Episode 87: Roxanne Darling of Beach Walks on Video Promotion, Event Marketing via Social Webs and Paddling to Molokai

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Have you watched Roxanne Darling's episodic online video show, "Beach Walks with Rox: Sometimes Serious, Sometimes Frivolous, Always Aloha?"

She walks on the beach of Oahu with her black lab, Lexi and gives sage and thoughtful words of wisdom. And she's been giving her life perspectives for more than 700 episodes!

Rox and her partner, Shane Robinson own Bare Feet Studios in Hawaii. They are a video production studio specializing in leveraging the intersection of video and the social web. You can learn a lot about the power of video distribution on this episode.

Rox also organized Podcamp Hawaii and used the social web for her event marketing. She gives some great examples of the power of soc nets for events - and she got more than 400 attendees to the Podcamp, so she knows what she's talking about.

Hear her amazing story of paddling 41 miles in a 6-person canoe with 5 other over-50 women from Molokai to Waikiki and then watch this video to practically experience paddling yourself!



Susan Bratton: Welcome to Dishy Mix. I’m your host, Susan Bratton, and on today’s show you’re going to get to meet Roxanne Darling. If you haven’t seen the online video show called Beach Walks With Rox, you are missing out. And the good news is, you know what I love; I love it when people come to the studio to do Dishy Mix, so Rox is right here. Say hi, Rox.

Roxanne Darling: Hey, I’ll say Aloha.

Susan Bratton: Aloha. Of course you will say Aloha. So, Beach Walks With Rox is a show that you’ve been doing for now how many episodes?

Roxanne Darling: We’re at over 700 episodes, and we’re actually going to be completing our three year anniversary in February of 2009, so we’re very excited…

Susan Bratton: 300.

Roxanne Darling: I mean, there’s hardly anybody that’s done that, and for a lot of good reasons.

Susan Bratton: Has anybody? Are you the longest running most episodic show out there?

Roxanne Darling: Rocket Boom…

Susan Bratton: Oh yeah.

Roxanne Darling: is still running and they started well before we did, and they definitely get the prize for first place. But most people have a difficulty sustaining over the long term, and we’re lucky we have a very simple formula, and it’s relatively easy to keep going.

Susan Bratton: Well you’re in the business. Your real job, if you will, or the other thing you spend most of your day doing in addition to Beach Walks With Rox, which by the way, the tagline is “Sometimes Serious, Sometimes Frivolous, but Always Aloha”, right?

Roxanne Darling: That’s right.

Susan Bratton: I got it.

Roxanne Darling: You got it.

Susan Bratton: In addition to your show, your online video show, you run a studio with your business partner and life partner Shane called Bare Feet Studios, so you’re really in the video production business, and that’s what we’re going to talk about today on the show.

Roxanne Darling: Yes, yes.

Susan Bratton: I am looking forward to learning… I mean, for me it’s such a fantastic opportunity to have you here because you are steeped in producing web video content, and you do it for your clients, you do it for yourself, and you are also a social media maven, and so you’ve combined those things, which I think is the nexus of perfection in online marketing right now, so I want to hear all about it. I did want to, before we get into the video stuff, you have produced a new podcamp. You had a very, like 400 people came to Podcamp Hawaii.

Roxanne Darling: Yes.

Susan Bratton: Tell us about that.

Roxanne Darling: It was an amazing experience. We’ve been wanting, Shane and I have been wanting to do it for about three years, and the community hadn’t really been ready and we hadn’t had the time, and just waiting for that critical mass to form. And as it turns out, we had about a four and a half month period to throw the whole thing together. I completely panicked all of the volunteers that were helping me because they said “Way too short a time”. But for me it was, “We’re going to get in, we’re going to do it, we’re going to get out.”

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Roxanne Darling: For me, I’m too busy. I didn’t want to stretch it out over a year. I know it’s really hard to maintain people’s energy and enthusiasm in this, this environment we live in. Things are changing so quickly, and things are happening at such a quick pace. I prefer to work hard and get it done, so we had tremendous local support. We used, of course, I used it because my business had, I had used it as a case study, how to use the social web to promote an event that stuck out, as we say, in the piko of the universe, in the navel, the bellybutton of the universe. If you look at a globe, Hawaii is the far, the most remote landmass, and we literally are like the little bellybutton of planet earth. And so, we did a combination of, you know, using Eye Contact, which is a social email list builder. We used Event Bright, which is a social even registration service where all the people who register list their full name, and it’s shown in public, they can add their URL, so everybody gets to see who else is coming…

Susan Bratton: Yeah, people like that.

Roxanne Darling: They do, they do.

Susan Bratton: Especially in a down market when you only have, you know, you really have to make your travel budget matter and you need to get yourself organized before you attend events. I think this is the way of the world.

