Tag Archives: KiwiTech

2012 Will Be a Blogging Year (and what I didn’t tell you about 2011)

I just looked at the end-of-year summary that WordPress sends to folks who use its blogging platform, showing me what 2011 looked like.

Sooooo….last year I authored exactly 14 posts.

14!

That’s abysmal.

I. Am. Ashamed.

I am constantly extolling the virtue of regular blogging to my clients, and in 2011 I was thoroughly remiss.

And unlike 2010, where I was a blogging superstar (relatively), in 2011, I was a friggin blogging hermit!

And it’s not like I didn’t have a lot going on to blog about.

So to make up for my total lack of posting, here is my 2011 in review.

December: Art Basel Miami

Hotness was all over..even on the walls.

I attended my first Art Basel Miami, which (if you didn’t know) is the largest international art festival in the United States. I spent four days hanging with some of the hottest contemporary fine and street artists in the game, partying at Miami’s most exclusive night clubs and meeting with clients in a whirlwind where days and nights seemed to blend together. Big ups to Sanford Biggers, Martin Luther, Rich Medina, Sapna Lal and all the good folks at Bardot, Townhouse, Gigi and Bond Street.

November: Jump N’ Funk After Experience at Red Rooster

The After Experience at Red Rooster was the bomb!

If you’ve never been to a Jump N Funk, then you’ve been missing one of the best parties ever. Literally. Jump N Funk is an afrobeat party, celebrating the life and music of Fela. The first time I attended a JNF, at WMC 2005, I left the event sweating like a slave. I was hooked. 2011 was the 10 year anniversary, and Rich Medina was in top form as he tore the roof off of the Red Rooster in Harlem, after the anniversary show at Harlem Stage.

October: The Digital Strategist

I was the guest of David Muhammed, the Digital Strategist, on his public access show on SoMa TV. In the renovated studio at Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey, I was interviewed about my experiences in the technology and mobile space. I posted a short piece about the interview, which lasted about 50 minutes, but felt like five, earlier, but if you missed it, here it is again.

September: Born To Shine

I spent some time with Rich Medina in September, who was fresh off of the show Master of the Mix (produced by GTM Central and presented by Smirnoff) on the set of Time Warner Cable’s new program, Born To Shine. Rich was the resident DJ for the show, which was recorded on the 106 & Park set, and provided his unique banter and musical je ne sais quoi to the show.

August: Q3030

I started consulting a tech start-up out of Atlanta, called Q3030. The brain-child of Marq Sears, a serial entrepreneur, Q3030 had developed an new technology, called The Cube, an interactive platform that enables brands to place interactive branded advertisements on a number of highly trafficked websites, like MediaTakeOut.com. I was brought in to help map out the strategic direction for the company, content acquisition, capitalization and branding. They’re actively seeking angel investment, but are moving forward.

July: Martha’s Vineyard

In what has become somewhat of an annual tradition, I took a working vacation and spent a week in Martha’s Vineyard with the family. We rented a quaint three bedroom house on a lake in Oaks Bluff.  Every day we hit the beach, the strip, the lake or some other outdoor destination. Now my kids are now hooked on the place, and it’s looking like this IS, in fact, going to be an actual annual tradition.

June: The Marksmen

I rejoined Marksmen Productions, a company I had worked with for several years, and immediately jumped back in the fray working on some really innovative projects. Several years ago, the Marksmen developed DOT.TUNES, a web-based application that gave users the ability to remotely access all the content of the iTunes library remotely over an internet-connected device. Since that time, they’ve developed several applications that run off of the DT platform, including HookUp (remote sharing over multiple DT instances), ReVenue and !mpulse. Stay tuned for the developments on this front in 2012!

May: Cannes Film Festival

Free Angela, the documentary film arrives in 2012.

I took my second trip to the South of France for the 64th Annual Cannes Film Festival, where I put to use everything I learned on my first trip. I attended a few premiers, ate frogs legs, partied in a castle…and…on the beach…and…on a yacht…and…well you get the picture. I also met with some of the hottest up-and-coming film-makers, directors and producers. I also started working with Free Angela, the documentary film on Angela Davis by Shola Lynch, in association with Canal Plus, De Films En Anguille, and BET (yes, BET).

April: The Today Show

I'm waxing eloquent about going grey!

The highlight for April (aside from my 41st birthday) was being invited to participate in a focus group that was being taped for the Today show on NBC. The focus group was assembled to talk about perceptions related to aging, and whether grey was sexy or not. The segment, which aired shortly after taping, can be seen here. Check me out in my 2 seconds of fame, when I say “I love her with the grey.”

