Lynne d Johnson



« June 2007 | Diary | August 2007 »

07.29.07 11:04 PM

Back From BlogHer '07

I moderated a panel at BlogHer in Chicago this past weekend. It was great as always. Learned a lot more about the business of blogging, and more about some technologies that I'll share here soon. Also found out that other tan the BlogHer co-founders, I'm the only person who has spoken at all three BlogHer conferences, plus BlogHer business in New York.

I'll have a big wrap up post on FCNow tomorrow all about it.

Elizabeth Edwards was there and I got a great photo of her being interviewed by Lisa Stone. I've uploaded it to my Flickr account here and here. They were taken with my T-Mobile Wing, so don't expect them to be great as it's only a 2 megapixel camera on the device.

It's also cool to see the BlogHer community, that's based on the drupal platfrom, tying into Chris Carfi's Haystack Networking to provide complete profiles in the BlogHer membership directory. It's a powerful tool, and TechCrunch recently wrote about it in a post called 9 Ways to Build Your Own Social Network.

Another cool thing about BlogHer this year was that it was hosted simultaneously in Second Life, and the Second Life version of the conference even had its own registration here.

I met a lot of great new people there and even rediscovered some old friends. As always it was great to see: Professor Kim, Liz Henry, Laina Dawes, Liza Sabater, Maria Niles, and many, many others -- far too many to mention them all in fact.

As for some of the first timers at BlogHer, I want to give a special shout out to: Colette Ellis of Instep Consulting and Competent Advantage (we graduated High School together); Stephanie M. Cockerl of nextSTEPH (we went to grad school together); Valencia Roner of WhyBlackWomenAreAngry; and Paula Neal Mooney of PaulaNealMooney and WatchFreeEpisodes.

I've already mentioned in my post on Old Black Media finally jumping into the Web 2.0 era that I met Terry Glover of I've also twittered (or is it tweeted) in great detail about being excited to run into Aliza Pilar Sherman on the elevator the first night at BlogHer and having her remember that I interviewed her way back in the days. If you don't know who she is, and you're a woman on the Internet, you better go find out by reading her bio, as she's one of the original 'Net Divas.

Of course it was good to see Melek Pulatkonak of hakia, as always, and learning about the search engine's new scoop bar. Also Christine Songco of Google, kudos on that promotion to Developer Relations, Open Source, and much thanks for that Google T-shirt.

There were so many people to meet, so many things to learn, and so many things to do, that I just won't be able to capture it all either here or on the FCNow blog. At the least though, I just wanted to make sure that I captured the few people I've mentioned in this space, in this post. If I left anyone else out, I'm sorry, the brain is fried and suffering from a bout of TMI at this present moment.

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07.28.07 05:14 PM

Old Black Media Gets A Whiff of Web 2.0

I've been holding back on this post as I've been waiting to see what IAC is doing with their Black venture, what Dame Dash is really doing with BlockSavvy or even what's to come of the Global Grind (a project that I can't really talk about right now, but try to get yourself an invite and you'll find out what it is).

lately I've noticed that many old black media spaces are stepping up, reviving their sites, and bringing on various elements of Web 2.0. They're are no YouTube or MySpace killers here, and yet perhaps, even some of these slightest changes being made are all that needs to be done for each of these site's respective audiences. Overall, each site has a cleaner look, similar to a blog style, with easier navigation, and more video and community tools.

BlackEnterprise officially announced the relaunch of their site last week, but I've been watching things from the background as the business book slowly rolled out some site enhancements. Now users can access:

"a multimedia library with unlimited, free-of-charge video access to black enterprise's television programs, Our World with Black Enterprise and Black Enterprise Business Report, as well as audio access to be's radio program, Black Enterprise Magazine's Keys to a Better Life"

Articles have ratings and comments functionality, but overall the site is really making great use of SEO or Web 2.0 viral marketing tools, such as simple digg links or even RSS feeds.

I'm not really certain that has relaunched, but I know it looks entirely different than it has in the past. Perhaps VibeVixen, Honey -- or even the fabulous online only fashion & beauty site ClutchMagazine -- has the corporate powers that be shaking in their boots.

The deal is this, it's a cleaner look, more white space, easier to figure out where things are and what they are. Icons now clearly display videos and photos, and site fonts appear to attempt to target a younger demographic. Again no social networking tools here, though some interactivity in terms of trying to get readers involved in becoming featured in future articles and of course commenting is built into each article template.

