A database housing over 40,000 hip hop songs recorded since 1979, what delicious cultural memes and shifts there are to be found in those lyrical battles and poems.
Geographic correlations, favorite brands of expensively priced alcohol trends, economic periods and the variances of tones in discussing women, flow of slang, music styles and fashion throughout the US. I. Am. Geeking. Out.
You know me and amazing food - we're like... best friends. Bosom buddies. Sistas from anotha' motha'. The Bobbsey Twins.
Having been involved with Radical Eats (a Houston-based vegan Mexican restaurant and tamale maker) all this year has been super fun and an adventure in community support for a small business. I help with their website and some PR love when needed - and Adam rocks out all sorts of stuff with the Rad crew in the kitchen, at the farmer's markets and anywhere a sassy Latino hand is needed.
I adore their locally sourced, preservative free and wicked awesome food to no end. Their homemade corn tortillas (a hungrykatie daily staple) have blossomed into the most amazing I have ever eaten, their constantly rotating agua frescas and horchata (OMG!!!) make Houston summers bearable and their fried avocado / green tomato tacos are indescribably delicious.
But what's truly special about this little Mexican food haven is their complete focus on community - they host group meetups, documentary nights, support local organizations with food, promos and love, the Urban Harvest gardening movement...
It's cool seeing a company making their customers and neighborhood a priority and integral part of their business. Radical Eats truly is for the (hungry) people and by the (hungry) people. And now you have another way to give them a helping hand!!
One thing to love about Kickstarter projects is that not only do you get to support great folks with amazing goals in mind, but you get a little something back beyond a feeling of personal awesomeness. Check out their 'thank you' gifts:
Oktoberfest party invite ($25 or more)
Radical Eats comida vegetariana cookbook ($50 or more)
Bad ass t-shirts!!!! I wear mine proudly :) ($50 or more)
Membership in Radical Eater Club - $10 off your food, once a month for a year ($100 or more)
Handthrown stoneware mug by my homeboy Cameron Rowe ($150 or more)
A dish named after you AND a custom hoop by happybuela :) ($500 or more)
I'm a sucker for collections - button, stamp, vinyl toy, shoe, pen, cake platter, marble, autograph. You name it, if there's a big group / gaggle of something, I'll probably stare fascinated for hours.
Search through photos, text, newsreels and films to re-live eras gone by. Their handy collections (which will be growing dramatically over the next few months) help more cinema-savvy searchers find hidden gems.
For the voyeuristic and history nerds (me me!), you can spend hours poring through footage and photo alike - plenty of material for feeling movie geek nostalgia, planning future Halloween costumes and making hilarious captions up as you go along. Well, hilarious in my head at least.
Helpful hint from The Bioscope, type the letter 'a' in the search to get a full listing of EFG contents - their search currently has much to be desired.
I am so excited to be speaking on a panel at #20SBSummit with a couple of other swell blogger-lady-gals on creating community through smart content and blogger voice magic.
Jenn Bollenbacher and Molly Ford will be my blog-happy cohorts as we discuss some of our experiences in the blogosphere and offer up some actionable tips for newbie bloggers to grow their audience and find their niche.
Our official panel description:
Laying the Foundation // Creating a Community Around Your Blog
Want a dedicated following for your blog? Then quality writing and core topics are critical to your success. Bloggers Jenn Bollenbacher, Katie Laird and Molly Ford share how focusing on the fundamentals of blogging—structure, layout and consistency—will result in a compelling point of view that will shape your writing and attract loyal readership.
Last time I was in Chicago was also for a blogger gathering, but for Blogher (see my plethora of posts here). It was a swell time!
When followers tried to download the 67-page colour magazine, instead of instructions about how to “Make a bomb in the Kitchen of your Mom” by “The AQ Chef” they were greeted with garbled computer code.
The code, which had been inserted into the original magazine by the British intelligence hackers, was actually a web page of recipes for “The Best Cupcakes in America” published by the Ellen DeGeneres chat show.
Written by Dulcy Israel and produced by Main Street Cupcakes in Hudson, Ohio, it said “the little cupcake is big again” adding: “Self-contained and satisfying, it summons memories of childhood even as it's updated for today’s sweet-toothed hipsters.”
It included a recipe for the Mojito Cupcake – “made of white rum cake and draped in vanilla buttercream”- and the Rocky Road Cupcake – “warning: sugar rush ahead!”
The very first Blogher that I ever attended featured Elizabeth Edwards as a keynote speaker. She was BRILLIANT - so genuine, smart as a whip and a beautiful personality that stuck with me for months. Actually no, cancel that - years. I still keep a piece of that onstage discussion with me.
It was her charisma that struck me, a geeky marketer sitting with new friends in the middle of a mama-heavy blogging crowd. Literally, she moved me to tears at least a couple of times during her chat with Lisa Stone. Brave, whole-hearted woman. I remain totally impressed.
No lie, I'm typically a cynical audience member as I have attended oh-so-many conference and speaking events - but this lady.... she was one in a million.
As we continue to watch her family's story unfold, I think it's important to remember to celebrate the woman that held her head up high in support of a man's mission (her husband, John) that she truly believed in.
I'm an armchair history buff - an easy hobby for such a keen admirer of fellow human beings' stories - and it's always an interesting journey for me to make the connection between our perception of historically significant people and their true identities while still alive.
A brilliant 19th centruy politician may have been a complete jerk. A prodigious sculptor and painter may have smelled funny and had terrible social graces. A queen cheated upon may not have realized or had the social clout to have acted upon her true feelings.
Let's never forget the people we connect with in however a personal way - they breathe the same as we do, they feel as keenly as we do, they have relationship with similiar ups and downs as we do.
On this note, I hail Elizabeth Edwards as a fantastically lovely gem - untarnished from an unfaithful ex-husband and judgemental society. If only we could all live so fully and so deeply.
By the end of 6 weeks, over half the Icelandic population had contributed stories. In total 2 million stories were sent out through social channels, the website, and through email. Most importantly though there was a 32% shift in positive perceptions of Iceland as a tourist destination.
This led to Iceland seeing an additional 79,252 tourists visiting the country each bringing an average of £1750 in revenue. This mean the campaign was worth an additional £138.7m to Iceland.
Genius idea, getting the people that know a country best to sing, dance, shout and speak its praises. Imagine if you were a business and had employees (and hey, clients too!) making songs about how much they love you? Magic.