Creator, Co-founder & Chairman , TWITTER
Q&A with Laura Brown, Executive Editor Harpers Bazaar
“I think i m just an editor and think that every CEO is an editor. I think every leader in every company is an editor… We have all these places that that we could go- all these things that we could do- but we need to present one cohesive story to the world”
- we building a company by listening to the consumer
- we want to get something meaningful
I have three main roles:
1. Edit the team
2. Internal and external communication
What magazines do you read?
- the economist: you can see the most important thing that is happening in the world
Great design - stunning
It unfolds in a very beautiful way, so well packaged
I have learned a lot from watching it
I really liked trains as a child
Railroads are like programming: very similar
It makes you think in a very unique way
Many codes in programming are taken from rail road vocabulary
I learned that the field i was crafting in my bedroom was dispatched
I became really fascinated by computers
Email ceo and chairman: “you have a whole in your program” … And then I got employed in a week
NY is like being in a car in a thunderstorm everything is around us ragging
Came by train, I was so terrified, looking for hotel, no much there
You can feel electricity in the city, i fell in love with it
Transit communication inspired twitter
I realized at one point 2001 that i had a wonderful picture of the town, but NOT THE PEOPLE, their voice
I built a service in one week end that allowed me to email from anywhere which could send emails real time to my friends
- it was a wrong idea and wrong time
This idea came back at 2005-2006.. When texting became popular in the USA
I could be everywhere
- I talked about the idea, i wrote a resume, I had a great team, we took 2 weeks
The most importan thing is to paint a picture of what you want to see in the workd
I wanted to see the cities and the people and share information
Twitter gives the opportunity to bring issues up- simple things, like revolutions
How are people living
When did you understand twitter was so good
- when my mother got it, the way to communicate to the family “do you want to come home for dinner?” hahahahah.. She thought it was text messaging
- we live in S franscico and have tremors all the time, my phone buzzed and then i felt the earthquake.. Message came in after the tweet because it was not centered in San fran.. This feeling towards facts instantly.. You get this support, like in Sandy, unifying, like
- when Obama won and he gave a speech, he was looking around and a congressman was on the phone; i got buzz from a person sitting next to obama tweeting she was seeing him
“its not real until its verified”
Idea came from a glass sculpturer; my boss
I wrote the software, a guy wrote the iphone software and it worked in a month
Swiping the card through- one $
It goes directly to their account
Very simple hardware and give software away for free
Very important for twitter to scale something which could be used from Obama or a farmer in Kenya
Communication commerce: idea- no matter where you are or who you are you can spread the word
Vine: kick, editing films with it
Showed me the app and found it so interesting
5 secs was too short, 10 was too long
Its entirely a new art form
It has changed my perspective in media - you don’t only take the beach, you can hear the sound of waves
Favorite vine: stop emotions - flying around
Break fast: 2 boiled eggs and soya sauce and berries (twitter)
Stubborn person: best part: conviction to build what you want to see in the world
Constantly walking around
Cruise around and interact with each other
I am a certified masseur: i am taking massage therapy 1000 hours of massage therapy
You want to do something with your hands, its the best thing to do when you are programming all the time
I would do massage therapy for programmers only!!! I could also talk about their programming problems- massage and therapy sessions
Investigated fashion design for a second: a was always in love with jeans, denim has always been a very big inspiration as a textile
I took some drawing classes, and design classes, and they tough you first design skirts.. But then moved on to twitter
NYC: one day i want to be a mayor
i ve always loved cities, build cities around the world
Political science: i could write a rule, a policy and would see an effect in 2-4 years
Computer: do the same in 2 seconds
You can show people what they can do, what are the possibilities, instead to tell them you can do this and that
Twitter and square: they are at 1% of their potential. They have so much more to give. Healthcare: twitter- support each-other
square- doctors get their money the next morning, doesn’t need to go through healthcare
10billion evaluation this year
Business: we never lead with a business
We waited until we founded something vital
Promoted tweets, advertisers
Increases the philosophy, and participation of the message
People using #?
Dynamic range of twitter
Gentleman in a boat who took photo of the plane landed in hudson and then went international
You can be anyone, anywhere and be a power in the world
The world can fit in your pocket-
Time Hop- download app
Tweets- geolocated- be in front of Hearst Tower and see what has happened over the years
Associated press which happened yesterday?!
Having really strong passwords is needed
Security and privacy - constantly change it!! Weekly basis or whatever feels right.
It was a powerful and very unfortunate thing to see but it keeps us reminder
What happened in Boston?
Should you be an individual who says whatever you want?