Roxanne Darling: Mm hmm. We had about, out of, we actually had over 700 people register, and out of that I had 3 people contact me that said, “Whoa, I didn’t know my name was going to be listed in public”, so we just changed it to their initials, but otherwise it works really, really well. And so then I’ve been blogging about that on Bare Feet Studios, basically outlining, you know, start here, first develop your tag, then, you know, put yourself on Upcoming so that the people that track events, like Robert Scoble, he marks almost anything tech related as he’s watching even if he’s not going to be attending. And then other people actually subscribe to his RSS feed on Upcoming, so they say, “Oh, he’s Podcamp Hawaii”, you know. So just being able to connect with a few of those key people, key influencers, really helped us get the word out, doesn’t cost a dime, it only costs knowing that that stuff exists, and then using it.

Susan Bratton: I don’t know how Robert Scoble does everything that he does. I interviewed him on Dishy Mix maybe a year or two ago when he was still at Pod Tech, may they rest in peace. And, God bless John Furrier for at least for paving the way with that business. And I just, I have no idea how he processes the level of information that he processes. I think we are doing it too, but doing it in different ways. But he’s just so exacting, I think, isn’t he?

Roxanne Darling: Yes. Well he does use the tools really well, and…

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Roxanne Darling: But he’s very generous about sharing how he uses Google Reader, how he uses Upcoming, how he uses the tools, and that’s also his job. He doesn’t, you know, have the same distractions and responsibilities that you and I have running a business, so…

Susan Bratton: That is his business.

Roxanne Darling: Just to put a little cut in there for us.

Susan Bratton: Good point. Thank you, Rox. I feel better about that. One of the things that you were doing is blogging this whole process of what I would, what I would call the connective tissue around social media web apps for driving an event. I know a lot of my listeners are marketers, and they put on events, even if they’re events for internal organizations or their sales teams or their customers, and so, if they go to barefeetstudios.com they can track your whole story of using the connected web for event marketing.

Roxanne Darling: Yes. We have a how-to category, so just click on that category and that’ll take them back five years or four years worth of blog posts, and they’ll find the Podcamp related ones in there.

Susan Bratton: Excellent. Thank you for that. I notice you’re also a member of the Social Media Club. I know that was something that Chris Heuer founded, but I don’t know much about it. Tell me about that.

Roxanne Darling: It is, you know, it’s an organization founded by Chris and his wife Kristie…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: And their goal, they’re the most generous souls. They really want to help the social media experts find a market place for their services, and they want the market place to know how to find qualified, capable experts to help them develop campaigns to train their internal staff and how to become social web activists. And so, it’s been started a couple of years ago, actually very grassroots, and they are now actually in the process of getting a 501C3 and putting much more organ…

Susan Bratton: That’s a not for profit.

Roxanne Darling: Yes…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: organizational structure in place. There are chapters forming literally, you know, like hotcakes all over the world. And Chris and Kristie are flying around trying to help everybody get up, you know, their local chapters started, and the local chapter will have, generally the formula is you have monthly meetings where you present case studies, where you invite local businesses in. It’s the, you know, the rising tide…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm, true.

Roxanne Darling: floats all boats kind of a concept because all of this stuff is new. We’re all making it up…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: and you follow all of the blog posts and Twitter messages about, everybody’s a social media expert these days, and, you know, there’s a lot of controversy over that topic in and of itself because how do you define what is a social media expert. And so, that’s definitely on of the questions that the Social Media Club is trying to take on.

Susan Bratton: I was thinking about one of the questions I asked you before we got started, and I asked you the one thing you would change about business if you could change anything, and you said you’d like us to all stop pretending we’re experts. What was that, ‘cause it sounds like it’s connected?

Roxanne Darling: Yes. I’m a stickler for the language, and I’m also very much into case specific applications. And so, there is a notion that if you have a PhD you’re automatically an expert, but you may be book smart and practical dummy…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: We have traditional hierarchical systems of what defines an expert. And what we’re seeing in the economy right now was that all of the experts did not know what they’re doing, right. So we have this huge meltdown that’s taking place, and there’s a lot of “Emperor Wears No Clothes”. That’s what I meant about that; that I think it’s time for us to be much more transparent about what we know and what we don’t know. Instead of passing on this group mind knowledge that it always works this way, so it’s always going to continue to work this way, and instead be able to say, “Well this is the way it worked in the past. I can’t guarantee that it’s going to work this way in the future”, because I think we set up unrealistic expectations for people, and we create a cult of expertise that’s not valid. And in any emerging market place, like we have right now with social web, customers, God bless them, how do they know who to hire…

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Roxanne Darling: where to hire, how much to pay? There are no standards; it’s being created as we go. So, the flipside of that though is that anyone can be an expert. If I happen to have the little piece of information that you want to run your business, then I’m, you know, you get to be, to call me your expert, and that gets to be valid and true. It becomes a problem when I then go out and say, “I am the best social media expert. I have a case study of one”…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: That’s where the sticky energy is, and it’s really all about the energy. It’s about, you know, the words that we use, what we think those words imply, and how we then market our self in the market place.