March: Winter Music Conference

I attended my third (or was it fourth?) WMC in Miami at the Miami Convention Center. It was my first WMC off the strip and in the convention center, and the mood was noticeably muted. I sat on a panel discussing the future of mobile with some mobile industry luminaries and hung out with Benzino and Dave Mays (the former owners of The Source Magazine) at their posh recording studio in downtown Miami (out of which they also publish their new publication, Hip Hop Weekly). I also spent a few hours at the King of Diamonds, the…ahem…’gentlemen’s club’, but we can talk about that later.

February: Morgan 4 Congress 2012

The new look of the M4C website!

If you followed me in 2010, you know that I was working with Vincent Morgan, a Democratic Candidate for Congress, running against Charles Rangel in the 15th District of New York (what is commonly referred to as Harlem or Upper Manhattan). Although he lost, it was a learning experience, and in February of this year, he assembled his inner circle to strategize for his 2012 run. We relaunched his website, created new marketing materials, and put together a strong team for his next run. Look for his formal announcement soon and repeat after me: “Morgan for Congress 2012!”

January: KiwiTech

I joined KiwiTech, a Washington, D.C. based mobile application development firm, that was moving from developing apps for the publishing sector, into the media space. This small family owned and operated outfit has developed over 600 iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad apps to date, and shows no signs of slowing down.

If you’ve made it down this far, let me say that one of my resolutions is to blog at least once a week in 2012. Which means that if I actually do what I say I’m going to do, you can expect at least 52 posts from me this year!

Yaayyy!

Now lets see how long it takes me to fall off the blogging wagon this time!

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Talking Strategy with the Digital Strategist

I know, I know.

I haven’t posted in a while.

But I have a perfectly good excuse – I’ve been busy.

I really have!

It’s not really a good excuse, but I use it every time I get lax in my blogging.

And it’s been almost four months, so I need to act like I give a sh*t!

So anyway, I just did an interview with David Muhammad, Founder/CEO/Chief Strategist of MadisonDavid Digital, and host of The Digital Strategist, a program on SOMAtv, the public access channel of South Orange and Maplewood.

Now it’s not 60 minutes, and the set leaves something to be desired.

But the conversation with David is insightful, and I wax digital, mobile and me.

We talk about my start in the digital space, working with Digiwaxx, Marksmen Productions and my perspectives on mobile application development.

It’s 28 minutes long, but believe me, it goes quickly!

Enjoy!

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Brands, Bands, Fans and Mobile (updated)

I’ve been on one of my extended working hiatuses, so this will be one of my catch-all posts.

KiwiTech. Think Global. Act Mobile.

As a few of you may know, I’ve recently accepted a position with KiwiTech, a mobile application development company, as their Director, Strategic Partnerships.

I’m charged with identifying and forming partnerships with brands and businesses interested in implementing a mobile app strategy.

So far, I’ve roped a few brands in my web, including Morgan 4 Congress, Bang! Boxing, and MyBrownBaby.com. I’ve got a few more in my sights, including Marcus Samuelsson, Rodney Jerkins, and the Red Hot Boyz (out of St. Louis).

A few weeks ago, I was a panelist at Winter Music Conference at a session titled, Get Synched: Alternative Revenue. The panel, which was moderated by Jed Carlson, co-founder of ReverbNation, included Alan Jurivstovski, CEO and Co-Founder of MetroLeap, Angela Rose White, of David Rose Publishing, Dusko Justic, Director of Global Marketing of Sony Music, J. Read Fasse, founder of Honor Roll Music, Timothy Lincoln, Senior Catalogue Director at Music Dealers, Shane German, artist manager at SoundExchange, and Ivan Alvarez, co-founder of CdA Group.

During my part of the session, I talked about the increasing importance of a mobile strategy to help artists promote, monetize and distribute their content. Artists need to take advantage of the growing number of mobile devices capable of interacting with rich media applications, such as music videos, movies, HD audio and video, games and social media games.  The one piece of advice, that resonated most deeply with the audience, was the long term utility artists could derive from mobile apps, which, once they’re on a user’s device, can be used repeatedly to drive future messaging, content, updates and alerts.

Last month, I attended Social Media Week, where I spoke on Personal and Professional Branding to the Linkedin Group, Network 4 Net Worth. If you caught my post, I offered the attendees some practical branding advice, as well as extolled the virtues of mobile, which this generation is abundantly more familiar and conversant with. Their adoption and use of technology is virtually second nature, and brands need to prepared themselves to interact with a buying demographic that in inherently more technologically savvy and discerning than they have previously encountered.

