Tag Archives: New York Times

The NEW iPad is everything I’d hoped for…and more!

This is a screen shot I grabbed from ABC News' blog.

About an hour ago, the folks at Apple got to the part of the day’s presentation that I was waiting for, the new iPad.

Since I wasn’t invited, I’ve been following Sam Grobart’s (of the New York Times) live blogging from the event.

You’re doing a great job Sam!

I feel like I’m there!

First thing’s first.

It’s called, “The New iPad.”

Do these guys know how to name a product or what?!

Next, it’s got all the bells and whistles folks had hinted around plus a butt load more:

  • high-resolution Retina Display with 2048 x 1536 resolution
  • a more powerful processor – the Apple A5X quad-core chip
  • iSight camera, with a 5-megapixel sensor and face detection
  • Video recording at 1080p and image stabilization
  • Voice dictation (=Siri???)
  • 4G LTE wireless capability

Finally, it’s being released March 16th!

And pre-orders are being taken today…how much money do I have in my account?

So there you have it.

The New iPad will be here in 9 days.

Now who’s planning on camping outside of Apple to wait for one?

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Free Angela and All Political Prisoners! Spread the Word!

A few days ago, the New York Times posted an interview of my client, Shola Lynch about her experiences as a high school and collegiate athlete, and how the competition that sports foster helped her to become a successful individual.

If you don’t know who Shola Lynch is yet, then (1) you clearly haven’t been reading my blog, and (2) you wouldn’t know that she is an award-winning filmmaker working on her second documentary film.

The reason I’m so excited is that Shola actually talked about her film, Free Angela & All Political Prisoners, in the NY Times article!!!

Free Angela is a documentary that chronicles the real-life drama surrounding the manhunt, arrest, trial and eventual acquittal of Angela Davis in 1972.

Love this logo design by Little Grey House!

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the acquittal of this political activist, educator and author, and the film is nearing completion.

You must know that I’ve been actively working on developing Shola’s online, mobile and social media strategy for the film.

We’ve already got a Facebook page, Twitter account and a landing page up for folks to sign up to get more info about the film.

We’re actively working on launching the website and mobile site (and hopefully a mobile app), as well as a promotional mix-tape and soundtrack. I can barely contain my excitement whenever I think about the music – but I digress.

I harass her constantly about letting the world know all the wonderful things that have been happening behind the scenes.

Like the fact that Vernon Reid is composing music for the score, and a few power house filmmakers (whose names I can’t mention yet) have already shown the movie love.

I’m all over her to post updates to Facebook, tweet and generally tell the world about the film.

In all fairness to Shola, she has been editing the movie, and she’s currently in Oakland, where she just shared the movie with Angela.

There is so much great iconic art of Angela out there!

And to her credit, Shola likes to have her hands in everything related to her films (as should any good filmmaker), so I can’t be too hard on her.

And she’s getting better about posting and tweeting, and generally not holding (too many) things too close to the vest.

But now that the cat’s out of the bag, I’m going to be all over her to make sure that we let everyone know that the film is nearly done!

I’ve already sent her an agenda for our next meeting when she get’s back from Oakland.

I’m not even the first blogger to talk about the fact that the cat’s out of the bag.

Indie Wire reported yesterday that the film is almost done, and that they’re looking forward to it too.

With independent films, buzz like this is invaluable.

And using personal networks and social media are essential.

Unlike the big production studios, which have millions of dollars to make and promote films, independent filmmakers have to be much more resourceful (and scrappy) not only to make their films, but to get them before audiences.

More likely than not, you won’t see most independent films on the big screens of AMC or Clearview.

You might catch them in a festival or art house theater, because unfortunately, independent films don’t get the love of their better financed feature-film cousins.

But that doesn’t mean that they don’t do well.

Quite the contrary, an independent film, that leverages the filmmaker’s personal network and the power of social media, can do quite well.

One of Shola’s good friends (and fellow filmmaker) Ava Duvernay is proof positive of this paradigm.

Ava DuVernay is a recent Sundance Film Festival award winner.

Ava is an award-winning filmmaker herself.

Her films have done remarkably well, and her innovative approach to marketing and promoting independent films led to the creation of AFFRM, the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement, which gives independent black filmmakers access to wider screening.

The beautiful Michaela Angela Davis is part of Shola's sista girl squad.