Susan Bratton: I think we just had an episode of Beach Walks.

Roxanne Darling: Yes.

Susan Bratton: What’s the Hawaiian word for expert?

Roxanne Darling: It’s Na’ohawa, or something.

Susan Bratton: You’re na’ah, na’ah you’re not Na’Ohawa.

Roxanne Darling: It’s a valid interpretation.

Susan Bratton: Right, exactly. I know, it’s…

Roxanne Darling: And some Hawaiian person’s going to tell me that I completely just butchered that word…

Susan Bratton: Butchered the word…

Roxanne Darling: It’s something like that.

Susan Bratton: That’s okay, I put you on the spot. That’s okay. You could’ve said anything. The bellybutton one was good enough for me. Well I want to get to video just before we go to a break. Start on that conversation. You have some macro ways of chunking your thought process around video. I would say my perspective of you is that you think video is an extremely powerful tool for brand marketers, the brand called You for conveying information online, that this is kind of the way the world works now. Am I getting you clearly on that?

Roxanne Darling: In general, yes…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: Certainly not to the exclusion of other things…

Susan Bratton: No.

Roxanne Darling: But when, you know, I often have said if a picture is worth a thousand words a video is priceless. You, there is very little that gets lost in translation when you’re watching a person and listening to them speak and are looking at the environment that they’re in when they’re being recorded. All of those things play into the integrity and the transparency of the message, and its very compelling. It doesn’t hurt that YouTube is such a phenomenon right now, but it’s, you know, we could sort of do the chicken and egg discussion, which comes first I’m not sure, I don’t care. They both feed off of each other. YouTube only would’ve become popular, granted that we had enough bandwidth, that’s a key underlying technical thing that has enabled YouTube to become what it is. But it’s not just about the bandwidth; it’s that people love watching and seeing and listening to other people. It’s the most direct connection of each other that we can have short of being in person together.

Susan Bratton: So you spoke this morning of the Silicon Valley American Marketing Association with our friend Alise Tager, and a little shout out for Alise, she’s a Dishy Mix listener, and you…

Roxanne Darling: and Beach Walks viewer.

Susan Bratton: And a Beach Walks viewer. Thank you for…

Roxanne Darling: We have a lot of shared audience.

Susan Bratton: You chunked some video concept for them…

Roxanne Darling: Mm hmm.
Susan Bratton: Take our listeners through that.

Roxanne Darling: Yeah I, you know, my brain really works as a systems analyst, and so we talked about four different kinds of online video. So there’s the episodic edited produced type of video, which is what Beach Walks is…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: where you shoot a bunch of scenes and you stitch them together and you make a show. Then there’s what I call ‘talking head’ video, which is what people can do sitting at their computers, record directly into the browser and the website will automatically encode that video and you can post it wherever you want or you can keep it private.

Susan Bratton: And that’s the Vidler seismic world.

Roxanne Darling: Yes.

Susan Bratton: Where I’m not using a camera, I’m using my computer video camera and browser.

Roxanne Darling: Yes.

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: Yes, the little thing that’s built right in…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: in most cases. Then there is…and that’s great by the way for startup since we’re here in the valley. That’s a…

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Roxanne Darling: I think it’s a great technique for startups to do a video report to their investors once a week or every two weeks, helps them get comfortable in front of the camera, much, much better communication as compared to written reports or emails back and forth. Very genuine. It’s really hard to not like someone when you see them and you hear them, especially if they’re speaking from their heart, you know, what’s really going on this week; whereas from a distance it’s so easy to judge people. “Oh, I haven’t gotten a report from them in three weeks. They must be screwing up.”

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm. Or even an email.

Roxanne Darling: Really.

Susan Bratton: An email can be interpreted so negatively.

Roxanne Darling: Yes it can…

Susan Bratton: Yeah, yeah

Roxanne Darling: It can be. So then third type is live streaming, which you can do from your phone. I have a Nokia N95…

Susan Bratton: Show off.

Roxanne Darling: which is one of the early live streaming so that, I basically have a mobile broadcast slash narrowcast studio with me at all times. And then the fourth is screen casting, which is, it’s a category of video, so it’s where you’re filming your computer screen with audio on top of that in a teaching training situation.

Susan Bratton: Becoming much more popular in information products marketing and things like that as well.

Roxanne Darling: Yes.

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: Yes. And it’s so much easier and faster for people to learn.

Susan Bratton: I can see, you know, we were talking about museums before we got on the show, museum marketing. I know that there are a number of museums that listen to Dishy Mix…

Roxanne Darling: Mm hmm.

Susan Bratton: and are marketers in that world, and I think that’s probably the screen casting, with all of the images and the content and the collections that they have, could be a really powerful tool for them.

