01.30.08 09:23 PM
Busy times again. Realizing I haven't posted in nearly two weeks, and it's amazing bc I have lots of thoughts. I guess nowadays I share more on Facebook and Twitter than I do here. Also, we're working on a big project at work that's been eating up a lot of my time. And then I've been totally focused on working with Angela and Markus over at BlackWeb2.0, I swear that site gets better and better everyday.
Another task I've been working on is adding more sites to the Black Tech Bloggers List. Hopefully it is a useful resource for folks. As I stated in an earlier post, I'm looking to make it its own page on my site, and I think I have enough sites listed now that it warrants that.
In other news, there are a few conferences coming up where I'll be working with some great folks to present some awesome panel discussions. Full details soon, but here's a taste of what I have coming up at SXSWi, BlogHer Biz, and EMP Pop Conference.
Angela Benton - BlackWeb2.0
N'Gai Croal - Level Up
Darla Mack - Darla Mack: Days In The Life of a Mobile Diva
Ronald Lewis - 24/7 with Ronald Lewis
Lena West - Social Media 360 and TechForward
Craig Nulan - Subrealism: Liminal Perspectives on Consensus Reality
April 3, 2008
"Presenting Four Case Studies: Successful Social Media Creation — Hearst Mobile" Interviewer
BlogHer Business '08 | New York, NY
Fast Company's Lynne d Johnson interviews Hearst Digital media's director of mobile, Sophia Stuart, about their initiative to take content and community mobile...realizing the promise of mobile ubiquity. Hear how they brainstormed over what content made sense for their mobile platforms from nine magazine properties, and about how they evangelized this new content internally and with surprisingly intimate efforts externally.
April 10-13, 2008
"Black Pop In The Web 2.0 Era" Co-Moderator
EMP Pop Conference | Seattle, WA
This roundtable will address the ongoing relationship between black popular music and new media. While well-traversed sites like Myspace, Youtube, Bebo and Second Life have created an unlikely bunch of DIY stars across race and class, it is no secret that the majority of digital sales in the mainstream music (and digital sales currently account for 40% percent of major labels' digital revenues) are in "urban" music. But what does all this digital activity mean for the production and reception of black music, on a global scale? Is black music more "free" in the Web 2.0 era? How does the ongoing global digital divide inform the present and future of black music?
01.18.08 11:20 PM
Black Tech Bloggers Redux
If you're a regular reader of my site, then you know that I'm putting together a panel for SXSWi called Where Are The Black Tech Bloggers?. There I also published a list of black tech(ish) bloggers, and now I'm thinking I need to develop a page like Tiffany B. Brown did for Black and Hispanic Women in Web Design.
I just want to publish the list again myself here first, and add a couple more links to the list.
The list includes blogs that are primarily focused on tech, but also others that blog about tech products and tools only sometimes. As well, I've also included a couple of blogs that discuss engineering and science as primary points of discussion.
I'm sure there are even more out there. We just haven't discovered them yet. Not everyone on this list identifies as a black tech blogger, and instead just as a tech blogger. This list just pulls together those who are tech bloggers who are members of the African Diaspora, regardless of how they identify themselves.
24/7 with Ronald Lewis
Dare Obasanjo aka Carnage4Life
Darla Mack: Days In The Life of a Mobile Diva
Fade to Play
jeepbastard: Entertainment Technology
Media Mafia Think Tank
The Meshverse Journal
The Michael Hurdle Show
Nigga Know Technology
Social Media 360
Subrealism: Liminal Perspectives on Consensus Reality
Terry White's Tech Blog
The Black CIO
tiffany b. brown
01.18.08 06:55 AM
Finding Last.fm for Windows Mobile While Lusting to Upgrade My HTC
The surprise that was mine when I happened upon this latest app for my Tmobile HTC Wing. It's interesting how I happened upon it though. I was actually searching for a list of all the software I had used when I turned my Wing into a quasi Touch/iPhone. Eventually, I had to take all of that software off because it was constantly eating up my memory.
Some of the tools I used to turn the Wing into a Touch:
First, a friend led me to the xda developers forum, where I came across HTC Touch - New Files For Our Wizards. Those files were huge, but my Today screen was the same experience as the Touch, as was my phone dialer, and CommManager. Prior to that, I was using Slide 2 Unlock, which somewhat emulates an iPhone home screen. Anyway, I also wanted similar keyboard and address book experiences as the iPhone, so I used the PocketCM Keyboard and the PocketCM Contacts. Why not just buy an iPhone you ask -- it's because I was really in love with my Wing and was even more in love with the idea of the HTC Touch.
