Category Archives: opportunity

IAB Announces Q1 Online Ad Revenues of $7.3 billion

This morning, the Interactive Advertising Bureau announced that first quarter online ad revenues reached $7.3 billion, a 23% increase since last year.

What does this mean for aspiring advertisers like you and I?

More jobs and more money to be made in advertising. More and more ad dollars are moving online and there is an enormous opportunity to grab a chunk of this growing market.

If you could capture just a tiny section of this rapidly growing market, you could make yourself a lot of money.


2010 Online Ad Revenue; source: Search Engine Land


Why I Want To Do My Own Music Marketing

This past semester, I took my first two music classes at Duke in Electronic Music and Music Composition. Since then, I’ve been creating my own beats and with enough practice, I hope to become a full time musician.

But until then, I need a day job to pay my student loans; part of the reason why I want to pursue a career in marketing and sales. As I mentioned in my blog post yesterday, I’ve got goals that I want to accomplish, and two of those goals are being an expert ad salesman and social media marketer.

I am passionate about both fields but of late I’ve begun to notice an ulterior motive for why I am pursuing a career in marketing.

Let’s say I were an aspiring musician growing up in the 90’s. I would have to send out demos and play at local clubs and bars for the chance of getting a record deal and becoming a star.

Sure, I could have good music, but that didn’t necessarily guarantee that I would make it big. What did guarantee stardom was the record labels and their marketing power.

They could get me on the radio, television, and print, and then I would be a star.

Record labels still can do this, but in today’s digital age, you and I can become sensations all on our own.

I read a post today on Social Media Today titled, “How Emerging Artists Use Social Media“, and it talks about 18 year old Travis McDaniel, a young musician and songwriter who is using social media to grow and build his fan base.

But the author cautions that it is not easy to build an audience; it takes a lot of effort.

I would agree. Just like it’s hard to build a dedicated following on Twitter, or get a lot of subscribers to your blog, creating a rabid fan base using the internet takes time, dedication, and effort.

Which is why I am pursuing a career in marketing.

You see, I could probably launch my music career now. Except that 1) I’m not that good yet, and 2) I’d much rather wait until I have marketing experience to do so.

By waiting until I have the requisite experience, I can ensure that I when I do launch my music career full-time, I’ll know what I’m doing and won’t have to pay anyone else.

By then I hope I’ll have built relationships with the blogs and other press, and I’ll have the marketing know-how and connections to plaster my name across the internet.

When I launch, I want to do it right, I want to do it professionally, and I want to do it myself. I could pay someone to do it for me, but where’s the fun in that?

The fun comes from working hard and seeing yourself succeed. At the end of the day, I want to be able to say that I’m responsible for my own success. #selfmade


Opportunity Overload

I’m at a really momentous stage in my life right now. I just graduated college, and I’ve just moved back and begun my search for my first job. I should be elated that I just graduated (I was) but I can’t help but feel somewhat miserable at home.
It’s not necessarily because I have less freedom (my dad still runs the joint) or that the prospect of home really bothers me that much. Rather, I am somewhat miserable because I am confused about what I want to do and where my life will take me.
I know that I want to get a job in ad sales because I want to start my own company someday, but I am still frustrated because there are so many other things that I could see myself doing as well. I could be a blogger, or a social media manager, or a musician (I’ve started producing my own music).
There are so many opportunities created by the internet that frankly, its frustrating.
You see,  the problem with the internet isn’t necessarily that we face information overload (although this is a big problem), but rather that we face opportunity overload.
I know that I’m smart and driven enough, and that there are enough resources on the internet, that  I can learn to do or become almost anything. I have so many interests and yet there are only so many hours in the day I can devote to pursuing those interests.
So I am finding that I have to concentrate on the few things that I am most interested in and master those interests to the best of my ability. Right now I have goals to become an expert digital ad salesman, somewhat of an expert on social media, a blogger and also a musician. (I also have plans to write a novel, but that’s something I’ll wait to do when I’m in my 30s 🙂
Those are 4-5 areas where I realistically think I can make an impact without doing overextending myself. I’ve set certain goals for the things I want to achieve in life, and I’ve created a plan to get there.
How are you handling the opportunity overload created by the internet? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Millions and Millions of Eyeballs, And Everywhere A Niche

The other day in New York it was raining out. Hard.

