1. When was The Word conceptualized and how did it start?
Honestly, it was such a gradual process. We started doing social media for YBR Promotions on MYSpace and then Facebook, and The Word was the name of the emailer we sent out for YBR starting in 2009. Eventually, it evolved to being our entire digital marketing firm by 2015, which incorporates social media on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook as well as our dedicated emails, weekly newsletter, SMS party list, and now TheWord.co platform.
2. What were the highlights of the underground scene when The Word was started?
When we started The Word in 2009 House Music was still huge, as it always has been in San Francisco, but the scene was starting to change. Dubstep had flown in and really taken over a ton of the clubs around that time, but was beginning to shift into a more solid bass music scene. We started to see a lot of incredible music that was far more future-forward and experimental coming out at that time from artists like Tiga, Nosaj Thing, Hudson Mohawke, and Moderat, This was a very exciting time for music in our industry as well because Indie Dance music was becoming very popular with the fusing of organic bands and live electronic music like Passion Pit and Fever Ray and Yacht. And the festival scene really started to blow up as well, so instead of just having Coachella and Bonnaroo, there were tons of small DIY campouts and non-corporate festivals mushrooming up all around us. It gave us a lot of genres to promote for and also a lot of different types of events to promote for outside of just nightclubs and concert venues. And with the complete explosion of EDM, and electronic music in all of it’s various forms coming to the forefront of main stream culture, we have seen hundreds of artists reach great success, and it has been so fun to support this collective journey here in San Francisco.
3. What are some of the highlights of our business that convinced you to move it into a bigger platform? I want to make it seem like an organic decision?
Well, to be honest, one of the main reasons that we started The Word, is because I had so many people contacting me on a daily basis to ask me “Where should I go out tonight? or “What’s the hot spot this weekend?” Fielding all of those inquiries became really time-consuming, and we also wanted a way to showcase online all of the events we had been promoting with flyers and posters. It just naturally made sense to start our own email list and it grew really rapidly to over 10,000 subscribers. We had a team of people working for us that were really excited about digital marketing and they wanted to see us stay competitive in a field we had previously cornered in the Bay Area with street marketing, so The Word platform was born in 2015. It has gone through a couple incarnations, and a lot of beta testing that resulted in us launching the newest version in the winter of 2016, which we are really proud of. There are a lot of new features we still want to introduce and we intend to do so gradually as we keep testing things out and getting feedback from our community. Our main goal is to have a solid product that people can rely on, that becomes part of their daily virtual routine, like checking Facebook or Instagram.
4. What are you excited for? What scenes does The Word cater to now?
Currently, we are expanding The Word outside of just music listings, and broadening our content to include event listings around film, restaurant pop-ups, art shows, fun workshops, and quirky comedy shows, among other things. What is really engaging about this process, is that it allows our team to come together and give input to get the word out about events that are on their radar and that they want to support or attend. We happily take submissions for content, but our main goal is to provide people with a go-to platform that actually gives them suggestions, rather than just blanketing our site with every single event going on in the Bay Area. By trade, we are tastemakers, and we are passionate about it, so curating our site is of utmost importance to our brand identity. We hope you like it!