Media

NewVoices merges with LadybugPress to create a new media opportunity for authors and users.

LadybugPress and NewVoices announced their merger this week. LaybugPress, established in 1996, has provided innovative services to meet the needs of authors. Some of their notable titles are 34 Million Friends of the Women of the World by Jane Roberts and Lives in Process, the second fifty years by fabric artist Dottie Moore, with photographer Michael Harrison. Now that they have merged with NewVoices a number of new publishing programs have been announced.

“The Internet has promised everyone who has something to say the opportunity to say it. That creates expectations,” says publisher in chief, Georgia Jones, “as a result, there is a lot of writing going on. At the same time, circumstances in the traditional publishing industry make it almost impossible for new writers to get published. We try to provide a bridge between hope and possibility.”

NewVoices began as an audio video production company and is best known for its commitment to new talent and new technologies. The merger with LadybugPress is expected to expand their products to include print on demand and a full range of publishing options.

The first evidence of these changes can be found on the NewVoices website, www.NewVoices.com, where an innovative new program allows writers (including poets) and artists to present themselves to the public and potential publishers, to blog, or establish websites. So far, this offering is limited to cataloguing but, according to company officers, may expand into an agency service in the future. At the same time, the NewVoices imprint has been added to expand the subject range of accepted books (be sure to see the writers’ guidelines, available at www.LadybugBooks.com) and to encourage strong writing in every category including graphic novels.

Georgia Jones explained that the new on-demand and color printing capability created by the company mergers means more experimentation and a wider reach for the innovative Partners in Publishing program, which allows new authors the opportunity to share the risk and, thus, to get unproven works to the market.

The atmosphere at this pioneering Internet company right now is one of creativity. They are offering outstanding celebration specials and constantly evolving new services. It is an opportunity most writers should not pass up.


Looking for an Internet Radio Station?
8 Tips to Help you Make the Right Choice

More than one out of five Americans, representing 50 million consumers age 12 and older, have used Internet audio or video in the past month, according to a new study by Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB) and Edison Media Research. Indeed, by 2006, Jupiter Media Metrix predicts that revenues from online music, games and audio-visual entertainment will far outweigh revenue from online porn.

For the internet user this can only mean more entertainment choices are coming online every day. How to go about finding the quality and content you are looking for, when sifting through the hundreds of internet radio stations available?

Here then, the top 8 things to look for when choosing an Internet radio station (courtesy of www.IA-Connections.com):

1. Something you can’t find anywhere else.
2. Programming that is new with new programming regularly.
3. Topics that relate to how you live, that make you feel like part of the process.
4. Challenging ideas.
5. Ease of use, no special hardware or unusual software required.
6. Program managers who are accessible — this is a new medium after all and being able to ask questions and get help is fundamental.
7. A “ride along” feature so you aren’t tied to their site to listen.
8. An Internet interface that is neither radio nor plain old Internet.

A lot of so-called “Internet audio and entertainment” misses the point: The Internet may be similar to radio or television but it is really neither and entertainment that rehashes old forms and formats is missing out on the promise of the future of entertainment.

About IA-Connections:

IA-Connections is the producer of quality audio exclusively for Internet use. Their first Internet Radio site, in 1997 for LadybugPress http://.LadybugLive.com, is still in production and has some of the largest selection of programming on the Internet. They designed and established http://TeenTalkNetwork.com, a site for teens and recently added http://ladybuglive.com. Their corporate customers have used audio material they have produced on both Intranet sites and in their educational programs. They have expanded their resources to include the latest in eLearning techniques and workshop and conference presentations. Learn more by visiting www.ia-connections.com or contact Georgia Jones at 1-888-892-5000. The Internet promised and it is IA-Connections that is delivering.


Georgia Jones is a finalist for the
Stevie International Women in Business Lifetime Achievement Award

PIONEERING WOMAN
by Edythe Oliveto-Oates

How often do you get a chance to meet a true pioneer woman? Not as often as you might think. Georgia Jones describes herself as “compulsively creative” and that is easy enough to see if you look at the scope of her work. In fact, it can be difficult to find the boundaries between her, her business ventures, and her writing and artwork.

There are two distinct businesses in this tangle of creativity and seven web sites. There is also the audio, which she developed very early on… Thus, she tells us, the moniker pioneer, which seems to pop up with regularity when people write or talk about this woman. Jones sees it as all part of a simple whole, a vision of women communicating on the Internet. Working with women and communication are hallmarks of her life. When combined with her creative nature those two elements explain why she considers what to others is a diverse body of work a simple whole.

