Hey everyone, welcome back to Missions and Marketplace Podcast Episode 7. I had an awesome opportunity to sit down and speak with Ms. Gina McCauley. She was an awesome guest. I mean she got into some really key points about starting a business, being passionate about the things that you’re talking about. Of course, we talked about her conference Blogging While Brown. Check that out at www.bloggingwhilebrown.com. She talks about starting a conference, what she would do differently given another opportunity, things that she’s interested in. I want you guys to sit back enjoy this because I thoroughly did. Without further ado here is Gina McCauley.
Welcome to Missions and Marketplace Podcast. Join us as we talk with business and thought leaders to discuss their passion in and outside of business and how it drives them to give and be citizens of goodwill. Let’s get started.
PW: Gina, welcome to the show.
GM: Thank you for having me.
PW: Yeah, happy to have you. It’s good to talk with you. I’ve read so much about you. I’ve watched different videos on you and all kind of good stuff that we talked about earlier. So why don’t you tell the listeners a little bit about yourself?
GM: Okay, well, I’m Gina McCauley. I’m the founder of the Blogging While Brown Conference. This is one of the largest gatherings of bloggers of color on the planet. And, you know, I started out as a blogger like many people about eight or nine years ago with my personal blog What About Our Daughters, and about four months after I launched my personal blog it made the AP Wire.
GM: And by the end of the year I was listed in Essence magazine’s 25 Most Influential of 2007.
PW: Yeah, that’s awesome. You were up with like Barack Obama or somebody like that.
GM: Yeah, it was then Senator Obama who was number one.
PW: That’s right.
GM: And then it was Tyler Perry. No, no, no. And then it was me, and then it was Tyler Perry.
GM: And the reason I say this is when I opened the magazine…
PW: No, you got to get that right. It was you?
GM: I was shocked. For some reason it never occurred to me— they call you and they tell you, “You know you’ve made this list and we’re going to send a photographer to take pictures.” It never occurred to me as we’re doing this elaborate photo shoot that it wasn’t going to be like one of those little— I don’t know if you’ve see in some magazines they’ll have like a College Queen or Top 100.
PW: Oh, yeah.
GM: It will be like this little square that’s maybe an inch by an inch or something like that. So for whatever reason I thought it was going to be like a school picture size kind of thing, and it never occurred to me that it was going to be a really big deal until I opened up the article and I’m on the very first page right across from then Senator Obama and Tyler Perry is below me and his picture is smaller.
GM: [Laughs] And so, yeah, so that— I didn’t understand what was happening back then. And that’s probably a whole different story because you have to remember the idea of bloggers and was still kind of new back then.
GM: I didn’t know what to do with all of that. But, luckily, in the middle of, you know, this kind of— I had led a campaign against black entertainment television. It had been successful and gotten a lot of press, and in the middle of that, I was feeling pretty invincible.
PW: Is this where BET started to change their kind of television formatting from— you know, where it used to be, really, the intention of it was good where they really try to build something as a platform for, you know, black folks to have good programming to all of a sudden swiping cards and it’s too personal, that kind of stuff.
GM: Yeah, what was interesting about that time and the reason why it probably blew up the way it did, it was— I think it was one of those things where I just collided with history. You know what happened was BET have invested zero dollars into its programming pretty much for years and Viacom finally came off of I think $180 million in production development funds and they hire Reginald Hudlin from Hollywood to come in and be the president.
PW: House party director?
GM: Yeah. So this was Debra Lee’s kind of coming out party and so they had a lineup of shows that they had developed and I found one of them in particular highly offensive. And I actually was just looking at the content on the internet that was promoting the show. You know I’m just being who I am and, you know, I asked my blog readers I think at the time I— when this was happening I was like, “Oh my, gosh! I’m going to have my 10,000th page visit or something like that.
GM: It was some kind of milestone that I was looking forward to. This is like, “Oh, gosh! You know 200 people a day are coming to my blog.”