I also attended a few sessions, including Bands & Fans: How Indie Artists and Baby Bands Can Use Social Media To Get Noticed, Get Gigs and Build a Fan Base, hosted by CMJ. The session included panelists Ariel Hyatt, President, CYBER PR and Ariel Publicity,  Robbie Mackey, Senior Manager, The Orchard, J Slider, Founder/CEO, Root Music, and Marni Wandner, President, Sneak Attack Media.

One of the takeaways from  the session was the growing relevance of mobile and social media for bands looking to attract and grow their audience base. Significant attention was devoted to the concept of the mobile device as the ‘first screen,’ and the importance of developing marketing and promotional strategies that factor mobile as an integral (as opposed to ancillary) part of the overall plan. Artists, like Lady Gaga, T Pain and Soldier Boy, who have effectively leverage the power of mobile apps to enhance their brands were discussed, alongside new and emerging artists, who were using mobile as an entry point into the music marketplace.

In May, I’ll be attending the Cannes Film Festival, hoping the convert the attendees, producers, directors and production companies to mobile disciples.  My primary goal is to convince them that, in addition to selling their films in multiple language markets, mobile as the next platform to promote, monetize and deliver their content.

With major motion picture studios developing ancillary channels for their content, such as all the bonus features found on DVDs, mobile represents a very real way to engage with consumers, beyond movie trailers and clips. Mobile represents a very real way of identifying and targeting audiences, in unprecedented geo-, device- and content-specific ways.

Cannes is just one of many destinations for 2011, that will have your’s truly evangelizing the virtues of mobile (and technology) to all who will listen.

And somewhere in there, I’m going to try to schedule more time to blog, so I can keep you updated as to my progress in real-time.

Dare to dream.

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Buy A Drink! A Night Out and Innovative Uses of Mobile

I’m at Room Fifty5 at Dream New York with Rich Burroughs. His boy Chris is on the tables. Qtip is bubbling through the speakers and Rich just hipped me to a brand he’s marketing that’s releasing mobile exercise gear. Timing seems to be catching up to me.

DJ Chris Mundy is doing something magical on those turntables! Check the energy coming off those joints!

I’m snapping flix of the DJ spinning with his Serato and shooting live video from my iPhone 4, and I’m hapy to be reunited with the device that singularly revolutionized the mobile handset market.

The iPhone has been souped up since I last had the pleasure of playing with one. I was rocking the original metal-back 2G, the last time I owned one, so I missed the advances of the 3G and 3Gs.

Having been banished to Metro PCS (not to bash – Metro got me through a rough patch!) a few years ago, I took a serious step down in my on-the-go capabilities even compared to the 2G.

I couldnt blog from my phone. The pictures I took were poor. Texting was cumbersome and unfulfilling. I mean, I had a decent phone in the Samsung FreeForm. It made (and didn’t drop) calls, but I couldn’t flex my social muscles at all.

But I digress, after getting some sick shots, I sat down to post them to Facebook, and I got a pop-up notice to my screen that said “BUY A DRINK!!” I was thoroughly impressed with Dream’s use of their internal network to reinforce the main objective: to sell drinks!

The instant I jumped on the hotel’s free WiFi (free WiFi is a must for any modern establishment catering to a tech-saavy clientele), they zeroed in on me, pushing a succinct message to my device. BRILLIANT!

From Dream we headed down to Tribeca to meet another of Rich’s friends, Jennifer, who was djing at Bubble Lounge.

Rich had received a text to his Android device, which contained a link to the invitation to the evening’s event. Clicking on the address, we were able to get turn-by-turn directions directly to the spot.

The DJ had just finished her set when we arrived, and it was unanimously decided that a new venue to continue the night’s revelry was in order.

She was rolling deep with a delightful crew of unusually attractive sisters (which I nicknamed the “Brown Sugars” – another story for another time), so I felt duty bound to accompany them. Honey, don’t read this part.

Another DJ friend of Rich’s was spinning at the Trump Soho on Spring street. I pulled up the hotel on my iPhone and we piled into our rides and sped over to catch the set.

Dude was dropping it like it was hot, and before I knew it, I got a reminder that I had an 8 am call with the President of my company.

Oh yeah, I was hired as the Director, Strategic Marketing for KiwiTech, a mobile application development firm. Holla!

So with my handy-dandy iPhone 4 in my chest pocket (close to my heart <3) I headed back to Jersey, with thoughts of more mobile adventures dancing in my head.

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