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Everything posted by CDBurns

  1. Okay, your opinion is of your experience. When I got into the car with my riders I was looking at it from a business perspective so I asked questions so I wouldn't make assumptions. Uber sucks and on average all of my drivers who were signed up with both admitted this. Uber is already losing ground to Lyft. Of the multiple rides we took in Vegas 30% of the drivers were utilizing the car rental service provided by Lyft. This means they got unlimited miles on their rental to drive for Lyft. The cost of the rental was 100 a week. In one day one of the ladies explained that she made that in fares already so everything else was profit. I think when you analyze it with only part of the narrative you come to the conclusion that it will inevitably be bad. The truck driver who drives full time actually uses the rental to travel when he isn't driving for Lyft. Think about that... The guy is renting a car for 100 a week. On a good day he can pull down 250 dollars. On a bad day he may only earn 50. Even at 50 per day over 6 days he's at 300 per week and most of the rentals get 35-40 miles per gallon which means he's probably filling up at 30 bucks twice a week. It's not a bad investment for him. As I said I asked every driver and they all came from different walks of life and they all liked the job except one lady who was new to it and not making much. Your analysis is not what I see. If the company is giving you a great deal to use a rental and you are doing this as your full time job in a city like Vegas it makes sense and it works. Your hope that we will become peer to peer is admirable. I am over that idea. Would I like for this to be the case? Of course, but I'm a realist. I know that convenience overrides conscience consumerism (this is something that I'm working on a book about). In a world where we could have more peer to peer interaction you are still going to have to pay someone to drive the traffic to any venture. The difference between Uber/Lyft and Twitter/Tumblr is that Uber/Lyft were built on platforms where they charged money from day one. Twitter and other Internet companies like what this guy is talking about have to figure out how to monetize their businesses although they have a ridiculous amount of monthly users. A lot of these internet companies start and don't have any way to monetize. They simply want the Monthly Users. A prime example in the sneaker world is a company called StockX. The founder worked at twitter. He ran a site called Campless and this site gave everyone info on how much shoes were selling in the resell market. The founder Josh Luber even earned a Ted Talk. He then parlayed Campless into a deal that was invested into by Dan Gilbert owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Now Campless didn't have a monetization plan. When he got the investment he based on trying to take his monthly users and have them sell on his platform StockX. He thought the fact that everyone used Campless that they would place their shoes for sell on StockX and he could earn his consignment fees. What I've noticed is that he's been advertising like crazy. Using Google Ads, Facebook Ads, submitting multiple stories to blogs, connecting with influencers like the rapper Wale, Eminem, singer ne-Yo and I'm sure these endorsements don't come cheap; to get people to use the service. What he failed to realize is that people are already selling on Amazon and eBay and that they will always opt for convenience over potential. Now that he's taken money he's going to have to either raise more money or get the platform to be profitable. Like your guy in the video said he no longer has time to build a quality product. Uber/Lyft was built on a pay service. I don't think it's the same analysis. I think my half full approach allows me to see the benefits. My half full approach is also allowing me to look at every business as a potential study on how to monetize the creation of ideas. I look for the way to capitalize both within and outside of the parameters of the machine. Would I love peer to peer in everything I do? Do I think it would benefit people more? Definitely... but unless people have the patience and money to go slow, it's just not going to happen.