I don't even remember how I happened upon this discovery, because according to the site's senior editor, Terry Glover, who I just met at BlogHer in Chicago, they haven't even officially announced that the site exists.

When I first happened upon it, I thought it came from the input of the new group publisher of Ebony and Jet, Kenard Gibbs. What I've learned since, is the site is the brainchild of Eric Easter, Chief of Digital Strategy, and Glover herself.

The site provides daily content across various topics, such as politics, arts & culture, entertainment, travel and living. Like the previous two sites, there's a video focus but it looks as if the content is coming from external partners. Using the Brightcove player works well for both video and photo gallery usage, as a partner, Brightcove is an excellent distribution vehicle bringing a site traffic it's not getting on its own -- as long as its content is tagged appropriately. There are RSS Feeds there, but I don't see any opportunities for community involvement.

Of course I'm critiquing the site before it even looks like it's fully ready for the public. So I'll keep a watch out.

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07.27.07 04:57 PM

Why Aren't More Black Women Getting Promoted?

This from Diversity Inc today:

"Black women aspire to corporate leadership, but they don't feel that hard work and a positive outlook will pay off, finds a new League of Black Women survey. Many feel persistent stereotypes are stifling their talent and potential, and poor utilization of their skill sets and education relegates them to dead-end jobs, which leads to lower engagement and fewer meaningful connections at work.

A few highlights from the survey of black women:

  • Nearly 80 percent think racial attitudes diminish their ability to be effective leaders

  • Only 57 percent feel they can reach their potential in spite of these barriers

  • Only 20 percent are "very satisfied" with their overall lives, which is based on the quality of their personal and professional relationships, especially with each other, having black-female executive role models and opportunities for career development

  • Sixty-two percent say they give more of themselves at work when they feel valued for who they are, which many feel doesn't happen often enough">>>

The articles goes on to discuss what employers can do to remedy this situation. I'm not certain I agree with it all. I'm not certain that I want to be the recipient of advancement because I was in a "fast-track" program. Shouldn't there just be a standard across the board that doesn't have to factor in what your sex is or what your color is? I know I'm sounding as if I don't think there's a racial problem in corporate America. I do know it exists. But what I'm suggesting is that there is a level playing field, that hiring managers are trained in diversity. Ok, I'm dreaming. But not really.

I did find one factor in the article to be true in my own life.

"Some black women feel pressured to hide their authentic personal styles and professional perspectives to conform to the majority culture, which may undermine their ability to contribute because they can't bring their whole selves to the table."

I didn't always feel this way though. It's more because the parts of myself I'm hiding have nothing to do with my race, but instead with the fact that I was in a leadership role previously and am used to working in a certain manner. I hide that leader inside myself so as not to appear overly aggressive to the overall team. It can be a bit of a burden though and often frustrating.

Anyway, I'm rambling. What do you think of this recent survey as it regards black women in leadership roles.

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07.25.07 06:04 PM

Your Own Text Messaging Program

You're probably thinking that I have far too much time on my hands. First I'm making Blidgets for my Blog -- and well now I'm starting my own mobile texting program. I signed up with TextMarks to create my own keyword so that people can subscribe to my mobile alerts. Kinda' hot huh? I know.

Just a year ago, to enter the texting game meant dishing out $1000/month for your own short code. That's the number that you have a subscriber send a keyword to. With TextMarks, at least for now, there is no fee. So I've been able to test out my own text messaging program. Would be a nice means of keeping mobile users abreast of your blog updates and other haps. (I know that's what I have Twitter for. But how could I write about this shit if I didn't at least try it.)

Use the Widget below to subscribe to my text alerts. If you're interested in a Widget of my blog, that can be used on other sites, or in iGoogle or MyYahoo, check out my Widgetbox Blidget.

Both of these programs could be successful for one off marketing programs. I could see the viral effectiveness of it all right now.

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07.20.07 11:52 AM

Blidget Marketing for Your Blog

You've heard of widgets right? They're the next hot Web 2.0, excuse me I mean Web 3.0, Web marketing tool. They are little boxes containing a feed from your site, that can be used on other sites. In some cases, they even work like mini application. For a better explanation, read Frank Gruber's, of the blog Somewhat Frank, entry on Widgets and Web 2.0 and then read Daniela Capistrano's entry on the WidgetCon 2007 conference, WidgetCon 2007 Thoughts: Daniela Style (Pt 1). I tied them both together in a blog entry for Fast Company that was targeted toward brand marketing, Why Your Web Marketing Strategy Needs A Widget.