And Shola’s ‘sista girl’ squad is full of social media heavy hitters, like Michaela Angela Davis and Sidra Smith, who all love Shola, and are ready, willing and able to help her spread the word about her film.

Sidra Smith is another beautiful member of Shola's sista girl squad.

We’re working on quite a few tasty treats to help grow our audience online.

So far, we’ve got about 650 fans on the Facebook page, and (a measly) 79 followers on Twitter but we’re actively growing those numbers.

We’re asking folks to visit both pages and share! share! share!

I’ll be sure to let you know when the trailer is available, and when we launch some of these online campaigns for the film, so stay tuned!

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When Social Media Attacks: Susan G. Komen, What Were You Thinking?!!

Susan G. Komen effed up big time!

A few days ago, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, cut Planned Parenthood’s funding for breast cancer screening.

Planned Parenthood offers almost a million breast cancer screenings a year, and without the support of organizations like the Susan G. Komen Foundation, hundreds of thousands of women will no longer be able to avail themselves of the benefits of screenings and early detection.

Citing a pending investigation against Planned Parenthood, the Foundation’s true motivations were quickly exposed as bowing to Republican anti-choice pressure.

The response to the foundation’ actions was as swift as it was passionate.

The social media response was immediate and massive - check the shares!

Thousands shared their outrage and posted their reactions on Facebook and Twitter.

Overnight, advocacy groups set up websites calling attention to the fight and asking visitors to sign and share the petitions.

MoveOn.org and other organizations quickly established online petitions.

No less than four separate online petitions were created, each calling on visitors to tell the Foundation to reverse it’s decision.

Hundreds of thousands of people shared the story, through links on Facebook, videos, tweets and various online calls-to-action.

The Foundation also set it’s damage control units to work, issuing (inconsistent) statement after (inconsistent) statement, trying to clean up it’s mess (but only adding fuel to the fire).

Cutting funding for Planed Parenthood’s breast cancer screening is the antithesis of this mission, and the executives at the Foundation who participated in this are feeling a social media magnified wrath that is unprecedented in the history of the organization (and likely most philanthropic organizations).

To quote Jennifer Preston and Gardiner Harris of the New York Times:

To Planned Parenthood, that decision amounted to a betrayal of the organizations’ shared goal of saving lives through breast screening programs. Ms. Richards, Planned Parenthood’s president, said her organization was gratified by the support the controversy has brought.

The growing sentiment, both internally and externally, is that the Foundation waded into muddy waters (the debate on abortion), and should remain focused on it’s mission, fighting breast cancer.

Clearly, the powers that be at SGK are scrambling to make things right.

Unfortunately, in this day and age of social media, where bad news travels faster than the speed of light, ‘making things right’ are often easier said than done.

Whatever happens, someone will have egg on their face, and I imagine that someone will step down/fall on their sword/be the scapegoat for this debacle.

Hopefully, this lesson will be learned: if you’re going to do something unpopular, be prepared for the social media backlash.

UPDATE: Politico.com just reported that the Susan G. Komen Foundation backed down from it’s earlier stance and has restored funding to Planned Parenthood. 

Power to the people (and social media)!!

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Harlem Stand Up! Vince Morgan is coming!

I had an interesting call with Vincent Morgan last Friday, and I came away intrigued by the man who has recently thrown his hat into the ring to challenge incumbent New York Democratic House of Representative member Charlie Rangel.

This guy could be your next Congressman! He looks electable.

The call was interesting for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the fact that he was so cool. Not to say that someone running for office shouldn’t be, but the ease with which we spoke had me feeling like I was kicking it with one of my boys, and not having an in-depth discussion with a viable Congressional candidate.

Some background. I was introduced to Vince (as he likes to be called) by Kofi Bannerman, a partner is one of my many ventures (a brother gotta keep multiple hustles going – ya dig?), who suggested that I reach out to him because he was getting his house in order for this run for office, and might require my considerable experience (forgive my self-indulgent plug).

We were supposed to meet face-to-face, but since I wasn’t sure what this face-to-face would be about, I felt that an introductory call was in order. So I called him.

I was impressed that he picked up his phone (I figured a guy in his position would be screening everything). I was even more impressed when he said that he had time to talk, considering his admittedly hectic schedule.