Roxanne Darling: Mm hmm. And a lot of this stuff, you know, you can build it once and use it in three different applications…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: so you can have a kiosk that is for the live visitors in your museum, and then you can just convert that to a web asset for the people who can’t visit you in live, onsite.

Susan Bratton: So we’re going to go to a break, and when we come back I want to talk to you about now that we have whichever form of video is the right one for us based on our comfort level, our technology level, our skill set, our time, our budget, I want to talk about how we use it online, how we radiate our content and our message, using the connectivity of the social web. Does that sound like the right next step?

Roxanne Darling: Great. Sure.

Susan Bratton: Alright, good. So we’re going to go to a break and thank our sponsors. I really appreciate the people who allow me to bring Roxanne and all this great video conversation to you, so please listen to what they have to say. It should be stuff you’re interested in, and we’ll go to a break, and when we come back we’ll learn more about video with Roxanne Darling, the host of Beach Walks With Rox and also the founder and co-partner, I guess, what is the right title for you, the…

Roxanne Darling: Yeah, that’s what we are co-partners…

Susan Bratton: co-founder…

Roxanne Darling: co-founder.

Susan Bratton: with Shane Robinson of Bare Feet Studios. So we’ll be right back.

Susan Bratton: We’re back, and I’m with Roxanne Darling who has flown in from the beautiful island of Oahu…

Roxanne Darling: Yes.

Susan Bratton: And…I was going to say the beautiful island of Aloha…

Roxanne Darling: And we wouldn’t know what you’re talking about.

Susan Bratton: It’s not an island, it’s a state of mind.

Roxanne Darling: Yes.

Susan Bratton: That’s great. So, tell us now, we have some video. What do we do with it? What’s working on the web right now? How do we get the video seen?

Roxanne Darling: Mm hmm. Well there are a couple of key things. One is the term ‘cross posting’. So you want, once you’ve put all this labor of love and intelligence and effort into your video, you’ll want to cross post it or put it on as many places as you can. There are dozens and dozens of video hosting sites. Some of them are niche, you know, vertical markets, some of them are all over the map, YouTube, of course, is all over the map. And we use a service called Tube Mogul…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: which is a startup based here in Berkley, and they will cross post the video for you. So you upload one file to them and then check off the other distribution sites that you’ve already created an account on, it keeps your login criteria. And then we’ll cross post for you, and more importantly for some people, especially in a business application, it gathers the viewer statistics, so you can then customize your reporting inside Tube Mogul, which is what we did on the Primo episodes…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: where I wanted, I said, “Just track these specific episodes and, you know, update that report on a daily basis so that I can deliver updated reports on how many episodes were viewed.”

Susan Bratton: So Primo Water was a sponsor of your show, and they have a water bottle made out of plant material…

Roxanne Darling: Plant material.

Susan Bratton: rather than petroleum-based product, which was really important to you because you’re walking along the beach all the time and you see the havoc that water bottles can, can make, and so you tracked, when you created the ad for them, you tracked the number of viewers so that they would understand what they got, the benefit they got…

Roxanne Darling: Yes.

Susan Bratton: which is awesome.

Roxanne Darling: Yes.

Susan Bratton: I have a couple questions about companies like Tube Mogul. Traffic Geysers, I’m hearing all about them right now. There’s another one called, something like Information Market, Internet Marketing Revolution, they’re also in this world. Do you, are you seeing a proliferation of these video distribution companies or are there still just a couple?

Roxanne Darling: There’s definitely a proliferation. It’s an odd thing to observe because there still is not a business model for most of the video players, whether you’re a producer or a hosting company or an aggregator, but nonetheless people are so completely absorbed and fascinated. You know, it’s like Twitter. Twitter just had an evaluation of $250,000,000 dollars and no revenue…

Susan Bratton: It’s amazing.

Roxanne Darling: But people, there’s this, it’s kind of exciting in a way because, you know, I’ve been one of those people, especially on beach walks, you know. Let’s say, lets talk about this…It’s not always about the money…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: And how do we make it not always about the money? Well then, we make it not always about the money. And so that’s really part of this shift that’s taking place, and video in a way I think has been leading that charge…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: in the proliferation of services and opportunities today. Repeatedly I kept saying to people, you know, they would say, “Well how much does Blip TV cost?”

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Roxanne Darling: It’s free.

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Roxanne Darling: “Well Vidler, how much do they charge?” It’s free.

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Roxanne Darling: And, you know, theoretically that could change one day, but for now it’s a wonderful world out there.

Susan Bratton: It is, absolutely. You were mentioning the power of tagging, and one of the things that I have begun to understand is that once you create a video and you post it, maybe through a Tube Mogul or what have you, in all of these different places on the web, that you have to both tag it as well as do things that allow search engines to find that video because you can go stick it on a million sites, but if no one can find it, it doesn’t really matter that you ever recorded it.

