Category: web business
Facebook and livestreaming tragedies
Great NPR Marketplace story on the conundrum of “free speech” and expression on social media during these tense times and how to moderate content for brands and different audience consumption.
On the conversations happening at Facebook in the aftermath of Philando Castile’s death:
I imagine there are conversations around content moderation. You know, how do we treat events like this? Should they be subject to the normal rules surrounding violence or is there some kind of special dispensation that should be created for videos about news events, or videos that depict injustice. I think it’s a very tough line to straddle. –Deepa Seetharaman, reporter covering Facebook and other social media at the Wall Street Journal
NPR Marketplace: The Price of Profits
NPR’s Marketplace recently published a series studying the history of corporations and how their priorities have changed over the years. One of the main points of the series focused on the evolution of the role of the employee in relation to the corporation. The fact that employees cannot assume they will be taken care of by their employers resonated with me. While I do believe in personal accountability for one’s own path, I also believe that a company can write their path so that it takes into account the people who are helping bring in revenue, and hopefully profits.
Inspirations, Frustrations & Faded Hair
“Sorry”, “Just” wanted to check in with everyone…
Playing around with video as a medium lately… Of course I have plans for it. 😉
Correction: That amazing woman is Terri Holland. Silly Joi
Links to stuff I referenced:
– Jumpstart Mornings talks I have been helping host at the Impact Hub SLC (http://saltlake.impacthub.net/event/j…)
– Annoying semantics policing that is happening to Women in Biz lately (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/just-s…)
Answering the Drum Beat
I have spent the bulk of my career working on building safe and engaging communities for customers and audiences of all ages. I’ve worked with established brands, but also many startups (and revamps) and taken those brands to tens of millions of happy users.
This last year working with the Metaverse team has been quite an adventure. While there, I had the opportunity to oversee almost a hundred active projects at a time, as well as the hardworking project/account managers that kept those projects running smoothly. I did this simultaneous to donning a new business development hat and earning some documentable sales experience in an area at which I knew I would be good. I mean, you don’t DO services for 15 years without being able to eventually SELL services, right?
But for the past few years of my career, the beat of the entrepreneur drum just kept getting louder. And to run with the metaphor further, the sound of the social good flutes started playing in conjunction.
I’ve come to the decision that I am going to take some reflective time. As such, I am leaving my role as VP of Professional Services at Metaverse this week.
So… what next?
In the past, I’ve been fortunate that opportunities have become available to me when I wanted changes. But this time I am going to be a bit more proactive. I have a knee surgery coming up that I have been postponing for literally decades, so I am going to leverage that time, in true multi-tasker fashion, and have a good think on what I want to do next.
So I’m taking calls. I’m having meetings. I’m joining conversations and brainstorms. I’m deciding what amazing thing I want to do next.
[I also plan on watching LOTS of TV in the next week while I am recouping from my surgery. So if you want to talk with someone about that series you’ve been obsessing over – I’m probably your gal.]
Looking forward to the future and all the cool stuff I will have the pleasure of working – maybe with some of you!
It’s completely official now – I’m at Metaverse!
That’s right – after over 4 years helping build and manage over 20 million worldwide players on National Geographic Animal Jam, I have switched to another organization. I am proud to be leaving on fantastic terms with the Animal Jam team – I’m actually working for one of their vendors now – Metaverse ModSquad.
Truth is, I was ready to become a multiple-brands-at-a-time gal (sounds so risqué!). I wanted to use the skills I have developed over my long career in customer service and online strategy to help as many other brands (and to that effect, people) as I was able. I am super proud of the time I have spent as a one-brand-at-a-time gal, but it’s time to broaden my reach.
So… as the number of new brands I am going to be proud of working on grows and I can talk about them publicly – I will. Metaverse already has an impressive pile of great clients that I get to work with and tons more in the pipeline – so excited to share the successes I am already seeing!