It was a really great experience, but unfortunately all of those hacks would cause my phone to freeze, so I eventually pared down to just the Contacts app. It's not so much that the files were massive beasts, but running as programs they tended to eat up memory like a seagull eats up trash off the beach. But I eventually took that off also, as I constantly had to check for upgrades in order to have the most stable product. Doing all of this to my phone sort of took over my life for a good long while. That was another reason I had to finally take all of the apps off. I was too obsessed with them.
Anyway, as I was reviewing my experience with my Wing, I remembered that a while back I asked, "When WIll T-Mobile Get the HTC Touch?" So today, as I reminisced about my almost HTC Touch, I came across a few blogs that said that HTC Touch Dual goes to T-Mobile UK as the Touch Plus (it's also in Germany). This isn't bad news, in fact, it means that I could probably get my T-Mobile SIM to work in a Touch Plus, if I could only get my hands on one.
And just like everything else that happens to me, I started flying off on tangents while thinking about all this HTC Touch business. And then it caught my eye...
last.fm for Windows Mobile, with full support and download options from the last.fm Mobile discussion group. Not that I listen to much music on my Wing, because I still carry my iPod. But just for the purposes of giving this app a test run, I just might start, especially since in the past year I've had 2 or 3 iPods completely die on me (thanks for that Apple Care huh?) It's funny, I'm a Mac user down to my core, but ever since I used the MDA, and then upgraded to the Wing, I've found it in my heart to love a Windows product. I've heard people complain about both, but I've had no problems especially once I added extra memory to the phone in the expansion slot.
I browse the Web from my phone, check email, and conduct online social networking activities probably even more than I actually use the device as a phone. And then, I'm always testing out new apps on it. In fact, once Agile Messenger stopped being free and my annual to WebMessenger ran out, I just recently started using OctroTalk a mobile messaging client that's always on connected to Google Talk/Jabber with MSN, AIM, ICQ and Yahoo transports and features complete VOIP product. It's still in beta, but I actually like it a lot better than the other two, because it doesn't attempt to have all the bells and whistles that a desktop client does (obviously I think the other two tried to mimic a desktop client a little too much). Besides, this one has file transfer.
So that's it. That's how I discovered last.fm mobile. And since I've put this much into this post about it, I guess I'll download it, install it on the ol' device and let you know how it works out next week.
Blogged with Flock
01.16.08 03:39 PM
Music/Media Reads for 01.16.2008
Here's my take on what I've been reading online today. There's a connection between all of this: the writer's strike and its effect on television programming, so then where the future of programming goes online, while big studio movie rentals becomes easier and easier, as file-sharing in Sweden goes to court to become legal, and the recording industry continues to struggle with its declining sales. And let's not blame declining sales on rappers supposed use of steroids please.
But instead of writing some lengthy essay-ish read of all that's happening with music and media, I opt instead for the ease of a link blog post.
- Facebook asked to pull Scrabulous
From what I can tell, Scrabulous has somewhat become FB. Most people I know login specifically to play that game. What will they do now? Will FB lose traffic? Of course there's a fan protest afoot.
- Winfrey to start own TV network
As if she needed to do anything else to solidify her stronghold on media. I'm just interested in seeing what this means for Oprah.com.
- Jeepers, Rappers, Where’d You Get Those Arms and Torsos?
Jeff Chang said it best: “Not just the music industry, but a whole range of consumer products. Your body is your brand and you’ve got to maintain that image. The machoness and braggadoccio, that’s always been a part of hip-hop. What’s different at the highest levels of the money game in hip-hop is the size of it all.”
- 'American Idol' Premiere Lowest Rated in Four Years
Idol is down, but still a winner for top viewed on its night. But seriously, I'm thinking, can we expect all this reality madness to uphold forever? Aren't people going to want to start to see real shows again? With this writer's strike, reality TV appears to be the go-to guy for a solution. I see us ending up with a lot of bad programming. Can't we get more shows like The Wire on TV?
- Hoop Dreams
Personally, I think it's about time that the NBA came up with a global marketing strategy to take on Soccer.
- Big Cuts Planned at EMI
Trust me, the era of the independents is coming "again" soon. As CD sales continue to drop, more major label M&As take place, and more layoffs like this happen, only independents with a clear digital strategy that puts the consumer first is going to win.