  2. I like Uber. This weekend I used Lyft and Uber for the first time and it was incredible. The people driving all had different stories. One of the drivers owned Buffalo Wild Wings in another state before being forced to sell them. Another was fired from his truck driving job because a family member was hired. Another bought a limo styled SUV and has plans to purchase a fleet of SUVs and hire his own drivers. He has a limo service as well. Another driver was a lady who drives full time and makes enough to provide for her family. Uber/Lyft is a disruptive force that I don't think will fracture the car market as much as people think. Cars are individual sources of pride and status for people. What Uber/Lyft has done is completely disrupt the service industry as it relates to local travel and actually generated business opportunities. Will it get saturated? Yes of course it will, but anything worth doing as a biz will get overdone. Everything can't be regulated. It just can't. Eventually those people who use crowdfunding find themselves unable to actually sell product once the campaign is over and they have to learn how to sell. As much as I want to move away from Amazon and only sell on my platform, the bottom line is you have to be where people are buying unless you have six figures set aside to be patient enough to allow your platform to grow. It's a double edged sword. Every person has to learn how to hold the handle/hilt so they can swing the sword and cut the fruit that will feed them. Crowdfunding is great when it is used the right way. Spike Lee wasted the platform and pimped the system. But smaller people with vision have created some solid projects. In the shoe field I've seen a company like Inkkas have to be rescued although they ran 4 Kickstarters bringing in 200K. They ended up on Marcus Lemonis' The Profit. Why? because they used kickstarter to sell and there is an extreme danger in this that eventually catches up with the company, but in the short time people do win without providing a service at all. Another shoe company Three over Seven raised 100K in 5 days. Overshadowing my own campaign, and then failed miserably at delivering the shoes, but they parlayed that into an investment of 2.7 million and changed the name to Allbirds. These are shoe examples, but I've backed about 7 projects in different fields and it worked pretty well. Some really good projects failed though and that is disappointing. Anyway, I'm starting to find that there are ways to utilize the structures in place. I've even come to realize that I've been wrong about my approach to Facebook. What I've found is that Facebook sucks for items that are created and don't have any social connection to people. I make a shoe or a book, or any manufactured item, and I don't have a following, If I use Facebook nothing is going to happen because there isn't social or emotional equity in those items. However, a song, or speech, or picture has inherent social and emotional equity built in because people respond to those things that connect with them. One of the guys I built a site for has parlayed his Facebook videos into growth for his YouTube and has extended his reach so now his band is touring and he has a lot of followers, but music is social. I ran a video ad of a speech this past week and saw a small increase in my YouTube, but I also sold 5 downloads of books and a couple of paperbacks. I also sold about 5 pair of shoes. The video resonated just like I thought it would and allows for the building of a brand. There has to be a constant stream of cash going out, but I have yet to hit 150 dollars advertising but the five shoes and books was a wash and more important I have been able to dialogue with the people sharing the video. I still drive traffic to my website with articles, but the way to work in this new internet system is to study it and create and then try different tactics. It's a full time job.
  3. A lot of common sense information here for those of us who are actively working to increase traffic and sales on our sites.Disruption is a good thing if you can figure out how to disrupt. That is the issue. How do you figure out the angle to attack the market and gain market share? That's the constant question for every person looking to increase revenue, how do I grow and add value is your question? His point is that the internet is not interested in adding value, but that is changing. Honestly I don't think it ever changed. People who only want money are going to only care about getting money without regard to bringing value. Those of us who care about adding value will try to add value. This is a talk about public and private biz and everyone is aware of the differences in these paths.
  4. We had those classes, but it wasn't reinforced at home. I have to think even now those classes aren't reinforced at home which is why check cashing and pay day loan places exist in every low income neighborhood in the country. It's interesting that the argument against the military is based on PTSD and homelessness... The reason I find it interesting is because we are very rarely confronted with analyzing other jobs in the same manner. There is only research on these matters as they relate to the military and like I said earlier this is because people who want to argue about the money being spent by the government spend more time creating these studies. I would wager that there is more trauma and mental issues with ex NFL players than military personnel based on percentages. I would also wager there is more PTSD and homelessness among low income minorities. The problem is no one is studying it. I would also wager there is more PTSD among cops. I am sure you get what I'm saying. When the military is discussed it will always be easier to state the negative outcomes and impacts because it is being studied more often than other fields. It goes without saying that we should treat homeless Vets and Vets with mental issues with more care, once again though Harry's comment initially that started this thread was that Black Vets should be memorialized. Troy you shifted that discussion to Ali and if Pioneer agreed or disagreed. I was fine lurking but my name was brought up about my experience. Troy you dug in your heels against the military by bringing up PTSD and homelessness as a reason that the military isn't good for Black folks. You supported what you said with studies and evidence. My goal was to tell you that those studies are inherently flawed and fail to really analyze what people are homeless that served. Troy if you can find somewhere in your research what was the rank and job of the homeless veterans I personally think you would have a stronger argument... but to me your position is based on propaganda that shapes the discussion on why the military is "horrible" or "bad" for people. The reason I call it propaganda is because if you want to do a study there has to be a true baseline, a control and that control has to be informed. This information below is the closest that comes to actually looking at the job and rank: http://greendoors.org/facts/veteran-homelessness.php 1. The vast majority of homeless veterans (96%) are single males from poor, disadvantaged communities. Homeless veterans have served in World War II, Korean War, Cold War, Vietnam War, Grenada, Panama, Lebanon, Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the military's anti-drug cultivation efforts in South America. 