Roxanne Darling: Yes.

Susan Bratton: What are the tips that you can give us for essentially the best, I think, nirvana would be Google to find your video and for that to come up in the organic search results…

Roxanne Darling: Mm hmm.

Susan Bratton: That’s, that’s heaven, right?

Roxanne Darling: Yes.

Susan Bratton: How do we make that happen?

Roxanne Darling: Yes. It’s not that hard actually…

Susan Bratton: Okay.

Roxanne Darling: and it’s getting better by day. So the first thing we recommend is people have what I call a ‘destination site’…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: So even if you’re going to be spreading your videos like peanut butter all over, you know, hoping it sticks somewhere, have a destination site that’s your blog. That’s beachwalks.tv for us…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: We still put it on YouTube, Daily Motion, Veoh, Vidler, etcetera, etcetera. But that way I can create a new blog post, a new entry, a new web page for each, excuse me, episode. I then can give it a nice keyword dense title…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: which the search engines love…

Susan Bratton: Same as a blog post.

Roxanne Darling: Exactly…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: And then, so it becomes the same as a blogpost…

Susan Bratton: Okay.

Roxanne Darling: You are no longer penalized because you’ve added this interactive video content. You add a nice description, you fill out the tag field in your WordPress blog, or whatever blog you have, and you really spend time doing that. A lot of people doing video, and this is simply a testimony to how difficult it can be, by the time you’ve shot it, edited it, encoded it, uploaded it, you’re like, “I’m exhausted.”

Susan Bratton: Right.

Roxanne Darling: And so a lot of people just put their videos up…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: And they don’t take that extra fifteen or twenty minutes that it can take to put a nice description on there…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: For me, I mean, with 700 episodes…

Susan Bratton: Right.

Roxanne Darling: If I didn’t have the description there, I wouldn’t know what the heck was on my own site. So it serves me, as well as my viewers, as well as the search engines. Now Google is working on, I just heard this from someone in my workshop today and it’s been kind of talked about generically, but he said they’re actually getting very close to perhaps launching something, while using speech recognition technology to be able to listen to the audio track in video, and then index that translation content. So…

Susan Bratton: Speech to text synthesis for…

Roxanne Darling: So, you know, our Apple computers…

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Roxanne Darling: have had that for years…

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Roxanne Darling: You can speak into the computer and it will turn that into text for you. And they’re applying that to uploaded video.

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm. Well…

Roxanne Darling: That’s total sense.

Susan Bratton: which will certainly help. I know, isn’t that what Mary Hodder was doing? What was Mary’s site? She had a video site; Dabbler!

Roxanne Darling: Dabbler. Dabble.

Susan Bratton: Wasn’t that what Dabble or Dabbler was doing? I think a lot of people have taken a run…

Roxanne Darling: Mm hmm.

Susan Bratton: at doing that. Of course with Google, if they do it, they’ll do it very well and hopefully that will help more with discovery.

Roxanne Darling: Well and they have a big investment in YouTube that they still are trying to make money off of.

Susan Bratton: Exactly.

Roxanne Darling: So they have the best incentive, as well as the best resources.

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: So, which is another good plug for a sidebar video tip.

Susan Bratton: Oh yeah.

Roxanne Darling: Audio is really important on video.

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Roxanne Darling: People forget about that because they’re in a convention hall, or they’re walking outside along a windy shoreline and they’re holding their camera and it all looks beautiful and they hear their own voice and it sounds wonderful, and they get back into the office to look at the video and they hear (crackling sound) of the wind or all that chitter chatter background noise you can’t hear a word that somebody is saying, so invest in a good microphone.

Susan Bratton: So what kind of a camera and mic set up do you carry around when you’re going into those kind of environments?

Roxanne Darling: Any kind of a camera that has a mic input so that I can be using an external mic…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: that I can go from mouth to mouth…

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Roxanne Darling: and that blocks, automatically blocks out the background sounds. So you want a little bit of that background sound because it makes it real and it adds color and flavor…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: but it doesn’t distract from your ability to hear the conversation that is raison d’etre for that particular episode.

Susan Bratton: And what about for talking head videos? What kind of tips can you give us if we’re using something like Seismic or Vidler, or even our own camera and then feeding, you know, uploading that file?

Roxanne Darling: Mm hmm.

Susan Bratton: What can we do to make our talking head videos more interesting and engaging?

Roxanne Darling: I think the, in that case the sound is probably going to be fine unless you’ve got a lot of ambient noise, the kids are screaming in the background and it’s your home office. But, so then you’d want to focus on lighting. And often times people have the lighting in the room behind them…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: And what that does is it basically blows you out and you  become a shadow.

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Roxanne Darling: And your face is not very visible, so you want to try and have some lighting that is directed onto your face…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: that actually is going to help the video not, it’s going to give you better quality video because it’s not going to be trying to focus constantly; it’s got enough light that it can focus on you.

