News Start Ups

What was compelling to me was that doing events is a way for sponsors to start giving you money even before their ready. I once tried to start an online local news publication and I failed mostly because I didn’t find local support. I am still very interested in creating an independent publication for the San Antonio area and a lot of what they shared would help me developing this concept.

Also stressing the building of a community is key. He mentioned that it is not a pay and take the money type of thing. Sembramedia’s talk on how they researched digital media sites is really compelling to understand what works and what doesn’t.

It was interesting the china30 site used people to create content and had them contribute it and they get donations for their work. I love the idea that they created these trips and are teaching writing. I believe that not only creates revenue but I bet these people become loyal to that brand because in a sense they helped them achieve their goals.

Turning Youtube into a Business

Here is a an article about how two friends created a Media Empire through Youtube and Social Media. The great thing about this model is that it costs you close to nothing, you live a creative life and everything that you upload works for you day and night forever. The really great thing is the power to be able to influence others and you can build a life around this.

Bots Bad for Business

After the visitor from the Texas Tribune talked about them using bots in order to build audiences and maintain them I couldn’t help but be bothered by that.

I 100% disagree with that idea. It’s a relatively new idea to use in engaging audiences and catering to their needs.

As a Social Media marketer and business owner, here in my opinion as to  why this Bot idea will fall flat.

The fact is that while bots in chatrooms and the internet of the past was a great advertising tool. Today’s internet will not put up with that, because they don’t have to.

The way the bot works is that if someone had a question about the legislation they would ask the bot and the bot would follow up because it probably needs more data to figure out what its going to generate. So the user plays a “20 question game” seeking information that could have easily been Googled and found a professional article in seconds.The chances are that its a current topic already in the news to begin with,so it shouldn’t be too hard to find.

Second reason is that saying you are going to use bots to communicate with you audience is insulting and its absolutely lazy. Nothing beats engaging with your customers personally and the fact that interacting with your readers is not worth your time is a big mistake.

Interaction with your customers is the key to a loyal following.

Amanda Zamora

Zamora was hired as the “best in the business” as an audience development expert at the Texas Tribune. As a former editor of Propublica and Washington Posts she has experience and ability to bring companies to the next level.

The Texas Tribune has used Facebook Messenger Bots to gain audience attention with updates and news. They are trying to adapt to their users who may not be as plugged in as a political junkie may be.

She strives to leverage her storytelling abilities in order to engage users so that they can gain the information that matters most to them.



What are some keys to keeping an audience engaged and reading or watching? What are some techniques to get new audience members that may not be searching for your subject?

Vera Fischer

Ive had the pleasure of meeting Vera in a previous class and Im excited to hear what she has to say. She is founder of 97dwest marketing. She seems like she slot of clients in the medical space. In addition to services regarding marketing online she also host a podcast which she had mentioned helps in two ways . Creating original content and being able to network with potential clients before hand. I’m sure I’ll get to know a more in depth idea of how her agency works.

How do you approach a potential client, how do you sell them on the idea that your services are valuable ?

Constant entrepreneurial thinking

The article I read had a  great concept to understand in the entrepreneur world. It can also be the hardest to deal with in my opinion. As an entrepreneur that is constantly thinking of new ways to push a business, its really difficult to know when it is time for a change. Its hard to gauge whether you are just around the corner to success or just spinning your wheels. It is something that I personally struggle with. There are tons of companies that do similar things but trying to set yourself apart is a great challenge.

As my vision changes , so does my idea for business. For example, I started out doing web design in the early 2000’s and around that time, nobody was doing that and companies didn’t see the value in it so it( and maybe back then there really wasn’t since not alot of people were online)

My current company started as a company that just produced films, but I found that there is very little money in doing so. No one wanted to buy short films and they were hard to distribute, and the only ones buying them was family and friends. I later got interested in developing a travel and culture blog where I would sell information about traveling to different countries and in a way become a travel agent of sorts, The problem with that is that there are all of these travel search engines everywhere and massive travel sites. Plus I wasn’t about to focus on a specific location which I think finding a niche and just out doing everyone else would of been key.

To my frustration, I wanted to give up, but it is something that I obsess about and when I see other people running a successful business I think, why not me?

I developed the company into a video production and digital marketing agency once I returned back to the states. I wanted to focus on musicians and small business.  I would quickly scrap the idea of working with musicians as a main goal for a few reasons. One, a musician making money has access to that already through their label and Two, if you’re just starting out most musicians cant afford to pay for your work.

I began focusing on Digital Marketing and creating Video Content for small business. This has become my unique selling point for business because I do more than just create videos, I can get results through marketing. It’s a one stop solution to two critical elements that a company will need now and in the future.

