Venture Catalyst, Marketing Technologist, Columnist, Futurist, Smart Ass

Posts in category Business

Why Weird Al is the King of Content & Social Media

When people ask, “Who are your favorite bands of all-time?” to people from my generation, you hear the usual suspects… The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash, The Beastie Boys, Mötley Crüe, and Pearl Jam. Those are a few that I rattle off… and I typically forget Weird Al Yankovic. After hearing his latest album tonight and seeing how he continues to weave in relevant content pertaining to today’s trends is nothing short of amazing, I’ve recognized that he has an amazing way to stay relevant with his content.

I’m completely in awe in how he has launched his 14th studio album this week, Mandatory Fun, and has launched a video each day of this week, so far. And he is busting out 8 videos total in 8 days? That’s amazing! He is a content creation machine!

The social media buzz around Weird Al is exploding this week. According to the data that I pulled from BuzzSumo, Yankovic has had 1,605 articles written about him THIS WEEK. (This article is #1606)

Those 1605 articles, so far, have generated 1,605,689 shares. Shares. Not visitors, clicks or traffic. Shares. Weird Al owns social media this week. READ MORE »

How to Explain Big Data to a Five-Year-Old

One of the biggest buzzwords ever, it seems, is “Big Data”. But what EXACTLY is big data? It might seem a little condescending, but for those who aren’t in the industry, explaining big data requires some “dumbing down.” If you’re in the position to explain this to someone with zero experience in it, who isn’t tech savvy, or who comes from an entirely different field, leave the jargon out and instead focus on explanations and similes they’ll understand.

A perfect example is when the CEO asks for a quick rundown—and her background is in corporate leadership, she uses an old smartphone, and simply isn’t on the same page as you. Don’t get frustrated. This is your time to shine. READ MORE »

Big Props to @Facebook, a @McDonalds Employee and @United Airlines

Screenshot 2014-05-06 01.50.59Most of the time, people will use social media to bitch about something or some brand online. Rarely will people take the time to write a blog post PRAISING a company.

Hold your breath, folks, I’m about to do just that. The Facebook F8 Conference was amazing.  A McDonald’s employee went OUT OF HER WAY for me in a big way on Sunday. And United made me breathe a sigh of relief, I’ll tell you why.
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Lessons from my First Tech Startup Failure, Ten Years Ago.

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 3.36.46 AMMy first tech startup, MethodLaboratories was a big web project that started with an idea from my good friend, Jonathan Shaun.

Methodlabs was where we featured artists, musicians, filmmakers, designers, and other creatives, gave them free webspace, showcased their work and even created t-shirts for the artists and designers that submitted their work.

To make the project a reality, I learned and mastered HTML, CSS & Javascript, as well as designing the whole project.

We also brought in the talented Alexander Petrides, who helped do all of the tough, custom modifications on the code.  He actually built the Dropbox-like feature, and helped customize our user profiles system and many other things.  Together, we grew the concept into a large web property with tens of thousands of members.

In many ways, we were a bit ahead of our time:  READ MORE »

Twitter Needs a Second Screen Filter Feature Similar to Google+ Circles

Twitter_nyse--621x414I tweet a lot.  And I tweet about many different topics.  Many of my followers don’t give a flying shit about many of the topics that I’d otherwise like to talk about.

You can segment people with lists, so that can filter their broadcasts, however, you can’t select an audience to deliver certain tweets to, outside of a hashtag.  I propose they fix this, as it’s in their best interest for advertising targeting.

For instance, I live in Kansas City and have always loved watching the Kansas City Royals. Let’s say I’m watching the Royals game and I want to tweet about it… There is a browser with Twitter open at the ready, my mobile phone is right here, also… and I have a browser open of the Royals playing. READ MORE »

Why I will no longer fly @USAirways and why Corporate Greed Sucks.

68666I fly so much. This year alone, I’ve flown over 50,000 miles and I’m closing on 100,000 miles.  Most of the flights are booked by other people on my behalf for clients, and quite frankly, I can’t stand most of the people in the travel industry, namely TSA and the “America Patdowns” I get with each flight. [I opt out of the radioactive scanners]  Needless to say, I don’t always double check the itineraries in time… and that bit me in the ass this evening.

I fly out tomorrow from San Francisco to Phoenix and I thought I had an 11 hour layover… this was intentional.  What you say?  An 11 hour INTENTIONAL layover?  Yeah.

One of my good friends disappeared in 2006, he went homeless and unaccounted for. Last June, they found him face down in the Arizona desert, with vultures flying over his head, almost dead.  He had been in a flight with spinal meningitis, unbeknownst to him… and then he got Death Valley Fever.  He was 130lbs, and was comatose for almost 100 days.

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Innovation and Inspiration at Big Kansas City


There is a lot going on in Kansas City, these days. Google has launched it’s “Google Fiber” product and the entrepreneur community is buzzing with activity. It’s a hot bed for startups, and it’s being coined as “Silicon Prairie”. In 2008, Silicon Prairie News was founded to discuss the developments in the startup scene in the flyover states of Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. SPN, launched Big Omaha a couple years ago, and today was the inaugural Big Kansas City conference kickoff, where top innovators, startup founders and digital disrupters share their wisdom in an old school airplane hanger, that is now the Airline History Museum.
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My Experience Working With Yahoo! And Why Marissa Mayer is Right about Not Letting Employees Work from Home.

ydunce1Everyone has been busting Marissa Mayer’s proverbial balls over the past week over her decision to make Yahoo employees work at a corporate office and stop working from home. My work commute is approximately 66 steps from bed to work chair. It works for me. I work for a silicon valley company from my basement office in my Kansas City home. Living and working in Silicon Valley is too damn expensive so living there isn’t really an option. Having said that, I understand why Yahoo! totally needs to do it.

In the past summer, the company that I consult with was working on a partnership with a well known movie producer on a joint venture with Yahoo and my company. Meaning, we had to work together closely to make it happen. They had a distribution partnership with Yahoo! Screen and we had to work with it.

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Social Media Stormgasms During Bad Weather, Big Events and Disasters

Screen Shot 2013-02-18 at 11.08.04 PMYesterday, Burger King’s Twitter account password was hacked. I was able to monitor it in near real time. WDAF Fox 4 in Kansas City was thinking of having me on as a social media strategist and interview me for my opinion of the Burger King… the producer nixed that story and wanted a story about social media and how it impacts people and the frenzy during bad storms and disasters. This is the video of my interview on the local Kansas City news station WDAF Fox 4.


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The Hidden Benefits of the @BurgerKing Twitter Hack for Burger King

If you were watching the interwebs this morning, you may have heard that Anonymous hacked the official Burger King Twitter handle @BurgerKing and changed all of it’s branding to McDonald’s logos and imagery. This could be catastrophic for the agency or the BK Social Media team who manages these accounts.

Screen Shot 2013-02-18 at 11.43.11 AM

While I watched this play out in real time, I was astounded at the sheer velocity of growth that the @burgerking Twitter account was experiencing. From my estimation, @BurgerKing was at about 77,000 followers to start the day.

Once “Anonymous” hacked the profile due to an alleged “whopper123” password, the buzz started spreading, the amount of @burgerking twitter followers begin to grow.
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@teedubya

Travis Wright is a Venture Catalyst, Public Speaker, Digital Disrupter, Marketing Provocateur, Stand Up Comedian, Tech Blogger & Brand Awesomeizer.

This Travis Wright guy shares marketing resources, industry analysis, interwebs strategery & random hilarity along w/ occasional sport or political rants. If you can stand his jokes and want his opinion on something, feel free to connect with him.

email: tw [at] traviswright [dot] com

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