Susan Bratton: Are there any…

Roxanne Darling: And…

Susan Bratton: Oh, sorry.

Roxanne Darling: edit, speak in sound bites. I think that’s the hardest thing, you understand that, you do that very well, but people get on there and they repeat themselves three or four times, and so developing an ability to listen to yourself and realize when you’ve made your point, then shut up.

Susan Bratton: Oh, if only…

Roxanne Darling: People will love you so much more…

Susan Bratton: you could wave your magic wand on that one for the whole universe.

Roxanne Darling: Yes. Well, that’s true. That’s true.

Susan Bratton: Okay. Any other video tips that you have to give us? I mean, you’ve got some gems in there, I know you do. What’re the three things that you figured out that hardly anybody knows that you could impart to us today?

Roxanne Darling: Mm hmm. I would say the first thing is to drop any notions that you have of how you should look. So first thing, video, it’s, you know, people start thinking, “Oh, well I can’t, I can’t go right now, I’m having a bad hair day”…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm. “I need to look like a news anchor.”

Roxanne Darling: Yes.

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: We talked about that this morning actually. There’s this group mind energy that we’ve always been the watchers and they’ve been the performers…

Susan Bratton: Ah hah.

Roxanne Darling: And it’s a very narrow class of people with very strict perimeters…

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Roxanne Darling: Well not anymore. Anybody, I mean, that’s the beauty of YouTube. Go spend ten minutes on YouTube, it’s going to raise your self esteem, you know, dramatically when you see what’s there and what gets a lot of traffic. So, and actually once you get yourself calmed down, what you learn as a business person using this as a tool is that those very elements are what people love to see in you. That’s what allows them to come into your world, to feel intimate with you, to know who you are, and then to perhaps want to do business with you…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: rather than present to, you know how at speakers, you look at the program and you look at the photographs and it’s a ten year old photo and you go see the person, and it was taken in a studio and then it was airbrushed, and then you see the real person and you go, “Whoa, like, those are not the same person”, and that’s disorienting for people…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: Right now, for better, for worse people like the real deal.

Susan Bratton: Yeah. Yeah, there’s a movement toward authenticity in everything, isn’t there.

Roxanne Darling: Yes, yes.

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm. So it makes you more believable, more credible and for people to connect with you better and then hear what you’re trying to tell them.

Roxanne Darling: Yes.

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Roxanne Darling: And from a sales point of view, they are doing their own pre-screening because if, you know, for me I have a particular demeanor, and if somebody’s looking for really fast talking dah-dah-dah-dah-dah, you know…

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Roxanne Darling: kind of person, I’m not that, and so I don’t want to try to pretend to be that, and they get to figure that out right away. Meanwhile, someone who’s looking for a person who can explain the technology, who will go a little bit slower for them, I’m really good for those kind of people. Video allows us to really express that.

Susan Bratton: If someone were to watch a couple of episodes of Beach Walks that you felt were some of your best work from this perspective, not maybe the subject matter particularly, but just an episode where you really felt like you were, you know, clear as a bell about who you were and how you were connecting with your audience and conveying your true self, do any of those come to mind for you?

Roxanne Darling: We have a page on our site called Favorite Episodes.

Susan Bratton: Okay.

Roxanne Darling: And I try to remember to link in there…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: to when I have those experiences.

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Roxanne Darling: And we’ve kind of grouped them in there because, you know, after three years our show is all over the map.

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Roxanne Darling: The majority of the shows are the very simple format, we, me walking down the beach talking about something that I thought of on the way from the house to the beach in the car. But then we have episodes like Island Adventure when we had friends from the mainland, and we took the sixth person out in the canoe…

Susan Bratton: I loved that. I saw that one and I loved it.

Roxanne Darling: Yeah. And we had music from Cub World, you know, so we turned it into a music video, and we’ve got the kids…

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Roxanne Darling: and the people and the paddling in the island and, you know, people get a…

Susan Bratton: Didn’t you have, didn’t somebody, didn’t Shane have like the video on his hat or how…

Roxanne Darling: No, we had…

Susan Bratton: Where was it?

Roxanne Darling: We had one video mounted on the front of the canoe…

Susan Bratton: Mounted on the front, yeah.

Roxanne Darling: right in front of where I was sitting in seat one, and then we had another video mounted on a toilet plunger actually…

Susan Bratton: Attractive.

Roxanne Darling: at the back of the canoe to get the, you know, long shot of everyone…

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Roxanne Darling: and then he was actually standing on the beach so that he could get the departure and the arrival shots…

Susan Bratton: That was it.

Roxanne Darling: And I took a little Sanyo with me in the boat and filmed the experiences on the island.

Susan Bratton: I think you must have a really fun toy chest, ‘cause you are such a techy little geek girl.

Roxanne Darling: Yes.

