January 29, 2014

The best time to work! #atlanta #snowpocalypse2014

View on Path

January 19, 2014

Smart a** Sprint commercial. #NFLPlayoffs

View on Path

January 17, 2014

Portfolio. Greeting cards coming soon. #gydo – at The Office

View on Path

December 25, 2012

Trouble With The Curve

The new face of “geek” culture has arrived. Actually, it’s been here for some time. The reason I know this is because I’m part of it. Yeah, I’m one of ‘those’ guys. I don’t write code. I didn’t own a Commodore 64. And no, I don’t never worked in IT. Who I am, who we are, are a generation of folks from other cultures (music, art, entertainment) that love technology, well what technology has become.

Some say Social Media made us. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. We were social first. And herein lies the answer to the mystery of the “modern geek.” The original geek was a pockeet protector guy/gal in a world beyond folks like me. The world was secluded, dismal, and and basically secret. The “social” end of this was BBS boards and chat rooms WE couldn’t get into. And then then world changed. Social Media allowed folks like me to express ourselves through technology. We own iPads. We can blog on the go. And now, we’re part of the geek ecosystem.

For me, it has allowed me a TED talk, some awesome mentions in Mashable, and various keynotes at conferences, including some new best friends that are developers and designers. It has afforded me affiliations with some phenomenal incubators like Hypepotamus in Atlanta. And has me on a quest for the new model of the Music Business.

Some will love us. Others will not. But one thing is for sure….We’re here to stay.

September 3, 2012

Starting Over (again)

Anyone close to me knows how much of a fan I am of new beginnings. The ability to start anew is one of life’s secret pleasures. That being said, it amazes me how many people don’t treasure this jewel. Bishop Wilbert McKinley was fond of telling his congregation “look again.” He encouraged us to do that with everything from job interviews to spousal disagreements.

You see, sometimes we can get so involved with negative thinking that we convince ourselves something won’t work. When all we really need to do is step back, breathe, and start again.

August 31, 2012

The Truth About Pressure (My thoughts on Hip-Hop and the passing of Chris Lighty)

I knew Chris Lighty. Maybe not the way you may know him. I remember being young and from Brooklyn, fueding with his Bronx crew. Every week. And we both came back every week. There was something about comradary in those days, friend or foe, that just worked.

I remember when Hip-Hop labels were housed in one room. I remember seeing your manager every day. Things have changed. And I’d be lying to say that the most change didn’t come from making money. We got spoiled. We got careless. We grew apart. The beginning pinnings of Hip-Hop was all about togetherness. Showing up at the club everyone was at, finding out where everyone was buying their gear. We even did songs together to impact community (Self Destruction, Same Gang). Things have changed.

I can only pray, in light of recent events, we see this as a call to unity. If you’re in Atlanta, let’s link (I’ll more than likely invite you to church too, lol). Time is passing us by, and we’re losing the grip Bambaata, Herc, and Flash set up in the first place.

R.I.P. Chris Lighty.

April 3, 2012

Spike Lee could have shut up and hired me.

At the expense of sounding a little cocky, I’ll admit I’m one of the few Blacks (african-american if you prefer) in technology full-time. In addition to being a Social Media manager for political candidates, I provide digital strategies and traditional artist development for music companies. I know Twitter. I know Facebook. I know LinkedIn. I know Google+,I know Friendfeed, I could go on. Social Media is an excellent tool, but like all tools, it should be studied and tested for use. No person I know would use a weed wacker without proper instruction. However, this is precisely what Mr. Lee has done.

The strategy I offer to my clients decrees Twitter as the “megaphone” of Social Media activity. (While I’m at it, I’ll give you these for free; Facebook is the “conversation room” and LinkedIn is the “golf course”). Twitter is primed to make announcements that lead you to a larger conversation, on a capable network i.e., Facebook, Google Plus, etc.

Thus Spike Lee’s first mistake: No (conversation) plan for continuum of his Tweet.
Mr. Lee left no room for comment or crowdsource. A proper Social Media strategy would’ve had fans or followers to shout “WRONG PEOPLE, WRONG ADDRESS” from the rafters. Spike Lee never got the @gleonhard memo: “We’ve gone from the network [singular] to the networked [plural]. We’re now an interconnected web, and that includes some die hards that will do your fact-checking for you….duh.

Spike Lee mistake number two:  Another thing I make sure my clients know from a project’s inception is that, online, REPUTATION TAKES THE LONGEST TO BUILD. We know your movies Mr. Lee, but your online presence pales in comparison. You have no relationship with us–Blacks in technology (shameless friend plug, James Andrews, Baratunde Thurston, Rasheen Porter or Wayne Sutton)–all of which could have helped, even in putting out this fire you’ve started. Get with a Social Media manager and establish a presence online, you won’t make these bumbling mistakes, trust me.

Spike Lee mistake Le Grande: Misunderstanding the tool of Social Media. I say to music artists daily, “Your Facebook page is not your new street team.” Neither is your Twitter page Mr. Lee. Using Twitter as an announcement only tool really had you step in Brooklyn sidewalk dogshit (eew). Even Spike Lee went to film school. I’m not suggesting a full Social Media course, but a few doses  of Get Your Digital On would heal you bro.

