No. 180: Black Folks Monetizing Black Culture

I’m writing this while sitting in peace after listening to Seinabo Sey’s latest album, I’m a Dream. It’s a very strong project you should give a listen.

It’s fitting that album put me in good mood, because a recent interview media critic Jay Rosen did with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had me shaking my head.

Dorsey has been doing something of a press tour to provide more transparency into what the company is doing about things like abuse on the platform and improving engagement.

As Dorsey talked about new product ideas the platform was considering, he mentioned innovations that have emerged from #blacktwitter several times. #Blacktwitter isn’t monetizing the strategy it’s providing Twitter. There has got to be a way to change that not only on Twitter, but on Instagram, SnapChat and other platforms.

In saluting the McBride Sisters for their Black Girl Magic line of wines, Richelieu Dennis pointed out how dope it was for black people to monetize something from our culture.

I think platforms like Blavity and LOL Network could quickly crowdsource folks who create cool video and written content and pay them for content. iOne Digital and Revolt could do this as well. I could also see Macro Ventures, Cross Culture Ventures and New Voices Fund supporting folks who refine their craft and put out longer form content or build their own platforms.

What ideas do you have for how black folks can monetize the content we generate on social media platforms?

No. 172: Bob Johnson on Building BET

This is a fascinating conversation between Guy Raz and Bob Johnson. I had no idea he was a policy guy who then got into lobbying. His work at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association opened his eyes to the opportunity in cable TV, a nascent idea that hadn’t yet caught up with broadcast television.

The clearest thing that comes across in the interview is Johnson’s confidence – he seems to lack none, but I’m curious what he’s been like at his low points.