Twitter equivalent to times square
You should be authentic and genuine and you should be AWARE of what you re saying
Case by case: every new technology, we have to adapt and know how to use it
Maria Farantouri & Charles Lloyd at the Met – 15 March 2013
One week ago my friend bought tickets for a concert at the Metropolitan Museum and invited me; she told me we would see Charles Lloyd playing along with a Greek singer. When we arrived I realized how remarkable this concern would be; the Greek singer she was talking about is Maria Farantouri, a very respected singer who is also a cultural and political activist. During the Greek military junta (1967-1974) she recorded protest songs in Europe and has worked with various important composers in Greece and abroad. Charles Lloyd, is a very influential figure in the music industry starting with jazz but combining it with different kinds of music like rock. I was thrilled to watch him because I had heard of him but had never seen him live; a funny coincidence is that it was his 75th birthday that day and he celebrated singing to the audience; an aspect which proves that “live” is pleasantly unexpected. Adding to these two extraordinary artists was the setting of the concert; the Temple of Dendur in The Egyptian Wing of the Met.
The concert started with Lloyd playing the saxophone, a smooth jazz melody followed by the pianist. His aura was amazing and his rhythm subtle and playing solo gave him the opportunity to improvise and fuse different touches of jazz. After almost half an hour Farantouri joined him with vocal singing and additional instruments were added to the band with the pianist being very striking and obtaining a great balance with Lloyd. As the concert went by the songs became more upbeat but still including jazz and she started singing her famous songs, which are traditionally heavy upbeat Greek with loud instruments behind. The most impressive thing of this concert was observing how two very different kinds of music can create such a beautiful outcome; their chemistry was amazing. Her music is more folklore, harsh and loud in contrast to the smoothness of jazz. Her voice was very different than it usually is because she adapted to Lloyds playing; it was a breakage of musical boundaries, a sound that reminded me of ecclesiastic music combined with saxophone. The songs were poised and minimal and the addition of the lyra, a traditional Greek instrument like violin was for me the silver lining between the two artists; I felt lost in the music while they were playing all together.
This was the second concert of the two artists together, the first being in one of the oldest theaters in Greece, in the Acropolis sacred theater where Greek tragedies were performed in Ancient Greece. From what I found online of the previous concert, the repertoire was not the same, therefore what I saw here was unique. The fact that they have performed together before gives the audience the essence of reproduction but uniqueness at the same time; for instance she started singing happy birthday saying “we are celebrating tonight, by playing music with sensitivity and freedom”. We have learned in class what makes a performance authentic; for me this was 100% live and original that could be reproduced, but differently every time. Furthermore, as Auslander states, “authenticity is not simply present in the music itself but also in the larger cultural context” and this was unique culture wise. The fact that there were cameras didn’t bother anyone because they were set behind the audience and were very discrete. As for the rest of the light installation it never became too heavy, as the temple was more than overwhelming. They simply used blue and pink lights behind the band to portray the water around the temple, which was also mirrored at the same time. There was no need of using technology too much since the music said it all; even the language did not matter as big part of the audience was not Greek but enjoyed the concert very much.
I consider myself extremely lucky to have watched this concert and the audience warmth was equal as mine. It constituted of Greek and non-Greek people, of every age, most of them being open minded to accept this music and definitely having a music education. I imagine that only the hardcore followers of Lloyd who are used to his rock/jazz could be disappointed. I left the concert with a feeling of nostalgia for Greece and a realization that all kinds of music could be combined in a magical way if the artists are capable of doing it. I was really impressed by Lloyd, finding his tone and subtleness astonishing although I can not critique his capability playing the saxophone since its not a very familiar instrument to me. I also felt extremely proud to be Greek and listening some of the songs that my parents grew up with inside the Met was surreal. The setting was definitely unique and combined so well the Egyptian history with the American music and Greek songs.
Watching Jerome Bel’s choreography in class made me think of various issues around the body, identity and the difference between European and American choreography.
Starting with the body portrayal in dancing, I personally believe that its the body which should only “talk” to the audience and not the expression or the music overshadowing it. A friend of mine who is a dancer once told me that “when I dance, its very hard to block my mind by thinking of my posture, my expression, my balance. What we mostly try is to think nothing and let our body express itself”. Coming back to Bel, I think that he uses the body very differently than most of the choreographers, surely more provocatively and thats why he has received so much criticism. For the most part I liked what I saw, but I would not expect a big majority of viewers to like it; not all kind of audiences are ready to see the body being hurt or stretched as we saw the dancer do in Bel’s piece. As he said, many people see the body as sacred, something he rejects. I think that Bel is taking the portrayal of the body at the next level, following a movement of the 80’s and 90’s of displaying a bare body in contemporary dance, and the body in its epidermal strength and in its massive presence.
Moving on to the difference of the European and American choreography, I have been exposed more in the European one coming from there, which has definitely been groundbreaking during the last two decades. I am sure that in New York people are perceiving the nude body more openly but as Bel said, in cities of France or England where people are very religious, they don’t approve of this kind of dance, as someone in a small city in America would not approve it either. What is certain is that Europe historically has been in contact with the nude body earlier than in the US, with the body portrayed in ancient greek sculptures and then in Renaissance paintings.
Finishing with my own experiences around the body, I would like to compare and contrast Jerome Bel with one of the most controversial and respected choreographers of Greece who also uses the body and has produced some amazing projects. He was the choreographer of the opening ceremony in the Olympic games in Athens 2004 (one of the most worth-watching and historically touching spectacles I have ever seen) and then moved to more daring performances around sexuality, body and depression. The link below is from his performance “2” which depicts the vision of male sexuality, desire, and a hopeless search for the “other”. Take a look, it is worth it, and we can discuss it in class if you wish.
