Meeting Ms. Issa Rae

This weekend, I had the opportunity to collaborate with LionsHead Media, a black tech company out of Durham, and photograph Issa Rae of HBO’s “Insecure” as she spoke to an auditorium full of students at North Carolina Central University. Kicking it backstage with Issa (like we’re best friends, right?) was nothing short of inspiring. This young lady is doing exactly what I want to do in a lane that’s different from my own, but the same principles are applicable. She has taken a corporate web platform (YouTube), created an unmarketed but very real aspect of black culture in “Awkward Black Girl”, and developed such a cult following that she was able to author a NYT bestseller, pen a deal with HBO, and take everything that she’s learned to an HBCU campus in order to inspire the next generation of young black creative minds.

It was super dope to be able to connect with her backstage chatting with her about her come up, getting an autograph for my wife, and listening to Corey Freeman, Creative Director at LionsHead Media, explain to her the impact that Durham’s Black Wall Street had on the United States. Additionally, I was able to create content off the personal interaction as well as capture some awesome photographs of her that I couldn’t have gotten without having the access I got through LionsHead. But the most powerful things I got from the conversation between NCCU student Christina Boyd-Clark of LionsHead Media and Issa were these five quotes that I was able to jot down in my notebook in between snapping. Take them and allow them to inspire you as you work to further your brand and your community.

“(The stereotypes that the media shows) are valid black experiences but not the only black experiences.”
“In this day and age, there’s no excuse not to create.”
“Where’s your content online?”
“I get a lot of inspiration just by living life.”
“(Success) depends on talent and consistency, but consistency more than anything else.”

All very simple concepts but I chose them as my top quotes because it shows that, in this day and age, the formula for success is not rocket science. It’s just about taking care of the basics and doing so consistently. You have to provide a different angle that isn’t already out there. You have to be putting yourself out there. You have to live life and interact with people in order to create. And you have to go hard regularly. So do it and maybe one day I’ll be photographing your speaking engagement.

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Once again, major shoutout to LionsHead Media for the opportunity to meet a young lady who is working to change the conversation around black lifestyle and what is seen as the norm within our culture. We’re not all gangstas, charismatic entertainers, welfare moms, and bad b_____es. Some of us are awkward and insecure and oddly funny folks who don’t like seeing the same person in the hall three times in a work day because how many times can you really say “Hello”?

 

Make professional development a priority.

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YouTube’s Founders Challenge Vine and Instagram With New Video App

There is always something new on the horizon.  Innovation drives competition and now YouTube is throwing its chips on the table as well.  What do you all think about another video sharing application joining the game?

August 8, 2013, 3:44 am

By VINDU GOEL

After months of teasing, the wait is over: Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, who brought us the video-sharing site YouTube, are taking the wraps off their newest project, a video creation app called MixBit.

Versions for Apple mobile devices and the Web will be going live on Thursday, and an Android version is due in several weeks.

On the surface, MixBit resembles two other leading video apps, Twitter’s Vine and Facebook’s Instagram. As with those apps, users press and hold the screen of their smartphone to record video. Instagram users can capture up to 15 seconds of video, a bit longer than Vine’s six-second maximum. MixBit allows 16 seconds.

Simple tools built into the MixBit app allow users to edit each 16-second clip and combine up to 256 clips into an hourlong video.

But as the name suggests, MixBit is all about mixing and editing video. Both the app and a related Web site, MixBit.com, are aimed at making it easy to clip and stitch together snippets of video. Simple tools built into the app allow users to edit each 16-second clip and combine up to 256 clips into an hourlong video. The final product can then be shared on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus or the MixBit Web site.

Think of it as “shoot, mix, share.” You don’t even have to do the shooting — the MixBit site allows anyone to snip and remix any publicly shared video content.

In fact, Mr. Hurley said, encouraging users to remix other people’s videos to create new works is the principal goal of the service, which is the first big product to emerge from Avos Systems, the start-up he co-founded with Mr. Chen two years ago. (The company has received funding from the venture arm of Google, which bought YouTube, as well as from Innovation Works, Madrone Capital and New Enterprise Associates.)

“The whole purpose of MixBit is to reuse the content within the system,” Mr. Hurley said in an interview. “I really want to focus on great stories that people can tell.”

The ability to create those more complex video stories could give MixBit an edge, at least momentarily, over Vine and Instagram, which are growing rapidly. Vine has no editing tools and Instagram introduced rudimentary ones on Wednesday.

In a recent interview, Laura Krajecki, chief consumer officer of the advertising company Starcom MediaVest Group, said that neither Twitter nor Vine were quite fulfilling the desire of young consumers around the world to play around with video, mixing and mashing their own work with that of others.

“Create an app that lets people edit it, and that’s where people are going to go,” she said, speaking generally of the market opportunity and not about MixBit in particular.

But one crucial decision by Avos is likely to hold it back: the app is totally anonymous and communal. Users cannot post their videos under a name, and they cannot comment on each other’s work.

Showing off is a big part of modern Internet culture. The competition to create popular videos helped build YouTube into the powerful force that it now is, and it propels social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

“Everyone wants to be recognized,” Mr. Hurley acknowledged. He said MixBit would add identity features at some point.

But for now, it’s all about sharing, commune-style.

“We wanted to do that to first build a community within MixBit,” he said. “To see how that unfolds will be pretty interesting.”

Source: The New York Times