entrepreneurial-journalism

Okay but a YouTube AU:

Matt and Foggy: have a channel called Avocados at Law that they started for a joke in law school and ballooned into having an enormous following overnight. (Foggy, sagely: “It’s because Matt took his shirt off on camera once.” Matt: “I did not.” Foggy: “Watch all our videos to see which one of us is lying!”) They do not give legal advice to randos because that will get everyone in trouble, but they explain legal principles and constitutional law, discuss major trials that are in the news, and hold formal debates over the silliest things they can think of. Their success is a mystery.

Karen: has a channel where she talks about current events and unsolved mysteries. Frequently guests on Matt and Foggy’s channel to talk about newsworthy trials.

Claire: has a channel on wellness, nutrition, debunking medical myths, etc. Never actually has time to update it because she’s constantly guesting on her friends’ channels to give advice.

Marci: fashion vlogger.

Jessica: just gets drunk and talks shit about people. Wildly popular.

Trish: I mean, it’s just Trish Talk, but on YouTube. Also wildly popular.

Luke: book vlogger. Does not have any other social media because he does not have patience for online drama.

Misty: mostly yelling about basketball. Has made several NBA players cry. Is gifted courtside seats to the New York Liberty games all season.

Colleen: self-defense lessons, usually with Claire, Misty, or Danny standing in to help her demonstrate. She gets tons of views on the hand-to-hand ones but insists on including a whole playlist of videos on how to disarm an opponent with a sword which…don’t get a lot of attention. (“What? It could come in handy!”)

Danny: theoretically his channel is on wellness and meditation but, like. He throws a lot of tantrums.

Malcolm: actually a good channel on wellness and meditation.

Joy: organizational and entrepreneurial tips, bullet journaling, overuses the #girlboss hashtag.

Elektra: has only ever posted eight times but from six different continents. Vlogs are rambling, randomly edited, and often appear to contain at least two crimes. No one knows who she is or what exactly she does. They are among the most watched things on YouTube.

Frank: dog training tips.

It just occurred to me that some may not know what I mean when I use the term “Indian Country."  So, here’s a short definition:

Any area inhabited by Indigenous people.  (In the United States, Canada, and beyond.)  Historically, the phrase Indian Country referred to areas, regions, or territories (like reservations and trust lands) that were inhabited primarily by Native Americans. 

I find myself (and others) using the phrase in a way that unites all Indigenous people, not just Native Americans in the U.S.  In other words, "Indian Country” is not really a fixed, physical location, but exists wherever Natives are present.

Practice.

The last several classes in Entrepreneurial Journalism have been each of us, individually, talking about our projects. We have role-played doing an elevator pitch, introducing ourselves to a customer, and presenting our products to investors. It’s weird because some classes I think that my product is utterly ridiculous, and other classes I’m totally convinced of how awesome it’s going to be.

The most valuable thing I’ve learned from this class so far is that there are no right answers. I wasn’t expecting that from a classroom setting, but of course, it makes perfect sense. It’s not just that there is not a perfect formula to create a business; it’s also that there are so many good business models out there, and so many possible paths of success.

This came up when the professors said that they’d offered suggestions on our business models, but ultimately, not only might we disagree with them, but they also might disagree with each other. The point is not to create the business plan that someone else approves of, but instead to create a method that you can work through and fall back on as you pursue projects in your life.

With that in mind, the fact that we’ve focused on our methods and we’ve gotten so many contrasting perspectives on business values from speakers and lecturers makes a lot of sense. It’s a weird experience, to try to make business-feasible an idea that is both awesome and half-baked.

But the skills necessary to sell, promote, or flesh out an idea are a totally separate and learnable set of skills. So as much as I might be failing with a business plan for my current project (and I believe that I am failing), I think I am learning how to discuss a possible business plan — what I ought to be looking for, worried about, or researching about. I found myself walking through our business plan steps when listening to a friend’s business idea, and that is probably a great deal of what this class wants to accomplish — make journalists think like entrepreneurs!

Also, this class has finally inspired me to get business cards. That is a victory, right?