Success: Google Analytics Platform Principles Certificate!

One of my goals this year is to learn more about advanced reporting and analysis using Google Analytics. I’ve been using Google Analytics in all of the websites/web-projects I’ve been involved in for around 8 years, so I’m pretty familiar with generating custom reports and analyzing data to be used in strategic ways. Google now offers an Analytics Academy where you can sign up to take free courses and get certified in different components. I missed out on the certification for the Digital Fundamentals last year, but I’m excited to have successfully completed and received my certificate for the latest course in Platform Principles! A lot of the information is pretty basic stuff, but it’s always good to get refreshers in things and see different examples of how things are used. I think there’s still time to register & participate in the course. The course ends on March 27th.

It took a few hours to complete and even though its not a huge accomplishment, it’s one tiny step to my larger goals which are to A). get my Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) certificate and then B). become a Google Analytics Certified Partner (GACP).

Anyone else getting GA certified or have similar goals and want to motivate each other? Let’s #getshitdone together ūüôā¬†

Getting your message heard through cross channel marketing

Email. Twitter. Text Message. Facebook. Instagram. YouTube. Billboards. Flyers. QR Codes…. Everyday we are bombarded by so many channels of communication. Technology has made it easy for us to be notified of every little update and we can choose the media that we consume (and on our own time too!).

So how can your message be heard through all of this noise?


1. Identify your audience

First, you need to know WHO you’re trying to reach. Women? Men? Women between the ages of 18-24? Stay-at-home moms? Young professionals?

Break down their demographics as much as you can. If you’re looking to reach multiple audiences, create an internal profile of each target market so you can develop tailored campaigns for each. You should note their lifestyles and current trends. How do they speak? How do they dress? Where do they shop? How do they currently consume media? What type of music do they listen to? Or do they prefer books over music? Films over books?

2. Identify marketing channels

Based on your audience analysis, you should have a good idea of how your audience prefers to communicate and receive information. From this information you can now identify your cross channel marketing outlets. Cross channel marketing includes all of the many tactics and platforms you use to reach your audience.

For example, your target audience of young professionals prefer checking their email on their smart phone on-the-go. Your stay-at-home moms will have the television on in the background as they take care of household chores. You could find out that a podcast is the best way to reach your affluent, high level donors during their commutes to and from work. Or that 14-22 year old male gamers spend hours on Reddit.

3. Speak their language

Identifying the best way to communicate with your audience is just one piece of the puzzle. You can send out an email campaign, but if the content isn’t compelling it will go unread, straight to the trash, or skimmed over without a click.

Based on your audience profile, you should be able to gauge your audiences interests to create campaigns that are emotionally appealing to them. The more you can relate to your audience, the more integrated your messages become into their existing lifestyle.

4. Create a direct path of conversion in your marketing communications

You’ve identified your audience, the channels they prefer to use and now you’re speaking their language. You’re on your way to success! BUT all of that is meaningless if your audience doesn’t perform an action.

Whether, you are a business trying to convert new visitors into loyal customers, a nonprofit seeking out your most passionate supporters to take urgent action, or a musician promoting your latest album, cross channel marketing increases your chances of conversion.

You have to make things as easy as possible and point people exactly where to go and what to do. Include an easy-to-remember personalized link to a custom landing page that clearly spells out the action you want your visitors to make. Example: “Download the new single from my latest album” or “Sign this petition to urge congress to consider cleaner energy solutions”

5. Don’t stop there… keep the conversation going

People are not interested in being obviously marketed to 24/7, that’s why its important to engage with your audience in a conversation. Think of it like dating: you don’t want to come off to strong at first – that will turn them off completely. You want to listen at first and learn about their interests, then you can bond over the things you have in common. Once you build a relationship with someone, they are more apt they become to support your cause and be loyal to your brand.




Creative funding: finding, choosing, billing, and getting paid.

On Thursday, July 18th 2013, I was a guest on Heritage Radio’s After the Jump program which is hosted by Design*Sponge founder Grace Bonney. On the show we talked about being paid what you’re worth, ways to fund creative projects, the role gender plays when it comes to doing work for free and overall the struggle of making a living as a content producer. I really enjoy talking about these topics with Grace because she has been running Design*Sponge for about 10 years and has seen the blogging industry go through various phases.

