With the accessibility of Twitter and popularity of Facebook fan pages, artists continue to dip into the social media game
as a way to connect with their fans and followers. Hit-making producer Jermaine Dupri stopped by New York City Wednesday on his "1414" tour, which his first social media venture. JD is dropping in on 14 cities across the country in 14 days to promote his newest site, Global14, in partnership with Crown Royal whiskey.
I decided to do this tour to really connect with the lifers,” JD says, a term he coined for his Global 14 members, now more than 28,000 of them. The blog (global14.com) showcases the music maker’s interests, dedicated to various topics in lifestyle, fashion, sex, education and music. Global 14 was born from random posts Dupri would share daily to see what kind of reaction he could get.
“A year ago, I came up with this blog and just started sharing my random thoughts,” Dupri told VIBE. “There’s no real way to tell how many people come to your site but I started seeing a hundred comments on one thing then another.”
He also began to notice people throwing up “L” signs (the “lifer” gesture) at events, witnessing the reach of his site first-hand. But in a world of blogs on blogs on blogs and multiple social media platforms, JD says the difference between his blog and the likes of Twitter and Facebook are that people can connect based on one common thread.
As JD swipes through his 305,000-follower timeline, he demonstrates how users can get lost in the many thoughts coming at them on Twitter. On Global 14, people can create their own groups and forums on a specific topic and just post whatever they’d like, but not get lost in the shuffle. It’s even become a pseudo-Craigslist in that JD wants people looking for work to come to the site and use it as a resource.
“I even tell artists to come to my site and tell ‘em there’s people on there who willing to work for free, just to do it,” JD says, citing freelance photographers as an example. He also pointed out the contrast between Global 14 and Facebook is the connection with the creator.
“People don’t know Mark Zuckerberg beyond what they saw in the movie,” JD said. “But even then, people still don’t know who he is.” And JD lets his personality show in his posts, ranging from video games he plays to interesting phone apps he uses to fly cars he’d ride in. As his site gains more attention, Dupri denies working on personal musical projects, even ruling out a possible follow-up to his 1998 debut album Life in 1472.
His main priority is creating a space for the people to bond through his site and showing love to them in-person on this tour.
“If one person finds someone else with the same interests, then they can meet each other in person and be like, we have something in common.” --Adelle Platon