After the compulsory introductions and ice-breakers, we went in on the purpose of my call – figuring out what (if anything) Morgan4Congress needed, and how I could fulfill those needs.

Nice logo huh?

In preparation of our call, I had done a preliminary search of Mr. Morgan and his fledgling campaign. It was readily apparent, however, that things were buttoned up quite nicely from the door.

His website http://morgan4congress.com was up and active, as were his various social media sites, including a Facebook fan page, Twitter, blog, and YouTube channel.

He’s been interviewed on CNN and Fox 5 regarding his run, and both the NY Times and Huffington Post have reported on his candidacy.

Vince talked about his background as a community banker, his wife and two children. We discussed his roots, growing up in Chicago, and getting chased home from school.

He broke down his stance on the issues of the upcoming election, and by the time we were done, I was left with the distinct impression that this guy was electable.

He’s spent the past three years putting together his team and readying himself for this run. I told him that I’d shoot some ideas his way for leveraging his social media assets and generating viral movement on and offline.

However it goes, this guy is the future of politics in New York. He’s young and smart with plenty of Obama-esque swagger. Did I say he was from Chicago?

All I’ve got to say is this: Harlem stand up! Vince Morgan is coming!

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The World According to Barack

I’ve been watching the presidential race unfold, and just had to comment about how different things are today, than they were just four years ago.  The Barack infomercial was a game changer for me (even moreso than the announcement of Joe Biden as his Veep via SMS) because it showed just how far one can take a brand.

The equivalent of Barack’s 30 minute spot on prime time TV, was the full page ad in the New York Times of years ago.  If you wanted to make a statement, you bought the entire page in a prestigious newspaper, and made your case to the public.  It was a ground breaking and effective strategy, turning the pages of a reputable and widely circulated newspaper into a launchpad for your platform.

Barack brought that strategy into the 21st century, by launching his platform directly into the homes of millions of Americans simultaneously.  I don’t have the numbers, but I’m sure Nielsen can tell you that a butt-load of people watched what Barack had to say carefully the day before yesterday, and were inevitably swayed by the quality production, the heartfelt stories, the message and its clarity, and the singular intent of the man of the hour.

Unlike a commercial, which is fleeting, and whose message is invariably countered by a commercial of the opponent, the infomercial can only be countered by another infomercial.  McCain has neither the prediliction, cash or first mover’s advantage to pull that off.  Moreover, if the McCain camp were to try to cobble something together to blunt the effectiveness of that move, it would be too-little too-late.  With only four days before the election, there is little likelihood of mounting any significant counter-attack.

McCain is left to send his storm trooper in lipstick out to do his dirty work.  All the Republican party has left, is that attack instinct, and they’re frothing like rabid dogs, at the prospect of forging a comeback.  They’re just so all over the place, that they look like rank amateurs, especially when juxtaposed against Barack’s unflappable cool demeanor and expert use of the media, at all turns.

Its like Barack has moved from a presidential candidate, to an awe-inspiring figure and every-man, simultaneously.  He appears to be one of the most approachable people in the world, yet he still portrays an air of greatness.  Now I’m no Obama jock-rider, caught up in the groundswell, but from an objective standpoint, it is clear to the most casual observer who our next president SHOULD be.

McCain is no slouch, but I’d never put a man in office who states (without hesitation) not to know ‘too much’ about the about the economy.  I would also not put a man in office who so thoroughly fails to vet his VP selection, to the point that her selection has become the punchline for SNL jokes for weeks.

As a Black man in America, I hold no disillusions about the capacity of my fellow Americans to disappoint.  When GW won in 2000, I wasn’t surprised.  When Kerry gave it away in 2004, I wasn’t surprised.  If the Bradley effect kicks in, and the GOP steals yet another election, I won’t be surprised.  I am surpsied, however, that Barack has gotten this far (and is still alive) considering the magnitude of what could realistically be a defining point in American history.

Win or lose, I take solace in the fact, that this moment in time is actually happening.  It has opened up the minds of millions of children of color, whose realm of possibilities include one day being president of the United States of America.  Its one thing to hear it (as a general aspirational statement of possibility), its another thing entirely to witness it, and create a firm basis for belief in that (for Black people) once abstract thought.

We’ve come a long way.  We’ve got a great distance to cover yet, but we’ve come a long way.  And for that, I’m glad.

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