All Articles Tagged "digital media"
You’re doing it. At work when you need a break. On your smartphone when you’re waiting for bus. In the evening, on your tablet, while you’re waiting for the commercials to end and The Walking Dead to get back to the zombie apocalypse. You’re watching YouTube videos.
And now, YouTube has announced that it officially has one billion unique users every single month. Congrats to them! YouTube puts it in perspective for us: “Our monthly viewership is the equivalent of roughly ten Super Bowl audiences.”
And: “If YouTube were a country, we’d be the third largest in the world after China and India.”
YouTube isn’t the only social network celebrating. Twitter is seven years old today. Can you even remember a time before tweets? Crazy. So congrats to Twitter too! Video commemoration below.
Even as these networks become more and more ingrained in our daily existences, there are new things right around the bend. And what’s old is new again! Vevo, the music video channel on YouTube, has announced that it will be starting a 24-hour music network online that will be going to television later this year. I want my Vevo TV! (For those who can remember the old MTV commercials.) According to Bloomberg, it’s all about the money, as the company tries to raise some and then make some.
And more companies are getting into the video game, with Conde Nast launching a video network based on its mags, Glamour and GQ.
Then you have digital giant Facebook trying to ramp up its digital game, possibly with hashtags.
So even as we stop to recognize these milestones, the tech world keeps moving along at a rapid clip.
Angela Burt-Murray has launched CocoaFab.com, a new website for women of color that will cover celebrity news, style, and “urban pop culture.” In addition to written coverage of the issues of the day, CocoaFab will also feature six weekly Web series, AdWeek points out, including “Fab Five,” a shopping guide.
Burt-Murray was the editor of Essence between 2005 and 2010. Her time there was met with controversy when, in July 2010, she hired a white fashion director, Ellianna Placas. Placas was fired in July of this year for unknown reasons, though many speculate it had to do with a tense relationship with current EIC, Constance White.
CocaFab is brought to us care of Burt-Murray’s new digital media company, Cocoa Media Group. Shelly Jones Jennings, a social media strategist is her business partner. The goal is to create a “network of web sites to connect with the passion points of young women of color,” according to CocoaFab’s About Us page.
When last we spoke with Cecily Habimana, she had just raised $11,700 on Kickstarter to manufacture the latest collection for her fashion line, Simply Cecily. We caught up with her last week and she told us that she just showcased some of her spring/summer designs at DC Fashion Week. So, it sounds like things are going pretty well, which is much-deserved after 10 years of work.
Fashion is everywhere. If we’re not out shopping for ourselves, we’re looking what other people are wearing on the red carpet recaps we find online. Or we’re watching shows like Project Runway and America’s Next Top Model. Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week was only a few weeks ago, and if you couldn’t get a front-row seat on the catwalk, you may have participated in Fashion’s Night Out. The ladies living the high life on reality TV (or trying to give off the vibe that they’re living large) have handbag, swimsuit and various fashion lines. Or they’re dressing themselves while we sit on our couches and critique.
No doubt there are many people out there who have a creative streak and want to start a fashion line of their own. While it’s glamorous and fun, fashion is big business. Labels like Prada and Michael Kors, for instance, are public companies, answering back to investors and global financial onlookers. But even Miuccia and Michael had to start somewhere.
For Habimana, the start was custom work. “It might be a good way to start so people will know your style,” she says. Even though she began with one-off custom pieces, she still participated in fashion shows. “You can start small and stay small for a while,” she adds.
As evidenced by her Kickstarter campaign, another thing that Habimana needed was capital. Besides the money she raised through the campaign, Habimana says that she and her hubby have been investing their own money into the business. To start, Habimana suggests $25,000. Her budget also has to take into account trips to Africa to purchase materials (her designs are based on African fabrics). If you want to manufacture, that’s a cost you have to factor in. Or if you want to open a brick-and-mortar store, that’s a separate budget. Habimana wants to stick with online sales and sales through boutiques.
“The first normal thing that a business student would do would be a business plan,” she says, describing the first step after one decides they want to start a fashion design business. She decided to forego the plan-making stage. “I would’ve had to postpone the launch of the line until next fall if I did that.”
That’s another necessity for getting started — knowledge of the fashion calendar. Habimana started the company this past January and knew she’d have to have samples for Spring/Summer 2013 by July. “Know what the fashion industry calendar looks like because it’s all mapped,” Habimana advises. Indeed, all you need to do is check online for the various fashion shows and you’ll know exactly when the buyers and the press will be looking for the new season’s offerings.
