Category: Social Media

Becoming a Travel Writer with the Gogobot Travel Salon

On April 10, Gogobot will be hosting their first-ever Travel Salon in San Francisco! If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to become a travel writer, while receiving tips from established authors and networking with other travelers, this is the event for you. It’ll be held at Monarch, a beautiful new lounge in SoMa.

Note: I’m currently working with this awesome company, so I may be slightly biased in determining the event’s expected awesomeness. Additionally, I will be there myself, so I can assure you the event will be awesome.

Here’s the info: Continue reading “Becoming a Travel Writer with the Gogobot Travel Salon”

Trevi Fountain in Rome / Fontana di Trevi a Roma

How the Legend of the Trevi Fountain Came True for Me

Standing in front of the magnificent fountain, surprisingly free of massive crowds that day, I chose a coin of lesser value (I’m Chinese) and tossed it over my right shoulder into the water. Apparently I had done it with the wrong hand, as a nearby traveler began to instruct me on the proper method in which one conjures the magic of the monument. Perhaps by luck, I found a stray coin on the floor, and I tossed it into the water in a manner suitable with the legend’s requirements.

Continue reading “How the Legend of the Trevi Fountain Came True for Me”

Becoming a Travel Writer

I recently deleted my old Blogspot site, though it’s not a big deal since I imported all the posts to this one. In looking at my very first post, I remembered how I started blogging during my pre-Performer Magazine days to show that I could be a music writer. Obviously, that turned out well.

If you’ve been following my noise for the past month or so, you’ll know that I’ve been making the move into the realm of travel writing. I feel like I’m beginning the above process again. Not surprisingly, it made me really happy yesterday when my first article for the travel network Gogobot was featured on their blog: “Seven Great Spots for Affordable Glasses of Wine in San Francisco.” It was the result of intense um… research… for a much needed cause. I also became the SF Italian Culture Examiner recently, so I’ll be covering local cultural events as well.

Additionally, I’m a contestant in a G Adventures contest to travel and cover a part of the world. Please do me a huge favor by voting for me! It only takes a second and you won’t have to register or sign up for anything. You can even vote again the following day ;) This would be a dream for me, so I thank you in advance.

If you hear of any opportunities or freelance projects related to travel writing, please let me know!

PERFORMER MAGAZINE – Exploring the Future of Music Tech with Jolie O’Dell

Jolie O'Dell - Photo by Ken Yeung

Jolie O’Dell | Download this issue of Performer Magazine

Technology reporter Jolie O’Dell established herself as an industry expert with her work in publications like Mashable and ReadWriteWeb. She currently writes for VentureBeat and serves as a panel moderator for the SF MusicTech Summit, an annual conference bringing together technologists and music enthusiasts in San Francisco. In this interview, she shares her thoughts on how independent musicians can best leverage technology.

What are some of your favorite apps/services for musicians?

I like tools like Moontoast Impulse, which helps you embed and sell your album on Facebook. I like tools like StageIt, which allows musicians to create webcam concerts so they can promote them to fans and make a little money on the side. Then there are monitoring tools that are really great like Next BigSound. It’s an amazing and really simple interface for bands to understand what effect they have on the Internet. I don’t know if you’ve checked out the other social media analytics tools, but they’re so big and complicated. Next Big Sound is the closest you’re going to get to a simple, color-coded, push-this-button-find-out-where-you’re-most-popular thing for bands to use.

How can bands create brand awareness online?
Continue reading “PERFORMER MAGAZINE – Exploring the Future of Music Tech with Jolie O’Dell”

PERFORMER MAGAZINE – Interview with Earbits CEO Joey Flores

Earbits | Link to article in Performer Magazine, a new online radio site, formed a collaboration with the San Francisco Chronicle this Wednesday to provide a curated, location-specific music discovery destination. CEO Joey Flores described in an interview how the idea for Earbits came about and how the site can benefit independent musicians.

What is Earbits?

Earbits is an online radio platform designed to be more of a marketing tool for the music industry. Instead of ads, we’re working to turn airtime for artists into sales of their new releases and merchandise. As an example: Later this week we’re launching a partnership with Relapse Records, promoting a new album by one of their artists. Users will be entered into a sweepstakes by joining the band’s mailing list, which will probably include tickets to shows and a meet-and-greet with the band. Anyone who hears one of their songs will be presented with the sweepstakes opportunity. This is a campaign that we would run as opposed to an advertising campaign for a regular sponsor. Right now, we’re working with about 170 labels, we have 2000 bands on board, we have over half a dozen Grammy winners, and we have festival headliners and platinum artists. We’re trying to create a marketing platform that really helps artists and labels get music out there to listeners and consumers with the eye on the music industry as our core clientele.