GM: Just so excited. And we contacted some advertisers and they agreed to pull their advertising from the site promoting the show and said that they would not be running any ads during the show. And apparently, and I think to this day, that somebody internal at BET leaked that story to the Hollywood Reporter and I woke up one morning because that’s what you do when you first start blogging; you wake up every morning and you check your page traffic because back then I had a clam shell phone, a flip phone. I didn’t even have a smart phone.
GM: Smart phones weren’t even— so I had to check— I would write my blog, check it in the morning, go to work, and then there was a public library and I would go and check on it during the middle of the day and maybe write another blog post, answers— respond back some comments, and then I will come home. So one morning I woke up and I had like 6,000 visits in a single…
PW: Which before you were just excited to get what? 200 visits for the day or whatever it was?
GM: Yeah, 200 visits for the day. And I remember distinctly counting down when I was going to get my 10,000 th visit. Well, basically, by the end of the day I had blown through that and then some…
GM: And so I was like where is this coming from? It’s coming from the Hollywood Reporter. So the Hollywood Reporter was sending me a lot of traffic. And then in the middle of the day the Hollywood Reporter story got picked up by the AP Wire, which back then that meant you’re— the link to my website was basically on every major news site on the planet and they were sending me traffic. And so there’s no such thing as overnight success.
PW: It’s that close to it if you’re going to have it.
GM: So it wasn’t expected. I didn’t go looking for it. But I guess I was built for the moment or, you know, whatever. And it was funny at the end of it when all of that with BET was over the show’s creator came to the blog and say, “You know a year from now nobody will know your name.”
GM: Yeah, and it’s been, you know, eight or nine years. And the funny thing is I didn’t really enjoy the Essence magazine shoot because I was like, “Oh, God, people are going to see me and dah-dah- dah-dah- dah and all this.” Even when the magazine came out I didn’t quite appreciate how massive it was to be in a magazine. But luckily I got an opportunity to do another magazine shoot in 2013 for black enterprise and we actually ended up being placed on the cover of the magazine.
GM: So I kind of got to redo that moment and it was kind of coming full circle of that. But in the middle of my blog blowing up I had gotten bloggers behind the scenes and one of the complaints that they had was that some of the larger social media and tech conferences at that time— at that time it was called is not— but back then I think it was called Yearly or…
GM: And then BlogHer…
GM: Was pretty young. And then South by Southwest which is based in Austin, people were whining and complaining about that. And I was just kind of like, “Well, you know, if they’re not embracing you—” because I was raised not to give people your money, you know [laughs].
PW: True, true. Absolutely!
GM: Yeah, if they’re not embracing you then build your own conference. How hard can it be, you know? So I didn’t know what I didn’t know. So I was supposed to go on a European cruise that— it was even the following year. And so instead of putting down the deposit on the cruise I put down the deposit on a space at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta for the first Blogging While Brown conference, and we held that in 2008 and we’re headed into our 9th conference.
PW: Wow, congrats! You know because I’ve talked to a couple of people that have run conferences. It’s not easy, frankly. I mean, you know, on the one side there’s so many not politics, that’s not the right word, but you deal with so many logistics from people and facilities that you’re going to set up locations in some respect that it’s not easy. But, you know, the thing that I love about you— and I don’t use the word love loosely. I really do love this about what you’ve done is you didn’t necessarily seek fame when blogging. I think, you know, we look at a lot of bloggers today and a lot of them are just trying to ramp up numbers and— I mean they’ll just vacillate on whatever their passionate is. You will need to start it writing about something that you are passionate about and not necessarily looking for fame. You just kind of use an outlet to say, “Look there’s topics that I want to talk about that are important to me so I’m going to write about it,” and, boom, it catches the AP Wire and other things begin to happen for you which is awesome. But that’s a serious, serious lesson for bloggers and people that are creating content today that just don’t put words on a page. I mean really believe what you’re doing and that passion will come out for other people to see for sure.
GM: Absolutely! And people can sense that. They can sense the authenticity. But also I think if you’re passionate about it chances are there’s somebody else who’s equally passionate about it.