2. The number of homeless female veterans is on the rise: in 2006, there were 150 homeless female veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars; in 2011, there were 1,700. That same year, 18% of homeless veterans assisted by the VA were women. Comparison studies conducted by HUD show that female veterans are two to three times more likely to be homeless than any other group in the US adult population. 3. Veterans between the ages of 18 and 30 are twice as likely as adults in the general population to be homeless, and the risk of homelessness increases significantly among young veterans who are poor. 4. Roughly 56% of all homeless veterans are African-American or Hispanic, despite only accounting for 12.8% and 15.4% of the U.S. population respectively. 5. About 53% of individual homeless veterans have disabilities, compared with 41%of homeless non-veteran individuals. 6. Half suffer from mental illness; two-thirds suffer from substance abuse problems; and many from dual diagnosis (which is defined as a person struggling with both mental illness and a substance abuse problem). 7. Homeless veterans tend to experience homelessness longer than their non-veteran peers: Veterans spend an average of nearly six years homeless, compared to four years reported among non-veterans. Now let's look at these facts and I will explain why I'm saying the studies need to discuss rank and job. Number 1: 96% are males. Look at where they are from. When I brought up the ASVAB it was to show that the test scores were low which means that the people from the poor and disadvantage communities on average have lower test scores. This places them into grunt, infantry and no rate positions in the military. Also in number 1 there is attention placed on war time efforts where obviously the lower ranked military people are the first to fight. Number 2: Women veterans have it worse than any veterans. Why? Because the military is a sexist organization (but what isn't sexist in America?) This is compounded by the stress of the various branches. My squadron was the first to have a female pilot on a carrier and it was the first to have a female pilot die by crashing on a carrier. A lot of my shipmates have PTSD from that experience. It was traumatizing, but even more so for the women. Number 3: Note the ages of the veterans. 18-30 are more than likely going to be your lower ranked guys. Which means that they hold the shit jobs. Which also goes back to what I said about these guys joining and not having a job and then not taking advantage of the ability to strike or find a job. If you add to this that most of them are from poor and disadvantaged communities. Homelessness was potentially on the plate anyway. Number 4: Most homeless people are Black or Brown. Most lower ranking people (by percentage) tend to be minorities. Number 5: Remember when I said up there that Navy guys who didn't enter with a school carry chains? That chain carrying is 12 hours a day with a float coat on, a cranial, steel toe boots, gloves and the temperature is 100 plus on the flight deck in the Gulf. You are going to be disabled with those work hours. Is that slavery? Yes... but those positions are not meant to be done as a career. The service person has to start looking at jobs, but by the time you've done this for one cruise you are burned out and just want to leave. You go home and you're embarrassed and instead of going home, I've seen guys stay in San Diego where they can't afford to live. The end result becomes homelessness. Number 6: Mental illness... see the above. Every guy I know took Motrin and drank at some point. I honestly can't imagine what the infantrymen and grunts do. Number 7: See above Now I did this because we have the numbers on it. If I were to counter your discussion on the military with this discussion "Kids should not play sports because pursuing professional athletics leads to homelessness" then I could look at the percentage of former professional players who are homeless and who have committed suicide and the numbers based on percentages would be mind blowing. The same can be said about students who enter law school or the become cops. I guess the bottom line is I think you simply don't like the military and your father taught you that and Ali taught you that and the research has taught you that. We don't have an argument, we simply have opinions and that's all good when the dialogue remains focused. I'm with Harry though, Black Vets should be celebrated because being a vet is hard... being a Black vet is twice as hard.
  5. Xeon definitely nailed the positives in a much more concise manner that I overlooked because I tend to think people understand the positive aspects, but I think we all overlook the simple things. When I was in high school I wasn't taught to open a bank account. I used check cashing places. If we look in black neighborhoods this is a huge issue. Xeon is right. I didn't have a bank account until I went into the military. I was physically fit because I played sports, but my discipline was not there at all, which led to my problems after high school. I carried my issues into the Navy and while I still carried a lot of the problems I gained a better understanding of discipline which has guided me throughout my life. If I had tried to finish college after high school I would have failed miserably. After the Navy, college was a walk in the park. Xeon is right about college also. There are a ton of enrollment opportunities for military personnel... Like civilians though, military personnel often overlook these options. Good points Xeon.
