Data and Mapping: Week 12 Reading Reflections

The natural hair community is thriving.

Recently, I have seen more and more  African-American women with natural hair in commercials.

Here are a couple of pictures from an Infiniti QX60 commercial.

Infiniti commercial features African American family with natural hair

Infiniti commercial features African-American family with natural hair

Infiniti commercial features African American woman with natural hair

Infiniti commercial features African-American woman with natural hair

Infiniti commercial features African American woman with natural hair

Infiniti commercial features African-American woman with natural hair


It seems the natural look is becoming more acceptable.

It is awesome to see Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o named People’s Most Beautiful.

Photo Jan 30, 1 43 24 PM

 Click here for the article.

Even Disney Junior character Doc McStuffins has natural hair. Deena Campbell of Essence wrote an article about the character. The animated girl character will talk about her hair during Thursday’s episode which airs at 8:30 a.m. Central on the Disney Channel.

This google trends line graph shows the interest of natural hair and how it has increased overtime.

Google Trends

Google Trends

Here is a list of the top queries in regards to natural hair.

Google Trends

Google Trends

Those are just two examples of how data visualizations can enhance my blog.

Product reviews are essential for newly naturals and those who are transitioning from relaxed hair to the natural state.

Instead of doing videos, comparisons of products can be done with data visualizations. Products can be rated by likability, cost or effectiveness. Sometimes, watching a video can take too much time especially when you are standing in the hair care aisle at the store.

There are tons of video product reviews on YouTube. Once a list is made of the best products, the videos could add depth to the data visualization to show how well the product works.

This would be a form of curation since I would have to sort through the best product reviews to use along with the data.

Jeff Jarvis has defined curation as “the need for editors to create order, to correct, and vet.”

I have had practice doing this as a former news producer. I would find an interesting story and began researching to find other information that was either lacking from the story or breaking information.

I would use the same skills to create interesting and useful information for naturals to help them through their natural hair journey.


Location, Location, Location

I do my own hair, which means I do not go to the salon.

I have been natural for almost two and a half years. I can count on my hands the number of times I have been to the salon since I transitioned from relaxed hair.

Instead of checking into salons, I am checking into beauty supply stores or the aisles at Kroger, Target or Walgreens.

I am not a “product junkie.” I may look at products, but I am not buying new products every time I walk down the hair care aisles.

Using location-based check-in services like Four Square would be helpful to tell other naturalists about deals and specials on hair products.

However, I did not realize it would be a useful tool until now.

I tried out the location-based check-in service at restaurants. I checked into Chili’s while grabbing lunch. As a result, I was offered a free appetizer with the purchase of an entrée.

Over the weekend, I also checked into the buffet at Golden Strike Casino in Tunica, Miss.

While with friends for Sunday brunch, I decided to use Facebook to check into Owen Brennan’s. I used the Facebook tool instead of Four Square because it allowed me easily tag my friends in the post.

My friend even posted a picture on Instagram and Facebook about brunch.

Courtesy of Kimberly B. Jones

Courtesy of Kimberly B. Jones 

I eventually wrote a review on Yelp about the fantastic food.

I downloaded the app to my phone, and it was very simple to do. It was also nice to read other visitors comments about the restaurant.

These location-based check-in services have to be a positive thing for businesses, especially for smaller, non-franchised businesses. Yelp provides links to the businesses websites.

This could assist businesses with page views and followers.

It is all about engagement. It is no longer a one-way street where businesses or even celebrities just post. Their followers post but also want to receive feedback or a response.

Brands have to understand what social media tool works best for them in the promotion of the business.

The article 10 Questions to Ask about Your Twitter Reach and the Free Twitter Tools to Answer Them is a great source.

As new bloggers or new brands rise on the scene, it is helpful to have a resource to allow a newbie to find when trying to reach a specific audience or target group. But before one begins, a brand or blogger should know who they want their audience to be.

As I move more in more into this field of journalism, I becoming to understand to be successful in reaching the goal of engagement it is all about research. One has to research to find the right equation to reach its goal, engagement.

Bright Ideas and Reflections

I had this bright idea to buy a camera to record a video although I have an iPhone 5. The camera was inexpensive like $140. I thought it would provide better picture and sound quality. Boy was I wrong. I underestimated the quality of video and sound of the smart phone.

Making the video was pretty simple. Besides including an interview on the topic of protective styles, I uploaded pictures, a Photoshop image, a few transitions and audio effects.

Creating a youtube channel and uploading the video was easy and not too time consuming. The natural hair community has thrived off youtube. I know I have found and have followed several Vloggers, who have uploaded videos of how to achieve certain styles. Some have become so popular that hair companies have sent them products to try, review and promote. It’s a great strategy for free advertising for rising companies.

It’s great for self-promotion period. As a former news producer, I know several reporters and producers who upload their stories and newscasts. This allows them to have easy access to their work when a future employer wants to see what you have done. It’s also a good tool to collect their work.

I’m sure it’s also a great selling point for future employees when they can show the number of page views they’ve received. One would think, the more views, the more popular or persuasive one is or could be.

Brian Abelson, a 2013 OpenNews fellow, expounded on page views in the article “How Promotion Affects Pageviews on the New York Times website. He focused on the best times to post to get the most engagement.

Engagement. I believe that’s why we post stories, videos and pictures. We want people to be somewhat engaged by what we do.

The more we do, the more people will begin to gravitate to what we say, write, showcase through video, sound and photographs.