Suzan McDowell, CEO and President of Circle of One Marketing has worked with companies like the City of Miami Gardens “Jazz in the Gardens” festival, the City of Rivera Beach Jazz and Blues Festival and the AHCA Medicaid Reform along with Fortune 500 companies and community organizations. She talks with us about working with clients, building a brand, and the basics of marketing.
MN: What initially attracted you to marketing?
SM: I was attracted to marketing because my father told me to hurry and pick a major when I was at the University of Texas, so I chose the one that was farthest from math: advertising. But it turns out that I’m a natural-born sales person, which is a big part of being a marketer. I love [moving] people from point A to point B. I get really excited about the creative process, about getting to work on a project from inception to crazy success.
MN: Why did you decide to start your own marketing agency rather than work for a large, established firm?
SM: I did work for large established firms for years: Harte Hanks, the LA Herald Examiner and Cox Radio. Those combined working environments prepared me to do what I’m now doing. I decided to start my own agency because just selling radio became too limiting for me. I wanted to be able to create marketing campaigns where I had input in the entire process. South Florida is one of the largest Black markets in the U.S and [when] I opened The Circle there was (and still is) only one other Black owned agency in Miami.
MN: Visitors see these words when they visit your official website, “Though we’re a small agency, our size has very little to do with our might.” Which business strategies allow you to add large-scale services for your clients?
SM: Well, as one of my former staff members said to me, “Suzan….you girls work like ants!” That’s the first thing. I think we have a good reputation for turning out a quality product and being fastidious with our presentation, especially when it comes to an event that we market and manage. We have really tried to establish a brand [that is] resourceful, unafraid to try something different, and sometimes crazy in order to get done for our clients what is most effective.
Current Occupation: Vice President / General Manager of Field Sales & Operations – Michigan/Indiana Region, T-Mobile USA
Favorite website: Pulse, C-Net, Wall Street Journal
Favorite read: #1: Good to Great; #2: What Customers Really Want
Recent read: The Help
2012′s ultimate goal: Get oldest Son off to college in the fall & celebrate 19happy years of marriage!
Quote Governing Your Mission or a Quote that Inspires You: Essential Piece: Isn’t it a wonderful thing that we’re all different? Each of us has strengths and skills to share. And when we link our individual strengths together, we’re invincible. Can’t imagine us without you.
Twitter handle: @tmobile
Brigette Jackson, an executive at T-Mobile, is the subject of this next installment of Behind The Click. More specifically, she’s the Vice President and General Manager for the Michigan and Indiana Region of T-Mobile. I had an opportunity to connect with this fellow digital power player to learn more about her position. What follows will both inspire and encourage you, no matter what industry you currently work. Fasten your seatbelts!
LdC: So it seems that a lot of your foundation is due in large part to your education. What was it like attending Michigan State?
BJ: My college career was an enjoyable experience. I grew up, learned a lot and met many people with diverse backgrounds. A lot of the people I met are still my friends today.
LdC: Are you an active alum?
BJ: Yes, I stay informed and attend homecoming. I also participate in activities through the MSU chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, which I was a member of at MSU.
LdC: Did you express an early interest in the convergence of tech and customer growth or did you “fall into” it?
BJ: I graduated with a Bachelor of Science with an emphasis in Management. I have always been in sales jobs throughout my career. Working in sales management, I was introduced to technology and saw the rapid growth and innovation first hand. That’s what led me to my current position at T-Mobile.
LdC: What is a typical day like for you?
BJ: I conduct sales meetings with my team, attend strategy meetings where we plan business strategies and tactics to retain customers and grow the business, review sales reports, visit stores and our business sales clients and meet customers.
LdC: What is the biggest challenge of your day?
BJ: Continuing to grow sales and market share within the Region.
LdC: What advice can you give to women looking to get into telecommunications at an executive level?
B: Be ready for this fast-paced, innovative business. You need to make sure you are knowledgeable about all of the ever-changing technologies, stay ahead of the competitors and be able to make quick decisions.
LdC: What advice can you give to women with projects who are looking to create strategic alliances with T-Mobile?