- Swedish Politicians Push for Legalization of File-Sharing
Forward thinking in Sweden slaps copyright restrictions in the face. If file-sharing becomes legal in Sweden, will other countries follow suit? Will someone finally figure out a way to monetize the way the industry has been moving for years, or will the music industry continue to push the status quo and lose?
- Netflix Now Offers Subscribers Unlimited Streaming of Movies and TV Shows on Their PCs for Same Monthly Fee
Take that Apple. Netflix still owns this movie game.
01.10.08 04:03 PM
Hillary Vs Barack: Worthy Reads
Hillary vs. Barack? A Black (Male) Feminist Considers
by Mark Anthony Neal
I have to admit, that I haven't thought much about the gender question as it relates to the contest between Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. That is until Gloria Steinem shot a bow across the collective dome of so many folk who claim a progressive gender (and sexual) politics. Writing recently in the New York Times, Steinem asks aloud: what if it was "Achola Obama" and not Barack Obama who was running for president? According to Steinem, "nether [Achola Obama] nor Hillary Clinton could have used Mr. Obama's public style--or Bill Clinton's either--without being considered too emotional by Washington pundits." And while I'm with my colleague Salamishah Tillet, who suggested that Steinem didn't have to create "Achola Obama"--the example of Carol Moseley Braun's 2004 Presidential run would have sufficed--Steinem is on point when she asks "why is the sex barrier not taken as seriously as the racial one?" [Vibe.com for more]
Letter To My White Sisters: That Hurts My Feelings
By Maria Niles
Lately (especially post Iowa) I am seeing more and more of my white sisters saying that one of the reasons Hillary Clinton should be elected is because of the powerful, world changing, patriarchy smashing, awesome and beautiful message it would send. And I agree it would. But when you imply or flat out say that having a white woman in the White House is more important than having a black man there, that hurts my feelings as Hillary Clinton might say. [PopConsuer for more]
Other worthy links:
Liza Sabater of culture kitchen breaks down the hip-hop vote in: Why did Hillary win?
Jay Smooth's quick vlog thought on why Obama won in Iowa: Barack Obama and "Tolerance Fatigue"
Laura McKenna takes a look at the "chickosphere" to guage how women really view Hillary: What Do Women (Voters) Want?
Clay Cane on how Hillary got NH but also a peek ahead to SC and the black vote in: Miss Hill Cries, Billy Whines
My own post on Barack's celebrity: Obama's Iowa Win and the Power of Oprah
01.09.08 01:31 AM
Piracy and the Future of the Music Biz
Matt Mason recently sent me a copy of his book, The Pirate's Dilemma: How Youth Culture Reinvented Capitalism, and I have to say it's a must read especially in the times we live in when the RIAA's policy is:
"[T]here's no legal "right" to copy the copyrighted music on a CD onto a CD-R. However, burning a copy of CD onto a CD-R, or transferring a copy onto your computer hard drive or your portable music player, won't usually raise concerns so long as:
The copy is made from an authorized original CD that you legitimately own
The copy is just for your personal use." [Threat Level | Wired.com]
Matt says: "As piracy continues to change the way we all use information, how should we respond? Do we fight pirates, or do we learn from them? Should piracy be treated as a problem, or a solution? To compete or not to compete - that is the question – that is the Pirate’s Dilemma, perhaps one of the most important economic and cultural conundrums of the 21st Century."
Matt's book came out Jan. 8, a day after my former colleague Adrienne Day's Ripped to Shreds appears in New York Magazine. (The article has officially been up for a week, but the issue is dated Jan. 7.) Is this coinkidink? Probably not. It's the rising tide.
Adrienne's piece focuses on how leaks are hurting the music industry, but also explains how the leaks often come from within the industry, as well she shares a few highlights on ripping crews.
She raises an excellent point:
"It is increasingly difficult for the music industry to wage its war against leaks without risking a lot of collateral damage, if not self-destruction. Leakers are everywhere. Rooting them out is difficult and costly and can divert energy from finding more creative solutions to the problem. Like, for example, the model Radiohead pursued this year: After a failed attempt by front man Thom Yorke’s record label to strong-arm OiNK into removing his solo album from the site, the band changed strategies, inviting fans to pay whatever they wished to download their new record, In Rainbows, or drop $80 for a lushly packaged, high-fidelity physical album. One estimate puts their first-month online sales as high as $2.74 million."
I couldn't even attempt to do this topic justice with Matt and Adrienne's work already bearing truth to light. So with that said, I leave you with this video presentation of a talk that Matt gave at BIF (Business Innovation Studio) -3 Collaborative Innovation Summit.