How did the idea for Earbits come about?

My background is in performance-based marketing and localized ad network marketing — paid search, media buying and things like that. When it was time to market our album and our shows, we spent about $20,000 trying all kinds of things from Sonicbids to all of these other services. We were taking out ads on television and were doing everything we could to try and promote our album and our shows. It was really ineffective. So my buddy says, “Well, how can we translate what you do during the day — ad networks, performance-based marketing — to the music industry. The problem is that people have to hear it. The reason why performance marketing doesn’t work on the Internet — why Facebook ads don’t really work — is because a visual ad can’t convey the quality of music unless you already know that band. You’re not going to click on it, and half of the time you do, you find the bands are not that great. Our concept is to create a curated place where consumers will actually want to go to discover music and find out who’s playing near them.
Continue reading “PERFORMER MAGAZINE – Interview with Earbits CEO Joey Flores”

PERFORMER MAGAZINE – The 8th SF MusicTech Summit

SF MusicTech Summit | Performer Magazine — July 2011

The Brightest Minds in Music Technology Converge

The 8th SF MusicTech Summit, held on May 9, brought together musicians, computer developers and business professionals under one roof for a day of panels dedicated to brightening the future of the music industry.

“You can’t pirate intimacy,” opened Evan Lowenstein of StageIt, concisely summarizing the morning’s panel featuring guests Brandon Boyd and Mike Einziger of Incubus. The panelists focused on fan engagement and stressed that great concert experiences can’t be pirated. Boyd and Einziger offered their viewpoints as established artists, including Boyd’s professed shyness to self-promotion. Einziger commented on the shift with emerging technologies: “When we were young, we mailed out mailing lists and drove around to schools, but nowadays that’s a waste of money.”

The “Live Music Marketing” panel brought together founders from a number of top events promotions websites. Live Nation’s Aaron Siuda opened: “I’ve shifted 30% of my budget to online ads. You don’t need to do the shotgun approach.” Artists are now able to cost-effectively target demographics using metrics offered by platforms like Facebook. Julia Hartz, co-founder of Eventbrite, added, “Ticket buyers are ten times more likely to buy a ticket if they see a friend sharing it.” Songkick’s Ian Hogarth offered a reminder of the importance of simpler communications: “Text, phone and email still rank high on shares next to Facebook.”

In the afternoon, Mashable’s Jolie O’Dell quickly bypassed the obvious platforms of Facebook and Twitter in “Tools for Your Band.” The panel suggested services for artists like Topspin, SoundCloud, and Songtrust and SoundExchange for royalties. Perhaps the most celebrated tool of the Summit was RootMusic’s BandPages, a Facebook Page customization service. While such tech-centric recommendations were common throughout the day, the majority of the panelists still emphasized the fundamental importance of creating great content and engaging authentically with fans.

And to that, some things never change.

– Keane Li, photo by Kara Murphy

The Only Social Media Marketing Concept You Need to Know

Through the morass of marketing buzzwords and new technologies, navigating the field of social media marketing can seem difficult. Engage. Influence. Target. The tiring terms are so prevalent they even slip into my vocabulary.

But through it all, there is a simple concept that puts everything into a healthy perspective. It’s a concept that most people already know but often forget when muddled with the distractions of everyday marketing life:


Forget about “engaging.” Don’t stress about “influencing.” Nuts to “targeting.”

Consider yourself a new individual entering a cocktail party. You have your background and valuable thoughts to share, as does everyone else, and you want nothing more than to have meaningful conversations with the other members of the event. Do you look for who seems to be the most “influential” person and start spitting your ideas?

No, you introduce yourself politely to a few people, share stories and become better acquainted. A relationship is built through mutual respect with the potential of building trust if your ideas are relevant. You treat each other as friends and share value as if you were friends. The “engaging” and “influencing” comes naturally as a side-benefit, with a relationship built on caring. Because that’s what friends do for one another.

How do you become “friends” with your customers?

Follow the Oprah effect. Many of her fans don’t personally know her, but would probably be willing to follow her into the sea. Trust through respect: Give out value as you receive it, while focusing your efforts on positive industry change and not profits or the increase in marketing metrics. Treat your customers as if they were close: be honest, compassionate and human, and you will find reciprocation.

Friend-to-friend is a concept that refocuses everything that’s already been said ad nauseam in social media marketing, a more polite framework for reimagining how to “engage” and “influence” your “target” demographics.

But you already knew that.