PW: Hmm, that’s a good point.
GM: But if what your passion is is to be known that’s something that only relays to you, so [laughs]…
PW: Yup. Oh, that’s really good.
GM: I teach a blogging 101 course and it’s so funny. Of course I always get asked by bloggers, you know, how do I get more people to read my blog and how do I make more money? And one of the exercises I give them is to, you know, kind of stalk their audience online and go figure out where their audiences are hanging out. And it surprises me the lack of curiosity new bloggers have about their potential audiences.
GM: After nine years I know my audience. I know them so well. I know what they’re going to respond to. I know how they’re going to respond to that, and I just think because it’s kind of organic and the whole thing was fancy game. They are always going to have their problem. Everybody wants to be famous. You can have an incredible blog community, social media community, an incredible platform. Being authentic— the world may not know who you are but the people who know who you are will really, really matter.
PW: That’s really good advice there and good point. So let’s talk about Blogging While Brown. What makes this conference different aside from the obvious name? But let’s delve into that a little bit. What makes this conference different from so many others that you’ve mentioned, BlogHer and Type-A Parent and so forth and so on. Or is it?
GM: Well, yeah, I think it’s different. I think it’s different. I own that. The information interestingly enough is not necessarily different because information is information. When you come to our conference you’re going to see people of color in the audience, on the stands giving, you know, speeches and handling workshops, and things like that. You are not going to necessarily if you’re a person of color, be the eyeball out. But I think one of the things— and I think— I don’t know if we mentioned this during the recording or not but we the difficulty with the event planning and that kind of thing is that I’ve seen a lot of social media conferences come and go in the time that we’ve been around. And I think now a lot of them look the same; a lot of these becoming redundant. And I don’t even go to social media conferences anymore unless I’m speaking. I’m focused more on internet marketing-related conferences now. But I think what makes Blogging While Brown different is that bloggers come first. And I
But I think what makes Blogging While Brown different is that bloggers come first. And I think that a lot of times when you go to other conferences it’s very brand-centric. Even if there are brands, you know, wrapped around the building, even the panels are aimed at a business model or a sustainability model if you’re not for profit that involves trying to figure out how to make brands happy. And Blogging While Brown is a little bit different because the whole point and the whole genius of blogging and social media is that people of color could finally tell stories about themselves on their own terms. We would be independent. And it’s really hard to be independent if everything you’re doing is dictated by how happy you make a brand.
So I think we’re definitely a conference that’s audience-centric. We definitely push our attendees to be audience-centric. We push our attendees to look at their audiences as the greatest potential source of income if that’s what they’re interested in. So instead of chasing sponsor post, which is fine, they may also consider productizing something. So we’re not anti-brand. We have brands participate but they’re our partners. They’re not [laughs] our overlords. But also the size. I’m proud of the fact— you know people say, “Well, you should blow it out. You should grow it up.” But I love the fact that people come up to me in the middle of the conference and talk about how organized it is and how peaceful it is.
GM: You’re not having to run from one of a convention center to the other. They’re not 16,000 sessions going on. It’s interesting people say, “Well, why don’t you have more breakouts?” I said because you actually would be unhappy if I added another breakout session.
PW: Run into more spots, yeah. I’ve heard the exact same thing. I’m committed to attend an event I hadn’t been for full transparency but I know people that have and I’ve heard that it’s organized, it’s professional. It just feels very peaceful from the standpoint that you don’t feel like you’re cattle being gathered up from one spot to the other. So I think that absolutely speaks volumes.
GM: Yeah, one of the things that was really important to me is that people be in a room together the entire day. So, for instance, this year, Friday, we didn’t do any breakouts on Friday; we do breakouts on Saturday. You basically could plant your flag [laughs], put your stuff down. That’s going to be your headquarters for the day. And then as far as moving around that’s the last time you had to think about it. Then you can spend that time during breaks going to meet people you hadn’t met.
