Tag Archives: Business

Facebook Suffering From Severe SnapChat Envy

Facebook Suffering From Severe SnapChat Envy

FaceChat

As social media continues to grow and evolve Facebook still reigns as the dominant site. In addition, its native messenger is the top communication app followed by WhatsApp which FB acquired In 2014. Add Instagram to the Facebook team and you’d think Mark Z would have no issues at all regarding digital dominance. So can someone explain why every week we’re hit with another feature upgrade ripping off Snapchat? They’re not even trying to be subtle with it.

Instagram stories may go down as the one understandable and well executed Snap rip off of them all. On the most visually focused platform, taking the core snap function and making it complementary element of IG was smart. You have the main platform for the best images you take while utilizing the 24 hr cycle of the stories feature to give real-time interaction. Adding the LIVE broadcast feature from Facebook into the Instagram system creates the perfect short form social media platform. From there I would have loved for the Facebook team to focus on new features to make FB/IG/WhatsApp stand out from Snap. No such luck.

WhatsApp & FB Messenger have both been given a useful 24 hr Snap status features. In addition, they’ve also been flooded with childish filters/masks that have taken a life of their own on SnapChat. I’m sure there are those that love this but personally, I don’t get it. Imitation at all costs when you’re already the dominant force in the industry reeks of insecurity. Maybe its a ploy to pull in more Gen Z users who prefer images over classic text content?

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Let’s not forget that Facebook tried to acquire SnapChat back in 2013 but had it’s $3 Billion offer snubbed but the up and coming app. I guess if you can’t buy them out you recreate them on your own terms.

FB SNAP

Here’s a look at the timeline of FB vs Snap activity. What do you think of Facebook ‘s Snap feature integrations?

**Check Out My Previous Auto Reviews**

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SAMURAI SIT DOWN W/ HIP HOP PUBLICIST SANDRINE AKA DRINEEE “THE HOPE DEALER”

SAMURAI SIT DOWN W/ HIP HOP PUBLICIST SANDRINE AKA DRINEEE “THE HOPE DEALER”

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It’s been a while since I last interviewed someone so its with great pleasure that I share this latest edition of Samurai Sitdown. I’ve always been about shining light on good people doing work that you may not be ever of or just good people in general. We need a lot more positive energy in these crazy times and this woman’s constant flow of hope filled, encouraging words in the midst of her steady Hip Hop representation are one of the things I look forward to while navigating these Internets. A jewel that’s been tucked away in the Dirty South, let me introduce you to Texas’s own Ms Sandrine.

A video posted by sandrine ✨ (@drineee) on

Can you please introduce yourself and tell us what you do? 

My name is Sandrine, also known as Drine, or Drineee on all social media platforms for all intents and purposes lol.  I’d like to say I wear many hats, or at least I try to anyway. Since 2011 I’ve transitioned from hip-hop journalist, to record label marketing rep to publicist. Oh, I’m also in finance as well.

It’s a pleasure to finally chop it up with you. Thank you for you time and lets hop right into things. Proper representation of culture and self are a big issue in many spaces right now. What does culture mean to you? In terms of Hip Hop, Nationality and Region?

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Hip Hop culture is one the most powerful forces in our society, period.  It started as a creative outlet and has turned into something way bigger than I think anyone could imagine.  When we saw politicians worrying about what 2Pac had to say, I think that’s when it really resonated that this was way deeper than rap. It’s more than music, it’s a way of life.  There are so many layers to it and I think that’s why we love it so much. 

True. That’s why we love it and why so many before us hate and fear it.

There’s a song for hustling, for your mama, for the come up, for love, for death and for everything else and the best part – it’s all genuine.  It’s easy to make a pop hit but it lasts a year, if that, and if they’re lucky, maybe some years because really, they aren’t talking about shit. When you make music with meaning it’s always going to outlast music for the moment.  

Continue reading SAMURAI SIT DOWN W/ HIP HOP PUBLICIST SANDRINE AKA DRINEEE “THE HOPE DEALER”

Branding Management During Times of Crisis via Evita Robinson

Branding Management During Times of Crisis via Evita Robinson

Evie Awesome

There is turmoil in the streets of the United States. We are in the midst of a period of social unrest that the U.S hasn’t seen in years. Recent and continuous killings of Black men by the police have pushed the nation to a crisis point that is being noticed far beyond the continental U.S.  As an entrepreneur it is often a difficult balance to represent your growing brand while dealing with troubles that transcend business. The time, energy and commitment to your business could easily be undone if you act incorrectly during this time of high emotions and sensitivity.