Susan Bratton: Oh my God, have you always been like that?

Roxanne Darling: Not really. I mean, the internet has taught me….

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Roxanne Darling: parts of myself I never knew existed.

Susan Bratton: Me too.

Roxanne Darling: I mean, it’s amazing.

Susan Bratton: I know, I love the tools. I just got the newest version of iLife, it came last night. I just plugged it in, I haven’t even played with it yet…

Roxanne Darling: Mm hmm.

Susan Bratton: but I can’t wait to see what it’s going to do for my photo’s, you know, for iPhoto and all those kinds of things.

Roxanne Darling: Mm hmm. Face recognition software…

Susan Bratton: Face recognition and the mapping stuff…

Roxanne Darling: Yeah.

Susan Bratton: for your travel things and…

Roxanne Darling: Yup.

Susan Bratton: They’re doing an, Apple is just doing an amazing job of all that, aren’t they?

Roxanne Darling: Yes.

Susan Bratton: Giving us those creative tools?

Roxanne Darling: Yes, it’s incredible.

Susan Bratton: Perfect.

Roxanne Darling: It’s incredible.

Susan Bratton: So speaking of paddling, you told me that the thing that pushed your edge the hardest in your whole life was a 41-mile outrigger paddling adventure from Waikiki to was it Molokai?

Roxanne Darling: Molokai to Waikiki.

Susan Bratton: Molokai to Waikiki, 41 miles across the open ocean in an outrigger. Tell us the story.

Roxanne Darling: Yes. Well it’s the most difficult canoe race in the world allegedly, and, you know, for 25 years women were not allowed to even do the race. This is an interesting sidebar of feminism. Finally a group of women paddled it unofficially, ad hoc, got in a lot of trouble, but of course did it, and so then the year actually that I paddled was the 25 year anniversary of women having been able to do this crossing. It’s an incredible race. You start very early, at sunrise, with a traditional Hawaiian blessing in Molokai, then you get in the canoe. And we had six people in the canoe at one time. We had a chase boat, and then six replacement paddlers for our over 50-age group. And then about every 20 to 30 minutes the refreshed paddlers would jump off the chase boat, wait in the water for the canoe to find them, we’re waving our hands in the water, the canoe comes down wind, down wave. The other paddlers jump out the other side of the canoe as we grab a hold of the gunnel and haul ourselves into the canoe and then take off for the next, you know, 20 to 30 minute stint. And it’s a six-mile deep channel, the Kaiwi Channel, that we paddle through. And it’s just the most, I mean, it’s a 7-hour, not quite 7 hours, but practically speaking, 6 hours and 52 minutes or something I think was our time, but an incredible experience of, you know, this is how the Polynesian’s got to Hawaii, and we take off from the harbor where many people believe they initially landed. So there’s tremendous chicken skin cultural history…

Susan Bratton: I know I have goose bumps thinking about this…

Roxanne Darling: to it.

Susan Bratton: Actually, I’m really impressed that you can haul yourself up into that…

Roxanne Darling: That’s the hardest part….

Susan Bratton: That has to be, and to do it gracefully without embarrassing…

Roxanne Darling: Oh we’re not graceful. We don’t worry about that. We just get in any way you can….

Susan Bratton: Yeah. Yeah. But keep going, I interrupted the story.

Roxanne Darling: No, no, it’s a grueling race…

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Roxanne Darling: and, you know, because it’s hard. I mean, the canoe itself weighs 400 pounds, and then with us in it it weighs, you know, six bodies, you know, add another 900 pounds or so to that, and it’s a race, and so you don’t let your guard down, and you hope your coach is pointing you on a good track. And, you know, there’re canoes on either side of you. When we got started there were about I think around 60 boats that did it when we did it. And of course we were the old ladies, you know, the over 50 crew, and we just had so much fun, laughing…

Susan Bratton: So it was all women. It was all of you were women.

Roxanne Darling: Yes.

Susan Bratton: Wow!

Roxanne Darling: Yes.

Susan Bratton: And you’re still paddling with those women, or?

Roxanne Darling: Yes.

Susan Bratton: Uh huh. And how often do you go out paddling, ‘cause I know that’s, you like to swim, you like to paddle, these are the things you do to chill…

Roxanne Darling: Mm hmm.

Susan Bratton: which is, you know, beautiful.

Roxanne Darling: I try to do it once or twice a week, and…

Susan Bratton: Uh huh.

Roxanne Darling: you know, I get busy and travel a lot…

Susan Bratton: You do.

Roxanne Darling: and get out of the groove, but…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: it’s, it’s my, they’re my homegirls.

Susan Bratton: Your homegirls, your paddling women.

Roxanne Darling: Yes.

Susan Bratton: And you have not always lived in Hawaii, you’ve actually lived all over the world. You’re, you grew up in I think Ann Arbor, right, in the Michigan area?

