Black Digerati: Liz Burr

12Sep08
Liz Burr

Liz Burr

My girl Liz is a consultant, new media entreprenuer, and blogger.  She is the former Interactive Project Manager for New Media at KCET, the Los Angeles PBS affiliate. Recently Liz left her position at KCET, to focus on her growing her consulting business, which hopefully will be assisting me soon in redeveloping a web application I built.

Liz earned her Bachelor of Science in Comparative Media Studies from the ‘mecca’ of Science, Technology and Engineering, MIT! In May of this year she received her Graduate Degree in Communication Management with an emphasis in Online Communities from USC’s Annenberg Program for Online Communities.

Liz was interviewed last night by my peeps over at Black Web 2.0. Check out the transcript of the interview below:

(9:54:28 PM) Black Web 2.0: Hey Liz
(9:54:37 PM) Liz Burr: hola!
(9:55:43 PM) Black Web 2.0: Lets start by telling our audience a little about who you are.
(9:55:53 PM) Liz Burr: ok
(9:56:14 PM) Liz Burr: lol I am bad at this!
(9:56:17 PM) Black Web 2.0: lol
(10:00:34 PM) Liz Burr: I am Liz Burr and I am a new media entrepreneur. I recently finished working with KCET, the Los Angeles PBS Affiliate, as an Interactive Project Manager. There I was in charge of all social media initiatives performed by the department. I am also a blogger, though I don’t do as much blogging as I did years ago. Finally, I am the Chief Technology Officer of an emerging hip hop startup.
(10:00:51 PM) Liz Burr: That’s a big nutshell :-\
(10:01:36 PM) Black Web 2.0: What exactly did you do at KCET, what was typical day like?
(10:02:10 PM) Black Web 2.0: What does an Interactive Project Manager do?
(10:04:25 PM) Liz Burr: Truthfully that title was something we (my boss and I) made up because the position was created specifically for me. But, being in charge of social media, I essentially would be either maintaining any current projects, or initiating or consulting others in the department on their projects.
(10:05:56 PM) Liz Burr: This could be anything from writing Product Requirement Documents for a Facebook app, hiring developers and designers for the product, testing the app, or helping my boss write in social media line items for a grant proposal.
(10:07:01 PM) Black Web 2.0: Out of all the projects you did for KCET what was your favorite?
(10:09:49 PM) Liz Burr: I would have to say the Facebook Application I created for our national series, WIRED SCIENCE. It’s my fave because I essentially had my own budget to work with, I was able to hire one of my favorite and most respected designers to design the interface, and alll my years of Facebooking paid off because I was able to use my understanding of the social graph to make a decent product.
(10:10:33 PM) Black Web 2.0: Lets take a step back.  When were you first get bitten by the tech bug?
(10:13:11 PM) Liz Burr: I’d say back in 2002. I had recently been initiated into my sorority at MIT (shout out to my sorors of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.), and my chapter needed a new website. Our current one was roughly 4 or 5 years old. I’m not sure exactly why I volunteered to make the site, but I was down to do the research on it. I had never created a website before, and HTML scared me.
(10:13:20 PM) Liz Burr: Actually I know what it was. Blackplanet.
(10:13:47 PM) Black Web 2.0: lol
(10:13:59 PM) Liz Burr: I became obsessed with customizing Blackplanet profiles back then. I think that’s what eased my transition into not being so afraid of HTML LOL.
(10:14:01 PM) Liz Burr: Sad but true.
(10:14:56 PM) Liz Burr: Anyway from there I began blogging in early 2003, which also gave me a lot of practice with design and HTML. I was a personal blogger back then, mostly ranting about my life as a college student.
(10:15:34 PM) Black Web 2.0: So what was your orignal career goal when you first entered MIT?
(10:16:06 PM) Liz Burr: Ooh. I originally entered as a Biology major. Tragic. I was in denial about that for a good three years. I know my academic advisor must have hated me.
(10:16:21 PM) Black Web 2.0: lol
(10:17:10 PM) Liz Burr: Anyway, I had intended on making Comparative Media Studies my concentration, but I ended up liking the department more than Biology so I eventually switched programs. It was a rough transition, as the department wasn’t a full academic major at the time, but I made it work.
(10:17:33 PM) Black Web 2.0: lol
(10:17:49 PM) Black Web 2.0: I know what you mean, I started out as a Physical Thearpy Major
(10:17:54 PM) Liz Burr: LOL
(10:19:11 PM) Black Web 2.0: So after you graduated from MIT, what was your next move?
(10:19:30 PM) Liz Burr: Well, I wanted to get back to California ASAP. I couldn’t deal with the weather.
(10:19:39 PM) Liz Burr: It was depressing lol
(10:19:42 PM) Black Web 2.0: lol