Crisis management process diagram, business concept

Nomadness Travel Tribe creator Evita Robinson is the embodiment of being the Face of your Brand so she understands the symmetry between business and personal quite well. She dove into this topic via Facebook Live and shares some great insight.

Check out for video below.

Sometimes it’s bigger then just the business. Make sure you are following Evita in all her many ventures so you got miss the big things she has upcoming.

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Samurai Rides: Spring Forward to Summer with the 2016 Toyota Rav 4 Hybrid

Samurai Rides: Spring Forward to Summer with the 2016 Toyota Rav 4 Hybrid

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This is a pleasant surprise indeed. Samurai Rides gets it’s first time behind the wheel of a new Toyota vehicle to finish out the final days of spring. This is a pleasure for me mainly because Toyota is the go to car brand of my parents. The Avalon and the Camry have held my parents down for years now. Even beyond that, the streets of my home town New Rochelle are full of Toyota rides. With all that being said I’ve had no experience with the Rav 4 so it’s still a fresh experience and I’m ready to share it with you.

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**Learn more about the Toyota Rav 4 Here**

So as I’ve mentioned I’m no stranger to Toyota. In regards to the Rav 4, my initial thought when I learned I was getting one was a college flashback. I remembered the compact 2 door vehicle that my friend drove on campus that I knew I couldn’t fit in. Fast forward to 2016 and space is one of the last things I had to worry about with the Rav 4. First things first, the Magnetic Grey finish on the car was killer and the blue trimmed logo adds a nice touch.

Off top you’re getting the standard goodies like remote access aka smart key, power everything from mirrors to seats to the moon roof. There is plenty of leg room so immediately I’m in a comfortable zone. Now one thing that many others may not noticed that made me happy was the cup holder. I have large cups that usually don’t fit but this Toyota design is perfect. It’s the little things that matter so bonus points for that.

Summer time often calls for heavier packing be it for road trips or store runs for BBQ supplies. Not to mention now with a baby on board that’s just more cargo to carry around. Either way the trunk space had me fully covered and that was without the seats folded down so you’d be in great shape for any serious luggage packing if need be.

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RAV4 offers two available audio systems that incorporate navigation, 16 so you can have the perfect soundtrack for all of your adventures. Choose from Entune™ Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite 32 and Entune™ Premium JBL® Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite, featuring JBL® GreenEdge™ speakers. Both offer the convenience and clarity of SiriusXM® Satellite Radio.

The Rav 4’s safety features were all on point. Sensitive enough to alert me to possible issues, especially in the rain but not so sensitive that they were constantly going off. The collection of Toyota safety indicators range form pedestrian alerts to lane departure. Take a moment to look more into the Safety aspect of the Rav 4 here.

My trips range from the short to the long these days and one of the tech tools I look forward to is the entertainment system. The satellite radio is already a must have but that USB plug in brings the real joy to the road as you can get your summer time playlists lined up to make for a memorable ride. With the sound powered by the good people at JBL Audio the tunes are crisp and clean, with no static.

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Alright I know all the bells and wistles are nice but handling the road is what it all comes down to and I have to say that I was not disappointed with how the Rav 4 hugged the highway. In perfect weather and heavy rain up and down the Jersey Turnpike Toyota’s Hybrid SUV came thru with flying colors. The  RAV4 Hybrid’s performance is a product of it’s gas engine, electric motor and hybrid battery which you can monitor very easily on your dash. All that tech is combining for nearly 200 horsepower and the acceleration is swift.

In all honestly Toyota is a brand that speaks for itself. There’s not much I could say that isn’t known, but I think hearing this from a source you know and trust does help if you’re on the fence about your next ride. Plus for me personally it was good to see how the Rav 4 fared in the compact SUV field where I’ve reviewed so many other stand out rides. Hopefully I’ll get to bring you more of what Toyota has lined up.