With all that said, I put my actions where my words are. I believe in the power of widgets, I use them on both my MySpace and Facebook profiles. I took my belief one step further and went to Widgetbox created a widget for the Fast Company staff blog and another one for my own blog.

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07.17.07 03:08 AM

Friday, July 20 is Final SXSW Panel Submission Deadline

"You have just one more week to submit your panel idea for the 2008 SXSW Interactive Festival. That's right, the deadline for this process is Friday, July 20. All submissions received by this deadline will be posted on the 2008 Panel Picker, an innovative web application that allows the web community to give their feedback on which programming is most appropriate for SXSW 2008."
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07.11.07 03:36 PM

Board Bangers Go Platinum in Peer-to-Peer Networks

I'm not entirely certain that I understand this concept.

Today: Newly launched record label, Jaded Entertainment just announced today that the Board Bangers, a teenage skateboarding and urban rap music group, made history by being the fastest new artist or group to go “platinum” in the growing peer to peer world of file sharing.

How do you go platimun in p2p?

"In only the first 10 days, 1 million people downloaded the music video for their single, "Cause The Beat’s Hot.""

Is there some kind of soundscan service that determines how many downloads make platinum status? Sure 1 million usually makes something platinum, but that's usually related to sales, isn't it? Or am I missing something?

Either way, it says a lot about the music industry and the power that p2p still has over how youth listen to and discover music (and video).

Klee Irwin, CEO of the group’s label, Jaded Entertainment, said, “Nearly every computer on the planet is now connected to every other through the Internet. And the music industry is being forced to change because of this fact and the reality that people are going to share their music with friends at the push of a button on their keyboards. In fact, four out of five teenagers engage in music file sharing. But even so, we were shocked and pleased to see how fast music fans endorsed the Board Bangers. It was a real rush to go platinum this fast. It felt like a viral explosion happening right in front of our eyes.”

Just visit their site,, to check out their overall marketing strategy. The first impressive move is that upon a site visitation one encounters a group video marketing their wares -- with discounts included. They've also completed videos for every song on their album, are releasing two albums simultaneously, and they have a documentary already before even having established a career.

As for the group's talent, I reserve that for the critics. Musically its a sonic creation that rests somewhere between Crunk and Krump -- I'm not really listening to much more than the beat. I'm more interested in how the group is using the Internet(s) to change the music game.

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07.10.07 06:45 PM

Privacy, Exposure, Risk: Can you maintain safer spaces online?

I'll be in Chicago later this month to moderate the panel, "Privacy, Exposure, Risk: Can you maintain safer spaces online?" with feminists erotica writer Susie Bright, Ann Crady, CEO of parenting site Maya's Mom, and Tara Hunt, who recently wrote "The insidious danger of danger.

The topic:

When there are other people involved, blogging can be just like sex. You can never guarantee it’s 100% safe, but you can make it safer. And oh, by the way, “safe” can be in the eye of the beholder. Discuss where you draw the line to protect yourself, those close to you and your entire online community both around your individual blog, or in larger more structured online communities, from family friendly sites to sex sites.

This discussion takes me back to "Imagining a Gender Neutral Black Male/Female Relationship":

Not too long ago, many lauded the great equalizing affects of the Internet. In these praises proponents pointed to the anonymous nature of the virtual identity, in which a non-ethnic specific or non-gender specific cybername enables an Internet user to mask his or her color, and therefore ethnicity, or gender. And while on many levels, cyberspace does democratize communication it truly depends on the context. Because of this, cyberspace enables a new paradigm for exploring the social construct of black male/female relationships. Instead of destructive and non-communicative relationships, cyberspace enables black men and women to forge relationships via new pathways.

