Periscope and my early adoption missteps

I come from a long line of early adopters. Chief among them was my step-dad car phone copyRuss. He was in radio and was always into the latest gadgets and technologies. As soon as he heard of some new and better way to listen to music or watch TV he was on it. To that end, I was one of the first kids with a portable cassette tape player and imagine my excitement when I got a portable cd player the size of a shirt box. We were also the first in the neighborhood with a mobile phone in our care. It was the size of a toaster and had a curly chord that had to be attached to the cigarette lighter to work. We had a Beta max player and a LaserDisc player which I wish we still had so I could display them as antiques.

Fast forward to the dawn of the social age and my exploration of new channels and ways to communicate ca. 1998. I was on friendster and a variety of AOL and Yahoo chat programs and many nerdy message boards. I was on a website called Suicide Girls when you still had to scan and email pictures. And then I got really into it and learned a bit of code to put cool flashy HTML things on my MySpace page (to this day my favorite channel I am not ashamed to admit).

Then things got interesting. Gowalla_sxsw2_900 copyWith SxSW Interactive, there was an awesome one-stop place to discover the newest trends in tech and have a rad time whiel doing it.  In 2009 the buzz on the streets of Austin was all around check-ins and gamification of your location. And the coolest way to do it at the time was through Gowalla. It was awesome looking and turned everyday going out into a game and promised things like coupon integration and rewards. I loved the platform and used it religiously while touting it’s coolness to anyone who would listen.

At the same time a guy named Dennis Crowley created a much simpler tool called Foursquare. This app caught in like wildfire with it’s simple functionality and scale . All my evangelizing of Gowalla fell by the wayside as popular outlets, businesses and celebs started using the new, more basic tool to check-in. (here’s more on the fate of Gowalla Vs. Foursquare)

The next few years I continued my early adoption missteps…I loved a music service called LaLa over Pandora and a micro-blog platform called Posterous over Tumblr. I still contend that these early platforms were awesome but it was the second or third option that had found the sweet spot of functionality and mass appeal and more importantly entered the market with some form of revenue plan.

Well folks, now I’m into the whole live video platform thing. After comparing Meerkat and Periscope I have to say, I’m all about the Periscope. I’ve only played with it a few times but the feeling I get knowing that 12 – 15 strangers are watching me make Pea and Sausage pasta fulfills my longing to be a TV chef. I get to join conferences and concerts as folks like Ted Rubin Periscope live events. (thanks Ted)

Time will tell which of these latest apps will survive the long haul but I have a sneaking suspicion I might have picked the right horse this time around.

Here’s another chick you may have heard of talking about Periscope:

How about you? I’d love to hear which app you like better and how you are using it!

The new “Standards”

I was updating my Instagram this morning after my old account got deleted somehow (don’t ask) and had to include some of my favorite art pieces. It’s a clever series of He-Man character portraits and quotes on how they have aged, see:

IMG_2637 IMG_2641 IMG_2636

Anyway, it got me thinking about ALL OF the rad films from my youth that are getting remade. (include Masters of the Universe) And with this the deluge of ranting about why people have to remake old things. “Why can’t the come up with their own ideas?” or “A Ghostbusters post Ramis – NO THANK YOU”

I admit I get riled up at the thought of some of my most beloved characters, no matter how cheesy, being redone by some Lindsey Lohan wannabe. But this is not a new phenomena people.

What is that theory –  there are truly only 4 types of stories and 5 types of characters? (it’s actually 7 but who’s counting?) How many different ways have we heard “Hallelujah” or “Chatanooga Choo Choo” or any other of the hundreds of standards from the good old days of big band music. It was de rigueur in the early days of recorded music to remake the same song with your own spin.

If the new version of a “standard” is blade runner, goonies, jem and the holograms and the marvel/DC universe -this geek girl is just fine with that! So bring it on you hollywood rewriters, thieves and misfits, let’s see what ya got*.

between you and me though – I still prefer this:

to this:

*Note Mad Max Fury Road doesn’t count as it was made by the same folks that made the original awesomesauce and is so incredible amazing i shaved my head #JustSayin #FuriosaForever

It’s all in a GAME

Many years ago I read this incredible book by Jane McGonigal. It was all about the theory of games. Not how to win at D&D or Frogger but the breadth of the concept of gaming and how it has the power to transform.

Fast forward to today while watching TODAY and a realization that many of the traditional media programs I watch have some form of game component. From local news to prime-time schedules to Kathie Lee & Hoda, television is overflowing with gaming.

Some people attribute this to folks like Jimmy Fallon and Ellen Degeneres who have included games as core to their show format. But I think it’s something else. I think our culture is shifting just as Ms. McGonigal predicted. I think we are a more participatory collective now – we need to be PART of the story and while we may not be playing along on the shows, we FEEL more engaged as if we were.

If this trend continues, becoming a total gaming culture that spends hours on and offline “playing” – could our collective gaming solve REAL WORLD problems? Either way, it’s pretty rad when you see prediction from folks you admire coming to fruition!

Ms. McGonigal explains further:

Here’s a video from SXSW 4 yrs ago where I had the honor of joining an esteemed PSFK panel to discuss mobile which diverged into gaming along the way :

youth in revolt ?

Since we moved back to NY from CLE the roles have been reversed with my husband working and me being out of work. Having been on the early wave of integrated marketers leveraging social media for brands, I normally have headhunters knocking down my linkedin door. But this time it’s different.

The world is now saturated with “social media experts” and companies are equating youth with “getting it”. There was a time (like a few years ago) when 90% of the ad world were 40+ men. That means most tampon ad, every Lee jeans, every Maybelline ad was likely drafted and concepted by some old man. I know I know “what about Peggy Olson“. But for real – our industry was founded on people getting in the mindset of other people.

