Archive for the ‘Khadeeja Coonrod’ Category

Viral Marketing: A Social Media Experience

November 10, 2009

Written By: Khadeeja Coonrod

Ever heard of anything such as word of mouth? Ever heard of Viral Marketing? Welcome to Viral Marketing, a marketing technique that uses social networks to increase brand awareness by word of mouth delivery or network effects of the internet. Viral promotions come in the forms of: E-books, images, text messaging, video clips, brandable software, advergames, and interactive Flash games.

In the 1990’s the producers of Mystery Science Theatre realized that their best marketers were the show’s few but faithful audience and so they encouraged the show’s viewers to videotape their copyrighted shows and pass on to friends. This was the beginning of a new way for word of mouth to spread.

Flashforward to 2002, three years before YouTube, BMW reported that over 11 million viewers tuned in to watch The Hire, a series of eight short films made specifically for the internet starring Clive Owen. 2 million of those viewers registered to the BMW website and within four years, the videos were viewed over 100 million times.

The proof now exists that viral marketing is a good technique. YouTube acquainted viral marketing to social media. Now we have more tools than we know what to do with: YouTube, Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, PayPal, Flickr, Ning, and the list goes on.

Let me give an example of how I’ve seen viral marketing do way better now than personal face to face contact has. I was working with an owner to promote his club and he wanted a street team to put promotional flyers for his club on cars parked around the club area. Do you want to know what everyone did? Most got to their cars and took it off, made sure it’s not a parking ticket, and then threw it on the ground. Many of them looked annoyed or angry that there was some paper on their car in the first place only promoting yet another club that may or may not last. The street team I was working with kept saying, “This would be easier if the owner used Facebook or Myspace to send out club invitations and there, people can look at more information and see who’s attending the events held.”

Friendly faces aren’t enough these days. People want to see results. People want to make sure someone they know will be there, they want to discuss details. They want to know through the web. The internet is the place to do that since it uses marketing tools to help promote their companies from online contests to online banner ads.

Blogging is another huge tool in social interaction. One of the first ways people will openly discuss something they saw or experienced that they liked or didn’t like is to blog about it. Once it’s out in the open, you get a reaction. Someone will either agree with you or disagree with you but now you have a list full of comments by readers or fans who are adding in their two cents worth. This is an effort in contribution.

To make viral marketing work, you must be able to build a solid relationship and how’s that done? Communication, communication, communication. It’s all about what the consumer wants. It’s all about what’s being mentioned by everyone. The consumer gets the last word. But just because someone tells you to buy a certain laptop doesn’t mean you’re going to go out and purchase it. You want the one that goes with you. You may not even want a laptop, you may want a PC or; you may not even know what you want. It could turn out that you may need to talk to someone who can assist you in trying to figure out what you need, what you don’t want, and try to then know exactly what works best for you. It’s about listening and paying attention to what websites are being used, what isn’t going well for people, and what could be improved.

Viral marketing is about catering to the crowd and influencing what’s in demand for the masses.

Piracy, The Future Money Maker?

November 7, 2009

Written By: Khadeeja Coonrod
Photo Credit: Michael Cogliantry

**Editor’s Note: Before you read this article, read “Why Selling Records is Like Picking Up Women, and How The Big 4 Failed

Illegal file sharing may turn out to be the next big sale. DigiRights Solutions (DRS) from Damstadt, Germany is passing around a presentation to future possible clients offering plans for how they might make more money by overtaking illegal file sharing instead of regular, legal sales. The interesting part about all of this is the fact that DigiRights Solutions is an anti-piracy body.

There’s a mysterious number to the DRS strategy: one figure would ask for 25 per cent of people who get a letter, warning of legal action, if they prefer to pay the settlement fee without question. So that would be up to 150 times what a legal download brings in.

DRS says presently it can go after 5,000 illegal downloaders a month so their approach comes from the amount of legal sales compared to the amount of threatening letters DRS can send out for a client.

The plan is simple, DRS is going to force money out of lawbreakers by encouraging illegal music to be downloaded. The idea is simply genius.

If Shawn Fanning, the creator of Napster heard about this, I would be curious in what he had to say since Napster was one of the biggest popular peer-to-peer file distribution systems and was different from previous networks since it focused exclusively in music in the form of MP3 files. Napster also provided a wider selection of music that could be downloaded and copies of older songs, unreleased recordings, and bootleg recordings from concerts could be shared through Napster. After a few lawsuits which the first done by Metallica due to a leak of their demo and later the company had another lawsuite this time coming from Dr. Dre after he had sent a letter asking his works to be removed and then it not being done. Napster later shut itself down in July 2001 and declared itself bankrupt in 2002. It started June 1999 and paved the way for major filesharing companies such as Limewire and I-Tunes which are major names in filesharing providers along with Kazaa, Imeem, and Pandora; to name a few.

DRS is thinking forward and one’s thing’s for sure, it’s paying close attention to what’s happening in the technology industry and how to gain more money.