Know what you’re stepping into before you step.

Like other Blacks in the space, we’re appalled, mostly because you didn’t check with us first. Spike, I can show you how to do this Social Media thing, and it’s cheaper than season tickets for the Knicks.               

November 13, 2011

Insider Info (creative minds in the workforce)

I Really wanted this entry to be my “Why I divorced Apple” story, but this will suffice until I get around to that one. I also could have titled this “Customer Service Call” but read on and you’ll understand the title.

I recently changed phones. Not carriers just phones. When Google decided to make a phone, and teamed up with HTC™ to make the Nexus One, I jumped in feet first. For close to two years I absolutely loved my Nexus, until one day my 21 year old walks in with his Sidekick 4G. Primarily unimpressed, I played around with his phone, comparing functions side by side with the Nexus, and after a wireless tether I was sold.

The Sidekick 4G is a solid unit. My son and I agree that if this unit ran an OS greater than it’s Froyo stock OS, it would would be a steep Android offering. After having various problems: screen freezes, force quits, etc., I called T-Mobile customer service and go some Insider Info:

Operator #1
Having experienced a hard reboot on this unit previously, I informed Operator #1 that I was aware my APN settings had to be redone. However, I communicated, I wanted to ask a few questions. Did she have any idea when the Sidekick 4G would get at least a Gingerbread update? Because, I cited, with an up to date OS, this phone would really be a contender. She began by saying “Android just makes me hungry, all this Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich, just makes me hungry!” HUH?

She proceeded to say that she could see in her records that Samsung and T-Mobile came to some sort of an agreement to TALK about updates on 11/2. She also explained that the issues (problems) I had with my unit were “known issues.” I asked if these “known issues” were listed anywhere in Cyberspace? Her answer was no. I asked if I could be emailed a statement stating the “known issues”, my close friends are developers, and who knows? Maybe they could possibly find a work-around. Her answer was no. I say “well is there a supervisor I may be able to talk to that might give me a go-ahead on an email stating the “known issues”? Her answer was no, this is Insider Info.

She’d now have to switch me over to another department to to restore the APN settings on my phone. Her final advice was that if I basically Stayed Stock (NOT gonna work for a hacker with a rooted phone, hint-hint), and use my task manager, Blah…Blah…Blah…that’s the best i could do. Wow. She offered me a “free trial” of voicemail to text, (which I made sure I can cancel on day 29 of my 30 day trial) which Google Voice already gives me free of charge.

Operator #2
So I presume, because this department would be handling the actual tech work, they’d be at least a smidgen more informed about an OS update. So, of course I inquired. Operator #2 let me know I WOULD be receiving an update (although she didn’t know when), but by no means a new OS. She pouted “we (t-mobile) only provide you phone service, the update business is Google’s responsibility.” From where she stood, Google refuses to issue an entirely new OS before fixing an old faulty one. I guess I should be……..happy? She “understood my my plight” and “knew how frustrating it was”, all of which I pondered was tied to her “I see you are quite a phone connoisseur, which unit are we talking about?” comment as she sifted through my records to show my evolution from Blackberry-to-Nexus One-to-now a second Sidekick 4G.

I accepted the pun, and was actually impressed by an immediate call-back after the call dropped during our conversation. T-Mobile DOES have good customer service, just some Insider Info that they can’t repeat other than speaking to a paying customer on a secured line. (Here is where I insert using Google Voice to record calls is a godsend).

Throughout this journey, I’ve learned that companies need creative minds to make sense of it all. Operator #1’s Samsung-to-T-Mobile vs operator #2’s T-Mobile-to-Google, says a great deal about what needs to happen. Only through usage can any of these three deliver a superior product. Touchwiz™ technology withstanding, the hardware for the Sidekick 4G holds up, and, could be a superior device with a decent system update. That would increase sales of this unit, no-brainer. But the absence of a creative partner is evident, giving the Sidekick 4G a slim chance of being a major Android competitor. The Nexus Prime is on its way, EVO’s are getting the Ice Cream Sandwich OS, and the Motorola Atrix still rocks.

But NEWSFLASH to the three companies in this triangle……..you need to hire one of us.

May 24, 2011

Back To Basics

Last night, us NBA fans experienced what we all watch for. But it wasn’t the fancy stuff that counted. Teams that don’t make foul shots and basic lay-ups rarely win games. This week, I had to send the Nexus One™ back to HTC for repair. I’m fored to the “basics” of my Blackberry. Last night, amid the various web conferencing available, I used a basic telephone conference call to deliver a message to a conglomerate of music producers. And last night, Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks won a crucial game with the basics.

My buddy (SetFree) and I created the And1 mixtapes. We spent a lot of time with the players. There was always talk in the locker room about being NBA material, and those guys can absolutely do amazing basketball tricks, but the NBA requires the basics first.

So I challenge you today, what basics are you leaving out in you quest to becoming fancy? Your inquiry and examination may surprise you.

May 12, 2011

Social Media Rehab Episode 2

Eric & I discuss Sony & the Hackers, Mind Music, Google Goodies, and more!!!


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