Wednesday, April 28, 2010

You're Free to Read the Archives: For New Posts Click Here

All new posts are at the new site. Thanks for your continued support.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How I Got The Taylor Swift Treatment: Kanye'd By A "Key Influencer" And Ogilvy Executive At SXSW

Think about how legislation like DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) has a title that can be misconstrued. Labels can attract powerful connections. When they are misused confusion can result. Such was the case with the event titled "Blacks In Tech" held the first evening of SXSW Interactive Conference.  It was not only all fluff and offered zero substance, but worse the response showed an utter lack of respect for individuals attending SXSW who would be dismissed as unimportant by the so-called Social Media VIPs. At a conference which is often chided for its lack of diversity, I was surprised to find myself under assault at an event that was hyped as a "safe space" for people like me.

People spend a lot of money and put resources to attend SXSW with limited time in attending events. While there is nothing wrong with a multi-cultural focus had the organizer been more forthcoming about the details of Blacks In Tech it was unlikely to have had a majority African-American female audience in attendance. I went with reservations but observed the event before rendering a final judgment. I waited patiently for nearly 15 minutes to speak during the Q&A session that followed. I addressed the moderator, Jeffrey Bowman, a Partner at Ogilvy & Mather's Consulting Practice directly about my concerns. Specifically, I asked how such an event that had been billed as part of a Blacks In Tech initiative featured a panelist who consistently named-dropped specific male record executives as people to emulate when they had actively promoted music that denigrated black women - to an audience that was a majority of black women. 

I also questioned the inclusion of non-blacks on the panel who had not specifically addressed any initiatives that would be of direct benefit to blacks. I asked where was the respect for black people in their body of work or were they more interested in selling an approximation of blackness to white companies? I wanted to know if pushing sneakers was more important than offering tools of empowerment? Clearly when I urged people to be critical thinkers what I'd said hit home for I received a lot of verbal cues (amens and hand claps) during my question/comment. There had clearly been no standards set for participation by the organizer of this event which was insulting to the audience and a waste of time that could have been better spent elsewhere. If fame and money were the only standards of success listed where would that leave the soul of the community and those individuals without such a limited definition of success? While I doubted we'd agree on all points introduced I thanked the panel and audience for listening. Mr. Bowman recalled me to the microphone to respond. This was when one panelist in particular, James Andrews, Partner at Everywhere took issue with my continued participation and began yelling at me from the stage where the panel sat. This derailed the entire exchange.

Despite the unpleasantness I received a majority positive feedback from those in attendance and assurances from Mr. Bowman that all was well. Not that anyone else's opinion about what I'd said mattered to me for I had introduced serious topics into what had been an unstructured and lightweight conversation. I assumed everyone would go their separate ways and move on to the next events at the conference. I was mistaken. The next morning Andrews proceeded to write a blog post attacking me personally and resending it via Twitter every 2 hours for the next two days using his Key Influencer account. All the while he was hosting events for companies like PGi honoring Women In Tech (who were white women) he felt free to attack a black woman's character for voicing an opinion he didn't approve of. Mr. Andrews attempted to describe my question as a "Kanye" moment. He was right - but he pulled a Kanye not I. I was Taylor Swift attempting to enjoy my first SXSW and he was the boorish, self-centered narcissist who insisted everyone listen to him.

One might wonder what else I’d said that would garner such a response. Ask Ogilvy - for they also participated in the slander by resending his links and agreeing. The Blacks In Tech event had been recorded and simulcast on UStream. Since they've pulled the content no one has actually been able to listen to the the event in its entirety. It further proves the impact of my statement. Others have only heard the deliberate misrepresentation of my statement by disgruntled people with an agenda of obfuscation. I expect a Partner at a major advertising agency to know full well how to manipulate language to evoke certain emotions and imagery.

The expectations for hosting a successful event held during one of the biggest Interactive conferences in the United States would be high. It wasn't well-thought out or executed, however. This was more than a case of incompetence. It was an example of complete apathy. From the selection of an out-of-the-way venue where attendees were left stranded to the misrepresentation of its purpose the event was designed to encourage participation by blacks so it appeared to be successful to third parties. With the catch phrase of the evening being "keep it sexy" this event had nothing to do with black people or technology and offered little of substance. Instead, it was one long promotion of consumerism (black people like to look fly!) and unrelated segues that keep people misinformed and underutilizes their potential.