“In 1995 I was working with poets in an Internet cul de sac called Women’s Wire. It was great fun for everyone and we were doing what seemed natural to us: Working together. Strange as it sounds today, until then women had not really been a big part of the Internet and not a focused one, and neither had the kind of collaboration we were doing. Then, when Women’s Wire sold out, I felt as if all of the work would be lost if we didn’t put it in print, so I set out to get the collection published. It turned out to be our first book at LadybugPress.”

The first book produced by LadybugPress (what Jones calls a “conjoined word” not a typo) was this collection, Women on a Wire, in 1996. It began a policy of charitable donations for the new company. Every book includes a 15% additional royalty that goes to a not for profit of the author’s choice. It is important to Georgia Jones that the author be involved in this charitable effort by choosing the recipient.

Many of the processes of creating the books were done by Jones herself. She was already an award winning designer and book, cover, and ad design seem to come naturally to her. As a small company with limited capitalization, Jones balks at the practical restriction on the number of books LadybugPress can produce. That led to her work on some of the earliest e or electronic books.

“We never actually did e-books. I always wanted the books to be tangible. That’s how I got involved in CD production.” Though she has had a difficult time gaining acceptance of the form, these books opened up new possibilities for the writers she wanted to foster. “So many people have worthwhile things to say and more of them than you would guess can say it well. Too often, when there is only so much space to give to writers, it is the women who are left out. I wanted to not only give women the opportunity to be first in that line but to center everything we did on writing that was valuable to women and, perhaps more importantly, respectful of their intelligence and interests.”

To this point, Georgia Jones seemed to be founding a traditional small press. Then in 1997 she expanded the reach of her authors through a monthly e-Zine, as she originally called it. With LadybugFlights, Jones could reach out to newer writers and to readers who had not yet found LadybugPress books. But her ideas were not well suited to the abbreviated nature of the e-Zine. Her solution, creative as always, was to change what she called LadybugFlights. Instead of an e-Zine, it became an “online magazine.”

With the newly defined nature of LadybugFlights she could allow it to grow into a full fledged magazine. The new direction didn’t stop Jones from taking advantage of the features of the Internet. She encouraged her columnists and contributors to use Internet functions to expand the reach of the readers and provide more information than even the longer articles she also encouraged. LadybugFlights is a fully interactive magazine and these days Jones is even incorporating audio into its print format.

That same year, 1997, she decided that getting women’s voices heard should include a more literal interpretation of that word: heard. And why not, since that is where LadybugPress already was, make it happen on the Internet? At that early date there were quite a few why nots to confront.

Her goal, as she describes it, was to be “just as valuable to our listeners and as good to listen to as NPR.” She wanted to bring women experts, women with creative ideas, and women with as yet unformed ambitions together and produce informational radio for women, though of course not exclusively for women since Jones acknowledges that many men have a lot to contribute. At first that sometimes meant doing the broadcasting herself, but most of the time she made an effort to be as invisible as possible so her “stars” could shine.

It took nearly a year for her to find ways to make good quality, stable, sound from all over the world available to most Internet listeners. “Audio was so unstable. You could do a great recording one time; do everything the same on the next one and get junk. Then there was the problem of transmission. We still have problems of download time for people with slower connections but back then almost no one had a fast connection. One of the big eye-openers was when I did a great 45 minute show with three outstanding guests, and instead of applause, I got complaints from people all over the place. The long show crashed their systems! There was a lot of learning to this curve.”

As difficult as the technical side of it was, she was surprised to find how many problems she encountered in finding people to host programs. Early on she had the help of a valuable volunteer, Alex Cosima, who spent hours asking people if something new would appeal to them. Among the people Cosima approached were some whose focus was teens rather than women and Jones incorporated them into her first station, LadybugLive. A year later, “logically” as she describes it, TeenTalkNetwork.com was born and LadybugLive was beginning to develop a wide range of programs of its own.

In 1998 Georgia Jones was a keynote speaker at a peace conference for writers held in Haifa, Israel. The conference was organized by one of the LadybugPress authors, Ada Aharoni, author of Not in Vain and a Nobel Peace Prize nominee. Jones spoke on the connection between domestic violence and war. Jones hosted a poetry workshop at the conference and took the opportunity to reach out to an international group of writers. This was also the time when LadybugPress released their first audio book, Peace Flower, by Ada Aharoni. This brought the audio work Jones had done full circle, back to the publishing business.

