Category Archives: Media

Platform Specific Businesses

smartphone-wars

There are many tech start-ups that aim to solve a problem by utilizing technology. Most of these start-ups emerge from ‘The Valley’ out in California where Venture Capitalists and wealthy folk throw money hoping to have the next FaceBook or Twitter on their hands – businesses with no real solid business model that makes no money outside of advertising (but I will save that rant for another post). A lot of the start-ups are uber niche – niche is a good thing as a small company does not have the resources to take on a big sector of an industry or market. But I always often wonder the logic that some start-ups take when they support their Web app native app from one platform over the other – especially when the barrier for entry is very low – very low. (Instagram and Vine are examples of apps that were iOS first before Android)

I’m not necessarily talking about the 1-3 start-ups that are working on their apps out of a Coffee house or Momma’s business, but I’m referring to the start-ups that have some funding such as Airbnb, Instagram, Uber, etc.. The dominant mobile platforms are Android and iOS, and many start-ups will usually embrace iOS before they go to Android (though that is slowly changing). But let’s look at how much it costs to publish an app in iOS App Store and Google Play:

  • Google Play – $25/year to publish app
  • Apple App Store – $99/year + SDK/NDK fees ($250)

It is actually cheaper to publish an app on Android than on Apple – now, there isn’t much of a difference there in my opinion, and I would postulate that most sane people would say the same. So the other important factor is programming – and let’s be honest there are many tools that devs can use to port their code OR they can code in HTML5 and JS and use many wrappers. Or if you really want to go native, then there is not a big hurdle in finding native developers, and to be honest most start-ups should have at least 2 devs that can cross-program iOS and Android.

So then if that isn’t the answer, we have to look at the psychology of targeting specific platforms (or at least I choose to ‘take it there’).  To be blunt, there is a perception that iOS is perceived as ‘high class’ in part due to its pricing from Apple. For this article’s sake, let’s just say a snobbery attitude exists hat has been cultivated quite cleverly by Apple that posits something to the effect of “Apple products are for those that prefer the finer things in life with”. From a marketing perspective that is not necessarily that bad because as humans, well in Western society especially, we have a desire to attain opulence and the finer things in life – from as a child with our fascination with Barbie’s and Hot Rods to our adult wishes of BMW’s, designer clothing, big houses, we have been receptors of marketing messages that promote this message. Some of us will spend our money, even when we don’t even have it, to go line-up at the Apple Store at the launch of a new iPhone or iPad. Developers tap into this murky technological psychology of brand perception and exacerbate this phenomenon – as technically, there is nothing that separates what an iOS vs an Android app can perform (the arguments even suggest that you can do more with an Android app). So the issue boils down to something that may seem confusing to someone that is rooted by economics of scale – though there are technically more Android devices out there, let’s produce an app for the platform that ‘appears better’, because we look down on the other platform.

Snobbery exists everywhere – even with something as simple as an ‘app’ – there are social complexities that exist.

.::LiBM::.

Push Back and Management

Management Tales 101

Gotta give a shoutout to all Managers of the Independent Artists out there; management is a real tough gig. By definition of the job itself, Management is working for others, and hoping to fulfill their wishes and intent to the best of your capacity; so thus, you are working for people that already think highly of themselves and are a tad bit self-absorbed.

And the management of independent artists is a whole different beast I imagine; as the artist(s) are also co-managers, and necessarily do not have to take heed to your comments and recommendations. As most artists already have a ‘beautiful roadmap’ as to how they will make it in the game. The best thing you can do as a manager is to try and offer advice and constructive criticisms; though this may be a bit hard, because as a manager you are by very nature/definition a ‘control freak’ and/or have control issues – so not having free control over whatever you are managing, can prove to be frustrating.

So, here are a list of resources and potential problems with solutions for dealing with your independent artists:

Recording
How to deal with artists not recording and/or sticking to their schedule?

This is tricky, because part of the reason they may not be recording is due to lack of creativity, or due to laziness. So to sift through this if you are experiencing recording problems, is to stop making the schedules for them, and tell the artist(s) to start scheduling their own damn schedule – this way you can test their seriousness and work ethic.

