“If I were going to whisper something into my younger self, I would just say, ‘Keep your head down, work hard, and listen to whosever is ahead of you because you’re going to learn something from them.’ And that’s kinda what I did.’”— Mario Batali
Blerdology is a tech social enterprise focused on increasing the number of African Americans in technology and making life better for those already in the space by facilitating networking and exposure opportunities. We’re also the first organization to host hackathons specifically targeting African Americans.
African Americans compose less than 1 percent of tech professionals and entrepreneurs and we feel this diversity of thought is much needed.
Our hackathons are unique in that we pairs coders with aspiring minority entrepreneurs and build their projects on site for little to no cost. Entrepreneurs also meet with business consultants and investors on site to work through their business models and plan for the future. We collect our coders resumes and supply them to our sponsors and other corporations so that our supporters can further their career ambitions.
We also generally have some type of philanthropic element to our events, often donating a portion of the proceeds to a local STEM or tech-focused charity in the city of the event.
We have upcoming plans for a tech camp with the US State Department and a series of startup mixers across North America.
"If we could just tell these stories in the same way great journalists can, it might be a lot more natural and potent than the product marketing that most companies do," Karp said in a discussion at Fast Company's Innovation Uncensored conference Tuesday afternoon. “But we didn't find the formula for it.”
Karp added that many others had the same idea, notably Facebook, which operates its own experimental journalism project, Facebook Stories.
"If we do too much storytelling ourselves, the fear is that we’re going to take away from our community of storytellers," Karp says. "They’re already terrific at this."
Back in the ’90s, when the Walkman and CDs reigned, the industry combined basic sales data from the Billboard charts with two primary methods of song research: “Call Outs,” where stations played song hooks over the phone and record their responses; and “Auditorium” research, where a group of people react to song hooks as they are played live. In a pre-Internet age, it was about the best you could do.
And now, in 2013, an age of social networks, big data, and smartphones, surely terrestrial radio has developed a more nuanced methodology to find out what songs people really want to hear, right?