All Articles Tagged "digital"
College students are often early adopters, the first to try the latest social networks and mobile devices. But how do the colleges and universities they attend stack up? Here are 10 HBCUs that are doing cool things in the digital and social media space.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 21.6 million students were enrolled in American colleges and universities in 2012. With today’s youth constantly texting, tweeting, Tumblring, posting statuses on Facebook and updating Instagram, among other social networking sites at a rapid pace, schools need to engage with applicants and current students regularly. It’s clear the days of shiny brochures, flashy websites and in-person campus visits are no longer enough to attract high-caliber students.
Colleges and universities should embrace social media as a means to build relationships and create emotional connections with prospective students.
Black Enterprise looks at four ways that colleges and universities can improve their digital game. With this new option, it’s definitely something that higher education is exploring.
Want to break into the music industry? Open a new tab in your browser and find your way to your favorite video-sharing site. Millions of people browse YouTube every day, discovering new acts through music videos and live performances. The site’s related videos section makes it the perfect tool for musicians to get their music in front of a receptive audience.
For hip hop artists, YouTube videos have become the new mixtape. The perfect fix for audiences with shrinking attention spans and an industry that favors a hot single to a good album. Savvy musicians are converting video views into new followers, ticket purchasers, and song downloaders.
If there was any doubt about video’s place in the future of the music industry, media research firm Nielsen recently reported YouTube as the number one place teens go to listen to music (64 percent). YouTube isn’t just making performers stars. The digital landscape is ripe with opportunities behind the scenes, for those strategic enough to spot them. Case in point, Simon Cowell just this week launched a YouTube audition channel, The You Generation.
Artists Catch Up With the Times
Established brands have already seen the light, and accept short-form video as the future of marketing. However, independent artists often miss out on basic parts of these marketing initiatives like brand partnerships, advertising dollars, and technical tools that boost their visibility due to a lack of knowledge.
Enter Volume Visual, the recently launched multi-channel network brainchild of digital
entrepreneurs Jabari Johnson and Benoni Tagoe. Both are YouTube veterans: Jabari for his documentary series chronicling music’s hottest rising stars and Benoni as a producer of the hit online series, Awkward Black Girl.
“One of our main goals is helping artists’ channels develop their audience,” Jabari said. “We come from YouTube backgrounds and have a lot of knowledge about the space. At the same time we have a space in L.A. that artists can come and shoot videos for free. We empower the artists with the tools to help them create the visuals on a more frequent basis and help to cut costs.”
Staying Ahead Of The Curve
Think of multi-channel networks (MCNs) as the digital era’s answer to Viacom, affiliating with multiple YouTube channels and undertaking business areas like promotion, funding, and partnerships so creatives can focus on what they do best. Rather than having a few dozen-cable networks under their umbrella, MCNs have thousands of YouTube channels.
The top MCNs rack up views that rival some cable networks, with the most successful companies targeting mainstream music, gaming, and pop culture. Hip hop culture, Volume Visual’s target, is noticeable absent from the mix. The venture highlights a clever strategy for staying ahead of the curve in the rapidly changing business of entertainment: pay attention to what’s shaping the landscape and figure out how to make what works for similar markets work for you.
The key to cementing a place in the future of entertainment industry may lie in creating your dream job, rather than applying for it. Technology is changing the landscape of countless industries. Odds are embracing those changes will help you anticipate trends before the old guard catches on.
“I always say that it’s never smart to bet against technology,” says Jabari. “Technology is not only at the forefront of this industry, but our culture. Finding ways to have technology interact with the normal human experience – that’s always going to win.”
C. Cleveland covers professional development topics and entrepreneurial rebels who blaze their own career paths. She explores these stories and more on The Red Read, Twitter (@CleveInTheCity) and Facebook (/MyReadIsRed).