Promotion & Brand Visibility

What do to with artists whom are not engaging and interacting with fans?
Some artists think that they just make music and perform – and that’s it. But in this day of age, I would liken artists as brands – and their are many ways to manage and promote your brand, and more importantly engaging and communicating with your followers/fans. With the range of tools that are available to us, it is easy to engage in ‘CRM’ (Customer Relationship Management) with a brands following, here are some good tools:

    HootSuite – scheduled sending of tweets (offers free & PRO accounts), and has mobile apps on BB, iOS, Android
    http://www.hootsuite.com
    Gmail – the amount of tools and features that gmail has makes it easy to send and respond from any computer or device
    http://www.gmail.com
    Google Voice – Allows you to get a virtual number that you can use as a business number; and can be managed via your Google gmail account.
    http://www.google.com/voice


Miscellaneous & Organization
Other things to help keep you organized:

    Notebook: bring these to meetings and document major goals and ideas so that in the future you can go back to these failed goals and see ‘what went wrong’
    Calendar: Usually everyone has a smartphone, so teach your artist(s) about how to use the calendar function (you’d be surprised how many people that have smartphones don’t use this feature). And for important events and milestones, add several reminders so that they can’t say ‘I never knew’. I love the Calendar, its a fail-safe bullshit meter

If you have any other items that I may have missed, please feel free to comment and let me know – heck, I’m still learning myself.

P.S.;  and I guess the greatest asset to have is PATIENCE, as you deal with some things and thoughts that make no logical sense.

NFL Films: All About the Score

All About the Score

Of all the major sports leagues, the best league in my opinion that has handled the delivery of media and timeless content is the NFL. The NFL Films branch of the NFL produces not only amazing behind the scenes documentaries of life on the gridiron, but the music score to the films is quite amazing. NFL Films was developed as an offshoot of the NFL in 1962, and has since then been heralded as producing astounding content – here are some of the great scores that have come out of NFL Films.

Main composer: David Robidoux

Old NFL Films theme music

Composer: Tom Hedden

Composer: Sam Spence – The Equalizer

Who would of thought that adding classical orchestra music to scenes of Football players running and smashing into each other would come off so well …

Also, thank god that Football is back, Baseball is hella boring #Fact

.:: LiBM ::.

Jared Evan – In Love With You

Jared Evan – In Love With You

Heard this track on the ending credits of HBO’s Entourage episode “Sniff Sniff Gang Bang” from Season 7, episode 8, and the track is infectious. A sort of Pop/Rock/R&B fusion that hits hard. One thing about Entourage: Its not the greatest show, but the music selections are on point. The artist is Jared Evan, the track is ‘In Love with you’.

New HP Commercials w/ Hip-Hop

Lupe Fiasco in new HP TV ads

HP does it again as they fulfill their spot as the second coolest brand of computers behind Apple; though I think that HP edges out Apple in the commercials.

Marge Simpson Playboy Cover

Beyond 2D Imagination

Playboy’s smartest move

Marge Simpson will be on the cover for the November 2009 issue for the iconic magazine Playboy. One way to generate interest into a dying medium & publication is to blur the lines of reality – so kudos to Playboy for accomplishing buzz and pushing the imagination of many to actually contemplate what is under that green dress (insert joke here). This issue can spawn Playboy’s competitors to think of other crazy issues, such as Cartman’s mother from South Park in Hustler, or even Lois from the Family Guy — the sky is the limit.

Here are also some other interesting derivations of the iconic cartoon mother


Designed by Elton Pot


Designed by Strike Force


Designed by Steve PR

.::LiBM::.

Authority Figures and the Social Media World

Authority and the Social Media World

 
It may have been said best by Bertrand de Jouvenel:
“The phenomenon called authority is at once more ancient and more fundamental than the phenomenon called state; the natural ascendancy of some men over others is the principle of all human organizations and all human advances.”

All societies operate on the concept of authority; as some figure or body of government has the ability and power deliver punishment on individual(s). Since the Roman civilization, authority is used as a deterrence and an instrument of justice; punishing those that break the laws of a society. In contemporary society as it relates to the rule of law, an authority figure would be law enforcement, military, intelligence services – and as we have seen in certain countries, the use of power in punishing others can be very relenting, and even the legitimacy in the authority figures and its ideology can be questioned and revolted by a society (i.e. Iran). However, without a body to enforce the rules and order of a society, then chaos is sure to arise as man can not govern itself freely. There are several differing types of authority according to German Max Weber, they are Rational-legal, traditional, and charismatic.