  6. I understand that my experience is my experience and for me to speak in general about the military can be considered shortsighted as it doesn't take in the research available on the military, but my experience is the only valid source that I trust because I know for a fact that when you search for military and homelessness there isn't any research that is broken down according to rate (job). Also like I said when discussing homelessness, people have the military as a baseline while there aren't any studies done on other jobs to give you a baseline. In other words there aren't any studies available on how many homeless writers there are, or how many homeless lawyers there are, etc. It's just too complex of a study. What I do know is that at any time there are 600,000 people homeless and of that number veterans make up 50,000 or so. Veterans do have a high rate of homelessness only because there really isn't a way of measuring what other large group of people are homeless. That's why up above I said that I would be willing to bet that homelessness for veterans, if broken down by rate or lack of a job while in the military, would equate to those who are homeless after serving. Do you get what I'm saying? The people who tend to have shitty military experiences are often the guys who had jobs that were in the lower tier of the military. In the Navy, those without rates tied down air planes carrying around 5lb chains on a flight deck if they were airwing. You better believe those guys got out of the Navy after their first enlistment without any skills. In the Army and Marines those guys are infantrymen and we know how damaged they are because they are on the frontlines. These guys tend to be Black and Brown and probably they didn't perform well on their ASVABs and held crappy jobs. Now once they have experienced these crappy jobs I said up above they can strike or shoot for a school, but often those are the guys who get out pretty much in the same place they entered. So the problem is the studies are not concise at all. If 600,000 people are homeless is anyone taking a survey on what jobs where held? Probably not, but asking if a homeless person served is much easier than trying to find out if the person was a low income worker. For example if you look up how many people are homeless due to foreclosure then you would see that a large number of homeless are actually there because they lost their homes. This number is higher than veterans, but the comparison isn't quite as biting because associating homelessness with the military is a way to speak against the military for those who would like the budget to be shifted somewhere else. This doesn't mean that I don't think that the budget shouldn't be shifted. This is my logic for why the focus on homelessness and veterans is so prevalent and why the studies avoid talking about the jobs held by most homeless veterans. If the studies took the time to analyze jobs held by veterans then it would open the door to the use of ignorance as a tool in recruitment which would decrease the number of people enlisting. (This is really the issue that needs to be addressed.) Your discussion on the military is common and I get it. Money should be used on education or any number of things, but it isn't. Nothing I can say here will fix that. The discussion that was begun however stated that you are more likely to be homeless if you are a veteran, or that 1 in 4 veterans are homeless. The thing is none of those studies take into consideration where the person came from prior to their enlistment and they definitely don't analyze the type of job that person had while serving. Therefore these studies are flawed. All of them are flawed and they fail to get to the core of the issue of homelessness which is in direct correlation to a person who enlists being unaware of the options they have when enlisting. Does this use of ignorance take advantage of minorities? Yessir, but once again this is not just a military issue. Not liking that the military is the only option is your right and you can give reasons for why you don't like it. I can give my own personal reasons why I think it is a very good option. This doesn't mean that I was indoctrinated in any way or programmed/brainwashed and that I'm not critical of the military, but none of you asked me to be critical and give my opinion on the problems. You connected homelessness to being a veteran and stated that the military was not a good option. I simply stated that from my experience of being in the Navy and having a lot of associates and family serve, the good far outweighs the bad. Good points Troy.
  7. I'm good Cynique. I didn't respond because it's a waste of time. I realized also that Harry started the thread. SMH, when someone is willing to diss the enlisted people of the military it is very telling.