GM: Networking, that kind of thing. And I think networking is probably the most important part of why you’re there even if the attendees don’t realize that [laughs]. A lot of conference attendees don’t realize why you actually are at the conference, so you have to explain that to them.
PW: Totally, I get it. Yup, some people are just still, you know, kind of in their own shell and you kind of have to break people out. I’m kind of a ball person by nature, anyway, so I’m willing to walk around and just make people come out of their shell to some degree and talk with me. Because that’s why I’m there, that’s why I’m spending money to get out there is to meet you and talk with you.
PW: So tell me some, Gina, so we talked about the people that are on stage even the attendees for that matter but just kind of focus on the people that speak at your event. Why is it that— and I don’t if this is intentionally done or if this has just been missed within the industry and other conferences. If there is that knowledge base within the African- American community out there and there are people that can speak articulately and eloquently to the topics of digital marketing, social media, blogging, whatever it may be, how can those same people may not get that invite at the other conferences? Is it a deliberate non-invite or is it just somehow, you know, there is still somewhat of a segregation with this? What is that?
GM: First of all, I want to say one of the reasons that we started Blogging While Brown was also to highlight the fact that we do have these blog experts in social media and digital technology. And I know a lot of folks who have spoken for the first time at Blogging While Brown and they have gone on speak at South by Southwest. I know a lot of our speakers had been invited to come speak at BlogHer, so we’re definitely a recruiting ground.
GM: And I think that’s a good thing. So people know, “Okay, well, in the tech space we’re looking for some folks.” They know that we have this talent full at Blogging While Brown. I think that conferences tend to reflect the social circle of the organizer. If you don’t do anything else and you just go with the flow, your attendees are probably going to look like you. The speakers are probably going to look like you. And if you don’t make an additional effort to have diversity or inclusion or make— if you don’t go the extra step, then it’s not going to happen necessarily organically. And I think sometimes event organizers are— because it’s hard. They’re so overwhelmed with logistics and just making sure that the trains run on time that it never occurs to them when they’re looking at their speaker page that there’s something missing.
Yeah, if you live in a white world and you work somewhere where only one person of the employees are people of color, you looking at a page seeing nothing but white dudes doesn’t look odd to you because that’s how you’re living every day. I don’t think it’s always malicious. I think it’s just kind of people going with the flow not realizing that your flow is not inclusive. If you want to be thought of as inclusive you’re going to have to go the extra step.
BlogHer, I think, has done a really good job of being intentional about being inclusive. And one of the things I like about them is they’ve never asked me to come talk about a diversity topic. They’ve always had me come talk about, you know, my expertise in some aspect to social media having nothing to do with race. And I think that that’s important, too, because a lot of times especially it’s gotten really out of control. And my opinion of South by Southwest is that they have like this black in tech trackers something like that.
GM: It’s like black Twitter and black people this and black that, and it’s just kind of like the whole point of South by Southwest is that you’re bringing tens of thousands of people from around the world in one place and I think it’s awesome to be inclusive. You’re not a black expert in Twitter; you’re an expert in Twitter [laughs].
GM: So that kind of thing. But, yeah, I think it’s just because conference organizers, they treat it as an afterthought, and diversity, if you’re in an environment where there aren’t a lot of people of color, is not going to happen organically. You’re going to have to be intentional about it.
PW: I can see why they call you the dean of bloggers now because you’re teaching right now.
PW: I mean, seriously, that’s really good stuff. I think it’s important, too, that in one respect we are focusing on the fact that, “Hey, we need a little more color, you know, at Twitter. You know I just had a podcast with Jason Cast and we kind of looked at the numbers that work at Twitter like 2%, Facebook and at Silicon Valley and a lot of those companies, right? So in one respect we should look at that and say, “Hey, you know, we’re under represented, and I know for a fact we have more that can speak to a lot of these things.” But at the same time you don’t want to put so much emphasis on it that it becomes a novelty for people where you’re just creating a track to say that we did it.
