Tag Archives: Vincent Morgan

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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Go mobile or go the way of the dinosaur.

Ad & Marketing Industry News

Last night, I read an article in AdAge about how both Google and Facebook were staking their respective futures on mobile, and how mobile was increasingly becoming the foundation of their efforts.

The Marksmen are a production unit ahead of their time.

Since 2005, when I started working with The Marksmen, developing applications that could be accessed and utilized from mobile devices (it all started with the Treo), I knew that mobile represented the future of computing.

Notice I said “computing” as opposed to content consumption or the internet, because with the advent of the smartphone, there are fewer and fewer things that one can do exclusively on a PC that can’t be done on a mobile device.

It was while at DOT.TUNES that I cut my mobile teeth.

From there it was DOT.TUNES, the first mobile application developed for the iPhone BEFORE the release of the iPhone SDK, which allowed users to remotely access their entire iTunes library directly from their mobile devices (even if it wasn’t an iPhone – holla!).

I even did a stint at MX Telecom (now OpenMarket), one of the largest mobile aggregators in the world, to learn about the ins-and-outs of the mobile industry, from the perspective of the underlying technology behind SMS/MMS/PSMS/Wap, mobile billing, etc.

Ever since, I have been preaching about the importance of mobile to anyone who would listen.

I tell virtually all the clients I consult, that they need to adopt a mobile strategy.

Set up a basic SMS service.

Build a mobile version (or mobile optimized version) of your website.

Create a brand specific mobile app.

Do anything to incorporate some mobile elements to your brand identity or risk going the way of the dinosaur.

I’m saying, if Google and Facebook are banking so heavily on it, doesn’t it seem to make good business sense?

They’re only multi-billion dollar companies.

Clearly, there is some wisdom to their actions.

WeHarlem knows mobile. Do you WeHarlem?

Recently, I’ve been speaking with Sergio Lilavois, one of the founding partners of WeHarlem, an interactive e-community for those that live, work or socialize in Harlem.

WeHarlem has launched several innovative initiatives directed squarely at harnessing and applying the power of mobile devices.

They have a social media website, WeHarlem.com, which links residents and local businesses.

In addition, they developed device specific applications, for the iPhone, Blackberry and Android devices, giving WeHarlem users the ability to access all of WeHarlem’s features on-the-go.

One of the most valuable features of WeHarlem’s mobile app, is the Wi-Fi locator, which enables users to find Harlem businesses offering free Wi-Fi in their establishments.

WeHarlem’s strategy involves providing Harlem residents and businesses with bi-directional utility, generating foot-traffic, loyalty and retention.

We’re in discussions right now to help bring businesses even deeper into the fold, by offering services to enable them to more closely connect with their target audiences using mobile and social media technology.

There have been other shining moments, when the strategies I propose actually gain a foothold.

Vincent Morgan, for example, knew immediately that he wanted it all, a mobile version of his primary website and an SMS alert service.

Although he failed in his efforts to dethrone Charles Rangel, he succeeded in rewriting the way candidates utilize the web, social media and mobile in their campaigns.

Anyway, the AdAge article renewed my passion for evangelizing mobile and I will continue to preach the value of mobile to all who will listen!

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When Losing Is Winning.

Just got in from a celebration at Bier International on Frederick Douglas Blvd. in Harlem.

I was partying with Vincent Morgan and the M4C team, as we celebrated a well-executed dry run.

When I first spoke to Vince, he said, “even if I lose, I win.”

From the start of the race, he was aware that he faced an uphill battle running against Charlie.

Rangel was a 40 year incumbent.

Vince, a political upstart.

Rangel had a war chest.

Vince couldn’t rub two pennies together.

Rangel was the insider.

Vince was on the outside.

But he had to run.

Something inside him compelled him to throw his hat in the ring, in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

If you’ve ever met Vince, you realize early on, that the guy is serious.

He’s as passionate about his desire to improve Harlem, as he is his commitment to family, and his belief in community.

Shoot, he converted me, and I don’t even live in the damn District!

But I digress.

He ran because he understood that sometimes you’ve got to go for it.

Tonight (or last night, rather) we toasted a battle well fought.

We also toasted to the implicit knowledge that in 2012, Vince would be Harlem’s next Congressman.

We were all smiles as we collectively pondered “Who the heck is Ruben Vargas?”

Vincent Morgan for Congress!

M4C 2012 Holla!

Note: I had pictures to show you, but my camera is wigging out (I’ve been having real techology issues recently ya’ll) – I’ll post as soon as I work it out.

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I’ve been on hiatus (not really)

I haven’t made an entry to my blog in over a month.

Its not that I haven’t thought about it, or that I didn’t want to.

My issue was that I had so much to talk about, I didn’t know where to start.

And you know what they say about inertia…

But today I’ve resolved to just sit down and type, until I got it all out of me.

I’m thinking the best way to do it is to start with the most recent stuff, and work backwards.

All you’re getting are sound bites, and hopefully, at some point, I’ll get around to elaborating.

So, without further ado…

Midnite

Last night I attended the Midnite show at S.O.B.’s. If you’re not familiar with Midnite, you should be. They are one of the hottest Caribbean reggae artists out today.

They played some classic tunes and well as new music, and as they went through their set, I felt as if I were communing with the music, swaying back and forth (or side to side) as part of one large rhythmic body.

I totally forgot I was supposed to be checking out their performance (my first) and assessing how their brand could be further leveraged. But DAMN! their music was good!