Welcome to another “Behind the Click” profile! We’ve looked at many sides of tech thus far in the journey, but today we’re going to add satellite to the mix. That’s right, satellite, as in radio. Thanks to this type of technology, we’ve been able to expand radio options and add more voices of color to the mix.
Shawna Renee is a pioneer in recognizing that the satellite technology would change the face of radio. She’s been working in this space for 15 years and now owns her own multimedia company entitled Cocoa Mode Media. Find out why Renee has been selected as one of the “Entrepreneurs to Watch” by the Minority Media and Telecom Council. She recently came up on my radar and wanted to share her insight with you.
Current Occupation: Host, Cocoa Mode on SiriusXM Satellite Radio
Favorite website: FabLife101.com
Favorite read: Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Recent read: Sisters of the Yam: Black Women and Self-Recovery by Bell Hooks
2013′s Ultimate Goal: I have two goals. 1. To complete my book. 2. To expand the Cocoa Mode brand to include a series of workshops and retreats nationwide, designed to inspire and empower women to create extraordinary lives for themselves and their families.
Quote Governing Your Mission or a Quote that Inspires You: “Pursue the things you love doing, and do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you. All other tangible rewards will come as a result.” –Maya Angelou
Twitter handle: @shawnareneelive
Madame Noire: So where are you from originally? How did you come to choose Howard University?
Shawna Renee: I was born and raised in Detroit. I knew Howard had an excellent communications department and I was certain that attending a prestigious HBCU would give me the training and the confidence I needed to succeed. It was by far one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
MN: It seems radio was your thing from the jump. Did you find it difficult to break into it, initially?
SR: My mother, father, and stepfather work in media related jobs, so it was pretty easy for me to break into the business. What was difficult was convincing people that I deserved to be here.
MN: So I learned that you worked with terrestrial radio in Baltimore for a time and then made the move to satellite radio. How did you get involved with SiriusXM Satellite. What is a typical day like there for you?
SR: I started working with XM Satellite Radio in 2002 as a program director. At that time, I was employed by a company called Wordspace Satellite Radio and we had an agreement with XM to produce four music channels. I was in charge of the World Music channel called Worldzone. In 2006, while on maternity leave from Worldspace, I “birthed” Cocoa Mode and approached The Power, XM’s African American talk channel, about carrying the show and they agreed. I’ve also worked as a producer for “The Joe Madison Show” and written, produced and hosted a number of specialty programs for SiriusXM as well.
There is no such thing as a typical day for me. My days range from spending four to five hours surfing the Web looking for interesting stories and show ideas, to writing scripts, promos, and blogs posts. I can also be found pre-recording interviews for the show.
As Black History Month kicks off, it’s important to not only recognize the African Americans who have impacted history and created the inventions of the past, but also those who are diving in and making changes today. Check out these 10 great black innovators who are developing educational mobile apps, disrupting how the police force works, encouraging other tech entrepreneurs, and more.
Behind the Click: Veteran and Tech Entrepreneur Sophia Marnell On the “Power Of a Woman With IT Skill”
This installment of Behind the Click features Sophia Marnell, owner and president of Washington D.C.-based Alexton, a software development, network configuration, and system administration company, all under the IT umbrella. Her clients include NASA, just to name one. Not bad, huh? Sophia also participates in some special philanthropic activities as well — and, she’s a veteran! Read on to get the full scoop.
Favorite website: Amazon
Favorite read: The Way We Were by Arthur Laurents
Recent read: 50 Shades of Gray… “Fell into the hype!”
2013′s ultimate goal: Continue to provide our high quality services to our current clients and grow.
Quote Governing Your Mission or a Quote that Inspires You: To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. – e. e. cummings )
Twitter handle: Do not have one!
Madame Noire: I read in your bio that you attended Maine Maritime Academy. Not your average school! How did you decide upon that institution?