Consequently, feel free to give me a call/email if you want to join that illustrious list of clients. Those of you who have been within hearing radius of me in public know, I LOVE talking about my job. Now my job is to hear about your brand and your customers and help you figure out how to make them even happier. Lucky both of us! 😉
How to do this “kids entertainment thing” right
I was on a panel at GDC this year called “Monetization of teens in a safe and legal way.” I was joking before the panel that it sounded like “How to make money off of kids.” Then I found out that it was QUITE the controversial session pre-conference. If only I would have known, folks, I would have spiced it up a bit more. 😉
But in reality, that’s what all of us in kids entertainment are doing – making our living from figuring out ways to get kids to like our stuff and have their parents/caregivers pay for it.
Sounds insidious, but we ARE in a capitalist society. If you are going to pick something to make money off of, kids entertainment is a pretty fun choice for your own work happiness levels. And it IS possible to do it in a non-sinister way, with high integrity and keeping an eye on your ethics. It’s easy – just make games/cartoons/toys that don’t suck.
LOL right? But really – make products that kids will love AND their parents will love. Parents will be more prone to not mind paying for your product for their kids if it’s beautiful, fun and their kids like it. Add a layer of learning in there and you are good as gold. Make any of those factors superficial or not focus on it at all, you are going to start to see that revenue/profit fall.
Of course, you will have to make it legally and safely too. But these should be pretty “Duh!” statements, right?
Legal – It is not difficult to comply with the regulations. You will get fined or shut down if you are doing things illegally, so figure out what features trigger what laws (or hire someone who can help you), then decide whether to comply or remove the feature. Easy as that.
Safe – It’s also not hard to make your game or toy safe, either. Figure it out. If you can’t, seriously, don’t make it at all. If you aren’t safe, or don’t have that as a priority, why are you making things for children in the first place? There are tons of other demographics you can work with who are less concerned with safety being a priority. Go there and make your money. Please. Leave the kids space to those of us who care and will continue to bend over backwards to keep the kids safe – not because we have to, but because we want to and we feel it’s the right thing to do.
Stop busting the balls of the person(s) on your team who are fighting for these things. Thank them for being that person and having that drive. Don’t make it a hostile environment for someone to bring up those sorts of concerns. If they are bringing it up, chances are one of your audience will too at some point, so consider it a fortuitous heads up, not annoying nuisance.
And give that person a raise too while you are at it (or at least buy them lunch sometime). Most of those people fighting for the underdog aren’t making the big bucks, so a little goes a long way. 🙂
My colleague, Bill Shribman over at WGBH, interviewed me for GeekDad.com recently.
Here’s a snippet:
You threw my daughter out of Animal Jam when she was making plans to meet a friend for lunch, which I thought was a pretty impressive catch. She thought she had mistyped “duck.” What other kinds of behaviors or activities have you interrupted?
Thanks – I always love it when we can turn a discipline from the game into a positive parent interaction. As far as other behaviors/activities, where do I start? Obviously, for COPPA compliance, players trying to give out personal information is a very high priority – that’s addresses, emails, and phone numbers – but even Skype and other instant messaging usernames, FaceTime handles, and any other methods where players would be communicating outside of the game and potentially sharing that personal info.
While there is no law around it (which most parents are surprised to learn) we are also very diligent regarding inappropriate behavior and conversations, including cyber dating, drugs/alcohol, violence, vulgar language, cyberbullying and anything else we have deemed inappropriate to be associated with our brand and within the younger demographic we attract.
Read more here: At Least 17 Reasons Why Your Kid May Be Playing Animal Jam
New AJ Parent Connection video
Here’s our newest Animal Jam Parent Connection video, detailing some of the ways my staff works to makes sure we are keeping all of our players safe, while encouraging an in-game culture of appropriate behavior.
(Don’t you just love the thumbnails Youtube chooses for you? 😐 )
My Commitment to Kids Online Safety & Privacy
I have spent years working for various children’s brands trying to make sure that every community I oversee cultivates a culture that encourages and promotes appropriate behavior online for child audiences, while offering resources for their parents.
I am so lucky to currently work for a brand that supports me in this personal and professional mission. I am proud to show off our new parents page. We have a robust vision for our parent outreach and this is just one of our first steps toward that vision. Check out my second video highlighting some of the many ways we work to do this at Animal Jam.