Category Archives: media tips

Have you met TED’s app?

Streaming TED talks is now easier than ever.  First if you don’t know what TED is you need to. TED is an idea consortium. They offer great talks and presentations for free and motivating workshops for a membership. Memberships are not cheap but are beneficial if you want to allow your business to incorporate TED talks into training. TED now has an app that allows these presentation and talk videos to be shared on mobile devices and tablets. It also allows you to save and organize your favorites so you can easily get back to them for reference.  I have used TED talks to shape the ideas behind what kind of leader I want to be, how to maintain happiness as I work and how to motivate others to do their best. Check out if you want really great resources for effective leadership and team building.

Social Media Faux Pas

Roland S. Martin is a friend of mine. I said it and I own it. I have known him since my intern days at the Baltimore Sun through our affiliation of the National Association of Black Journalists. He helped me get an interview for my first full-time job at the Fort Worth Star Telegram.

If you have not read, Roland stepped in it this week on Twitter. He used his personal twitter account as a way to enjoy the Super Bowl with friends. Where it gets sticky is that he has over 95,000 followers and is a popular political pundit on CNN. One of his tweets made light of the David Beckham underwear ad that aired during the game. Specifically he insinuated that no self respecting man would have enjoyed the add. He advised Super Bowl party hosts to “smack the ish out of” any man who enjoyed it.

The result is an angry LBGT community and calls for him to be fired by CNN because of the tweet and their belief that it promotes violence against homosexuals. While I have my own opinions on the meaning behind the tweet, again because I know Roland and the fact is that he has been ribbing Soccer as the true football for the 16 years I’ve known him. His followers don’t have such personal perspective.

This is a tightrope across a canyon that social media poses. How comfortable and open can public figures be? Remember he is a pundit, he is paid to be opinionated and feisty. A task that is not hard for my friend. My questions are plentiful. For CNN his boisterous and controversial beliefs are exactly why they hired him. This is similar to the reason Rush Limbaugh has a radio show.  No one wants to hire the lukewarm talk show host. However, alas there is a line. To chirp or not to chirp? If you can’t hang loose why do it? Social media has allowed each of us to socialize with the people who know us and those who don’t. While I can’t tell you exactly what Roland meant by his tweet, I can say that if I were in a room with him and I challenged this statement out loud; he would have razzed me for having been captain of my high school soccer team. He also would have let me have it for bouncing one too many of those balls off my head causing the swelling that is my large forehead! However, that’s how we roll.

Social media is not your living room. People who don’t know you, don’t know you. Be mindful and cautious of that and you won’t have to Monday morning quarterback. Truthfully, I hope CNN does not fire him, several  people, who are paid for their shocking personalities, have stepped in it, apologized and kept their jobs. CNN knows Roland, and they knew who they hired. They have a number of people with polarizing personalities on their shows to keep them colorful. I think Roland needs to wave his white ascot, apologize and learn from this Social Media Faux pas.

What do you think? Is Twitter only for articles and telling people what you had for breakfast? Is it a forum for free speech?  Should your virtual living room be policed?

Smartr Contacts a great new iPhone app

Consolidation for all your social contacts. I timed it. It took me 9 minutes to log into all my social networks and e-mail. Kind of appropriate since the new app Smartr Contacts was released 9 days ago. Now, I have everyone in one place and I have interactive data on how we connect and relate. I have photos next to my contacts whether it is their business logo or their LinkedIn photo or their Facebook profile. One app all 5,068 contacts loaded and searchable dialable, textable and e-mailable all from one app. Also a nifty little home screen of all my usual contacts. I wonder how long it will take Apple to buy this one and make it standard on all their iProducts? I would it’s, iBrilliant!

ZangZing Zoom all your photo services in one place!

Consolidation is my chant of the year! I have photos on flickr, picasa, snapfish, facebook etc…. I could go on and on! Finally someone has created an application to clean up my virtual scrapbook! ZangZing does this and makes it easy to share! This is the virtual version of cleaning out all those photo boxes and getting things into albums!

Best feature? Your friends can fill in the blanks from the Christmas parties of old by emailing a photo to your album address. Your excuses for organizing those photos floating all over the web for years is over!

Verify your following!

