city- it’s sort of like a permanent Freshman year in college, where everyone’s always open to making new friends. Bloggers from other cities always tell me how jealous they are of our enormous, infamous get-togethers. And I don’t blame them.
In short, it/we are pretty freaking awesome.
I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of years now, and some people might be surprised to read a TMI-style of writing that you fully own. How does that reflect your offline persona?
To read the blog is to truly to know me. I am EXACTLY the same in person; a bit of an oversharer, a smidge of hot mess, possibly a little drunk… but ultimately quite endearing.
At least, that’s what my mom said when she accidentally found the blog. (Awkward.)
Now let’s talk DC- why do you love DC? What do you think about the city?
I love how open it is… literally. There’s so much ROOM compared to other cities. The height cap means any rooftop in the city offers a stellar view- hell, our own living room overlooks the National Cathedral, and our building’s nothing special. Aesthetically it’s also really green, with squares everywhere- a benefit of a planned city, says the Boston girl.
But of course it’s more than that; any city is only as great as the people in it. Since moving here three years ago, I’ve literally made dozens of friends, many of whom I would classify as close, as in, “people I will probably stay in touch with for the rest of my life.” That’s kind of insane, no? Forgive the schmoop, but I feel like this city has allowed me to come into my own. I started to find my personality with a capital P through bartending, but writing and the life I’ve made here really sealed the deal on that. The blog had a lot to do with it by introducing me to people, but that wouldn’t have been possible in a city where everyone wasn’t so welcoming.
I know you’ve moved to several different parts of the city in your time here- which neighborhoods do you like the most?
I started out north of U Street BT (before-Target), found a sweet rent-controlled place in Dupont, essentially lived in Eastern Market for a couple months when I met the boyfriend, moved to Chinatown/Shaw with him, and now we’re directly in between Columbia Heights and AdMo on 16th Street. I love ALL of them, but where we are now is the best of all worlds- we can walk to U St, Admo, CH, Dupont easily, the Green/Yellow and Red are minutes away, and my bus takes me directly down Connecticut and drops me off at Farragut for work in the morning. There’s just so MUCH within ten minutes of walking, it’s insane.
Plus, Tonic Mount Pleasant is hands down my favorite bar in the city, and it’s around the corner. Dangerous, but still amazing.
Here’s your chance to plug: your background as a blogger has landed you this big opportunity to become a TJ for MTV- tell me why you decided to go after this job and some of the crazy things you’ve done in DC to prove that you are the girl for the job?
Actually, I didn’t go after this job… they chose us. Which is sort of amazing.
MTV says in the job description that they’re looking for a “personality”. I say look no further. This is the girl who did a cover of Stephen Colbert’s “I’m Right Behind You Now Charlene,” who rickrolled an entire BAR (Fado in Chinatown), who “Surprise Trust-Fall”ed complete strangers on the National Mall, who promised Danny Pudi (Abed) from Community I’d vlog myself singing the “Biblioteca” song if he followed me on Twitter. (And oh, will I.)
They say they want someone who can engage people, bring them together, maintain a dialogue… the network I’ve somehow managed to build on both the blog and Twitter over the past couple years, and especially through the support of all my friends and followers over the past month on this quest to become MTV’s Twitter Jockey, has been completely overwhelming and humbling in the best possible way. I’m just a girl who’s addicted to social media and loves making new friends, but somehow, I’ve managed to rally thousands of people who want me to win this almost as bad as I do. Unreal.
So do a DC girl a solid, you beautiful city you, and vote for me to get my dream job with MTV. I may end up in New York, but I promise I’ll visit.
That color looks great on you, by the way. It really brings out your eyes. Just saying. *wink*
Head on over to MTV and where you can vote for DC’s candidate to become MTV’s first TJ. Voting ends on July 20th so make sure you vote today!