Tue, 25 February 2014
On episode 2 of The Influencer Economy, we're happy and proud to welcome Shira Lazar to the show. Shira is the founder and host of the Emmy nominated show What's Trending and an inspiration in the media and YouTube world. In order to launch her career, she defined her own 'beat' as a journalist, essentially creating the news category that "bridged the gap between Silicon Valley and celebrity."
Shira is the essence modern day media entrepreneur in every sense, and she has creatively and instinctively built What's Trending to serve over 2 million views a month on YouTube, and 20 million views per month across all their syndicated platforms. We talked at length about her career starting in Canada, and how she moved to L.A., building her career on her own terms. It was a fascinating conversation and snapshot into the life of a modern day media/social media entrepreneur and online social media businessperson.
This podcast will teach you: How to build a start-up media company, how to become an entrepreneur, how to build a modern day media brand, how to create and instinctively build a successful business online.
Shira goes into detail about how to be a leader at a start-up, gives advice to future creators and aspiring entrepreneurs. Shira feeds off of collaboration, and works hard at nurturing relationships, while thinking about how to play the long game in friendships/work relationships. She kicked-off her career in Canada, and came to Los Angeles as a producer/host/broadcaster/creator - working as a freelancer in the broadcast world. She has not forgotten her roots as a mult-skilled founder at What's Trending. She has the ability to relate to the biggest YouTubers like Toby Turner, and can switch into tech/start-up mode with Mark Cuban at the drop of a dime.
She interviews people for a living, and her start-up business is inspired by her passion and curiosity around meeting new people. Achieving her success did not come easy, and as an early vlogger helped transform the medium into what it is today. Vlogging was barely a word when she started creating videos. She was an early voice in covering online 'viral video stars' for CBS back in 2008, when no one else was speaking to them. She created and identified an emerging market, where people on the internet were become personalities in the news world. Shira pioneered the 'human interest stories' beat around interviewing web personalties like 'The Double Rainbow Guy" or "Antoine Dotson." These stories are now common place on national news like the Today Show or CBS This Morning, influenced by Shira's work.
We also dig into the format of What's Trending, and how she runs the show, books guests, promote the episodes, and interviews her guests. What's Trending is a modern day media brand, and this podcast is a great listen for anyone passionate about media, or someone who wants to understand what it's like running a social media start-up enterprise in 2014. Shira is a true pioneer in the influencer economy.
Wed, 12 February 2014
Welcome to the Influencer Economy, my name is Ryan Williams. We’re really fired-up for our first guest on our inaugural podcast: Burnie Burns. Burnie is an entrepreneur and the founder of Rooster Teeth, an online video studio and production company, based on Austin, TX. He is a YouTube visionary and online video expert, we talk to him about the origins of Rooster Teeth. He’s a pioneer in the online video entertainment world, and he started Rooster Teeth as a passion project in 2003.
Burnie and I got to chat about how they built their YouTube Channels to have over 10 million subscribers, and how those channels have served over 3 billion total video views in aggregate. That is incredible. Burnie and I also dive into Rooster Teeth’s major tent pole show, the series Red vs. Blue, that was one of the biggest and most successful early examples of the machinima art form. Red vs. Blue is one of the biggest fan films ever. They created the series within the gaming of Halo, and Microsoft was even okay with them making the series.
For those who don’t understand the machinima filmmaking style, machinima is “digital pupeteering” as Burnie puts it. It’s when creators tell narrative stories within video game engines, record the content, and post it online. They use of real-time computer graphics engines to create a cinematic production. Red vs. Blue uses the characters in the game of Halo to act out lines, behind the games animation. It’s fascinating stuff, Burnie was an original in the Machinima industry, even going to Sundance film festival.
It was fascinating to hear that initially Rooster Teeth was a labor of love, working with his friends, who worked on the company after working normal day jobs. And now they still maintain that type of culture in their office.
In this podcast you’ll learn: How to build a YouTube channel, how to launch a online video company, how to work in the gaming industry, how to build a brand online, how to launch a career in gaming and YouTube.
We also talk about his advice for creators, and people wanting to work in the online video world now, versus when he started Rooster Teeth 11 years ago. We talk about his early inspirations and how much the industry has changed since he launched Rooster Teeth.
We even get into a conversation about Texas BBQ and how Texans love big cups.