FCC Net Neutrality Doesn’t Go Over Well

November 5, 2009

Written By: Khadeeja Coonrod

It seemed like a brilliant plan to the FCC (Federal Communications Commissions) when FCC chairman Julius Genachowski announced in September 2009 his plans to develop formal rules prohibiting internet providers from selectively blocking or slowing Web content and applications. Then 44 companies sent a letter to the FCC saying new regulations could make the process of the development of the Internet more difficult.

The letter stated; “Until now, the innovators who are building the Internet and creating the advancements in telemedicine, education and the vast array of other online products and services have done so in an environment driven by competition and innovation. We believe government’s role in the Internet should be to support investment, jobs and new technologies, especially if they increase the opportunity for all Americans to connect online. Public policy should encourage more investment to expand access to the Internet, whether it is access through a cell phone, a laptop, a PC or any new device that we have yet to imagine. If the FCC takes a prescriptive approach to new regulations, then it could place itself in the position of being the final arbiter of what products and services will be allowed on the Internet.” The letter was signed by Cisco Sytems, Alcatel-Lucent, Corning, Erricsson, Motorola, and Nokia.

The companies believe the new rules could prohibit broadband providers from offering advanced and well-managed networks. The day before these companies sent in their letter, a group of 18 Repulican U.S. senators also sent in a letter also raising concerns about net neutrality regulations. “Broadband is growing while other segments of the U.S. economy are struggling, and there have been only a couple of examples of broadband providers blocking or slowing Web content,” told the letter spearheaded by a Kansas Rebublican senator, Sam Brownback.

The net neutrality backers say new rules are necessary to protect the open nature of the Internet. “The FCC in 2005 relaxed rules requiring network providers to share their networks with competitors and without a net neutrality rule, powerful, large broadband providers could shut out Web sites or applications,” net neutrality advocates say.

“Net neutrality rules would protect innovators and small businesses that want equal access to broadband networks from large companies that can enter into deals with network providers,” said Art Brodsky, communications director for Public Knowledge, a digital rights advocacy group. “Broadband providers and others opposed to net neutrality are engaged in a coordinated effort to stop the FCC effort in its tracks. Arguments that net neutrality rules will stop telecom investments in networks are nonsense and insulting. All some industries do is threaten and bully. It’s like they’re saying, ‘If we don’t get what you want, then you’re not going to get your network.’ Telecom providers operated under network neutrality-like rules for more than 70 years and investment continued. Telecom providers and their allies have all the resources, Democrats and Republicans, that they’ve traditionally called upon, and it will obviously be incumbent on those of us who want a free and open and nondiscriminatory Internet to make the case.”

The consumers should have the biggest say on what is blocked or can be viewed on their computers. The FCC should make sure nothing too manipulative is happening behind the scenes but the end result should be that everyday people should be able to have a say on what’s blocked or isn’t blocked just like they have a right to get an anti-virus protector for their computer. Competition between companies do create more jobs.

If huge companies and Government lawmakers don’t agree with the FCC on this, then who knows what the rest of America will decide. Could it be that big corporations and lawmakers are just trying to remain powerful in the rights or will the FCC’s new Net Neutrality rule really be problematic until of a problem solver? Only time will tell.

A Moment With Hydropoetic

October 24, 2009

Written By: Khadeeja Coonrod

If anyone is in need of inspiring music that you can move to then look no further than Hydropoetic. Sabree is his name. He’s currently located in the Bay Area, California. Hydropoetic comes with beats that
flow like water and rhymes that hit you hard. This Hip-Hop artist will be a future influence for a good mood once his music comes out of your speakers. His lyrics capture the soul with nourishment until you’re full with contentment.

Hydropoetic has written on topics that may relate to us in an unexpected way. Aerosol, a song about being a graffiti artist, is a close personal favorite for Hydropoetic. A personal favorite of mine by him would be the song, Beautiful because of the message it brings about seeing existence as a beautiful thing that’s to be appreciated and cherished. The chorus lines from the song are, “Third planet from
the Sun and yes, I exist. I thank God for the way that I spit and yes, it’s so beautiful, yes I’m so beautiful yes you’re so beautiful, yeah it sounds beautiful.”

I asked Hydropoetic if he could give me a few details of his name, how he got started in music, what inspires him when it comes to music, information about his upcoming album.

Sabree, what’s your last name?

My full name is Hirshee Sabree Hassan. Sabree is my middle name.
Sabree Hydropoetic is my personality with a pen and pad; and or a mic.

Where do you perform?

I won’t offer any performances until I have a solid release date for the EP.

Can you tell me where you grew up?

I was born in Oakland, CA and grew up in both Oakland and San Francisco, CA.

Please, tell me what inspires you about music; what keeps you to
continue to create it.

What inspires my music is life, my life, the way I see and understand it. I’m constantly growing as a human being and so I always have things to write about. I just try to come up with creative ways to express it.

How did you get started in music?