Not like the annoying drizzles I’m used to experiencing in North Carolina.

This was a legit downpour.

Soaked, cold and clammy, I walked to the corner of 1st Avenue and 14th Street and entered the subway to get uptown.

Disclaimer: If you were the person I bumped into while walking down the stairs into the subway, I’m sorry. I had my headphones blasting and whatever curses you yelled my way I didn’t catch. My b.

Boarding the L train to 8th avenue, I sat down on one of the yellow seats and took a look around the train…


Right there on that L train was a perfect snapshot of New York City.

There were children as young as 10 and adults as old as 70.

There were white people, black people, and Asian people.

There were people who were well-off, people who could be considered poor, and people in between.

But it wasn’t the differences in the people that I noted; it was the similarities.

In the hands of many on that train were smartphones of every kind (iPhones, Blackberrys, Android), gaming devices (PSPs, Nintendo DS’, iTouches), tablets and laptops.

And from what I could tell, each and every person was doing their own little thing, encased in their own little connected world.

Of course I had known our society was so connected. I read about it all the time on blogs such as TechCrunch and Mashable, and at Duke it seems like every student, professor, and employee has a smartphone or some connected device.

But those are my own little connected worlds and I guess it was enlightening to see everyday people using the same devices I was.

As I sat there on the metro, my thoughts (as they are wont to do) began whizzing, wondering, and whirling.

You know when some things don’t truly sink in until you see them or experience them for yourself?

Well that’s what happened to me on a dreary Monday evening in a NYC subway.

For the past four months, I’ve been reading up on thought leaders (like Seth Godin) in the online space who talk about finding a niche and then dominating it.

But I’ve always been like Screw that! I wanna rule the world!

Yet sitting there, cold and clammy on the metro, I realized how wise that advice is.

As I sat there, cold and clammy on the metro, my brain began multiplying the number of eyeballs glued to connected devices, times the number of trains running in NYC daily, times the number of trains running daily in metropolitan areas across the country, times the number of trains running daily all around the world.

My eyes widened.

Ohhh s**t! That’s a lot of eyeballs!!

Then I realized that I could find a niche, and still have potentially millions of eyeballs to attract to my blog or website.

Let’s say that I really love the game Farmville, (which I don’t) so I start a blog all about Farmville. I provide commentary on new add-ons to the game, in-game purchases, I provide FAQs and How-To guides, so on and so forth.

That might not sound like a viable niche for me to dominate.

Except when you consider that over 30 million people play Farmville.


Obviously smarter people than I have realized this and capitalized.

Look at AllFacebook. All they talk about is Facebook. All the time.

Granted Facebook is huge (600 million and counting), but it just goes to show that you can be a niche site and still have a readership of millions.

So from now on, I’m going to be looking for those little nooks and crannies that I can squeeze my brain into and hope I can attract millions of eyeballs.

Are you thinking of or are already dominating a niche? If so, share your thoughts in the comments below.

Facebook: The Social Network for Revolutions?

source: The Sovereign Independent


I can say with 95 percent confidence that when Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in 2005, he did not create it with the purpose of sparking political revolutions.  Yet, it seems that in 2011, Facebook is doing exactly that.

If it holds true to its early form, 2011 just may be remembered as the Year of the Revolution. Feeling the aftermath of Tunisia overthrewing its government in late 2010, Egypt just deposed President Hosni Mubarak from power, and it seems that Algeria, Libya and other African and Middle Eastern nations may soon follow.

Political revolutions are nothing new. It’s just that in 2011 Facebook and Twitter have overtaken the traditional outlets of print and television as the conduits for political protest across the Middle East.

Which is why Newsweek’s piece on Wael Ghonim, Google’s head of marketing for the Middle East and Africa, is so fascinating.

There is always that one still image that defines a revolution and marks its beginning.