BJ: Pull customer demographics, make sure the demographics mirror the area of the product you are targeting and do a business case to ensure the return on investment is healthy. Take as many business partners that relate to or support the project as you can throughout the process.
LdC: How do you balance work and family life?
BJ: Careful long & short-term planning to make sure I don’t miss any important engagements. I absolutely live by my Outlook Calendar to stay organized and I plan far ahead.
LdC: What’s your biggest dream for your position/department at T-Mobile this year?
BJ: At the end of the year, I would like to have a profitable business that has achieved all targets and have grown our customer base and increased our market share.
Thanks for reading! Keep up with tech events and more at my site www.ldcoleman.com while we prepare the next profile. Get the latest in digital news and more by following me on Twitter @mediaempress
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In an increasingly fast-paced world where information not only moves more quickly than ever before as well as moves at an exponential rate within each second, categorization and information filtering has never been more important. New terms are being utilized in our society such as “relationship capital” and “information capital” as major elements that come in to play along with traditional capital.
Depending on who I know and what I know that they don’t, my personal “stock” can go up or down. So in a society where information is becoming more coveted; how important are African-Americans on the digital food chain, given the continued rising strength of both our increased population and economic buying power, given to the organizers and gate-keepers of information and search such as Google and Microsoft’s Bing.
And more importantly, how will the perception affect your pocket as, perhaps, a young African-American with an economic dream?
I only ask because recently Google made a big announcement regarding its new Hispanic strategy focus. What makes this business development particularly interesting is because the Google’s approach to the U.S. Hispanic market is centered more on the cultural identity of Latinos than on the difference in language.
This is the strategy designed by Mark Lopez, the head of Google’s U.S. Hispanic unit who is reportedly trying to significantly increase the amount of advertising directed toward U.S. digital media in Spanish. “Of the Hispanic media’s $4 billion in income from advertising,” Lopez was quoted as saying, “barely 3 percent is going to digital media. In the coming years, there will be accelerated growth.” The move is significant because Google’s interest opens the doors to an accelerated growth in the Hispanic digital market.”
But unless I’ve missed something, I have not yet seen this same fervor and anticipation directed by Google toward our market. The U.S. Census Bureau has provided undeniable figures in the consistent growth of the Black population as well, and other statistical organizations has shown that our numbers are growing more in on-line usage as well as out-index in Web access from mobile devices. While we are undeniably (and hopefully for the most part) Americans, African-Americans have always had an additional cultural context from which it is best to access us as well.
So what gives?
Are we simply taken for granted by the mighty search engine even though Target Market News consistently shows absolutely staggering purchase power? I’d love to see Google’s interest also equal an “accelerated growth” in the Black digital market. The revenue would certainly be welcome for existing and future young digital pioneers of color such as yourselves, wouldn’t it?
But Google is a savvy company. I’m not counting them out on this. And maybe it will also nudge Bing as well, which I actually haven’t seen do any more to lure the African-American consumer beyond a mild attempt at collaboration with Jay-Z’s book publisher for the release of Decoded last year.
by Lauren DeLisa Coleman
On again, off again and mired in legal battles, but now it’s definitely on, for certain: the biopic of Tupac, “All Eyez On Me” (working title). While younger GenYers may not have ever had the opportunity to see ‘Pac perform live, there should probably be some solid interest in in a film about this icon if for nothing but his sheer legendary status and tragic, mysterious end. But interest may be piqued by the opportunity for stardom. Yes, you read correctly. In the era of mix-and-stir celebrity, the latest possibility is on the horizon. Whereas the biopic on Notorious B.I.G, “Notorious” broke some bounds by placing the casting process on-line, “All Eyez On Me” will actually hold part of the casting process on-line via an exclusively dedicated website.
Skee.TV in association with Morgan Creek Productions/Universal Pictures and director Antoine Fuqua are actually going to be holding an on-line casting call to find just the right person to play Tupac. My friends at Skee have told me that the campaign will feature a month-long online open casting call creating a major opportunity for aspiring black male actors. Interested parties will have to upload video, and then fans will vote. The whole process, which will kick-off later this month, will serve as a nice little package of casting-meets-early promo for the film, not to mention a brass ring for any advertisers interested in being on the site.
Easy to post, perhaps. Easy to get votes? Maybe not quite. I know we’ve all gotten the auto-email from friends (and not nearly friends) asking us to vote on any number of things that they or their loved ones are participating in on the Web. Often times the voting is cumbersome with mandatory registration to go through before posting your vote during an already very busy digital day. You’d really rather not, but your attention to karma kicks in, and you power through the process.