Check out some video from their last S.O.B.’s visit.

Third World

For the past few months, I’ve been working with Third World band’s management to produce a number of different on and offline projects.

It started with the Third World simulcast of their rehearsal at Circle Studios in Miami. Over 7,700 people tuned into the live stream on iNation.tv, which featured special guests, such as the incomparable Tessanne Chin.

Currently, we’re working hard to get their digital store, the Third World Digistore, up and running in anticipation of the August 10th release of their 22nd studio album, Patriots.

We’re also working on the video for the remake of their classic, 96 Degrees in the Shade, featuring Stephen and Damian Marley.

Check out a live version of 96 Degrees in the Shade.

Global Boxing

My good friend, Michael Havaien, is the president of Global Boxing Gym, a state of the art facility for professional boxers and MMA fighters, located in North Bergen, New Jersey.

He recently invited me to two press conferences, preceding the Zab Judah (vs Jose Armando Santa Cruz) and Tomasz Adamek (vs Michael Grant) fights.

We’re working on enhancing the overall digital signature of the Global Boxing brand, focusing on their young up-and-coming fighters, which include 21 year old Brooklyn native Adam Kownacki (5-0, 5 KOs) and (potentially) Bronx native and newly crowned NABF champion Maureen Shea (15-2).

Check out a clip from the Adam Kownacki vs. Yohan Banks bout. Spoiler alert – someone gets knocked out!

Morgan4Congress

As many of you already know, we’ve been working tirelessly on the United States Congressional campaign of Vincent Morgan, who is in a historic race against the embattled Charles Rangel.

We’ve redefined Vincent’s online presence, and provided ongoing support to all of his digital efforts, including the development of branded video pods, the production of offline events and the creation, management and support of various social media and mobile initiatives.

With the primaries rapidly approaching September 14, I anticipate getting a tad busier.

Check out one of the RapidFire series pods:

A Restless Media Musical Showcase

We’re planning a musical showcase featuring Meta & The Cornerstones, Malik Work, Zing Experience and Radical Revolution, at one of the meccas of music in NYC, Sullivan Hall.

We’ve got DJ Twilite Tone on the ones-and-twos, and all kinds of special treats in store for our guests.

If you’re in town on August 15th, please stop in.

Oh yeah, its also summer, and the kids are home. So things have been hectic on the home front too.

I don’t want to blame my hiatus wholly on work. I’ve had a little bit of fun too.

My sister-in-law and her husband invited us to Martha’s Vineyard to stay with them in a lovely five bedroom, four bathroom house in Oak Bluffs, two blocks from the beach.

It was really nice to get away (even though I jumped on my laptop a time or two).

But I’m back to the grind!

So hopefully, you’re all caught up and I’ll be able to get back to writing on a schedule.

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Stumping with Vincent Morgan

Vincent Morgan cheeses for the camera with the event hosts.

A few months ago, I wrote a post about my first meeting with Vincent Morgan.

At the time, he was a prospective client.

Last Wednesday, I was stumping with my client, as he made his way about Harlem, promoting his candidacy for the United States House of Representatives for the 15th District of New York.

I met him at his place, and we headed to Amsterdam and 138th, where he was scheduled to speak to the West Harlem Independent Democrats.

We arrived early and grabbed a bite to eat at a Spanish restaurant a block up from the WHID office.

After enjoying arroz con pollo with coffee, distributing a few M4C leaflets, and settling the bill (Vince paid), he, Philip (a member of his communications team) and I headed to the engagement.

When we arrived, Vince was introduced and took the floor.

He opened with a reflection on Cinco de Mayo, and it’s relevance to the race against Rangel.

He followed up with a brief background of how he came to public service.

And then fielded several questions about charter schools, small businesses, the viability of his candidacy, and closed.

From there, we headed over to the Madison Cigar Lounge, where an M4C fundraiser/meet-and-greet was being hosted by FYI Communications.

I watched, taking notes and snapping pictures, as Vince worked the room and offered his perspective for a revitalized Harlem.

By the time I headed out, I was left with one distinct impression: Vincent Morgan can win this election.

I’m not a member of the 15th district.

I’m not a NYer.

I can’t even vote in the upcoming elections.

But if I could, I’d be voting for this guy, and here are a few reasons why:

1. Harlem needs a fresh perspective. Rangel is 80 years old. What does he have in common with the struggling lower and middle class of the District?

2.  Rangel has been in office waaaayyyy too long. Period. 40 years in the House of Representatives? C’mon, can someone else speak for Harlem?

3.  Vince kinda reminds you of Obama. Democrats. Black. Raised in Chi-town. Married. Two kids.

4.  The guy knows his stuff. Vince is all about facts and being able to substantiate whatever perspective you maintain. Columbia MBA. Need I say more?

5.  He’s passionate. If you’ve seen him speak, watched any of his videos or have met him in person, you’d agree that he means what he says.

I’ll admit that I’m a member of the cult of Vince. We’re both Taurus (his birthday is the day after mine), and I am on his payroll. So I’d better be all about Vince.

But my obvious bias aside, give this guy a gander.

You may very well be looking at the next Congressman for the 15th District of New York.

If you’d like to hear him speak in person, check out the events calendar on his website to find out where he’s going to be next.

If you’re interested in donating to the campaign, volunteering or learning more, check out the Morgan4Congress website.

You can also follow him on Twitter @morgan4congress or fan like him on Facebook.

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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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