My introduction to Hip-Hop started as a very young graffiti artist. This lead to breakin’ which then lead to the music aspect of the elements. In fact, flirting with becoming a DJ was the only thing I didn’t do. Graffiti is my first love for Hip-Hop and ’till this day I sketch my pieces… don’t think I can paint any more but I still sketch pieces. As far as the music aspect of it, I heard so many artists that I would break to like, all of the pioneers. I started at a very, very young age… but it wasn’t ’till I heard Rakim and Big Daddy Kane when I wanted to emcee. I’m not a Hip-Hop “purist” due to the fact the potential progression of the culture can be misunderstood… and therefore, change can sometimes face rejection. Hip-Hop music is a collage of different types of music that should be celebrated; so to me, in the music elementals of Hip-Hop, it would not
be fair to be a purist. Pure to creativity is priority if anything.

Can you tell me something about the album you’re working on?

I’m working on an EP now with my man Kurisoul who’s producing all of the tracks. If you heard the song Beautiful then you should kinda know what soundscape to expect. He’s a very very talented producer and his future is projects brilliance in Hip-Hop.

Introducing, Yusuf, the Starlight Rocker

September 29, 2009

Written By: Khadeeja Coonrod

“The Repenters Reggae Band is not just a musical entity, but a revolution! The hope of our music is for you to experience the transformation of a CONTRITE spirit, which gives you the keys to a
life of peace within your own heart, towards the world around you, and towards the God of your own understanding. The hope of our music is also for you to simply kick back and chill off our vibes for awhile, we see these two hopes as equally important. As we travel on this road together, enjoy our melodies and rhythms. Let your heart rejoice. Let your heart be healed. Let peace be renewed and restored…. through the process of a repentant and contrite heart!!! “- Yusuf and The Repenters Reggae Band

If you saw him walking down the street the first thing that may come to mind is that of a Rude Boy. Yusuf, lead singer of Washington D.C. based reggae band, would smile at you in return and give a thumbs up while inviting you to a show with his band. They performed at the 2008 D.C. Reggae Awards. Their style of music would consist of having Doo-Wop, Reggae, Roots, and a Rockers feel to it. The band was formed in 2007. Yusuf is one of the most recognizable faces in D.C.

Yusuf and The Renters members are: Yusuf the Starlight Rocker- Lead Vocals, Rickey ‘Sucker-Free’ Payton Jr.- Producer/ Drummer, CJ Diachenko- Keys/ Marley Girl Back-up Randy Rebel- Funky Bass on Demand Gem ‘Annika’ Thompson- Marley Girl Back-up/ Music Techy, Leanna Gold- Operations.

I was able to catch up with Yusuf Abdul-Azim (otherwise known as, the Starlight Rocker) for a little Q and A time. He came up with the name for the band that he felt best suited how he wants to be a repenter, one who would make a change for the better. He’s written most of the groups songs and has come up with melodies for the tunes. He joined the group during a time in his life when he felt as though he was at a crossroads; an event in which most everyone can relate.

Yusuf’s favorite song from their first album is called Stereotyping. This was a song that Yusuf could most relate to ladies and gentlemen anywhere because the world is full of stereotypes that have yet to be broken. This interview explains about what he’s mentioning in his lastest music nowadays.

KC: Why reggae?

Yusuf: Because Reggae is, in my book, the genre that is like a soup.

KC: Was the fact that your father, Mark Greene of The Moments, who’s also a singer have anything to do with you wanting to sing?

Yusuf: Nah… but it let me know that it is in my blood if i try it.

KC: What’s the definition of stardom mean to you?

Yusuf: Stardom to me is when you are touching people in a positive way and
they love you for it.

KC: Name the number one person who’s had influence on your music the most and why.

Yusuf: Probably Bob Marley because Marley sparked me in a tune when he said, “which man can save his brothers soul?’ I wanted to be one of those kind of men; a good guy type rebel.

KC: What’s the best music advice given to you that you’d like to pass on to the next person who’s starting out?

Yusuf: If you’re gonna rock remember if you benefit the listener you will last forever; if not, you will be forgotten.

KC: Is there any message you hope your audience will incorporate into their lives after seeing you perform or listening to you sing?

Yusuf: Mainly, the end of good is good. The end of evil is evil.

KC: What’s the name of your newest album and which song do you recommend to be listened to first and why?

Yusuf: Original Rockers is the name of the newest album. First tune I recommend is: the Wrecking Ball because it’s a brief summary of what took place in my world up to the event of the show about to be presented.

KC: What’s the concept of your newest album and how did the idea steam?

Yusuf: The concept is about a host of different realistic topics like Laws of the jungle and Concentrate; kind of like lessons that should have been taught in school but aren’t. The concept was to make smash hits that are timeless and beneficial to our generation. The generation of older people and the next generations to follow after. It steamed from when I was a teen… the word in the underground was righteousness.

Khadeeja Coonrod

June 19, 2008

Position: Contributing Writer (Features)

Location: Everywhere

Bio: Writer. Photographer. Dreamer who travels often. Music and book lover.

Likes: Bob Marley. Sade. Jimi Hendrix. The Temptations. Atmosphere. Brother Ali. U2. Gyptian. Lauren Hill. Red Hot Chili Peppers. Saul Williams. Sage Francis. Michael Franti. Alicia Keys. Harry Belafonte. Tom Waits. Matisyahu. I Self Devine.

Columns At CWG: The Features