What New Media Darlings Can Teach Us About Attracting More Women

Image: 123rf.com

Like many of us I no longer make a long list of New Year resolutions that I know I'm going to quickly forget about, but I do try and start each year with a few intentions - a few new skills I want to learn, and a few important concepts I want to keep in mind as I move forward in my daily life. This year there are two skills I want to master. First I want to become a skilled video director and editor, and second I am returning to painting.The key concepts I want to keep in mind as I move forward in my work and play is doing by best to create beauty and connectivity.

I've drawn and painted passionately my entire life, but haven't been doing very much of it since moving to Long Beach. While shopping just after the holidays for a few pieces to spruce up the look and feel of my kitchen with, I was very inspired by a little plate at Crate and Barrel in one of my favorite colors of green (much like the grass above). An idea for a series of paintings for my kitchen popped into my head and I've been happily working on those for the past couple of weeks. I've forgotten how powerful color therapy is for me, how beneficial simply sitting and contemplating and mixing color and then putting it to canvas both relaxes and invigorates me.

On the video directing and editing front I'm now working with Allan Crawford and Charlie Gandy on a series of short videos to promote the upcoming Street Savvy classes. I'm so excited to share those with you very soon. But I'm also in the very beginnings of a new project that I hope will take engaging story telling focusing on bicycles to a whole new level.

With all this in mind I want to share with you a video I just came across on my friend Vizal's website that is so inspiring to me. Vizal (better known as Sam to many) is the head of The Academy store and design line that creates/sells green bicycle friendly active wear. He styled the apparel for us for our Cycle Chic: Past, Present and Future fall fashion promotional photo shoot show last year which included his bike friendly shirts, shorts and pants (worn so stylishly by Nicole Matlz of The Bicycle Stand and Joseph M. Bradley of the Pedaler Society).

The video is sponsored by American Express and directed by Michael Geoghegan to promote the concept of "Small Business Saturday." It stars Sam and a series of other small business owners and businesses in a very short video that so beautifully captures the spirit, flavor and artistry of these businesses. It also makes it very clear that the bike is a part of this hip new urban culture (and yes, the director is a cyclist). Take a look!

I am so inspired by this piece. I truly believe the more we can utilize this type of smart, positive, beautifully crafted media and marketing pieces for bicycle and active living advocacy the more people we'll happily be attracted to our cause and see how biking and walking can be incorporated into their lives far more easily than they have thought. The creative team at Partizan (a top award winning production company) who produced this piece have set the bar high. I now have a very clear vision of the caliber of video pieces I want to learn to create for the future. It may take me awhile!

This all ties in so nicely with a new series of interviews I'll be doing this year for "Bike Minded Market Watch" with experts in marketing, communication, design and journalism. To start it all I wanted to share first with you three of my female media darling heroes.

These are women who, in a challenging economy, became break out sensations who are setting the traditional publishing world on fire with best selling books (and games), super popular blogs, and their own masterful use of a myriad of new media tools.

I'm inviting those of us in bicycle advocacy, and active living advocacy in general, to contemplate the power of what these women have accomplished and how we can take pages from their books to galvanize our own outreach to women (and people in general). I hope you will not only watch the videos I've included of each, but will go to their websites and note how each woman has:

  • Used the struggles/passions of her own personal story to connect with readers/viewers
  • How her branding is creative, vibrant, modern - and feels authentic to her personality
  • How the allure of artistry is used in her media to make her stand out from the crowd

Meet Jane McGonigal

As someone who deals with migraines and an auto immune disorder, and who is also up in arms about our current world-wide sedentary disease epidemic, I'm always looking for breakthroughs in health. Sometimes the most powerful change towards healing is a mind shift. With that in mind the first woman I want to introduce you to is game designer Jane McGonigal author of the New York Times best selling book "Realty is Broken and How We Can Fix It."

Jane's latest TED talk below is on "The game that can give you 10 extra years of life." Who wouldn't want that, if of course, they are happy healthy years? And Jane means for them to be happy and healthy for you - and she knows what it's like to be neither. Bedridden and suicidal ater a severe concussion, the talented game designer decided to create the game "SuperBetter" to help herself heal.

Meet Garance Dore

The second woman I'd like you to meet is fashion illustrator Garance Dore who began a blog in 2006 that led to a whole new life as a fashion new media darling. Along with her partner, the photographer and creator of The Satorialist blog Scott Schuman (click the link and see one of his recent photos of three young people and one great bike in Florence), Garance now directs and stars in video adventures of top fashion personalities and places that are sponsored by the likes of Net-a-Porter, and BMW.

And guess what? Both Garance and Schuman ride bikes (that's how Schuman gets around New York to take his artful images). Here's a very short video from last March introducing her "Pardon My French" video series:

Meet Kris Carr

The third and final media darling for today is wellness activist Kris Carr of the Crazy Sexy Cancer movie, best selling book, and her new Crazy Sexy Wellness website. A former actress, dancer and choreographer, Karr was diagnosed with a very rare stage 4 inoperable form of cancer on Valentine's Day 2003 - imagine that! Rather than giving in, Carr decided to go on a journey to wellness that has led to the creation of her award winning movies and writing five top selling books.