Social Media Urban Context

“Modern societies depend on legal-rational authority. Government officials are the best example of this form of authority, which is prevalent all over the world.”, however this type of authority is not respected much by the growing industry of ‘Social Media’, as governments find it increasingly difficult to regulate the Internet – the most prime example is the government in Iran who have failed to block certain social media sites; as the people in that country have used technology, specifically the use of IP Proxies, to get around the government crackdown. In Western countries, governments try to establish rules and laws, however much of the enforcement is scattered and not effective as there are many socially unacceptable sites dealing with underage exploits.

Traditional authority, which derives from long-established customs, habits and social structures. When power passes from one generation to another, then it is known as traditional authority”, as it relates to social media, this is a toss-up: on the one hand it seems that the Internet community on a whole has some group personality traits; groups will isolate those that don’t fit their site ideology, and sometimes delivering disparaging comments will make one very popular. So it can be said that the customs that we develop in the tangible world are being transferred to online interactions. However, the argument can be made that the sense of anonymity and impersonal nature of what the Internet provides, has created a crude and rude culture – that has always existed in the physical world, but the Internet has exacerbated such attitudes into behaviors.

Charismatic authority is that authority which is derived from “the gift of grace” or when the leader claims that his authority is derived from a “higher power” (e.g. God or natural law or rights) or “inspiration”, that is superior to both the validity of traditional and rational-legal authority and followers accept this and are willing to follow this higher or inspired authority, in the place of the authority that they have hitherto been following. Some of the most prominent examples of charismatic authority can be politicians or leaders, who come from a movie or entertainment background”, couldn’t have been said any better. In this social media realm, many are titled an ‘authority figure’ just on their ‘swag’, their ‘charisma’. This is a falsity, and should be corrected as many people are being handed the magic wand of ‘authority’ when they have no real power other than their popularity – which in some cases can be very powerful in influencing masses. However, they can not really ‘punish’ people other through isolating other people – which can be just as damaging psychologically as a physical blow can be.

The follow-up to this will be a highlight of such ‘authority figures’ … hopefully it will teach us whom has the real power, and whom is just faking it!

.:: LiBM ::.

Unconfirmed Sources Confirmed

Verifying the Unverified Reports for Confirmation

The role of sources in a lightning fast news environment

With the whole aftermath of the passing of the King of Music (no, not ‘King of Pop’, King of Music mofo’s), on June 25, 2009, there will sure be a debate on the issue of ‘unconfirmed’ and ‘confirmed’ reports/sources. Like everyone, I started to receive txt msgs, Blackberry messages, tweets about Michael Jackson being hospitalized; so immediately I wanted validation, my first instinct was to tune to CNN. At CNN they had confirmed that he was hospitalized, in parallel, TMZ was reporting he had already passed via their ‘unconfirmed report’. The BBC, CBC, all rushed to change graphics to that he was ‘dead’, and they cited ‘unconfirmed reports’. However, CNN didn’t follow suit; they did mention the ‘unconfirmed report’, but they always followed up with “CNN has not confirmed”. At this time, BET was already dedicating 106 & Park to MJ, Fox News was saying he passed; all based on an ‘unconfirmed report'; now allegedly not from TMZ, but from the L.A. Times (where their site went down due to traffic).

Unconfirmed vs Confirmed

I deduce that an ‘unconfirmed report’ is little more than ‘hearsay’ or ‘gossip'; originating from someone that is not an ‘official’ or ‘professional’, or has not been validated by secondary and/or external sources. As like many, I was flipping news sources to see any variations and/or similarities in the coverage, then something happened that cemented why CNN can really stand by the moniker ‘The Most Trusted Name in News’, CNN’s I-hate-immigrant-workers Lou Dobbs personality chick had a live interview with the L.A. Coroner’s office that gave the official statement – confirming the ‘unconfirmed’. Of course, as we have all found out, the ‘unconfirmed report’ was accurate
This is important in an ultra fast paced news dimension of tweets, internet, and cable news where information travels lightning quick; one’s sources are paramount in lending validity. I am sure CNN felt mounting pressure to follow their cable news network peers, but doing so would of undermine their journalistic integrity – as I am sure for many news networks and websites, the goal was to get the information first versus getting the information that was correct & confirmed. I have a new respect for CNN as they have help protect the journalism community, as with life as it is with journalism, “A man is nothing without his word”, exchange the obvious with ‘news organization’ and ‘sources’.

 

.:: LiBM ::.