  8. Troy, like any group activity there is an indoctrination. Street gangs, frats, biker clubs, all deal with the process of fraternization. Trust me I get this. Your dad is much older and was in a different Navy. As a matter of fact that older group of guys talk about the blatant racism that existed in the Navy. I'm not naive about any of that. When people look at the military or any job, it doesn't matter what it is, people can find racism and difficult issues. It is what it is. When I graduated I made some really bad decisions that landed me in Jail/juvi. I was temporarily placed in jail because I didn't have ID and once it was verified that I wasn't as old as I looked I was in Juvi. That's a crazy story, but I still made shitty choices after this and I was given an option. I chose to enter the Navy. Like I said, my company was filled with guys who had gone to college, worked jobs, had families and were older, all types. The choice to serve was varied. Sara, It's not one upping, I don't care what you've done, if you weren't military you can't speak with certainty because you aren't that. Can you speak to the job you held, sure. Is that just as valid when addressing homelessness, of course, but I would never, ever claim to understand the job of someone that I haven't done. I think that's wrong. Troy, I can never say I understand what you go through running AALBC, because I haven't done that job. Do I get the challenges? Sure, but I can't speak with certainty about what you do or have done. That's all I'm saying. That's not one upping (Sara) or disregarding (Troy) what you have to say, it's just the honest truth in how I feel and how anyone who has done something that others haven't done whether it's military, or coaching a sport, or teaching. I mean damn Sara even said it herself, I can't speak to her job of working with veterans, but she can speak to my shit. FOH! I swear writing something on this board is a waste of fucking time because Sara has worked in every job that exists and has evidence of everything so no one is ever right and everyone is trying to prove you (Sara) wrong. I don't give a fuck about you and what you've done. My name was brought up because someone asked if I found the military valuable. I said that I love the military and most of the people I know love the military and love this country. I also said, that the people who are homeless more than likely were the guys that served in the jobs where they didn't have a school or skill. (If you want to do the research to try to figure that out you can, but I am willing to bet that those guys who are homeless were the guys in infantry or in lower skilled jobs and quite frankly they would have probably ended up in that situation whether they were in the military or not). There are 600,000 homeless people. 50,000 of them are veterans. There are on average a million people serving in the military at one time. Using homelessness to establish that the military is bad for people is kind of a damn stretch. Race would be a bigger factor which takes this dialogue right back to all of the issues on the other talks, racism. You guys are using homelessness as a way of disparaging the military and saying that it isn't good for people. If you don't like the military, that's cool. That's your right as a person who lives in the greatest nation in the world as far as I'm concerned. I think the military offers a very good education if you go for the jobs that you want on the outside. I think the military offers a great opportunity to gain an education after you leave the military. I think that it's a great option for someone who is unsure of what they want to do, but would like to gain direction and discipline. That is my right to think this way and be proud of my service and my experience. You have a right to think that the military leads to homelessness. I would say lack of education, and social issues lead to homelessness. The military is just one of the easiest things to analyze as it relates to homelessness. It's very straightforward. Someone says "Were you in the military?" Homeless person says, "Yes". I just tried to google/bing Homeless educators, homeless professional athletes, homeless factory workers and homeless social workers and you know what? No one is really doing any research on that. But if you search for race and homelessness, that appears to be the biggest factor. If Blacks are the majority of homeless, and Blacks make up a greater percentage of the lower level jobs in the military logically Veterans are going to be more homeless than other people so it's kind of a given right? Does this mean that the military is bad? No. Not to me. "45% of Homeless veterans are Black." The threads always go off topic, so I will end my rant here by saying I love the U.S. I love the military. That was the original question that was posed when my name came up.
  9. I'm not doing any research on this, but by "most" maybe a quarter are homeless and vets. Okay I did some research just now: " In January 2014, communities across America identified 49,933 homeless veterans during point-in-time counts, which represents 8.6 percent of the total homeless population. This represents a substantial decrease (67.4 percent) in the number of homeless veterans counted only five years previously in 2009.i Though veterans continue to remain overrepresented in the homeless population in America,ii these recent decreases demonstrate the marked progress that has been made in ending veteran homelessness. " http://www.endhomelessness.org/library/entry/fact-sheet-veteran-homelessness I would explain this by saying (because I served for a total of 8 years, my sister served 10, her husband served, 20, and I can go down the list of veterans I know for my own evidence) the homeless vets failed to actually choose a school or a skill. A lot of guys go into the service without knowing what is available. After the first tour/duty station, you become aware of opportunities and at this point you can do what is called striking in the Navy/Marines. You can choose a school. I've seen first hand guys say, "F That" and just finish and get out. Without a doubt those guys are often infantrymen or guys without jobs so they leave without a skill and worse they are the guys who spend the majority of time in the trenches. I am sure that the number drops considerably in the homeless ranks when you begin looking at those who had training/jobs and school. Once again, being in the military gives you a certain amount of clarity when discussing this. Your being the family member has it's own "qualities" that are a factor and should be discussed, but in no way qualifies you to speak with the same certainty that a person who served can speak.