Roxanne Darling: Suburb of Detroit…

Susan Bratton: Detroit.

Roxanne Darling: (???) Hills, mm hmm.

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm. And you’ve lived in New Mexico. I know you’ve lived in the Santa Fe, Albuquerque area.

Roxanne Darling: Yes…

Susan Bratton: Where else, you lived in Santa Cruz.

Roxanne Darling: Mm hmm, went to Cal.

Susan Bratton: Went to Cal.

Roxanne Darling: Berkley.

Susan Bratton: Where else have you lived?

Roxanne Darling: Born in North Carolina. Lived in Pennsylvania. Lived in Indiana. Lived for a while in the Virgin Islands.

Susan Bratton: Oh my goodness.

Roxanne Darling: Traveled a lot. Love traveling.

Susan Bratton: Yeah, you are a traveler.

Roxanne Darling: Anywhere, everywhere, I love to travel. I love people.

Susan Bratton: You’re a very efficient traveler, too, I can tell just by how you pack your suitcase and, you just, you’re ready to go.

Roxanne Darling: Mm hmm.

Susan Bratton: Was it always your dream to live and work in Hawaii?

Roxanne Darling: Ever since 1971, yes. And I took my…

Susan Bratton: Well, what happened?

Roxanne Darling: Well I was, you know, a sophomore in college. I was going to Berkley at the time. It was very, I mean, that was the Vietnam War…

Susan Bratton: Right.

Roxanne Darling: the Berkley protest, all of it. Life was very serious…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: And my dad had a sales trip there and invited me to join him and my mom, and I had a massage by a traditional Hawaiian healer who chanted over me before he began the massage, and then he started…

Susan Bratton: Was it Lomi Lomi?

Roxanne Darling: Yes.

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Roxanne Darling: And started massaging me, and I just burst into tears. I mean, I just had this amazing experience. And, you know, of course I went scuba diving. I was studying marine biology at the time, so it was great, and I just thought this is my home. This is, you know, I’m the little ugly duckling that was dropped in the wrong nest and this is my nest. And it took me a very long time in finding Shane to actually figure out, you know, that I could actually move there and live there.

Susan Bratton: Did you have to talk him into it or did you just say, “Shane”…

Roxanne Darling: It was vice versa.

Susan Bratton: Oh really?

Roxanne Darling: Yes…

Susan Bratton: Oh.

Roxanne Darling: We took a vacation there…

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Roxanne Darling: and he, at the airport, you know, he smells the Plumeria flower, he sees the open air hallways and he feels the climate, it’s very special, and he just says, “Uh, I think I’m moving here. You know, you can take another 18 trips, but”…

Susan Bratton: And you do. You travel and he stays home a lot…

Roxanne Darling: Mostly.

Susan Bratton: I mean, he accompanies you a fair amount, but you keep him busy working…

Roxanne Darling: Mm hmm.

Susan Bratton: He’s a genius with video.

Roxanne Darling: Yes.

Susan Bratton: He really is. You’re so lucky to have him.

Roxanne Darling: Yeah, I am. And he takes care of Lexi, our dog…

Susan Bratton: Right.

Roxanne Darling: Which anybody that watches Beach Walks, you know about Lexi.

Susan Bratton: Everybody loves Lexi. She probably has as many fans as you do, I would imagine.

Roxanne Darling: She does. She gets Christmas presents and birthday presents.

Susan Bratton: That’s great. And you just had a birthday.

Roxanne Darling: Yes.

Susan Bratton: Good. Happy birthday.

Roxanne Darling: Thank you.

Susan Bratton: That’s…was it a fun one? Did you do something fun?

Roxanne Darling: Yes. My three year olds BFF had a party for me, and we played Pin the Pico on the Mermaid…

Susan Bratton: Oh cute.

Roxanne Darling: Which is put the bellybutton on the mermaid…

Susan Bratton: Yeah, we know what a pico is now…

Roxanne Darling: Yeah, we know what a pico is.

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Roxanne Darling: And we had a really, really nice time.

Susan Bratton: That’s great. Well good. Well I would like to leave our listeners with maybe you just describing the beach where you walk on most days and how beautiful that is, and we’ll leave them with that beautiful visual. Does that sound good?

Roxanne Darling: Sounds great.

Susan Bratton: Alright.

Roxanne Darling: Mm hmm. So we have the whitest, finest, most powdery sand, and the beach is very gently sloping out into the water, which allows us to get the most amazing turquoise and aquamarine colors. And then about a half a mile off shore is where the reef is, and you usually can see the white waves of the breakers that are breaking on the reef and that are slowed down so that inside our beautiful bay it’s very calm, it’s very gentle, it’s wonderful for swimming, the water is warm, and on Sunday’s you can see forever.

Susan Bratton: Mm. Aloha.

Roxanne Darling: Aloha. Mahalo.

Susan Bratton: Mahalo.