You can listen to the interview on iTunes or stream it on Heritage Radio. Please feel free to chime in on the conversation by leaving a comment over at Design*Sponge.

Also, I was super stoked that 99u (one of my favorite blogs) tweeted about the interview!

Feminist Playing Cards included in “Let’s Start a Pussy Riot” Book / NYC Book Launch

My Feminist Playing Card project is featured in a new book that just came out recently titled “Let’s Start a Pussy Riot” (Rough Trade Books). The book was¬†created in collaboration with Pussy Riot and links together the events¬†leading up to and after the group‚Äôs arrest and the themes that these courageous women fight for ‚Äď feminism, LGBTQ rights, freedom of speech and the environment.

The initial book launch took place at Yoko Ono’s Meltdown Festival this year in London. The NYC launch will take place on Sunday, July 14th 2013 from 7-9pm at Bluestockings¬†(172 Allen St, NYC). I was asked to be on a panel discussion about art as activism at the event with editor Jade French,¬†Kembra Pfhaler, and Anne Sherwood Pundyk. There will also be a¬†performance from Jeffrey Lewis and a poetry reading by Vivien Goldman.

RSVP & invite your friends on Facebook.

The book is SUPER thick. You can get an idea by the photo above which includes an iPhone next to it so you can see how much thicker the book is.

The page that the Feminist Playing Cards are featured on folds out into a spread.

Featured in Go Magazine’s “100 Women We Love”

I’m quite honored to be featured in Go Magazine’s “100 Women We Love” feature in their latest Pride Issue. I’m listed alongside some pretty badass babes like Scream Club, Hannah Hart, Liz Feldman, and a whole bunch of other amazing women! You can read the blurb about me here or pick up a copy near you!

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Also, shout out to my good buddy Channing Duke who took the photo of me that’s featured in the article. Channing also started Pink Sheep Film Festival with me and continues to do a kickass job organizing it. The Pink Sheep Film Festival held its 3rd annual Pride event last Friday and I’m so proud of all the hard work Channing has done to pull it all together!

Finding Motivation

I’ve invited people to ask me questions about my projects, process and whatever else they are curious about on my tumblr & twitter. I’ll be answering some of those questions here on my blog. Here’s the first one:

Where does your motivation come from? When you get a good idea are you ever worried someone else is already doing it? How do you keep going?

Sometimes, honestly, its hard to get motivated. Especially when there are lots of ‘life factors’ to deal with on a daily basis (working/finding jobs, wondering when I’ll do my laundry again, actually doing my laundry, trying to stay healthy, etc). I talked about this a bit in an interview with the Vessel Collective earlier this year. I try to prioritize the things that matter most to me and then make sure that the things that I’m doing reflect progress on my priorities. For instance, one of my¬†priorities right now is to figure out how to sustain myself financially with my personal projects.¬†I want to be able to work for myself and not work a 9-5 job. I want to work on projects that I care about and excite me.¬†Anytime I’m not doing things that reinforce that, I’m cheating myself of what I want which makes the process take longer. I’m not saying that I spend all of my time working towards these goals, because I’m human and there are lots of days where I don’t make any progress at all which is where the next source of motivation kicks in: Guilt. When I’m not working towards my goals, I feel incredibly guilty. Maybe that’s because I was raised catholic. I¬†continuously¬†need to have self-motivating talks in my head. Or I write in my journal and reflect to remind myself of whats important to me. I also read A LOT of self-development and motivational/entrepreneurship books. Reading books like that energize me to stop wasting time and get to work!

Reading over that, it seems like I place a high priority on “work” but by “work” that means a lot of things. For example, I “work” on my health, so reminding myself to go to the Kickboxing gym and making sure I eat healthy meals and take my vitamins, etc are all included in that.

Sometimes its as simple as hearing an upbeat song to get me motivated. Or taking a power shower.

This may seem counter-productive, but I also dream a lot. I’m a visual person, so visualizing the possible outcomes of things helps to motivate me as well. Like if I work on a certain project and its successful then I can live the life I want to live.¬†BUT I do have to make sure that I don’t spend all of my time dreaming. Otherwise, none of those dreams will come true.