GM: Yeah, and I think that’s the worst thing in the world is— and I think that’s kind of what happened with South by Southwest. They were like, “Okay,” because people complain every year. I live here in Austin and I actually interact with the folks who run the whole interactive part. People complain every year about something, and so I think they were like, “We’re going to solve this problem. We’re going to give you your own track, you know.”
GM: “And that takes care of the problem. And now we don’t have to hear you complain anymore,” and people are still complaining. I think the thing that’s happening in Silicon Valley right now is that these companies are more influential than they’ve ever been. They’re massive and they’re subject to the same federal laws that all of the “traditional companies” are subject to. And I think that this current tech inclusion thing is going to become a boondoggle for a lot of justice warriors.
PW: Yeah, yeah.
GM: Like, you know, I’m getting emails all the time about new commitments and, you know, in billions of dollars.
PW: Yeah, I’ve seen the recent report tell from a lot of different companies that said we’re going to start doing this now which, I mean, you can argue if it’s disingenuous in some respect. I mean…
GM: Yeah. I think here’s the answer because ultimately I’m an entrepreneur at heart. I’m trying to be anyway at least. I think that the digital revolution offers people of color some opportunities that we’ve never had in human history. You know I’m about to start working on my first mobile game because I think mobile gaming and video is actually the future and blogging and social is kind of the past. And Steve Jobs said you got to be where— no, no, Gretzky, I think, said you got to be where the puck will be or something like that.
PW: Wayne Gretzky, yup.
GM: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Be where the puck will be. I don’t know why I give that to Steve Jobs.
PW: And you know what every quote that comes out now whether it’s on Business Insider or your Facebook post, Steve Jobs gets to quote now. He’s just the default quote guy if it sounds good.
GM: The default quote— yeah. When I think about tech inclusion I think, yes, Facebook— first of all Facebook and Twitter and all of those organizations have absolutely no excuse for a 1% or 2% black, you know, employee makeup.
GM: Because maybe that, you know, they’re holding, “Oh, we don’t have a talent pool of coders.” Well, in order to run a company that size everybody doesn’t need to be a coder. The human resources people don’t need to be coders.
GM: The people who answer the phone don’t need to be coders. The people who do marketing don’t need to be coders. The people who order the supplies don’t need to be coders. So if you just forget the whole black people don’t code or whatever thing, we need to have our children to be fluent and be able to navigate and I think coding, for some of them, they need to know that. But there are so many other support positions where black people could be hired in those positions and they just haven’t done it. But I think that these social justice group— I was at a conference in Washington, DC with folks who do in telecom regulation, media regulation, and the impression that I was given was that if tech companies didn’t get it together that people were going to start pursuing actions against them with the EOC. I think this whole conversation I’m kind of stepping back from it because it’s kind of a 22:31 theatre aspect of it.
PW: Yup, yup.
GM: So it’s kind of like I’m going to focus on doing my own thing and I’m going to let that theatre pop a tree, whatever that is, go on. I don’t see my future in Silicon Valley, so…
PW: And I think that’s a lesson, Gina, that other people can take, other entrepreneurs, other black entrepreneurs is look, you know, rather than get caught up in the A-side/ B-side of diversity within an organization and the battle of it, just start your thing.
PW: Just go out and start to create and build. If you want to work at Facebook, build Facebook 5.0 and just make it better. It’s not to say don’t fight, right? But, you know, internet has done something where if you want to change something you don’t necessarily have to get involved with the theatrics of it all. You can just start to build your own.
GM: And here’s an interesting thing: when you build your own and they see you building your own, then they want to start a conversation with you.
GM: Then they want to collaborate with you because you got your own.
PW: That’s right. You’re giving the attention. There you go. That’s absolutely right. You’re going from teaching now to preaching. I have no collection plates on the show. I don’t deal with that kind of stuff.
PW: So tell me what is the one thing that you know now that you wish you would have known when you were getting started whether it’s at blogging or with your conference? And I know it’s kind of vague, but what is that one thing that you know now that you wish you have known then?