While a traditional communications model sender, message, and receiver is employed by the technologies that enable communications in cyberspace, because the virtual self often has no face and no audible voice, most forms of Internet communication lends itself to gender neutralization. From this standpoint, it could be argued that the communications taking place are not real, in that communicators are not displaying their true identities, and that often makes an adequate analysis murky. Yet in my experiences, I have seen many scenarios play out, from that of a gender-neutral cyberspace, to a masculinized one, wherein heterosexual males tend to penetrate the screen, to that of a sexualized cyberspace. And still, I maintain the position that cyberspace offers a safer space wherein black males and females can communicate and build stronger relationships and understandings of one another, thereby bringing about true community building.>>>

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07.10.07 11:25 AM

No, It Ain't Over

Very early this morning, I readied a post about my end of blogging -- in this space at least. But I deleted the entry just as soon as I posted it. I decided against posting it just in case I had something more to say. But according to my logs, it looks as if some people managed to access the page, though as I said it was deleted, and the entire site was rebuilt. So just how is it that that page still exists somewhere out there in the ether, especially when an attempt to post a comment on that entry returns this MT error message, "No such entry at lib/MT/App/ line 916."?

But anyway...

Anyway, I too hastily announced my blogging retirement. Feeling a little overwhelmed in general, and especially about feeling committed to writing in this blog. You see, July 1 marked my sixth anniversary of writing in this space -- and it went unannounced and uneventful. I'm under the impression that no one really reads this page anyway, as my posts are too few and inbetween. But I'll still be around, randomly posting a few tidbits here and there, at least until the summer runs out or I decide otherwise.

(Update: It's come to my attention, via Nova, that I probably needed to delete the page from my server, not just MT. Oh well, it's out there, and now I've even linked to it.)

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07.09.07 11:10 AM

When WIll T-Mobile Get the HTC Touch?

A short while ago, I upgraded from an MDA to a Wing, and though I enjoy the experience, I'm not a big Windows fan. Never have been, though I run the OS on parallels on my MacBook Pro. It's just that in my business, you have to have access to all Web browsers in all OSes. But that's another story for another time.

Back to this mobile phone thing. It would seem likely, that I'd be a good candidate for an iPhone. I was an early adopter of the iPod, and in fact still own my first generation -- though it's click wheel no longer works properly. I've been using Macs, since Macs existed. So why am I playing around with these Windows Mobile devices?

Truth is, it's what my carrier, T-Mobile carries, so it's what I'm going with. And there are ways I can make my Wing imitate an iPhone experience.

First, there's lifehacker's tip for skinning the Windows Mobile device to make it more like an iPhone.

Then there's iContact freeware to add iPhone scrolling like capabilities to your contacts on your windows mobile device.

But really, I'd just rather wait until T-Mobile picks up the HTC Touch as seen in the video below. (HTC made both the MDA and the Wing.)

I've been watching this video on repeat now, for about a month. But like my concerns about the iPhone, I wonder if a touch-screen experience is really going to enable me to accomplish the work tasks I'm used to accomplishing on my device.

As for Verizon users, there's an iPhone like phone in the works as well.

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07.06.07 07:27 PM

88HIPHOP Rises Again To Join Forces With Joost

Now here's a blast from the past, something that was way ahead of its time. I remember going to the studio in SoHo on Broadway and Houston to watch hip-hop cats get recorded for video casts. And now there's this...

New York NY - 88HIPHOP, the first provider of online Hip-Hop video, announced today a syndication deal with online TV distribution platform Joost. 88HIPHOP, an innovative Hip-Hop media company that helped launch the careers of many of today's biggest Hip-Hop celebrities will offer Joost viewers a free video-on-demand branded channel dedicated to Hip-Hop music and culture from around the world.

"The constant innovation of the 88HIPHOP brand is incredibly interesting and allows them to excite digital mediums successfully." Said Josh Harris, CEO, "We promote the nurturing of Hip-Hop, and our mission is to continue to provide a standard for Hip-Hop. Partnering with a platform such as Joost will enable us to reach a broader global audience in television-style via the Internet. With 88HIPHOP, we are providing compelling programming within an interactive community-driven environment, which offers respectable advertisers an efficient means to reach our community." Said Randy Nkonoki-Ward, President, 88HIPHOP.

88HIPHOP partnered with The Pseudo Online Network and launched online in May of 1996 giving Hip-Hop a home to showcase its culture prior to the dot-com crash and Hip-Hop's mass appeal. 88HIPHOP produced hundreds of hours of vintage Hip-Hop footage with some of today's biggest Hip-Hop names, many before they were famous. 88HIPHOP's mission once again is to share the spotlight with the Hip-Hop community while establishing a leading global media standard.

Randy Nkonoki-Ward, President, 88HIPHOP, said "88HIPHOP has a unique opportunity to position itself as the market leader in the aggressively developing Hip-Hop media sector, carving out our strength as a Hip-Hop content provider of independent and major talent worldwide."