Sophia Marnell: Deciding to go to Maine Maritime seemed like a standard next step to get guidance to becoming a mechanical engineer. My father was a Master Sergeant in the US Air Force, career military, and was stationed in Maine. I love the structure, organization, and challenge of attending the school. However, at 17, we are naive on how the world really works, and must learn valuable lessons to build the steps to success. Being the only African-American girl was challenging and it made me adapt to an environment that I was not accustomed to. I realized that hard work and humor was the key to making it through many things.
MN: So it seems you acquired your interest in IT prior to college. How did it come about? I read that you are a veteran — our first as a profile! Did you work somehow in IT while serving?
SM: I was in the Army Intelligence Corp as an intelligence analyst. Being in the Army as an analyst gave me the opportunity to work with high level technology systems and solutions that most people dream about. With knowledge gained from my college courses and an interest in the emerging technology scene, IT became a good fit quite quickly. As a veteran, you have to make hard choices as to where you go next, while remembering all the things you learned. By using my analyzing expertise and technology, it soon became my mission to create and develop IT solutions as a career.
MN: Your earlier positions after school were at places like the the State Department and NASA. Tell me more about what you did.
SM: Government contracting looked to be a promising career. With my background and plenty of agencies looking for good people, the Washington metropolitan area became my home. I worked as a IT consultant developing and creating solutions for identified problems in various aspects of the government spaces such as software, financial, trend analysis, or career development.
Technology was moving quickly, and I worked my full-time job during the day and studied emerging technologies at night while trying to be the best wife and mother I could. I was very lucky to have a strong family support that helped me to get to the next level and understood that at times I was off my game! I tried to keep up with the changes knowing that information technology was going to change the way the government operated. I wanted to be a part of and lead that change.
Social Media Week, the twice-annual international digital conference, will be taking place in Africa for the first time in its four-year history.
Social Media Week events take place in major cities around the world during the same five-day time frame. The first Social Media Week of 2013 will take place February 18 through 22. Through a series of presentations, discussions, and other events, the conference seeks to “[explore] the social, cultural and economic impact of social media,” the conference website says.
Among the cities participating in next month’s SMW is Lagos, Nigeria. Lagos is the seventh fastest-growing city in the world according to a press release we received with the news. The other cities will be: Copenhagen, New York, Hamburg, Miami, Milan, Paris, Tokyo, Singapore, and Washington DC. Among the 24 events that will be taking place in Lagos are “Entrepreneurship in the Digital Age” and a keynote address from Billboard magazine’s deputy editor Yinka Adegoke.
If you’re going to be staying Stateside and would like to attend a Social Media Week event here, the schedules for New York, DC, and Los Angeles are also available.
We’re going to be checking out the event. What about you?
According to a new law that went into effect in five states on January 1, employers can no longer require employees or job applicants to reveal the passwords to their personal social media profiles.
So if you live in Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, California, or Illinois you are now protected by social media privacy laws that forbid overly-intrusive social media snooping. Michigan has a similar law, which was enacted in December.
“The legislation is necessary because there is a hole in existing law that prevents employers from intruding into an employee’s legal off-duty conduct,” State Assemblywoman Nora Campos, who authored California’s bill, told NBC (via UPI).
While this new law protects workers’privacy, employees and job applicants still need to be mindful of what they post online, reports The Huffington Post. Nothing is stopping employers from monitoring online accounts and taking an issue with what they find.
We’d also suggest that, if your employer does ask for this information, that you gently directly them to this new law when you want to decline. The law is on your side, but you should always be diplomatic.
This December is the third annual Digital Sisterhood Month, the brainchild of writer Ananda Leeke and the key program of the Digital Sisterhood Network, a group of women in technology and social media who connect on and offline.
Launched in December 2010, the Network started as a way for women to come together, celebrate their accomplishments, and connect with each other, Leeke told Madame Noire. Leeke is also writing a book called Digital Sisterhood, which is set to publish in early 2013.
