DURAND & ELECTRIC MINDS
In 1996, my adventures in the nascent online social networks led to creating an EPK for Durand Corporation in Santa Barbara, CA. Andre Durand’s dazzling technology was a commerce portal centered around a news press hub. Casey Hughes, CFO, navigated with a clear vision of the future. (1st half of the EPK below)
The EPK presents Durand’s NT technology and CommunityWare, deep stuff even for a technophile like me. In 1996, Andre and Casey’s vision of the Internet was about building communities and enabling transactions. So after poring over a stack of documents, what Casey called the “court dump”, I decided on a journalistic approach. Armed with a camera and minimal crew, I followed them as they negotiated deals and conducted think tank sessions. The center piece was their presention of Mindwire technology to the Board of Directors. Those guys were serious players in the VC world.
Time has proved that the Mindwire strategy is at the core of what the web became. In 2008, Web 2.0 social networks wield increasing political influence, common man journalism rises to the shared media space.
Hollywood’s first wave of New Media was a roller coaster ride of VC funded new media projects and joint ventures. Online networks, common in corporations, were transforming into a new exciting delivery system of branded content. It was the first shaking of a social revolution.
Producing branded content comes with the responsibility to know the message. Research, write, clarify. Respect the audience and the sponsors. Learn from the best. Seek the most effective expression of the brand’s promise. Simplify the central idea into a sort of haiku. Keep it as real as possible. Tell the truth, unless the bosses expect something different.
But in forever sunny Los Angeles, I enjoy the down time in between big projects. Get back to my New Orleans mode. Maintain a bit of solitude, take time to mull over my winding trail. Where did I land on solid ground or fall on a shaky slope?
A good hike in the Hollywood Hills is a great way to start the day. Scampering over rocks and jogging along ridgetops keeps us feeling lively and balanced.