One journalist, in his review described very accurately the feelings of the viewer towards the performance,
“I wanted to enjoy the embarrassment of everyone, without exception; to watch people compromise themselves, to be caught unawares, to exorcise this “evil.” And there was indeed much to amuse me, but my sport was mingled with a despair brought on by both sides of the critical reception: both by those who reviewed this exquisite construction of good taste as a gay spectacle, and by those who defended it as such. The discussions reminded me of those inane theories that consider whether da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is a man or a woman, or what her smile could mean. It makes you want to scream: this is painting, old chum! This is art, my dear fellow! And, unless you are the imbecilic gendarme of Charles Lalo who shoots an actor playing the part of a burglar, you have an obligation above all else to consider a work of art as a construction, because this is the meaning of art: it is the correspondence, connection and combination of often contradictory, perhaps even unrelated elements in a new inflection.”
And Imagine that in the case of Bel, French as a culture are more open to extreme performances than in Greece ( a discussion that will have to take place in a different post!!)
Last week, we went with our “electronic media and live performance” class in a rehearsal of ‘Exit 12’, a team of dancers formed by a former US soldier in Iraq. The emotions throughout these 2 hours were strong, touching and complex. Firstly, I find that dance, in general is a great way to express feelings; its a way of liberating ourselves and think nothing else while escaping away. Therefore, I find it very smart that this soldier who was in Iraq found a way to readjust in his post-war reality by creating this company. Surfing through the web, I found out that there are other dance companies who work in dealing with traumatic experiences as a healing process. I found two or three of these dancers excellent, they where really focused and drawn by the music. The music was the other element of this rehearsal that surprised me; even though its songs who exist already, I found that they expressed exactly what the choreographer wanted to pass. As for the marketing, I found it very smart that they will ask of the audience to tweet in a real time while watching the performance. The fact that live video will also play will make the experience stronger and surely more vivid. I will definitely try to go to their performance and spread the word for them to people that I know.
Last week, Pete Cashmore came at Hearst building in the context of a series of sessions which the company organizes for their employees. I was very impressed to see him, as mashable is one of the most followed blogs/websites nowadays. I found him really charming and below you can look at some of his answers in questions around his company, the future of social media, and how they are trying to be ahead of times.
Founder and CEO of Mashable
Definition of Mashable: a digital site for the new generation
Secret sauce of sucess:
Good social media strategy
Started from Scotland, Aberdeen
Offices in San Francisco and NY
Philosophy of mashable: evolving, digital literacy that goes across media platforms, we have people who do everything. A need for multiple skills, photo, video, editing, writing. New media companies are continuously being disrupted by social and videos.
What is a good story?
” the outsider perspective” : I explain staff to myself, I try and explain them in a human way. Even to people who are not at ease with technology. Engaging with stories online. The way that digital starts to be a thread is a section growing for us.
Live events: Mashable is one of the first companies who organize live events through their site. Purpose: getting people together, there are advantages in face-to-face conversations. People are gathering around to celebrate social media.
Layout redesigned in December 2012: mostly positive responses. You have to be ahead of events, if the responses are 100% positive it means that the reader has seen something similar before; we always want to be ahead of our time.
MOBILE and video: making your site work across different platforms (in size, layout, accessibility, reach)
SOCIAL: share individual pieces of a story, quotes etc because we saw demand to share individual pieces and not a whole article
The whole world is going more visual, video is great but it’s a big commitment of time, and its consumed much more easily, ex:launch of a new product, the consumer wants to see it not read about it
Acquisition deals- rumors: the focus for us now is in what ways we could grow the company, and we have a huge opportunity in our hands. When you assess an opportunity the main question is how the company is getting better: for the moment we want our independence and freedom.
Communication between platforms: the biggest challenge nowadays for advertisers, editors and publishers.
Impact of social media in fashion: we have a fashion reporter. We covered fashion week, I think there is an interest in fashion, they create content around people who wear their clothes. Its more personal than showing fashion shows or brands. High fashion doesn’t go with mass media, its more about mass products, an exclusive product must be protected from mass advertising, I think that’s the main concern. The other slow movers are the financial products. In fashion they use tumblr a lot, new clothes, as well as pinterest.
About Google: Its never going to be one network to control the media, now what’s great with social is that traffic is so distributed. You always have people on new networks. Google is adapting to the real life trends.
Anyone can create their company on their garage: one part is optimistic about the ease of creating -instagram is the fastest evolving social tool ever- and some other are paralyzed of the power of the social media. You have to be the company who is ahead of the change
Q: One thing that people do in social and bores you to death?
Brands: still in the mindset ‘we need to get a fb and twitter’
All are asking the same question: how much content can we get for 1 billion $, its good because media companies are in their turn right now
Favorite tools for editors:
The more tools you give them the less they use
We don’t use a lot; google analytics, google real time, regular editorial meetings - trends
You always want to give 3 choices, not more