“A lot of times women, and women of color, their voices may not be heard,” she said, noting that the group is for all women. “Disabled women, lesbian women, bisexual women, anyone who is not in the mainstream, who is different, may not have access to larger forms of media to tell their story. The Digital Sisterhood Network is celebrating women’s stories.”
After working online for more than 25 years, Leeke said she was struck by how many women were also in the industry, and their generosity. She wanted to document that, not only in a book, but also through a network that would bring together all the women she met at conferences and events.
Naturally, the Digital Sisterhood Network connects online via its website and social media sites, including Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. They hosted a Blogger-in-Residence program in 2011, host weekly Digital Sisterhood Wednesdays and launched the Digital Sisterhood Leadership Lifestyle and Living Well Initiative in 2012.
Throughout the month of December, the Network is hosting online and offline events in Washington, DC, where Leeke lives, and New York, where there is a group of women involved in the project. Events included radio interviews, group outings to museums, yoga field trips, Twitter chats, Meetups, and more.
The response has been great, and Leeke has been documenting Digital Sisterhood Month on the blog and via social channels.
“Next year, we’ll continue to work on the Leadership Initiative and focus on identifying leaders and celebrating them,” Leeke said of the Network’s goals and plans for 2013. “We’re looking to find partners in different cities to do events there. And I’ll be promoting the book.”
Digital tools are changing the way consumers shop, and this has never been more prevalent than during the 2012 holiday shopping season. After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which saw $59.1 billion in total spending, including online sales, consumers have continued to not only shop online, but also use social media, mobile devices, and more to help in their holiday purchases.
According to engagement advertising company SocialVibe, 69 percent of consumers said they will do their holiday shopping both in-store and online, while 27 percent said they will handle everything in-store and only four percent said they will only shop online.
In fact, comScore has been tracking online spending and found that between November 1 and December 7, 2012, online sales were $26.8 billion. Compare spending to previous years and it is obvious how much e-commerce is on the rise. Looking at the week ending December 2, according to comScore, online sales were up 14 percent compared to the same time frame in 2011.
This year in particular, mobile has risen as a big part of the shopping experience. In the SocialVibe data, 28 percent of shoppers plan to use their phones to make shopping lists, 36 percent will take and save photos of items they are interested in, and 27 percent said they would check prices via their mobile devices, also known as showrooming.
Using mobile phones has become de riguer for shoppers and eBay reported that non-holiday days (ie not Black Friday or Cyber Monday) aren’t always so average. Sunday, December 9 was the largest mobile shopping day for eBay and PayPal, up 133 percent compared to the biggest mobile shopping day of 2011, December 4. The two companies expect $10 billion in mobile transactions and payments overall this year.
And we can’t forget about social media. While referrals from social channels may not be as direct, consumers still turn to their friends and family for advice and ideas via social media when it comes to holiday shopping. Or the networks themselves. Facebook just unveiled Gifts across the US.
The online and mobile aspect has made it seem like things are slowing down in-store. But retailers are bullish about in-store sales as well, and as last-minute shoppers wait to make purchases too late to be shipped in time, in-store sales will continue to be a major part of holiday shopping.
ShopperTrak, which analyzes retail foot traffic, reported that the week after Thanksgiving, the week ending December 1, saw an increase in foot traffic of 3.7 percent, and sales were up 2.3 percent. That week is traditionally a bit of a down time for retailers, right after Black Friday, so this bodes well for in-store sales for the rest of the year.
Overall, looking at all the digital and in-person ways consumers are shopping these days, it’s all about the multi-channel experience. Consumers want to—and will—interact with brands through the channels they prefer and those retailers who can take advantage of that will win in the end.
“You can buy online, return it in the store, go online and check product available, or go shop for it at the store,” Mark Larson, global head of retail at KPMG, recently told Business Insider. “We are seeing retailers focusing on being able to offer all of that.”
Are you an online or in-store shopper? How have you changed your shopping habits thanks to your smartphone?