Knowing that the people who follow you on Twitter are real people is a good thing. Especially if you use Twitter for business. someone who uses your Twitter following metric for the reach of your company. If you offer services in social media marketing, this can be crucial. TruTwit can help. They take the time to verify your following for you. Because social media is important to what I do, I use it. So when you click on the follow @crazphotochick button you will receive a direct message from TrueTwit asking you to verify that you are human. It works like buying concert tickets online where you get the Captcha image of weird-looking words. You are asked retype them to verify yourself.

The neat thing about the service is that people can still follow you with the click of a button. They have about a week to respond to the direct message so it does not require them to stop what they are doing to respond to your message. They can get around to it when they have a chance. The benefit for you is that you can provide stats on verified followers of a brand, person, team and we all know proven stats sell.

You can check it out for free then decide if it’s a service you want to keep it is just 20 bucks a year. Again. I get nothing for sharing their service, I just like to share things that work.

Want to learn more but don’t have the time?

I’m still in learning mode after finishing my MBA in December, 2011. So I take the time to read all the leadership and new/social media books I can find because my WPM, words per minute, is still in overdrive. You may not have the time to go back to school or read a tone of the latest books but what if you could listen to a lecture series from a top University over your lunch break? With iTunes U you can. You know you have seen the link in your iPhone or iPad for iTunes U , Have you ever clicked on it? I’m currently watching a series of business leadership lectures from MIT, free! Sadly, these great lectures only have 52 reviews because so few people know they can literally go back to school on their phones, with no tuition. Pick a topic and learn from the best academics in the world. I may not matriculate from MIT but I can be as sharp as their grads! Isn’t getting the knowledge the real point?

So much more than a To Do List!

As a new media consultant the occasion arises when I need to hire sub contractors. When I do I assign tasks with HiTask. It is a to do list, organizer and project management software in one. It features a mobile application for my iPad and iPhone and allows me to send assignments, set deadlines and track the progress of jobs for minimal cost. It’s only 5 bucks a month or 42 dollars a year, the longer you use it the cheaper it is. They also offer a high security business version. HiTask is also a great business solution for companies that are no longer investing in high cost assignment systems. Photo assignment editors at newspapers around the world, this is so much better than a database and email system. I only wish I had found this when I was still running a photo department. Enough listening to me go download your trial, you won’t be sorry.

Selling your art short… “F* you. Pay me!”

Underselling our abilities is a big problem for creatives. From very early on we are taught to be grateful for the exposure or opportunity. However, intellectual property has value, and should be paid for. Students and interns are often so fearful of rejection by an organization, that they find themselves working for access to big events or the hope of having their image or graphic used in an ad campaign that they settle for terms that are unreasonable by anyone’s standards.This is not for lack of knowledge on the current going rates for usage, heck there are people like me to help with that!

This stems from an intrinsic need of an artist to have their work seen and validated by an audience so badly that they forget the details. I watched a great video yesterday that I found while cruising on Sports Shooter (probably the coolest group of photographers ever.) While the host is a little crass, thus the title of my post, the message rings true about the need for clear communication when negotiating contracts, kill fees and transfer of intellectual property rights.  In this economic time, no contract creative can afford to be stiffed because “funding dried up” or “we had a different vision”

So if you have time, watch and listen.

Moving forward in time.

Today’s tutorial is a really neat age progression tutorial.  This one takes a bit of time but what  cool tutorial if you want to create a wicked witch! Have fun!


Related Post

From J-School to the private sector in 30 days

From J-school to the private sector in 30 days

While commercial work is considerably different from journalism, there are fair amounts of similarities in the art departments. Quality production is a mutual goal as well as the need for technological savvy.  The tools used are the same but most photojournalists PhotoShop skills are limited by an ethical  wall that keeps them at a rudimentary level. My challenge to photojournalists and newspaper photo editors is to venture over the wall to boost your skills. I’m not saying throw ethics out the window!

I am saying make yourself marketable to other industries. The needs of the private sector dictates another set of goals for the images you produce. No longer are you solely charged with producing accurate creative representations of news events. This new landscape depends on your ability to create moods and feelings to promote an idea. That is not always possible with just your camera. It means venturing onto the manipulation side of the PhotoShop tool palette. The world beyond burning, dodging, cropping and toning is rich. Everything I teach my visual communications students, I taught myself through useful and creative tutorials.

Over the next 30 days I will share my favorite over the line tutorials. I will use the tag J-P30 so you can catch up on the tutorials when you have time by visiting the tag cloud and clicking on it.

So here’s today’s the face shattering effect. This is from a great tutorial site to add to your bookmarks!