But the new world seems to be craving 20somethings as their thought leaders. “How do we relate to millennials if we aren’t millennials” I actually heard a planner say. I’m loving the show HAPPYish but also loathing it as it perfectly illustrates this scenario. (if you haven’t seen it GET TO IT)

Let’s all take a beat – get back to reality and realize we are PROFESSIONALS. We have data, creativity, social media focus groups and yes even some millennials on our staff.  At the end of the day shouldn’t we consider the big damn picture and hire people for the totality of who they are? Not just the juxtaposition of words on their resume or the cut of their interview suit. or their age.

Shouldn’t we also focus on building engaged, creative, cross-functional teams? As the lines of communications/marketing/PR and Advertising continue to blur, shouldn’t our teams reflect that? I’ve launched AMAZING campaigns that were the idea of a receptionist! Companies should just hire RAD people, right?

Maybe I’m just disgruntled but in reality I am concerned about the current wave in our industry. Maybe I need to go back to school and become a teacher. Maybe this is all God’s plan as the perfect job is out there on the horizon. Or maybe God just likes to make me eat ramen noodles.

Either way, if you’re a super rad company looking for an authentic, diverse and almost 40 creative professional – call me (well email me)

and here is a nugget from some guy

from the 20’s to the twenties

I’ve been watching a bunch of old movies. Like silent 1920’s films. It’s uncanny how much communication goes on sans words. A look, an eyebrow raise, a sneer, a flit of the hip.

I was one of those old Gen X fogeys thinking that perhaps  in our modern day real-time, always on, tweet/snap/meerkat world we are losing something. When I sat next to a guy making gifs at my local café last week – It occurred to me that we’re actually following the same format from days of old. He was taking snippets of this week’s VEEP and making them into quick glances, momentary moving images with a quote that could basically tell you precisely what is going on in that scene and episode in 10 seconds.

Ive spent the last couple of years feeling sorry for millennials and post millennials (teens and twenty somethings). Fearing they lack a sense of story, that shortened content and miniscule attention spans diminish the bliss of willing suspension of disbelief and imagination.

I have been wrong. There IS still story. There are still those uncanny momentary story lines that express the full emotion in a flash…just like Louise Brooks or Charlie Chaplin or any number of passionate storytellers did in very simple, very powerful ways in the past. Not only that but now WE the everyday folks with a mobile device in our pockets (or on our wrists) can make our own stories, explore our own creativity and put it out easily in the ether!

Whether it’s the nickelodeon of days past or a fast fading snapchat video – the emotion, meaning and power is not lost on this newest media consuming generation (as much as I hate to admit it).

Here’s a little avant garde 1920’s classic in celebration of the old and the new:

New/Old Adventure Back in the NY Groove

Here’s a little personal blurb to brighten a dreary NY day.

The last year has been a fun experiment in discovery. Here’s 6 things I discovered in the last year…

1. You shouldn’t overly plan a wedding because your doomed to be disappointed and miss out on rejoicing at the awesomeness.

2. I am more of a corporate “suit” than I previously suspected.

3. Men who have worked with the same crew, in the same place, on the same thing for 20+ years, aren’t likely to start something new.

4.  My gypsy-like ways are waning

5. I am not destined to be a suburbanite

6. When someone agrees to be in “it” with you – they mean it (wow)

So after all of that discovery, I’m back in New York. Renting a house in the quaint City Island of New York – a little fishing town off of the Bronx. I can see the big apple from my couch and am only a 20 minute drive to our old haunts in Williamsburg. I’m back on the prowl for a job – I figure I have another 5 – 10 yrs or so in the communications/marketing world. As much as I struggle with being a corporate person, the reality is I love it – i love the win, the creative process, the collaboration…and the paycheck.

I also discovered that I want to open a B&B – long term retirement goal and now full fledged plan.

SO – send job leads my way or funds to open an Inn and let’s all have a wondrous spring!

and there’s this…


originally posted Aug. 22nd 2014 on the BROKAW BLOG

In case you’ve been hiding under a large pile of boulders the past few weeks, there’s a viral phenomenon sweeping across the interwebs right now—the ALS #IceBucketChallenge. Besides increasing awareness for a terminal illness that affects close to 30,000 Americans, the #IBC has raised $42 million in donations over the last three weeks. That’s compared to $1.9 million donated during the same time period last year.

Pretty amazing, huh? Maybe we should all try and harness the power of social media and create a viral campaign just like this one, right?


Excuse the Brokaw Broken Record here, but you simply can’t plan for “going viral.” This ice bucket challenge started completely organically, with special thanks to former Boston College baseball star, Pete Frates. It took off like wildfire by surprise, not by design. Like a dumb, duct-taped Browns jersey. (Sorry.)

However, there are a few basic lessons we can all learn from the success of the #IceBucketChallenge.

Build a strong, passionate network focusing on quality, not quantity. The #IBC worked because there are people passionate about the cause who have social networks which include influencers, celebs, and this guy. How can you build such a network for your brand?

Create engaging, simple, and unique methods of entry. Just about everyone on social media has easy access to a video recording device, a bucket, some ice, and some water. So simple, right? Remember, an idea is strengthened by everything that is REMOVED from its execution, not ADDED to it.

Leverage the network. Call it FOMO, peer pressure, chain reaction, or whatever…just make sure you are pushing for folks to share your content with their personal network (think audience network = audience net worth).

In summary, focus more on creating fresh, simple, rewarding content and less on “going viral.” Now if you’ll please excuse us, we have some ice trays to fill.