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When I was a child, my mother told me to always ask "why?" when I didn't understand something. It was a directive she slightly regretted towards the end of her life. Early on, she took me to museums and films. We read newspapers and discussed articles, watched the same TV shows and debated afterwards, sparking in me an endless curiosity that was only satiated by the emergence of the internet - a place I could search and browse endlessly, learn at my own pace and enter into discussions about ideas. These moments with my mother, and others like them, inspired me to create REDEF.
MediaREDEF started out as a personal internal mailing list while I was Chief Digital Officer of MTV Networks. The first Internet bubble had burst and no one wanted to hear about digital media inside a multibillion-dollar television company. So I forwarded interesting articles about the changing nature of media, distribution and technology along with pop-culture snippets. Executives became addicted and, better yet, they started to listen -- for a while at least.
Media is defined as "the main means of mass communication (especially television, radio, newspapers, and the Internet) regarded collectively." Here, we've expanded it to encompass the changing nature of communication reflected by the colliding worlds of media, technology and pop culture. From traditional forms of communication like television to new forms like Snapchat. From the trials of the publishing industry to the adventures of upstarts like Medium. The impact of net neutrality to the changing nature of privacy. We are about big ideas that impact all of us. And we are about differing -- even conflicting -- points of view.
Since I was a kid I’ve loved movies, listened to endless hours of music, spent days watching TV, read magazines and followed the media business. In fact, my grandparents gifted me five shares of Warner Communications and then-CEO Steven J. Ross became a personal hero. I wasn’t normal. :)
This is a love letter to those influences. It's my hobby and my profession.
MediaREDEF is an interest remix of media + tech + pop
If you want to learn about a society, you might start by examining its clothing. We've all got to get dressed each morning, so the clothes we wear, whether for form or function, become some of the most significant cultural artifacts we've got. They communicate how we work, what we worship, and how we see ourselves in relation to the world. What's no more than a basic need to one person is a platform for self-expression to another, and all of it, from a plain white tee to a couture gown, is part of a hugely complex global industry.
FashionREDEF looks past the garments themselves and searches for what they tell us about the world we live in. We aren't so interested in the trends themselves as much as the cultural, emotional, and industrial engines that drive them. To paraphrase designer Raf Simons, we are looking at the behaviour more than the thing itself. What makes a designer bag worth copying? Why has the biker jacket persisted as a symbol of cool? What's the next zipper, the next innovation that will radically alter that way our clothes look and function? What comes after wearable tech?
From the atelier, to the factory, to the 3D printer, from Canal Street to Harajuku, from Nicki Minaj for K-Mart to Phoebe Philo for Céline, FashionREDEF tracks the stories and personalities that influence how we choose to present ourselves. As author William Gibson once said: "We think we're just buying a shirt, but it's all information." We take that notion to heart, and we're trying to learn as much as we can.
FashionREDEF is an interest remix of fashion + culture + tech + biz
The essence of sport has been boiled down, famously, to two simple concepts: "the thrill of victory" and "the agony of defeat." At SportsREDEF, we look through a different lens. Our interest is in neither the winning nor the losing, but in the stories that come before, between and after. SportsREDEF is sports without the box scores. It's sports that begin before the opening whistle and continue long after the fans have gone home. It's men and women at play, in pursuits ranging from basketball and soccer, where hundreds of millions of dollars ride on wins and losses, to yoga and mountaineering, where the very concepts of winning and losing cease to exist.
SportsREDEF is culture and community and business and marketing and technology and politics and more. SportsREDEF is the perfect cross-court shot on the grass at Wimbledon and the penalty flag that changes the course of an American football season. It's also the disruptive new business that made the racket that made that cross-court shot, and the chemistry behind the nylon in that penalty flag. It's the art that inspired the player who wielded that racket, and the medical ramifications behind the rule changes that caused that penalty flag to be thrown.
Of course, we'll also stop to admire the beauty of the shot, and we'll ask if that was even a penalty in the first place. Because in the end, we do care who soars to victory and who bows in defeat. But what we celebrate, most of all, is the what and the how and the why and the holy cow of sports.
SportsREDEF is an interest remix of sports + biz + culture + life
TechREDEF is an interest remix of tech + innovation + culture
For something that has been described as the world's universal language, music speaks in an extraordinary number of tongues: from guitarists raging against the machine to DJs raging on the machine; from violinists honoring the majesty of Mozart to cellists scraping their bows in metal bands; from inner-city country singers to suburban rappers.
One of the joys, and maybe even obligations, of being a music fan is tracing all those voices back to the communities and souls from which they spring. When Public Enemy's Chuck D called hip-hop the black CNN, he wasn't merely stating a sociopolitical fact; he was reminding listeners of the lives and the layers behind every song, and inviting us to explore them and learn about them. That's part of MusicREDEF's mission: finding the stories wherever the music takes us, and the music wherever the stories take us.
Whether it's destined for the front page of a streaming media app or the dollar bin in a dusty record store, music is also shaped, and continually re-shaped, by business and technology. At MusicREDEF, we celebrate that context and explore the connections – across borders, across cultures, across generations, across dark rooms -- that breathe life into the music we love.
MusicREDEF is an interest remix of music + tech + biz + culture