GM: You know I started out as an activist blogger and so I tended to be ambivalent about even running ads on my blog. That was like a really big deal to put a, you know, Google ad on my blog [laughs]. And I didn’t have one up there until the first Blogging While Brown conference, and I had gotten into a confrontation with people in the audience saying, “Just put it up there for God’s sake.”
GM: But I— when I started Blogging While Brown even though I started it as an LLC— and the only reason I started it as an LLC instead of a non-profit is because the forms in Texas for LLC are really short [laughs]. You just send them a check and you have a company.
GM: But I wish I had known that I was in business and I wish that I had known what being in business meant. And I think for a number of years I’ve ran blogging while brown as if, you know, it was my baby, it was my precious thing, and didn’t make some really hard decisions that I should have. And so as a result I probably paid tens of thousands of dollars in “stupid text” over the years. But I think one of the greatest gifts you can ever give yourself to start a business because you learn numbers don’t lie, you know [laughs].
PW: That’s right.
GM: You know you could be. I think I wish I had known back then that I was in business and the whole point of business. And once I realize that the only way Blogging While Brown would survive would be for me to treat it as a business and for it to function as a business. I couldn’t keep writing checks to it every year and saying, “You know I’ll just do the— you know I’ll just pay for it myself.” No. old after five years.
GM: So, no, this thing has got to be profitable on its own. So I was forced to make some interesting decisions. For example, we don’t hold our conference at hotels. We may have a hotel where people will stay there as a group, but we tend to hold our events in a non- traditional venue. For example, for years, I thought I could never go to New York City. I could never hold a conference in New York City and for whatever reason I said, “Okay, let’s see if we can do it in New York City.” And I discovered a New York public library called the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. I was able to find a space in the Schomburg Center and we were in Harlem, you know, which kind of like made perfect sense.
GM: But it was— how many social media conferences were held, you know, conference in Harlem? [Laughs]
PW: I’m going to say zero right now.
PW: But I would have been a major fan especially if you were down the street from.
GM: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. You have to pass there. And, you know, the conference hotel ended up being this Aloft— part of the Aloft chain. We held the opening party in the conference lobby. So, you know, I go to a lot of conferences where there’s a lot of pomp and a lot of circumstances and I know how much every single thing costs, and I was just like I don’t know how they’re doing it. But I got over trying to keep up with the Joneses as it relates to conferences. I had to figure out what’s the heart and soul of this thing, and the heart and soul are bringing those people together in the same space and giving them an opportunity to engage. And guess what they’ll have just as much fun at the Schomburg Center. They’ll have just as much fun at the Chemical and Petroleum Museum I think is where we— no, the Chemical Heritage Foundation Museum in Philadelphia. And I think that’s the reason why we’re still around and a lot of folks aren’t, is that I wasn’t afraid to depart from the stand.
PW: Try different—
GM: That is really cool. You’re bringing a really good point. Ninety-nine percent of conferences are held at hotels versus just some outside large venue. Now I know why they do it. They probably hold it because it’s a larger venue that can hold a lot of people. They’re somewhat built to that. But for you to take the extra step to find these different locations that hold the massive people that you have that is really unique in itself. That’s really cool.
GM: Yeah. Next year we’ll be at George Washington University. We’ll be in a university building. So if you’re a new conference organizer especially if you’re in the social space you might try to keep up with the Joneses and have it at a hotel. But just understand if you are having a conference at a hotel you are not in a conference business; you are in the hotel room sales business, you are in the food services business. That is the business you’re in.
PW: Right. That’s really good point especially for people that kind of want to get conferences started and go past the meet-ups that they’ve been having or if they’re expanding in that way. Now I’m going to ask a question that’s totally unrelated and then we’re going to go to a quick break. I’m going to ask you six quick questions, but what has truly been the evolution aside from the obvious, again, from traditional media to new media? Just to put this in perspective.