The bottom line is the intended suggestion for how such an event could have been useful in discussing current conditions within impacted segments of the black community was never considered. Neither Andrews nor Bowman understand OR respect the audience they are selling to others as being "experts" of. From high unemployment to lack of educational resources, the use of technology and availability of low-cost broadband access can lift groups out of poverty. Children in disenfranchised communities may have vital skill sets that will go undeveloped and unrecognized from lack of exposure and nurturing. Are we going to be pushed further into consumer-based slavery or will we be masters of our own destiny? There are numerous examples of successful corporate campaigns that were mutually beneficial and reciprocated in kind. This event offered no such discussion or evaluation.

It's ironic how technology that's supposed to empower others has been used to deny First Amendment rights. Stating that someone is mentally unstable and saying derogatory things about their appearance is not the behavior of a professional. How does someone who claims to be a Social Media expert allow themselves to become so unhinged so easily? Why is Ogilvy hiding the Q&A session? The appalling nature of the behavior of James Andrews and Ogilvy should be self-evident, especially since Andrews has previously shown poor online impulse control when he ridiculed the city of Memphis, TN on the way to giving a training in use of Social Media while under employ at Ketchum New York for client Federal Express via Twitter.

In a strange twist of fate their actions offer the perfect example of the problems that were highlighted.


More Links and Info

SXSW Listing of Blacks In Tech event
The Andrews Blog Post  (he's removed a lot of the offensive comments)
Ustream link to pulled programming
Discussion of the trashing of Fed Ex by James Andrews
A 3rd Party's rendition of the poor behavior at SXSWi


Faith Dow is Marketing, Media and Creative professional who uses new media across multiple social networks, writes and organizes content, promotes external communications as well as the strategic development of various communities (online and offline) utilizing marketing and technology.

Posted via web from faithd's posterous

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Come Join Me At Acts Of Faith Blog.Com

Good Day Readers:


I believe this post will redirect (Nope Blogger generates a 404 error) to the new blog address but I'm still working out the kinks. Thanks for your patience. Some brilliant person also suggested I buy a used LCD monitor and connect it to my laptop - which will cost me around $200 as opposed to $2000 for a new laptop. I just love it that I'm surrounded by such intellect and fortitude on the 'net! Have a great day.

Here's today's post on Women's Health Care.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I'm In A New Wave State of Mind

My usually trustworthy Mac blew a backlight bulb which is forcing me to take a time out. I'm hoping it's that and not the entire logic board. Although I'd love to have a reason to buy a new laptop it's not high on my priority list right now. Fortunately I backed up everything but you know how it is when you have a routine and presets. Remembering all of my 1000 passwords and keycodes is so much fun....not. I scrambled to find a PC which I'm using right now and after considering a switch back I can safely report it ain't happening. Besides all of my software is Mac-based.

Between the lack of a computer and the switch in blogging platforms I remembered I had a few draft posts to spare. **I caught the last 35 seconds of that new vampire show on the CW when I'd tuned in to watch Supernatural and noticed someone did a remake of New Order's Temptation. Nobody can touch the original but as with most groups who've pioneered certain genres it's good for them to find a new (younger) audience even through a cover version of one of their classics.

I went searching through the web and found a live performance on the BBC. You can tell it's old just by the way the group is dressed. It was clearly the days before stylists and handlers took over. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

From Homeowner To Homeless, Technical Issues & Why We Need to Deploy "Stone Soup" Techniques

Today's episode is brought to you by DSL service that runs as fast as dial-up and the rivalry between code of two blogging platforms....

Hey All! I'm in the process of moving from Blogger to Wordpress and I'd love it if you'd all come with me. I have a bit of behind-the-scenes technical glitches to iron out such as why my post disappeared this morning. Wow I'm glad I just checked because it was completely blank except for the title and the tags. Anyhoo, the new blog is at:

On a side note I'd already customized my permalinks at the new blog BUT I may need to change them so I can redirect the blogspot site directly without losing the custom features I'd set up. Plus all of you RSS readers are now my bestest friends. See what happens when you decide you can handle more get it. If anyone has any tips feel free to email me privately. In the meantime you can still visit me here and at my new net address. Onto the post from what I remember:

When I read the article "Foreclosures Force Ex-Homeowners To Turn To Shelters in the New York Times yesterday I felt a shudder. Now aside from leveling a jaundiced eye at their decision to feature an African-American woman in peril angle I also took a hard look at how Sheri West wound up in this situation to begin with.

It could be summed up rather quickly. She was a formerly married working class person who lived beyond her means. The divorce wiped her out and once she went from a two-income family to one that was it. Yet there are plenty of people who face financial obstacles and other crises but they don't wind up on the streets.
The first night after she surrendered her house to foreclosure, Sheri West endured the darkness in her Hyundai sedan...The second night, she stayed with a friend, and so it continued for more than a year: Ms. West — mother of three grown children, grandmother to six and great-grandmother to one — passed months on the couches of friends and relatives, and in the front seat of her car...But this fall, she exhausted all options. She had once owned and overseen a group home for homeless people. Now, she succumbed to that status herself, checking in to a shelter.
Now here's a woman who once ran a shelter needing to use the services of one! She has three grown children according to the article. So it begs the question - where's the help from her family? I suspect this is a woman who was very self-sacrificing, someone who went out of her way to help others perhaps to her detriment. When we think of preparing for a rainy day we're not always planning for a monsoon!

