America’s fastest-growing group transforming digital media with groundbreaking V3 conference


The Asian American Pacific Islander group is flexing its muscle in America not by becoming the fastest growing minority in the U.S.

But it’s also playing a pivotal role on the social web and digital media front.

Michelle Phan has among the largest following on YouTube with 2 million people, according to this article in the New York Times. The 24-year-old Vietnamese American from Los Angeles was turned down for a gig at the Lancôme makeup counter. After attaining video stardom by becoming the most-subsribed woman on YouTube, Phan is now a spokeswoman representing cosmetic company.

This summer’s Pew Research Center research indicated that the Asian American Pacific Islander group has become America’s fastest-growing minority group.

The group is not only exerting its influence by its sheer size but also by its educational and economic achievements.

However, numerous critics charged the report ignores the diversity of group and the struggles of “America’s Model Minority.”

Yet, there are many in the community that are contributing significantly to the “knowledge industry,” according to the Wall Street Journal. Perhaps nowhere is that more true in the world of the digital media — specifically social media.

The revolutionary powers of social media have truly transformed the world. We’ve witnessed the political power of the people of the Middle East and Northern Africa in toppling entrenched regimes with social media tools that mobilized sweeping changes.

In the United States, we saw the prolific rise of the conservative Tea Party movement, then just last year, social media sparked the political left’s reaction with the Occupy Wall Street protests.

Susan Hirasuna, a KTTV Fox 11 weekend anchor, will join graphic desiger and social media enthusiast Calvin Lee of Mayhem Studios and fashion blogger Kelly Cook of as presenters to hundreds of participants for the daylong conference exploring the prolific role of digital media and social media.

Now the two major political parties in the United States are rushing to take advantage of the dynamic social media landscape in this November’s election.

The rules of engagement are quite different than the traditional ways of top-down communications style prevalent in the past century.

Social media and the advent of other Web 2.0 tools have created an equalizing effect upon the world. No where is that more profound than in today’s business world with a younger generation at the helm of making sweeping changes to our world.

Just take a look at today’s dominance of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and dozens upon dozens of new start-up digital platforms, captivating the world’s attention and the financing of capital venture.

Asian American and Pacific Islanders are not only the nation’s fastest-growing group, they are also one of the most active users of the social web.

Pew Research Center studies indicate that 87 percent use the Internet every day, more than any other major demographic group. They also visit Twitter and WordPress websites and blogs more than other demographic group.

This data is reflected in the popularity of bloggers and video bloger or so-called vloggers online. The most popular YouTube channels belong to Ryan Higa with 5.2 million followers, Kevin Wu (KevJumba) with 2.3 million followers and Michelle Phan with 2 million followers.

The impacts and challenges of the new brave world of digital content and social media will be in full focus at the V3 Digital Media Conference or V3con in downtown Los Angeles Saturday, Aug. 25.

MSNBC anchor Richard Liu will participate in a morning discussion moderated by ABC’s David on Asians in the traditional media. Other panelists include Lynn Chen of The Actor’s Diet, Jocelyn “Joz” Wang of 8Asians and Jeff Yang from The Wall Street Journal.
Later in the afternoon, Liu will moderate a discussion highlighting the Asian American Pacific Islander community’s role in politics with engagement powerhouses Tanzila “Taz” Ahmed of the Civic Engagement Project, Christine Chen of the APIA Vote, Curtis Chin of Asian Pacific Americans for Progress and Bill Wong of The Sunfire.

Prominent traditional media and influential new media professionals with expertise in Asian American and Pacific Islander communications will highlight how the prolific rise of these new platforms is transforming the world and how business, organizations and individuals may take advantage of the massive waves rather than being unprepared by their full force.

Thanks to invitation of organizer Gil Asakawa of Denver who also is chair of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Digital Media Committee and V3con’s Executive Director Joz Wang, I’ll be joining the gathering for my second year along with these high-profile professionals from today’s media world:

  • Frank Buckley, KTLA morning news co-anchor
  • David Choi, singer, songer writer and producer
  • Kelly Cook, fashion blogger
  • Denise Dador, ABC7 health specialist
  • Henry Fuhrmann, Los Angeles Times assistant managing editor
  • Susan Hirasuna, KTVV Fox 11 weekend anchor
  • Lisa Ling, host of Oprah Winfrey Network’s “Our America with Lisa Ling”
  • Calvin Lee, Mayhem Studios designer and citizen influencer
  • Richard Lui, MSNBC dayside anchor
  • David Ono, KABC-TV news anchor
  • Gordon Tokumatsu, NBC4 general assignment reporter
  • Phil Yu, founder of Angry Asian Man
  • Teddy Zee, film producer, entertainment and marketing executive

Check out the interview of KABC-TV news anchor David Ono where I participated with the TV veteran at Cal Poly Pomona’s Communications Day.

For a full list of the power panelists, presenters and performers, check out the event schedule.

The event, called V3con for the vision, visibility and voice conference, is organized by the Asian American Journalism Association, Los Angeles Chapter and the IW Group, a Los Angeles-based marketing and communications firm.

TV journalist Lisa Ling from the OWN Network will make a special appearance at V3con’s opening night reception Friday, Aug. 24.

Know Before You Go

For readers and supporters of this website, the organizers have graciously offered a special promotional code with registering for the conference:

Just enter the promotional code: V3-TedN (case sensitive)

It’s good for: 10 percent off of discounted pre-registration for general admission or $10 off full-price registration for general admission (when available).

The evening before the conference, there is a special opening awards reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24, 2012 at the Pacific Asia Museum, 46 N. Los Robles, Pasadena, CA 91101.

The V3con Digital Media Conference begins at 8 a.m. and will last until 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012 at the Japanese American National Museum, 369 E. First St. , Los Angeles, CA 90012

Follow the event hashtag of #V3con for the latest information and real-time discussions before, during and after the conference.

The Japanese American National Museum will host the 3rd gathering of the largest Asian American Pacific Islander digital media, blogging and social media gathering in the United States.

I’d love to hear what you think about the role that social media is playing to provide a powerful voice for a diverse group of Americans.

How do you think the Asian American Pacific Islander community can help shape the nation’s future? If you’re interested in the event, what are the topics and issues that you’d like addressed?

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