**Learn more about the Toyota Rav 4 Here**

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**For more Samurai Rides Click Here**

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Mary Meeker’s 2016 KPCB Internet Trends Report Sheds Light on the Future of Digital Marketing

Mary Meeker’s 2016 KPCB Internet Trends Report Sheds Light on the Future of Digital Marketing

New Users Info

There are an endless amount of people delivering advice and guidance about how the Internet is evolving and what he next moves will be to heighten digital business. To me there has to be a balance between the data and the narrative. Many things said across social platforms pick up stem but they aren’t actually true. To that extent I was diving into the KPCB Internet Trends Report from Mary Meeker for 2016 and there is a ton of info about today’s internet activity that would be well applied to your strategies going forward. I’m still going through the report but you will be glad you took the time to do so as well.

After the jump are a few of the standout points along with her recent interview discussing the report, which you can get access to at the end of this post.

Continue reading Mary Meeker’s 2016 KPCB Internet Trends Report Sheds Light on the Future of Digital Marketing

The Epic Trunk Show Returns with Lifestyle, Fashion & Music

The Epic Trunk Show Returns with Lifestyle, Fashion & Music

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This past weekend Manhattan’s Shop Studios was the place to be for another edition of the formerly named Ultimate Trunk Show. Now known as the Epic & Co. Trunk Show the evenings event is a collection of indie fashion brands, lifestyle accessories and services that allow you a fresh look at some quality clothing for the summer season and pamper yourself a little as the Epic & Co provided complimentary massages, nail treatment and shoe cleaning throughout the day.  The Trunk Show definitely succeeds in presently an showroom experience to remember.

The free-flowing Hennessy never fails in setting a calm laid back atmosphere. Whether you were on the main floor sampling the fashions or the rooftop awaiting a massage you could enjoy one of the V.S drinks being offered that evening.

A video posted by nightfall914 (@nightfall914) on

Now  what would such an event be like without music though? We wouldn’t have to wonder as DJ 9AM held down the tunes with right mixture of classics with a healthy dose of newer material.

Over the course of the evening I saw some familiar favorites like the always fly Heirport Apparel line.

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Dirty Razkal  returned with some new items including some back packs that I really was feeling.

Personally I really like the items that Kingdom Native had on display. Bringing a positive faith-based theme to fashion I appreciated what they were doing simply from the standpoint of counteracting the react wave of satanic themed items that have been made popular by many of today’s Hip Hop mega stars like Lil Wayne.

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Most notably is the popularized upside down cross images that have ended up on so many fashion pieces. For this reason alone Kingdom Naive gets my support.

Along with them, Imperfect Apparel had some items that I can picture a few of my friends rocking this summer from the US to Japan. I would also point people in the direction of Born Republic Co. for a solid selection of accessories from necklaces to bracelets and more.

Now I do want to give you guys my personal pick of the day. It’s great to look good but often times keeping things fresh and clean is a head ache. Sneaker loves will appreciate this because I brought my Nike Pythons to the event hoping to restore their shine.

Fresh feet work via @ecosolelution. @epicandco Trunk Show.

A video posted by nightfall914 (@nightfall914) on

EcoSOLElution used nothing more than a brush, water and their natural solution to deliver a major cleaning on my sneakers. This is a true must have for your favorite sneaker head. Get some asap. You’ll be glad you did.

Covering this event I was working with the good folks at Mr Refined  so make sure you swing by their side of the Internet to get more insights and a lot more images from the show!!

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Social Media Samurai Expands Service w/ Bezoar Software Web Design

Social Media Samurai Expands Service w/ Bezoar Software Web Design

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As I speak with various people about their digital needs I often hear about the desire to get website up and running to better advance the growth of their brands. With all the value that a good social media strategy can provide it is still essential to have a site on the internet that is exclusively yours to operate from. To that extent I’m happy to say that now I can more directly help people get those website dreams turned into reality via Bezoar Software.

The social media samurai has joined forces with Bezoar Software, a collection of creative designers and developers will get your website up looking clean, crisp and running smooth. For the curious, “Bezoar” comes from the Persian pād-zahr  which literally means “antidote”. That’s right so Bezoar Software looks to deliver an cure for the digital issues that ail you.

Folks know I don’t cosign just anything so I’m looking forward to linking people up with Bezoar to produce some big things. They are skilled and have already shown an appreciation for giving back.   Hop over to Bezoar Software and check out the sites they’ve constructed.  Below is a sample of the website content and layout they can create.