(10:20:38 PM) Liz Burr: I actually came to LA in hopes of working in television, but at the time I wasn’t ready to pursue it fully. So I got an office job at USC to pay the bills until I figured out what to do next.
(10:21:16 PM) Liz Burr: The IT Director at my job noted my tech skills and one day, I was reassigned to his department.  There I did some web and print design work, front end development, and a little bit of product development.  I also decided to start a grad program at USC, since tuition was free lol.
(10:24:10 PM) Black Web 2.0: So how close are you to completing your graduate work?
(10:24:31 PM) Liz Burr: I’m done! I finished this past May.
(10:24:36 PM) Black Web 2.0: Nice!
(10:24:49 PM) Black Web 2.0: PHD?
(10:24:53 PM) Liz Burr LOL
(10:25:39 PM) Liz Burr You know, I thought about it for a minute. I was really looking into a program at NYU. But I had to do some soul searching to make sure I was doing it for the right reasons. I don’t want another MIT Biology department issue on my hands again, u know? lol
(10:25:50 PM) Black Web 2.0: lol
(10:25:55 PM) Black Web 2.0: I feel ya!!
(10:26:25 PM) Black Web 2.0: So now you’re doing consulting work right?
(10:28:11 PM) Liz Burr: I am. I have started my own company where I consult on new media, web development, social media, etc. etc.
(10:28:34 PM) Black Web 2.0: can you talk about some of your past and present clients?
(10:32:56 PM) Liz Burr: Sorry, I was reading my NDA agreements LOL. I think for now I will keep mum as the word on who I am working with.  Just to be safe lol
(10:33:10 PM) Black Web 2.0: Gotcha
(10:34:04 PM) Black Web 2.0: You also mentioned your positon as CTO of a hip hop startup. Can you talk a little about that?
(10:35:01 PM) Liz Burr: Sure. MyCypher.com is the name of the startup. Essentially it’s a social media platform for the global hip hop community.
(10:35:15 PM) Black Web 2.0: Cool
(10:35:47 PM) Liz Burr: They were actually one of my earlier clients, and they offered me the CTO position.
(10:36:15 PM) Black Web 2.0: Cool
(10:36:25 PM) Black Web 2.0: Any idea of a launch date?
(10:37:26 PM) Liz Burr: The entire site should be available this Fall. Some features and content will be available earlier than others.
(10:38:04 PM) Black Web 2.0: Can you talk about the types of businesses you consult for?
(10:39:57 PM) Liz Burr: Oh ok, usually I consult for companies or individuals that own web properties and are looking to expand their presence online. Generally I like to work on application consulting and not necessarily work on blog consulting, but I do both.
(10:40:21 PM) Black Web 2.0: Now it’s time to wrap up with the fun questions!
(10:40:23 PM) Black Web 2.0: lol
(10:40:25 PM) Liz Burr: lol
(10:40:29 PM) Liz Burr: whew
(10:41:03 PM) Black Web 2.0: Who’s your favorite music artist or band?
(10:41:09 PM) Liz Burr: MARIAH CAREY
(10:41:12 PM) Black Web 2.0: wow
(10:41:14 PM) Liz Burr: LOL
(10:41:16 PM) Black Web 2.0: I didn’t see that coming.
(10:41:29 PM) Liz Burr: Hahaha. Most people don’t unless they know me reeeally well.
(10:41:51 PM) Liz Burr: You can check my Last.FM profile for proof tho lol. I am die hard MC all day, everyday.
(10:41:59 PM) Black Web 2.0: wow
(10:42:00 PM) Black Web 2.0: lol
(10:42:03 PM) Liz Burr: lolol
(10:42:06 PM) Black Web 2.0: Mac or PC?
(10:42:11 PM) Liz Burr: MAC!
(10:42:20 PM) Liz Burr: Though I am quite salty about this iPhone 3G business.
(10:42:30 PM) Black Web 2.0: Why?
(10:43:18 PM) Liz Burr: I had to wait forever in a line because their point of sale process takes forever, only to discover the phone works properly only half the time. It’s just been a lot of headache and drama dealing with this thing.
(10:43:33 PM) Liz Burr: I had more faith in Apple, but they let me down.
(10:44:35 PM) Black Web 2.0: Maybe Steve Jobs will read this, because I know you’re not the only one.
(10:44:45 PM) Liz Burr: hahaha I hope so!
(10:45:05 PM) Black Web 2.0: If Liz is not on her computer we can find her ________
(10:46:03 PM) Liz Burr: Ooh. I am hardly ever not on my computer. I am probably watching a LOT of TV, or reading one of the many books I buy at the bookstore but never read.
(10:46:23 PM) Black Web 2.0: lol
(10:46:36 PM) Black Web 2.0: last question…
(10:47:33 PM) Black Web 2.0: what’s your favorite Mac application?
(10:49:23 PM) Liz Burr: Umm my fave mac app is probably Twhirl. It’s no secret I am a Twitter addict. That’s the app I am constantly using to stay on top of the Twitter happenings.
(10:49:55 PM) Black Web 2.0: is there any other web applications, project, or people you would like to shout out?
(10:53:11 PM) Liz Burr: Applications: Spanning Sync and the Grand Dialer iPhone App (Grand Central users only). Project: VerySmartBrothas.com. People: my mama.
(10:57:20 PM) Black Web 2.0: Well thanks for the interview. We really appreciate you taking out time!
(10:57:28 PM) Liz Burr: no prob

Mikey Digital

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