Khaled Said was a businessman who was beaten to death by local police after using Facebook to disseminate a video of police stealing pot from a drug bust.

The beating was captured on film and disseminated around the web when Ghonim saw it, and inspired, he created a Facebook page titled “We Are All Khaled Said” in Said’s honor.

Running the page as “El Baradei”, or the Martyr, Ghonim was able to convince 50,000 people to attend the “revolution” on Facebook. The most interesting line of the article comes on page 3,

In another conversation, he mocked the idea that any politician could corral the growing protest push. “A virtual guy that they don’t know is telling them what to do,” he said. “I have the people on my side.”

What is so extraordinary, is that Ghonim was able to translate virtual support into tangible support by using the Facebook page to promote democratic ideals and schedule and organize individual demonstrations.

“El Baradei” was the perfect storm of Ghonim’s expertise and the unfortunate death of a businessman – Khaled Said was viewed as a martyr for dying to uncover injustice by the local police, and Wael Ghonim used his marketing savvy to channel the online frustrations of Egyptians into productive demonstration.

Wael Ghonim was just one example of an individual exerting influence on a network of people. No doubt, there were hundreds, if not thousands of individuals exerting influence on their neighbors, family, friends, strangers, and fellow Egytpians to participate in the revolution.

What do you make of the revolution in Egypt? Do you think you have what it takes to spark a revolution?

The Importance of Tunnel Vision

You know what it’s like right?

The daily grind, it wears on you. Day in and day out, the same routine; it gets kinda stale after a while.

That’s what I am going through right now. It’s a tough stretch where I have to focus on school, work, a job search, and managing my presence online.

And all this with graduation on the horizon.

It hasn’t been easy, and I’ve been losing focus lately.

That’s why I want to talk about the importance of tunnel vision. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, but lately I’ve been seeing a lot of shiny objects along the way, and like a little kid at the beach, I’ve stopped by to pick them up.

I need to regroup, I need to refocus, I need to maintain long term vision while at the same time taking small steps towards that light at the end of the tunnel.

How am I going to do this?

First, I need to reestablish what goals I’m trying to accomplish by the end of school. They are:

  • Graduating on time. This means finishing whatever classes I have left.
  • Getting good grades.
  • Getting a job.
  • Becoming a better writer.
  • Learning more about social media and building my online presence.
  • Finishing my internships.


Second, I need to take each goal, and approach them one step at a time. When I’m all over the place and disorganized is when I’m least effective. But when I focus on one goal at time, I can put my full energy and concentration into it. This means:

  • Creating daily task lists for things I need to get done.
  • Starting projects and finishing them.
  • Scheduling time to finish specific projects.

These are all things I was doing up until a week ago, but my focus and dedication this week has been lacking.

Tomorrow is for when dedication starts anew and I get back to the daily grind.

My tunnel vision has been lacking lately. How about yours?

Happy Martin Luther King Day

I am an African American, but when the issue of race is brought up, I find that I often don’t have much to say.

Some of my black friends however, will get all fired up, and often rightfully so, but that is just not me.

There’s no doubt that growing up in NY suburb as overwhelmingly white as mine shielded me from many of the issues black people still face.

I once remember a friend from Texas telling me that every time he goes out to eat, he is always served a smaller piece of steak than a white person.

I thought this to be ludicrous but at the same time I realized in New York, this would probably never happen, nor would I have any reason to notice it.


With that I woke up this morning feeling proud, because America has decided to honor one of the greatest men who ever lived, Martin Luther King.

And I say greatest because King has made life for myself and other black people in America exponentially better.

Without King, my family wouldn’t be able to afford to live in the house we do, nor would I be allowed to attend the mostly white public school I did.

Without King, I wouldn’t be able to attend a prestigious university like Duke; a key ingredient to living a better life.

Without King, Barack Obama would never have been elected President, and I wouldn’t be able to say that as an African American, with a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck, I can become anything I want.

Sure, there are still barriers that hold millions of black people back, but it is great to have a whole day and month dedicated to Pioneers whose shoulders we (I) can stand on, and take this nation to greater heights.