  10. I went to the military because it offered an alternative to the path I was heading. Most of the guys that were in my boot camp company (they came from all walks of life) chose for a variety of reasons. There are too many reasons to list, but every one of us by the end of boot camp were proud of what we accomplished and felt an attachment to this country that I haven't lost. It's probably why I see so many positives in the country where a lot of people don't see the same positives. My service has influenced me to say on many occasions that all kids should serve in some capacity. I know this is a thought that is very confrontational and creates a ton of arguments, but the camaraderie and learning that is available surpasses any college instruction that a person can get on many levels. Particularly when I measure it against an AA or Bachelors. There are different levels in the military of course. Officers hold degrees Warrant Officers can have a degree, but it's not a necessity. Non commissioned officers can pursue a degree and have a degree, but aren't commissioned officers. An enlisted guy can apply for Officer Candidate school while he is enlisted. It's rare to be accepted but it happens. A kid straight out of high school typically has to get an appointment to one of the Officer programs. This appointment typically comes from a congressman. The military is an incredible opportunity for any person interested in serving. When I was 23 after I got out of the military my training allowed me to become a QA Analyst at Square D. I was earning right at 20 an hour or 50K a year without a college degree. I was sent to South Carolina for training and had I stayed with the company for 24 months, my pay would have increased to a salaried 60K and I could have topped out at about 80-100K throughout a 20 year career. Instead I went to college got an AA, BA, and MFA so that I could make a base salary of 30K as a college professor (50K as a high school teacher). Most of the guys I served with, I'm still in contact with and they are living very good lives post military. I think it's very hard for those who didn't serve to talk about the military. If you ask a guy with PTSD or who was hurt in the military if they would do it again, I think the majority would say yes.
  11. I don't think the book industry is important enough or is even worried about being considered racist. I don't think he is a token. I think he is fortunate that he has been able to create a career in writing. I think he wouldn't have had a chance without his work ethic, his father and an editor who patiently allowed him to hone his craft. His success is 15 years in the making, but it hasn't and won't open any doors no matter how successful he is because Black people aren't capable of "putting" the next great mind "on". I would have thought M.K. Asante would be the next breakthrough, but MK hasn't gotten that "white" cosign. He has the Black cosign of Talib Kweli, but that just isn't enough. To be honest we know Coates is, but if I stopped 10 random Black folks in Memphis and asked them who he is, I wouldn't get any response. Maybe that is the issue. We tend to hide the powerful info that we have for fear than others will become smarter or just as smart as we are. We would then lose our intellectual edge. We love to be the smartest person in the room so (these are very general statements here) we hold on to information instead of sharing it. Especially when the information is more "academic". Literature for Black folks is like every industry for Black folks. We only get one at a time in the door. Coates just happens to be this decades guy. Last decades guy was West. In film we had Spike, last decade was Tyler Perry and this decade it's Ava/Coogler. In business this generation we have Daymond John, last decade it was Bob Johnson. There are always those lurking and just under the surface doing great work, it just isn't promoted in the mainstream which takes us once again back to Troy's primary discussion media. We simply don't control our narrative. Back to the video, I watched the whole thing and I still say it's par for the course. He doesn't say anything revolutionary and that's because he isn't able to do anything revolutionary. He can simply keep the door open as best as he can.
  12. I've always said that for a Black person to "crossover" or gain ground in publishing/entertainment they have to have a serious and consistent cosign. In regard to Coates it's his editor for the early years of his career, David Carr. This is not a dig and doesn't demean the work that Coates put in as a writer and in building his career. A Black writer has to build their career in stages. It isn't luck, but his long term success is definitely predicated on the cosign of his long term editor. That cosign from a highly recognized national publication editor enabled his career to become steady enough to pursue writing. His talent was as well. I do agree that Coates is an unfortunate aberration. Black writers have to constantly shift and try a variety of things to capture attention and audience share. It's the same for all artists, but it's particularly hard for the Black writer/artist.