To answer the part about being worried about someone else already doing an idea: Sometimes I get a ‘genius’ idea and get scared to type it into google to search if anyone is doing it. Not so much because of fear that someone else is doing it, but fear that no one is doing it and by typing it into google, google will know my idea! (Does that even make sense??!) But yeah, I will usually do some research to see whats out there that’s similar. If it turns out other people are doing it, I will try to figure out how I can make it different from what others are doing. I ask myself questions like “why do I¬†want to do this? What makes it important to me? From my background and experiences, how can I put myself into it in a way that’s different from others? How can I make it¬†relatable¬†in a way that people will associate this idea/thing with my idea/project?” And then if I feel really strongly about the idea, I’ll¬†pursue¬†it. I’ll put my blinders on and not worry about how or what the ‘competition’ is doing. Sometimes its even possible to join forces with others who are doing the same thing. I think of it like this: We all had this idea and feel strongly enough to put it out into the world that we are working together to put this idea out there to reach as many people as possible because we believe in this idea so much. That also depends on what that idea/project is too I guess.

Some things just pull at you no matter how many people are doing it. There are definitely other people out there who take photos of broken umbrellas. When I started doing it, I knew that it wasn’t unique. I have a friend in San Francisco who takes photos of abandoned mattresses and the lovely chanteuse Mirah takes photos of yesterday’s bananas. But as much as I try to resist taking a photo of an umbrella when I see one, I just can’t. Something inside me screams “CAPTURE THAT UMBRELLA”. There have been times when I’ve walked past umbrellas saying “I don’t want to take anymore photos of umbrellas!” But then a few blocks later I just can’t get it out of my mind and I find myself back tracking to the umbrella. This happened recently and I ended up taking the umbrella home with me. It’s under the couch. I can’t wait for my roommates to find it and be like WTF?? haha

I guess maybe art is just an obsessive compulsion. I just can’t stop creating. I can’t stop appreciating the beauty in all the things I see. That in itself motivates me. It distracts me from feeling empty. It fulfills me in a way that makes me happy. And now that I think of it, that’s my number one priority: being happy.


Umbrella Insurance

May 2013, Brooklyn NY

I added some new photos of broken umbrellas to my Unfortunate Umbrella project. The one above is the most recent one. This one caught my eye immediately but there was always someone either walking a dog right by it or on their cell phone and I didn’t want to be weird so I walked past it twice, promising myself I’d go back and snap a photo of it at some point. Finally, a day later on my 3rd attempt, it was still there so I knew I had to take it or it could have been my last chance. I’m glad I waited because the arrangement of things around it had shifted a bunch and I really like how it came out. It gives a few cues towards our culture.

You can see the rest in my Unfortunate Umbrella gallery.

My concert photos featured on Consequence of Sound

Most recently, photos that I took were featured on Consequence of Sound’s review of Downtown Festival NYC. I got to shoot Kendrick Lamar, Black Hippy, Purity Ring, Kilo Kish, among others. Below is a video I shot of Kendrick Lamar performing “B*tch Don’t Kill My Vibe”.

I also had some other photos featured on Consequence of Sound over the past few months:

Caitlin Rose & Andrew Combs @ Mercury Lounge and PYYRAMIDs @ Mercury Lounge

What I shoot with:
I’ve been using a Canon 7D with the kit lens for these photos but have a 50mm 1.4 lens¬†on my wishlist that I’m (slowly) saving up to purchase. I did a bunch of research on lenses and the 50mm has a wider aperture ¬†which will help me capture a sharper image since I shoot a lot of fast-moving, low-lit shows. ¬†I’m excited to get my hands on one to see the difference! In the meantime, I’ve been getting myself really familiar with changing my settings super fast! If you support what I do and have the cash to invest in developing my photography skills, I would really appreciate it! It will also serve as a means for me to pursue more paid photography work ūüėČ

Selected as semi-finalist for Scion/Motivate competition

Earlier this year I entered the Scion/Motivate competition, a¬†program to help young entrepreneurs who are turning their passions into their professions. I applied on behalf of Homoground and was selected as a semi-finalist out of 1700 entries. As a semi-finalist, I was flown out Santa Monica last month where I attended 2 days of workshops on various topics of running a business. On the third day, 10 finalists were chosen and received $10,000 and a Scion car. I met some really amazing people and it was definitely an experience I won’t forget.