year in review

2017: My Year In Review

I don’t know what to say about a year that has been dominated by the doom and gloom of Donald Trump.  Instead of going into another tirade about him, I posted the top ten blog posts my readers seem to like reading based on my website metrics.  A few of them are articles I wrote before 2017 like the first post.

Happy Holidays and without further ado:

  1. Are African Americans Guilty of Cultural Appropriation?
  2. ACT-UP, Gran Fury & The Legacy of HIV/AIDS Activist Branding
  3. What WWI Posters Say About Early 20th Century War Marketing
  4. Marketing Lessons From The Civil Rights Movement
  5. Bodegas, Gentrification, and Social Experiences
  6. What Is White Privilege?
  7. Should White People Tell Black Stories?
  8. Marketing to Generation X
  9. How to Jog During Extreme Weather: Summer Edition
  10. 15 Reasons Why Physical Books Still Matter

2016: My Year In Review

hand-1105331_640This has been a very strange year.

Who would have thought a year ago Donald Trump would be our next president?  I explained all my reasons he won previously: Hillary’s misguided campaign and low-information culture.  However, I do think there is some truth in saying that there are two sides of America and one side – working class whites – felt left out of the conversation.

Nonetheless, I do want Trump to succeed.  When he succeeds, everything that matters to me will also succeed – my family, my friends, my business and my livelihood. Unless there is a miracle before January 20, he will be our next president.  I can already see all the achievements Obama made over the last eight years disappear as soon as Trump comes to the White House.  I want to hope for the best, but I might have to settle for the worst.

Then on top of all that, we lost a lot of great people this year – Prince, David Bowie, John Glenn, Muhammed Ali and many others.  As I was writing this, I found out George Michael passed away too.  It almost seemed like Fidel Castro would live forever. Unlike George Michael, good riddance to Castro.  Hopefully, other aging dictators will be departing soon too.

Because this year was so stressful, I hope to continue with the work/life balance by doing less TV and internet searching and reading more books.  I want to also continue growing my business.  I was actually able to travel more for leisure this year to Canada, Morocco, Spain, and France.  And just when you think you are traveling to get away from all the political madness in America, I find it head-on in these locales too!  Almost everyone I met from Toronto to Madrid across many languages had the same question: “What is the deal with Donald Trump?”

I would just say: I don’t know; I didn’t vote for him, Je ne sais pas or No se, no voté por él. No es mi presidente as I said to one really disgruntled man in Barcelona.

I feel like I am going to have to do this a lot over the next four years.

Let’s be hopeful.  See you on the other side… of the new year!

Top Blog Post of 2015

blogpostThis year my blog was a mixed potpourri of news, politics, history revisits, entrepreneurship, design and book reviews.  I write this blog both for my own personal enjoyment and possibly to help provide new information or a different perspective on many of the issues happening in the world today.

If you missed any of them, here are the top 10 blog posts based on web traffic metrics, as well as some I thought deserve another read.

  1. Bandung, Identity and Media Perceptions
  2. Ota Benga, Race and Human Zoo
  3. The Pre-9/11 Hijacking Era Revisited
  4. 10 Lessons I Learned About Running A Business
  5. The Pros And Cons of Bootstrapping Your Business
  6. Why Going Car-less Is Really Better
  7. America the Flawed
  8. Time To Embrace Web Diversity
  9. Branding For The New On-Demand Economy
  10. How to Make Exercise Part of Your Daily Life

Thanks for enjoying my blog.  There will be more to come in 2016!

Breaking News, Fallen Heroes & New Business: My Year In Review


Breaking News

I first decided to become a journalist when I was a kid.  I just loved breaking news.  Whenever there was a big story happening, my eyes and ears would be glued to the television or radio.  I would ferociously devour every articles about that story in newspapers and magazines.  Whether it was the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal or the 9/11 terror attacks, I became a news addict.

But something changed this year.  2014 was just full of bad news, starting with the MH370 disappearance.  How does a plane just disappear into thin air?  It really hit home with me because I once flew Malaysia Airlines to Kuala Lumpur years ago on business and know of at least one person who has actually flown on that flight to Beijing within the last year.  At first I was addicted to that “breaking news,” for the first month, although there hadn’t been any real news about MH370 since the day it disappeared.  But after that month it became so clear that the plane may never be found and it just made me sad to watch the story play out.

And then after that, it just became one depressing story after another.  Another Malaysia Airlines plane is shot down over Ukraine, airstrikes in Gaza, school shootings, Ebola, Boko Haram, the CIA torture report and the ongoing war on black males.

This year we lost some really great people like Maya Angelou, Ruby Dee, Amiri Baraka, Nadine Gordimer, Pete Seeger, Tom Menino, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and most sadly Robin Williams.  One of my heroes Stuart Hall also passed away this year.  He was one of the reasons I minored in post colonial studies in college and his communications theory even influenced my ideas around branding and marketing for my business.
However, when I heard about the beheading of Jim Foley by some “aspiring rapper” in ISIS, I had to just stop looking at the TV because I literally felt sick to my stomach that something like that could happen to a fellow journalist.

Now I just try to meditate to take my mind away from the horrors happening on this planet, even if it is just for a few minutes.

Fallen Heroes

I grew up watching the Cosby Show literally.  I remember when I was a kid, I was only allowed to watch TV one night during the school week and that was on Thursday nights when the show was on in the late 1980s and early 1990s.  My parents were big supporters of Bill Cosby’s family values philosophy.  Sometimes I would wonder what it would be like to be Rudy or Vanessa and have Dr. Huxtable as my dad.  I would still watch reruns of the show well into adulthood because the show is the most enjoyable, family oriented thing to watch on TV these days, compared to the sea of garbage reality TV shows.

But this all changed in a matter of days when I saw video of Hannibal Buress’ now infamous rant.  And then came all of the women.  All of them had the same story of being drugged and raped.  So many women.  How did I not know about this when a woman sued him in 2005?  Maybe I wasn’t paying attention back then or maybe I was in denial that he would do such a thing.  As more women come forward, I say to myself “Who is this man?”  This is not something the morally upstanding Dr. Huxtable would do.  Or would he?  Dr. Huxtable was also a gynaecologist, which makes the whole rape thing even more creepy.

I really want the charges to be false, but if they are true, I hope the women get justice and can find closure.  But, if they are true, my childhood is ruined.

New Business

In business news, it’s been a good year for me.  This new journalism startup I have been working on for the last two years is starting to pick up steam with the possibility of going live in mid to late 2015.  The project will be focused on economic development in the Caribbean.  I also had the opportunity to work on two documentaries and instructed three media development courses for journalists from Senegal, Lebanon and Cambodia.

I got my certification in web design this year after months of learning and mastering four programming languages.  I created a test prototype Women Talking which gave me the opportunity to combine my journalism and programming skills.  I was invited to speak about interaction design at Columbia University and teach a web design class for a group of journalists from developing countries at UN Week.  I am also developing a brand new media development project that I will be announcing next year.

I also presented an instructional web design prototype at ATE PI, a conference for educators and policymakers looking for new ways to improve STEM education in community colleges nationwide.  It was an honor to be invited and play a role in how STEM is taught to future leaders in the field.

I launched a creative design studio within my company called Global Wire Design over the summer.  I hired three new employees for it.  Global Wire Associates as a whole is doing very well.  We have seen our highest profits ever this year.

As I go into my tenth year of running this business, I am grateful for my success and all the great people who helped me get to this point.  There were a lot of “haters” at the beginning who didn’t think I could do this, but I have proved them wrong.  When you put your mind to it, you can be successful at anything.  I am here and ready for whatever new challenge comes in the new year!