  13. Interesting interview. His thoughts on the MFA as it relates to publishing I've heard before. I think the most telling thing he said was in regard to who the publishing house is publishing. Eddie Huang, Coates, Trevor Noah, etc. All established personas who bring immediate name recognition and potential sales. The industry is no longer made to create writers. The only way it exists is by publishing "sure" bets. Basically self-publishing is now the gateway drug to traditional publishing.
  14. If the writer does not rely on writing to make a living then they can pull off doing this. I should actually do something like this considering I don't place much of an emphasis on my books. I could easily switch the production of the book to a Black printing press and carry the books on my site only. Since the books are something I really love, but I don't see becoming as profitable as my sneaker biz, I made a choice to take a hands off approach and place the book where I assume readers are. Which limits the time I have to invest in finding readers. I guess if I was still an academic, I would place the energy into my website and book signings since this would be the natural progression in being a professor. I definitely commend the Dr. for attempting this. I look forward to a report on the short term and long term results. Good luck Dr. Cartman.
  15. The unfortunate situation is traffic. In order to establish an audience outside of your circle it takes a hell of a lot of luck to do so without getting an incredible endorser. Even with an endorser, the promotion by the person who is profiling you has to be consistent and continuous. The only option is to dig in and stay prepared for a long war in attempting to reach the people. Your value is not in your content, but in the perception of who you are which sucks.
  16. This is the worst part about the self help thing, if you ask them what they have really accomplished they can't tell you. If they have accomplished something, it was because they aligned themselves with people you and I will almost never get a chance to meet. It's a false sense of hope that sells the product and the product is the same repetition of the same tired motivational speeches. It's frustrating when you can really help people, and answer questions and give valuable advice, but you can hardly be heard over all of the bluster and noise.
  17. Dr. Jazzy, I think you are looking at ownership on a grand scale in regard to media and mulitmillion dollar businesses. Blacks do not own as much as Whites of course, everyone knows this, but the things we do own, we don't really dive in to support. You keep asking what can we do to overcome? We have had this same discussion on several sections of this message board and I state the same thing over and over. Simply support what is there and watch what happens. If you want Black media do as you are doing right now and share articles and reports from AALBC. Join ARRAY. Take your time and look up Bean Soup Times the website run out of Chicago by a member of the Nation. Take your time and visit as many Black Owned businesses in your city and write about them and tell everyone you know about them. In Memphis we have Tri State Bank which is black owned. We also have a Tri State Defender a Black owned newspaper. I will be the first to admit, I attempted to open a bank account at TSB and bank with them through my business, but although I made a nice amount of dough, they wouldn't give me what I needed to function. That doesn't mean that I don't tell others to go there. I do. I visit the TSD website daily to give them impressions and clicks to support their site with ad revenue. It's the least I can do. I share the stories written and just today responded to an article posted by Troy with an article from the TSD. Like every thread I'm on I can only talk about what I do and while I'm only one person I know I affect things. If you are affecting things then you are changing things. I don't think of myself as a pawn and I think it's unfortunate that you do. Consider yourself a rook with the ability to move forward and backward, side to side, and then you can look at each block and take small steps to make things happen. As a rook you can slide one block or 7. The more spaces you move the more you touch. You want to know what the solution is? Every individual needs to learn as much as possible, share as much as possible and support each other and we can overcome. People have to start paying more attention to those things they can control before trying to save the world. I've been told my way of thinking is too simplistic, but it's my way of making things happen. Each person has to find their path. I hope you find your way to the answer. You also asked what do we have? Much more than we realize brother.
  18. Good point on the presence of website and people finding vulnerabilties. I guess I was talking more about the mess with the pictures and spamming on the message board. For someone to take such a keen interest in you personally, on a level I've never witnessed, it's crazy. Even with all of the insanity in the sneaker biz, I've never seen such a targeted mess. I conform to Google because it is the most used search engine so being in compliance is important. We are all at the mercy of a bigger entity. It sucks but it's the way it is.
  19. Troy it happened to me before as well. My sneaker site was removed from search and I had to request for it to be reinstated after cleaning it up. It has happened whether I was using Wordpress or html/css or java. It simply doesn't matter when people are determined to hurt your site. It can also happen by request from a visitor. I hate this,but Google has been very fair in reinstatement and they respond very fast. You do need to make sure you go into Webmaster tools and make sure your site is still able to be indexed. It's interesting... your site seems to be targeted intentionally and maliciously which leads me to an analysis I use to make when someone would get robbed in the hood. When your house is broken into, it's always someone you know or are familiar with. Break in in the hood are almost never random. Just like hacks are hardly ever random.