That is of course if we plan for that rainy day period. You know how a lot of us women are: we think about family, friends, the neighbors, the entire world before we think of ourselves. It's time to get tough. We must PREPARE OURSELVES FOR SELF-CARE first and foremost. If we've given all we have to others that means there's nothing left for us. People can be fickle once you no longer "amuse" them or give to them and it was un(der)reciprocated to begin with.

There are times we need help. The story of Stone Soup provides a wonder analogy of how people who have little resources on their own can join forces with others to meet the needs of a larger group. There was a village of people withering under the effects of a famine and everyone was hoarding what little they had. A traveler comes to town with a big cast iron pot declaring he's making a stew. People slowly investigate and seeing how sparse the contents are decide to give a few items here and there. Soon it's a hearty amount that feeds everyone.

This is an example of an equal exchange of resources and one we need to deploy more often. How many of you can pool them to help yourself and others to keep someone from sinking the way Ms. West has? Hopefully the added attention will result in a job offer or housing or whatever else she needs but this is something we can all do for someone RIGHT NOW. Let's get out there and make some soup!

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Change IS Gonna Come!

Sometimes we get encouragement during less-than-expected circumstances. I say take it wherever you can get it. For example I read my October horoscope forecast - DON'T LAUGH - at Susan Miller's Astrology Zone where it stated (excerpted):

There is more good news! Saturn has been a big part of the problem in your chart...Saturn constricts and shrinks all that it touches...It seemed hopeless, but all that is about to be over! Your Mars period will be the perfect time for you to launch a new endeavor on almost any front. Mars will make you courageous, energetic, and very determined to overcome obstacles. You will have impressive staying power and an aura of confidence and authority - all the right ingredients for success. Astrologic wisdom says that any endeavor or relationship started when Mars is in one's own sign is likely to succeed.

You have no idea how much reading that helped boost my mood yesterday. I had a very productive day as a result. I take astrology with a grain of salt but I do believe our personality traits, zodiac signs and other things have just as much validity as birth order or any means of evaluating ourselves. I think there's much insight that can be learned from understanding the psyche - it's what makes us tick.

Yes, that would make me a believer of Carl Jung's theories on psychological archetypes. I found a rare interview on Youtube.

If you'd like to view the rest, here's Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

So go out there today and GET YOURS!
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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Revisiting the Tale of Banita Jacks: How Unsupported Mothers Fall Through The Cracks

I've been getting an uptick in traffic from my original post on Banita Jacks from July. To bring you up to speed, Ms. Jacks is on trial for murdering her four children. Her story could be any woman's story. An average woman living life, with a career who decides to be a mother, loses her job, gets no help from immediate family or from the father(s) of her children, has a bank pursue foreclosing procedures on her home and she loses it. She was found in her home with their decomposing bodies and claimed they were possessed by demons.

Now the judge wants a review of her competency before sentencing.

Of course there were choices made that may not have ultimately been in her best interest that lead to this deterioration. The bottom line though is that she was failed. Failed by relatives and failed by a system. At the time Mayor Fenty said he wanted to go through the records of every agency that she'd been in contact with to made changes in evaluating at-risk women and children. But as usual actions > talk. He's since closed low-income child care centers in favor of dog parks! Yeah some people DO care more about their pets than other human beings (children). These are the same organizations that were supposed to be in place to help women like Banita Jacks. That didn't...and won't now that he's gutted them.

If you are a woman with limited resources a true assessment is in order regarding your life choices. Be it getting funding to attend college or a trade school or whether you bring another life into this world know that these programs are all in jeopardy especially in this current economic depression, recession, downturn. I wouldn't believe any "expert" that claims it has recovered. Maybe for the top 1% but not for the bottom 25%. If you are on your own and surrounded by unreliable people you may find yourself really on your own when you need help the most. Please don't take on any more burdens. If you are already in a challenging situation try to get help as quickly as possible. Don't make the mistake of thinking you can deal with it on your own.

This poor woman broke under the pressure of not having enough and harmed her children. Meanwhile we're chasing after the latest idiot male celebrity mocking us or excusing his past crimes committed against us without ever having made amends. Or some of us are acting surprised when we see the violent acts of youths committed against each other when we've allowed a savage mentality to flourish and influence them. We need to get our priorities straight.

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