88HIPHOP produces premium Hip-Hop content, while also aggregating notable branded content. 88HIPHOP's first content partnership is with Fat Beats, Inc., a well known Hip-Hop specialty store, to produce Fat Beats TV, independent Hip-Hop artist's music videos, interviews and performances. Programming currently featured on 88HIPHOP includes PSA, a short form, pirate style talk show with unpredictable hosts and 88HIPHOP CLASSIC which features classic 88HIPHOP revealing moments from their vintage video library.

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07.05.07 12:04 PM

Hip-Hop Dictionary Launches

It's a little Digg and a little Urban Dictionary combined. It's HipHopIntel, a social networking hip-hop dictionary brought to you by Arnold Network. I don't yet know who or what Arnold Network is, but it's expanding to include search, local listings, lyrics, blogs, and more. It looks like the company was formed online in 2006, but this is the first I'm hearing of them.

072007 update: the Arnold Network is also behind UrbanKind, an urban wireless news provider, often said to be in direct competition with UrbanWorld Wireless.

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07.02.07 12:20 AM

Honey Magazine Launches New Site:

New Online Format Provides Digital, Unique Content and Social Networking for Growing Multi-Cultural Audience

New York, N.Y. - Sahara Media, Inc. announced the launch of Honey Magazine’s new social networking website for multi-cultural females, The website is anchored by Honey’s wide range of stories covering fashion, beauty and lifestyle, videos and a Career Center. also provides the opportunity to follow the lives of more than 35 Bloggers in eight countries.

"The 18-34 year old urban, female is one of the fastest growing segments today. At the same time, her fashion and entertainment choices as well as her career and relationship goals are now defining mainstream American culture", said Philmore Anderson IV, Founder and CEO of Sahara Media, Inc. "In light of this trend, there are no media properties – traditional or digital – which are fully serving the needs of this smart, vibrant and growing community. Sahara Media aims to be that media platform." offers lifestyle coverage with "Fresh Out The Pack" hot new entertainment from Rihanna to Amy Whinehouse, "Honeywood" videos, "Sweet Spot" hot beauty and fashion products, "Taste of Honey" tasty people, places and things, and the "Hot Spot" for pop culture trends, blogs and jobs. Honey’s Editor-at-Large, Michaela angela Davis offers weekly commentary on hot topics for the Urbanista . The "Contest Corner" features TAG Heuer’s Pink "Zenith" Sunglasses.

The "Real Talk" video blog features on-camera interviews and encourages viewer comments. Users can search the Career Center for diversity opportunities from leading corporations. “Honey of the Week” supports women who are making a difference, giving to others, or striving to succeed and encourages women to submit their story. Honey is a unique online experience which encourages women everywhere to support each other.

"We are thrilled to connect one-on-one with so many interesting women who join us from around the world and reside in eight countries collectively. This multi-media experience is for a trendsetting group who continues to successfully inspire each other. It’s important that people know is here, delivering relevant female voices and creating powerful networks. Sahara Media continues to celebrate Honey’s legacy, sharing the brilliance of who we are today, and who we can be tomorrow", said Sahara Media’s Chief Creative Officer Suzanne Burge. consists of four major components which support the empowerment of females: community, communication, career and connection.

Honey Community – social networking and event platform fosters relationships and support amongst like-minded individuals

Honey Communication –editorial features, stories, blogs, videos, pictures, ideas and opinions are shared on what’s breaking and where

Honey Career – candidates apply directly to recruiters while searching thousands of jobs

Honey Connection – the newsletter and text updates allow readers to stay ahead of exclusive inside tips, interviews, shopping news and special events is proud to host a network of over 35 female trend-setting Bloggers who cover style to culture to entertainment, including: Fusicology, The Crème Spot, The Fashion Bomb, Pearl, Styleaholics Night Out, Tired of Being A Pretty Fat Girl, I Like Her Style, A Belle In Brooklyn, Shellie R. Warren, The "B Life", Everyone’s A Critic, Elle Word, Batch Please, Scandalous Beauty, Style Chile, The Make Up Girl, Life After College and Sierra Visions, plus resident Socialites in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Detroit, Washington D.C., Houston, Memphis, Raleigh-Durham N.C., Chicago, Columbus, Jamaica, Paris, Tokyo, Montreal, Jamaica, London, Toronto and Singapore.

(source: Sahara Media, Inc.)

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