Fee free to reach out and contact me with any questions.

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MR REFINED LAUNCHES NEW PUBLICATION FOR THE TODAY’S URBAN PROFESSIONALS

MR REFINED LAUNCHES NEW PUBLICATION FOR THE TODAY’S URBAN PROFESSIONALS

#MRREFINED

**CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR COPY OF MR REFINED MAGAZINE***

One of the most powerful forces in our society today is media. It is how people get most of their information and for better or worse it’s a huge factor in how people form their views and opinions. With this power comes a responsibility to be truly comprehensive, honest and engaging with the content you deliver. In addition to that, the people now hold more ability to control the stories and narratives that are presented. Enter Mr. Refined Magazine.

I take personal pride and consider it an honor to have my words among the premiere articles within the newly launched Mr. Refined magazine.

Car Guide Refined

The Mr. Refined brand has set itself as an expanding force in delivering mature lifestyle content for the new age young adult. From style to travel to business and more Mr. Refined magazine looks to deliver a quarterly dose of high-caliber reading material that you can truly relate and connect to.

Salute

So, without further ado here is the info to get your own copy of Mr. Refined Magazine. You have your choice of digital or hard copies. You won’t be disappointed so order your copy and please share this among your peers.

**CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR COPY OF MR REFINED MAGAZINE***

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SAMURAI HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FOR TODAY’S MAN

SAMURAI HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FOR TODAY’S MAN

SMS Gift Guide Cover FInal XXX

It’s that time of year folks. Holiday season is upon us. Have you already finished all your gift buying? Of course not so while you prepare to knock that task out I’m here to help out in my own way. Do you have a guy but you’re not sure exactly what he’d like? Is he a busy multifaceted guy that’s’ always on the move?

Today’s man isn’t just the beer drinking handy man of old. He’s doing many times at any given time. With that in mind welcome to the Samurai Holiday Gift Guide.  Here you’ll find an array of gift ideas based around various lifestyle interests. I called in a couple friends too for additional input. I’m sure you’ll see a few things the man in your life will appreciate.

Hit the jump and dive into the 2015 Samurai Holiday Gift Guide! Oh and since today is cyber Monday you might see some great deals on this today too.

Continue reading SAMURAI HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FOR TODAY’S MAN

Social Media Samurai Pet Peeves: Social Media Internships

Social Media Samurai Pet Peeves: Social Media Internships

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Internships have been a part of the professional growth process for ages. As new technology and ways to do business emerge so to do the opportunities for fresh faces to show their skills off to businesses in need. In their purest form I 100% understand the role of an internship. When targeted at the right people it is a valuable lesson in work ethic, determination and humility. Unfortunately that isn’t always the case.

The reality of the business world is that many brands want to get as much out of talent for free as possible. Dangling exposure and experience to an industry newcomer has often been a successful method to lure in workers. In the case of social media, which is still a new and growing industry, many businesses are attempting to use this same internship approach  with those who have work force experience. They bank of the freshness of social media and the limited number of those that professionally grasp it as a way to get work loads lessened for nothing.

I took a stab at one of these gigs just to see if the end result would pay off. Here is my experience.

I came across a social media intern role with a respectable international media outlet. They have a solid following and have been recognized in their field with a number of awards. After doing my backward research I figured I’d go for it. The outlet is based in another country so the time difference worked out in my favor.

I was brought on quickly and then given the expected duties of my role. It was pure digital grunt work. I was given a set amount of “shares” that needed to happen for every new post that was published on the home site. While these social media shares could be spread around to various platforms, the biggest issue was  the Facebook requirement. I was directed to post their content directly to the pages of those within my network.

They wanted more eyes on their site but they essentially wanted me to spam people. Their intentions weren’t  malicious. They just didn’t understand the ethics and decorum required to operate effectively on social media. Not to mention these type of acts would negatively effect my personal brand.  I tried to work my way around this but in the end we had to part ways.

You see, I believe that quality content gets attention naturally without having to beat people over the head with it.

When people utilize interns as just cheap labor it’s a disservice to the worker and the business. Any opportunity worth having should be a mutually beneficial experience. There’s more to social media than mere tweets and Instagram posts. I can only hope more businesses come to understand that.

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