Video: Matt Mason, Author, The Pirate's Dilemma
More on The Pirate's Dilemma and Matt Mason:
The Pirate's Dilemma tells the story of how youth culture drives innovation and is changing the way the world works. It offers understanding and insight for a time when piracy is just another business model, the remix is our most powerful marketing tool and anyone with a computer is capable of reaching more people than a multi-national corporation.
Mason began his career as a pirate radio and club DJ in London, going on to become founding Editor-in-Chief of the magazine RWD. In 2004, he was selected as one of the faces of Gordon Brown’s Start Talking Ideas campaign, and was presented the Prince’s Trust London Business of the Year Award by HRH Prince Charles. He has written and produced TV series, comic strips, and records, and his journalism has appeared in VICE, Complex and other publications in more than 12 countries around the world. He recently founded the non-profit media company Wedia.
01.04.08 10:08 AM
Uptown Magazine Gets Life Support from InterMedia Partners
What a wonderful Christmas present for Len Burnett and his partner Brett Wright. An undisclosed investment from InterMedia partners will enable the New York-based lifestyle magazine for the affluent African American consumer to expand into four more markets in 2008, and an overall 10 by 2011. The magazine will also boost up publication to bimonthly, and sharpen its online efforts. Its site, www.uptownlife.net was already greatly enhanced in November to reflect its movie offerings on the Uptown Movie Network, and eventually to add a more vibrant reflection of its community.
About the deal, Burnett says:
"This access to our audience for our marketing partners marks an unprecedented level of engagement and the launch of Uptown 360 a full service reach opportunity for luxury brands. [Target Market News]
With Uptown increasing both its print and online efforts, Vibe.com's redesign and addition of a real community, Giant Magazine also stepping into the online community game, and Ebony and Jet rebranding online as EbonyJet.com, it's beginning to look a lot like the year 2000 again when Urban Media mattered. That was the year when Internet World hosted its first-ever Urban Internet Forum, featuring speakers such as: "feature urban marketing pioneers and players such as Scott Mills, EVP & COO of BET.com; Kennard Gibbs, president of VIBE; Phyllis Wooley, director of African American Marketing at Colgate-Palmolive; Denmark West, director at Microsoft; and Peter Griffith, co-founder and CEO of Hookt.com."
I'll be posting more about what's happening with all of these websites soon over at BlackWeb2.0.
01.04.08 04:33 AM
Obama's Iowa Win and the Power of Oprah
There were many doubters (Mark Halperin at Time for one) who felt that Oprah's last-minute celebrity-style endorsement of Barack Obama wasn't going to mean much for voter's confidence in being ready "to see him as ready to be commander in chief by January 2009."
Ever since I started blogging for techPresident earlier this year, I started thinking about the branding of a President (you know with the Internet and Mobile playing such a big marketing role leading up to the '08 race). You know how the Nixon/Kennedy debates helped give Kennedy that little imaging edge. It was campaigning as campaigning had never been done before. TV changed the way that campaigning was done. And perhaps, it, along with the Internet, will again.
So having Oprah, middle America's black
mammy princess media darling, go on an all-out celebrity tour with you and give out free tickets to events, should be a great boost to a brand and offer an imaging edge as well. Now I'm not likening presidential campaigns to marketing a movie or music artist or celebrity for that matter, but the truth is, in many ways, at the end of the day -- who has the most visible brand. And yes, Mr. Halperin, it also matters whether that person can get America to trust them and believe in them? But maybe not so much as it used to matter, especially for an America up to its ears in diarrhea that's in need of a good swig of kaopectate (or good old fashioned water for that matter).
In case you haven't figured out what I'm gabbing about yet, here's some help:
"Barack Obama's stirring victory in Iowa -- down home, folksy, farm-fed, Midwestern, and 92 percent white Iowa -- says a lot about America, and also about the current mindset of the American voter. [Alternet]
And let's do a little bit more play with the mathematics:
"One Democratic precinct on the west side of Des Moines near Drake University had 444 participants, compared to 279 four years ago. A suburban Republican precinct in Ankeny had 220 people show up, compared to the roughly 100 that had been expected.