  20. I read your page on Dyson and what you've written about his website and online profile vs that of Bernice and Omar is very telling. It is also why anything he says should be taken with a grain of salt. I've often said he is an opportunistic academic who rides the coattails of the next hot topic. You are exactly right on every point though.
  21. Television is soooooo good now. I prefer television to movies. We don't get much time to ourselves during the day, so when the kids finally go to bed, we watch as many shows from 10:30 to 12 as possible, lol. It's a great way to just veg out.
  22. I can't answer a single question! LOL. I'm terrible at retaining info when I'm reading it in chunks and random times. I guess I'm not reading with a very close eye either. I'm laughing at your making sure you use photos and list where they come from. I tend to create a backlink to any info from somewhere else anyway because it helps you in two ways. It shows respect and the backlink increases search results. Cool feature and keep rolling. I have to read the Ali section.
  23. Last night was an incredible hoops night! I loved every minute of it and stayed up to watch flipping back and forth for both games. It was great to see the Kobe lovefest and that half assed defense the Jazz played... but it was a very cool gesture. He looked completely gassed and although i initially thought he would unretire to play in New York, I think after looking at his body language during that game it really is a wrap for the guy. Heck of a way to go out and possibly one of the best scripted games I've ever seen, wink wink. My wife is from Vallejo so I slept with the pillow over my head because I was tired of hearing about 73 and Steph, and 73 and Green, and 73 and Klay, and 73 and the Bay Area, and 73 and the Grizzlies getting whooped. I think Bernie is going to drag the hall with Hillary. For her to lose her own state will be interesting, but it could still end up like Wisconsin. Could she still win the delegates again?
  24. Once again I love the dialogue, but I choose to look at what we are doing right that is working. The last 40 years have seen the decimation of the Black family, increase in incarceration and a collapse of the middle class Black family. This same 40 years saw the rise of multi-millionaire Black stars in sports and entertainment. An explosion of Black literature and publishing opportunities, an increase in enrollment into higher education, more women graduates and entrepreneurs than we've ever seen. As bad as things are, is as good as things can be. You spend each day finding a fact about Black people. This affects someone on a daily basis. If it stops, you may indirectly take out the next Maya Angelou. Without regard to whether you know what you are doing is working, you keep doing it. What you are doing is not exceptional and it changes things. What you are doing is what you needs to be done. I'm saying people in dire situations may not be aware of what needs to be done, but they know right from wrong. While there are excuses made for people who sell drugs, they don't have to do it. I don't want to hear, "people are going to do what they do to survive." That's bullshit. You can stop before you pull the trigger and kill another Black man. You can stop and say I will die before I sell dope to another Black man. As naive as this sounds, I really don't care. We have choices to make, difficult choices, life or death choices, but we have to lift us up. If we don't all of our discussion becomes moot. Cynique The Last Poets said it best, "Niggers are scared of Revolution." Black folks are absolutely terrified of waking up and not killing each other, hurting each other. Black folks are terrified of helping one another. That is the real revolution helping each other. Like I said I love this dialogue, but I have few more last examples of why I think the action from the people is more powerful :-) Troy, if it was Michael Eric Dyson, Omar Tyree, Bernice McFadden having this back and forth on AALBC what would happen to AALBC? While earlier it was noted that President Obama could have made an author, what would happen if the authors you profile actually made other authors? Literature would change immediately. If every parent in the hood decided for one month to visit the school and make it to every teacher's meeting. I'm not talking both parents at least one of them, what would happen to the schools? If every parent planned an unexpected visit to the school at least once a month, what would happen in the schools? If every student made a commitment to not be disruptive for themselves, not to help the teacher or for the parents, if a kid decided to be dedicated, even in the worst school, what would happen? If gangbangers stopped banging, what would happen in the hood. I know it's all simplistic and there is more to it than this, but my point is there are very subtle shifts that could occur in the Black community that would empower the hell out of the people. Rappers just say not to destructive music, etc. All small and simple things that don't require us to wait on government. You said doing the right thing is easy. I don't believe that. Obviously it has never been easy and really that's why we are where we are.
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