One issue that I have seen with my current business model is that as a full time teacher, I have a difficult time, meeting with a client and having a small weekend window to try to help their business. I am also not available traditional business hours.

Due to this complication, I started thinking of what direction to go with the company. I still really want to produce video and market digitally and get to know small business but perhaps on a part time weekend basis.

With that said I began to think what I can do during the week when I’m up  at 1AM and cant sleep.  I began to think that I’m a teacher by profession, why don’t I just teach this stuff? I began to develop curriculum and tools for Small Business owners and more specifically create an educational platform for High school students to learn how to become an Entrepreneur. We teach students how to get jobs, we teach them technical skills, why don’t we teach them how to create businesses? I started thinking about how if you want to be a professional basketball player you begin in middle school and train all the way through college. Why should being an Entrepreneur be any different?

Tim Levy

Tim Levy is a strategic marketer that has written a series of books on marketing , small business and self improvement. He has a series of online course and is a consultant.

My question is since I am in the beginning stages of creating a very similar business. How do you set yourself apart from other consultants? How do you get your first few clients? I am in the process of creating content and building my brand but what strategies do you use to actually start making income as opposed to what I kind of a feel like right now , which is a guy that studies and knows a lot about Marketing and Video Production that has a website. How do I go from what seems like a hobby to actually making an income online?

Design Theory

In the A BRIEF HISTORY OF DESIGN THINKING: THE THEORY article one idea that really stuck out was the idea that studying design is not so much as a scientific explanation as it is a creative one.

Also, it was interesting to read about how our brains have limits as computers do making us only be able to “satisfice” rather than being able to understand the complexities.

I also recognize the purpose of design as making something that is complex, more explainable.

The D School seems like a very interesting project that offers real world solutions to some big problem but not just though academic research but through hands on projects with a variety of people from different backgrounds. I think this is a really great approach and as an educator myself , it is what will set as apart as a country and shape technology in the years to come.

The interesting thing mentioned in Jobs article was the idea that the design of a product really defines how it will be perceived overall. He wanted the design to be simple because their computers make computing easier. He could of stopped with the outter appearance but he wanted the product to be simple inside as well. I’m assuming the idea is that you can’t say something is simple and then it look complex on the inside, maybe saying , hey this isn’t simple at all , its just  as complex as something Sony would make. It made it Honest. I think that the use of simple white colors is different than what Sony was doing at the time and in a lot of ways made the user experience of an Apple a more upbeat one in my own personal opinion.

On the other hand as the Forbes article points out, Apple will short hand customers with device durability in place of design. While the I phone 6 looks really cool and has some great new features, it can’t be everything and a decent battery was apparently sacrificed. This seems like more of a marketing strategy because if its looks great people will buy it even if there is a similar product that is better but doesn’t really look as great. I can also see having the latest Iphone can be a status symbol or a fashion statement. If it appears well designed, it will sell , even if you figureout later that it wasn’t. Also, with every Apple new release the consumer needs to see some kind of “improvement” and as they said “thinner” is in. Apple also could possibly do this purposely as their replacements, repairs, and accessories are a huge seller for them. They don’t just simple sell you a phone and you are done, you become a loyal subscriber to the brand, like it or not.


1) Which is more important, function or design? Are they equal? Under what circumstances (for example, is one more important in a phone, another more important in a car or computer)?

Design to me is important overall for most things. I grew up really inspired by graphic design and art. I am never satisfied with the design of most of the websites that I build even if it functions really well. I think design is more appreciated than function because function isn’t pretty.

2) Has design influenced a purchasing decision for you? Or is something high on your wish list because of design?Oddly enough design usually doesnt inspire me to buy a product because as somewhat of a techie I look for whats the most affordable product that can do what I need it to do?

But every now and then I will come under the trance of really cool design. I see design as a big component to impulse buying.

Minimalist Building the Future

Here is a great article on his Journey

Jeff Wilson is the founder of Kasita a company that builds minimal living spaces. One of the most interesting and inspiring things mentioned in the article is going from being “successful” in the corporate world, to taking the plunge to find something more meaningful . Often these drastic changes from giving away everything you worked hard for or leaving a good paying job to find more meaningful work is not received very well by most but can make a huge difference in someones happiness.

Question: How do you justify leaving a well paying career  to pursue your passion? When do you know its time to do that?


Anna Tauzin Rice

Anna’s current occupation is VP of Marketing for the Texas Restaurant Association. Prior to working with the association she worked for numerous start up projects in the tech start up realm. She speaks about how to innovate a business (mostly in Restaurants) using technology.


If you are interested in creating a Digital Marketing Company that focuses on Video Production and Social Media Marketing , How do you get your first clients, and how do you set yourself apart from your competition?