Yet another Democratic precinct on the west side saw 389 people attend, well above the 300 four years ago. [AP]
"It was among young caucus-goers, however, where Obama truly carried the evening. Attendees under 30 voted 57 percent for Obama, compared to only 14 percent for Edwards and 11 percent for Clinton. Among Gen X-ers - 30 to 44 year-olds - Obama received 42 percent to Edwards' 21 percent and Clinton's 23 percent. [CBS News]
"The Des Moines Register says Iowa has 40,000 Oprah viewers daily. [ABC News This Week]
Of course the race isn't yet over, so I'm not running up to the rooftop and shouting (besides I still haven't said who I supported in this race). There's still a little fact that remains to be seen, which is that the Iowa Effect' May Not Determine Nominee. Right now a lot of GOP heads are squawking about how: "In 1980, George H.W. Bush beat out Ronald Reagan in Iowa Republican caucuses, but ended up as Reagan's vice president at inaugural time a year later." [MarketWatch] But who's to say that Iowa, and then New Hampshire after it (if media darling Oprah can work her charm once again) won't end up effecting this entire election?
Hillary Clinton may have previously thought that Obama would be her VP if she were elected, but she might want to start thinking about how to get him to select her as his VP.
Meanwhile, there's a part of me that argues that Obama isn't quite ready for this job, though he's got a good gift of gab that makes you want to believe he is. And that's probably just the point, people can connect with him. Clinton, on the other hand, has been in the public purview much longer, but her personable skills really just aren't all that tight. Proof is in the Edward's second place running in Iowa, isn't it?
So what'll it be in the battle of the democratic presidential brands: The biggest Web 2.0 played-Top Talk Show Host supported win, or will it be good-old fashioned politics, wherein the elder statesman gets her or his due?
01.03.08 06:41 PM
Now Jay-Z and Apple May Become Bedfellows
It wasn't too long ago that I wrote about Jay-Z vs Steve Jobs, because of Shawn Carter's refusal to sell American Gangster on iTunes as he didn't want it to be sold in pieces. Instead he wanted it sold in its entirety as an album. Who knew then what we've been hearing recently:
Rumor Mill: Jay-Z to Launch a Label with Apple [BlackWeb2.0]
Jay-Z launching record label with Apple [The Boy Genius Report]
On the renewed Apple and Jay-Z record label rumors [Ars Technica]
The Old Music Industry Is Dead: Apple Launching Record Label With Jay-Z [gizmodo]
Or what may not be true:
Dubious Rumor Alert: Apple is not starting a record label with Jay-Z [Crunchgear]
01.02.08 05:12 PM
QOTD 2: A Bold Prediction - DRM free music forever
"The four major record companies -- Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI Group -- will take further steps to loosen the stranglehold that Apple's iTunes Store has on the market for paid song downloads. To that end, Sony BMG and Warner Music will begin selling at least some of their downloads without "digital rights management" usage restrictions. Beneficiaries will include other online music retailers, particularly Amazon.com, which is already selling restriction-free downloads from EMI and Universal. But the labels will have to step lightly--any hint of collusion will bring antitrust charges crashing down on their heads." - Louis Hau, Forbes.com media writer [Forbes]
Personally, I think we're going to find more music artists following the footsteps of Radiohead and Saul Williams. As for the industry itself, it's going to go back to a lot of independents, in the glory days of radio payola. Only now, I suppose there'll be some sort of Internet payola.
01.02.08 03:28 PM
Quote of the Day: The Anti-social movement
"Nobody has 5,000 real friends," says Tim Hanlon, senior vice president of Denuo Group, a media and advertising consulting firm owned by Publicis. "At the end of the day it just becomes one big cauldron of noise." For marketers, he says, that will mean the sites will be much more effective as a consumer-research tool than as a venue to peddle products. [WSJ]
Will social media experience logevity or will both your and my fascination with it fizzle out?
I've always asked why does one need an account on multiple SM sites, though I've been an evangelist for (life) presence for a long time (where you sort of life log on sites like Jaiku and Plaxo Pulse by bringing all of your various media together in one place to share with friends, business associates, and others and somewhat resembles what Gordon Bell is doing at Microsoft's Research Lab with MyLifeBits).
Personally, I think that if you're young and single, or simply young, social media is going to always have meaning for you. There's still a lot of early adopter activity going on in all of these places (MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Ning), believe it or not. And the world's of Twitter, Pownce, and Jaiku are still just for geeks. In fact, music recommendation social networks such as Pandora and last.fm are still just catching on, and you'd think they'd be the norm by now.
Nonetheless, Tim Hanlon of the Denuo Group is definitely onto something with his quote in the Wall Street Journal today. I've experienced burn out with Flickr, Twitter, and YouTube, but maybe that's just because I also have a life offline. In the end, I think advertisers (or marketers) still don't comprehend the real value of social media.