One hardly has time to even look at any other entrants let alone enter a quick thumbs up vote to support your boy or your girl. It’s interesting to see how we’ve gotten so into voting and judging via text or email these days. Back in the day, it wasn’t quite the same. Everything is a competition from the possibility of getting a big break to the possibility of cooking the best big bowl of chili.
We are all quite aware of President Obama’s call for greater U.S. innovation and entrepreneurship as demonstrated in his recent State Of The Union Address. And it was certainly not lost on the hip hop generation that President Obama’s “we do big things”, when referring to American ingenuity, was a direct sample from the everyday language used by urban millennials.
But while the President’s use of that term may be familiar, the steps to actually becoming one of these business innovators that Obama would so much like to see, may not be quite so accessible. In fact, I get the feeling that much of Black GenY demographic is still shaking their heads in terms of figuring out just how the President expects today’s young people of color to take the entrepreneurial bull by the horns, particularly when it comes to an area where there is so much potential opportunity: the digital industry.
While many writers and critics have chided young, digitally savvy Blacks for partaking too little in the “creator” realm rather than remaining quietly in “consumer” role, I’m not sure it’s just that cut-and-dry. In fact, I believe there are a number of potential innovators in this area who are poised to “do big things” provided they could get a bit of insight and move through some statistical hurdle jumping.
But no one ever seems to provide consistent dialogue and support in any meaningful, pedestrian way that could touch and economically empower tens of thousands of us. So let me break down a few elements, at least a bit.
If you look at the game as it currently stands, there are some really interesting dynamics to play with today. First, we completely out-index in terms of mobile phone monthly expenditures, mobile phone feature usage, smartphone ownership and social media frequency over the mainstream. Tech savvy, at least on the user-end, is all ours.
On the entrepreneurial end, the U.S. Census Bureau just released stats this week that show that from 2002 to 2007, the number of black-owned businesses actually increased by 60.5 percent to 1.9 million, more than triple the national rate of 18.0 percent. These businesses are not just businesses in name; they’re making money too. Over the same period, receipts generated by black-owned businesses increased 55.1 percent to $137.5 billion.
But somehow there seems to be a disconnect, to date, about actually starting businesses in the digital arena. For those who do/have tried to step out, stats show that it may not be that easy even with the technical prowess. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that private investment research firm CB Insights recently reported that only African-Americans represent only 1% of venture backed founders nationally (an absolutely horrible figure), and I’m just not sure how many youths of color have an Eduardo Saverin to their Mark Zuckerberg: a peer with chips to fund and believe in your idea, a la “The Social Network” if you can’t go the venture route.
But we do know that hip hop is, at its core, entrepreneurial in nature; so this may lead to more significant movement in the years ahead. The ability to take nothing and making something out of it has been demonstrated by Black people time in time again. In fact, there is already the interesting though not terribly innovative on-line video business models cropping up. Low-cost in nature to launch, these businesses simply serve as YouTube filters, with the occasional exclusive video footage, that speaks to a younger, edgier demo. There are a few other interesting digital business ventures bubbling up as well, but I think we’ve barely scratched the surface in regard to combining our culture, tech savvy and entrepreneurial paydays.
(Wall Street Journal) — An onslaught of digital technologies has laid waste to traditional media. The new year will bring a clearer picture of what will emerge from the rubble. Online games that piggyback off social networks are thriving. Publishers are increasingly chipper about the profit potential for digital books, newspapers and magazines, one example of how the historic rivalry between media and tech companies, while still intense, may be softening. Some sectors, like television, may have their toughest days ahead of them. There, a digital tide is rising as new ways to watch TV over the Internet begin to push aside traditional habits. How will TV networks and cable companies make up for the cash they will lose if viewers “cut the cord” and look for shows on the Web?
(Technorati) – Not long ago, Professor Ziga Turk, the Minister of Growth in Slovenia, posed a simple question to his Twitter followers: Using the Letter “I”, name a characteristic of the future Internet as you want it to be.
Tweets rushed in, with many “I”deas on how tomorrow’s internet should or could be. Ignorance, Intelligence, Integration, Imperfection and even Ipodification were all tweets that came in and showed just how difficult it would be to form a consensus view on the future of the internet.