I know we know about TV and ads and different stuff like this. I know what the internet has done. But how do you see the evolving one step further now. I think I know where you can go with this because you’ve already alluded to it, video mobile. But is that kind of where you’re planning the flag at to say, “Look the next step of media and moving a step forward where—” you know we’re not even talking about windows operating system anymore. I heard a report that said Apple was going to become the next operating system essentially. Do you think that’s where we’re going with, you know, new media and that’s kind of where we’re blasting off to next?
GM: Yeah, I definitely think we are headed toward an up base environment. But even when you look at the devices that people use we’re definitely headed towards mobile and video is just growing every year. So when it comes to storytelling— I guess this is what I’m saying, if you’re trying to break through in the next five years don’t go where everybody is already going.
GM: You already— you missed that gold rush, so, “Oh, I’m going to start a blog and people in the street starting a blog like a slot machine in Vegas and I’m going to get rich from it.” And that’s a lie that you’re telling yourself. But I can tell you that there are spaces where people of color are consumers and they are— not only are they being underserved they’re not being served at all. So why not go where there’s fertile ground and that’s in anything mobile-related? But particularly for me mobile games with characters that look like my nieces and nephews, but also getting prepared for how you’re going to show up in the video, you know, as video is just grinding out more.
I think the whole individual website platform-based is going by the wayside, and I think when you think about how people are consuming content. If you don’t have an app, if you don’t have some kind of video component or visual component, I think you’re going to get left behind.
PW: Yeah, I agree with you. And I know a lot of marketers right now including myself, we’re trying to figure out how do we make the mobile? Because that’s absolutely where it’s going. So, you know, you can see it in the numbers. As you mentioned earlier numbers don’t lie and you could see the desktop users are moving to mobile. So, you know, in terms of converting the sale it’s not at the level people think it’s really at, but you got to be careful what ads on mobile because it’s so intrusive. But if people can start thinking about how can I not be intrusive to the person consuming the content but still serve as, still deliver content and so forth and so on, you will be in that next wave that Gina is talking about. So that’s good stuff, Gina.
GM: Yeah, I actually think ads are dead. I think ads are dead men walking, and I’m going to tell you everybody’s working on ad blockers. Apple has announced this. Consumers are actively seeking out ad blockers. So I think that actually businesses and folks who are advertisers are actually going to get into the content game and a lot of them have. But they’re actually producing original content that is of value to their audience and the “ad” is baked into the content. So I think that the whole brand of content thing I think that’s where everything’s headed.
PW: That’s good. So look everyone Gina, myself are going to come back with six burning Alright guys we’re back with Gina. We have six burning, hot, steaming questions for her and we’re going to start right now. Gina, are you ready for this?
GM: Yes, I’m ready.
PW: This gets really crazy so hold on.
GM: [Laughs] Okay.
PW: Alright, so what is your preferred social network of choice for your personal use?
PW: A social network you couldn’t do without?
PW: The last app you downloaded for your smart phone?
GM: Square register.
PW: Wow! That’s deep. Other people have like or some game. You have like a business Square Register app. Okay.
PW: Smartphone of choice?
PW: Apple or PC?
GM: Oh, Mac [laughs].
PW: Mac, wow!
PW: You said that too. I’m a PC guy. You hurt my feelings a little bit. Do you own any stock in Facebook, LinkedIn?
GM: I do not.
PW: Okay, alright.
GM: Yes, but I need to. I need to own some Facebook, Twitter, and [laughs].
PW: [Laughs] You know— now just as a caveat to this. That was your burning questions, but just as a caveat to this, I think those are what they are at this point. I think we need to start investing in the up and coming guys, the next Facebooks and the other Twitters and so forth and so on. I don’t own stock, to be transparent, in any of those companies by design. When Facebook initially put up their IPO I thought about it and then I decided not to for couple different reasons. Gina, look, I really appreciate your time. The information that you provided was awesome. I’m sure we’re going to get good feedback that other people believe the same. I really appreciate it.
GM: Oh, you’re welcome.