At the end of 1999, Jones returned to Israel to speak at yet another peace conference, and began to think of yet another audio presence she wanted to create for the Internet. The next year she founded a new company, IA-Connections (Internet Audio Connections at ia-connections.com, now Inedpendent Advertising connections, as the company has evolved). The purpose of a second business was to separate audio production from book and magazine production. Right behind the new business came another station, ladybuglive.com. ladybuglive.com is about life and life choices and the name is based on a cartoon Jones had drawn in the early 1970s, which she later patented as a toyand this was very popular with… Doctors! “One never knows,” she says.

In 2003, Jones realized that the best way to hop-scotch past the limitations of audio stations for listeners with slow connections was to offer her programming in a more compact downloadable format or on CDs by subscription, pod-casting. That same year, Georgia Jones wanted to find another female force to share the effort and contribute a fresh perspective to her own creativity. Poet Irma Hudson, who had been active in LadybugPress and LadybugFlights, agreed to become a partner with Jones in LadybugPress.

So what about creativity in the future for LadybugPress, IA-Connections, and Georgia Jones?

“There is a downside to this. I am kind of discouraged by what is happening on the Internet right now. It used to be an explosion of creativity but the structure of the search engines and the terrible affect of spam, which is too often just fraud and bad taste, that is everywhere on the net these days make it difficult for a legitimate business to maintain a legitimate reputation and still be creative… or even do business sometimes.

“Small business used to be about finding new ways to compete, creative ways. That’s certainly how we began and what drove many of the things I did. A local hair salon could be called Toes and Tails. On the Internet they are urged to get the domain name “Somebody’s Hair and Nail Salon” because that’s how search engines optimize. One of our sites is called ladybuglive.com. I guess we don’t compute, but I’m sure we will keep on creating.”

Georgia Jones is a writer with three produced plays, six published books; a graphic designer and artist with sculpture in public buildings; photographer; and these days she has become a programmer. Her years of experience on the Internet have seen many firsts and, though it is always impossible to say who is first with any new idea in this medium, it is fair to call her a pioneer.


IA-C Answers the Call for Web-based Audio and Video Services

Getting there was never half the fun, especially if it was for business. Now, you can do business without going anywhere. People can hear, see, and learn about you, your company, your organization on the Internet… And conferencing and e-learning services at IA-C are leading the way.

Sonora, CA – May 11, 2003 – IA-Connections, producers of complete Internet radio, today announced that it has added a new communications solution to its list of Internet audio offerings for business and organizations wanting to get the most out of the Internet’s ability to bring people together. This new service will revitalize communications by providing state of the art technology through the development of NewVoices.com, a gateway site to enhanced audio and video services for effective online presentations.

“Our clients are experiencing a greater demand for web-based audio and video services and are able to do it more economically because of the bottom line savings,” said Georgia Jones, Founder and Director of Production of IA-Connections. “We can do educational programs that offer online testing and certification, providing full course design (if they choose), including working with their graphical materials and following their corporate or organizational outline so it can integrate into their existing materials seamlessly.”

IA-Connections can host it, or store portions on our site. If required, files can be placed with an established site host who is creating a learning community and provides additional tracking and security services. IA-C and New Voices can also work with web-X and other online conferencing materials, preparing stored files/presentations from the materials developed in this setting. And this is all done remotely (which includes by telephone).

The process works with easy to use technology you already have, combined with our modern, state of the art voice editing systems which is then synchronized with the visual materials, graphs, charts and pictures required to round out a robust audio-visual presentation. This can clearly enhance the value and utility of any informative web site.

In conjunction with this new service, IA-Connections is publishing a regular newsletter, NewVoices, to keep people who have an interest in Internet audio informed about this rapidly growing field. “This monthly newsletter will provide information about what is happening in Internet audio and radio,” said Irma Hudson, Director of Outreach. “We offer our listeners the freshest, new voices available on the Internet.” To subscribe, send an email to GeorgiaJ@ia-connections.com.

About NewVoices.com
NewVoices.com, the newest integrated, voice and web conferencing solution, helps businesses and organizations work smarter and more economically through real-time collaboration. NewVoices.com works with standard communications equipment enabling people to share information, to work together productively from any location. NewVoices.com delivers on promises that others only make, and knows what it takes to succeed in this new medium. NewVoices.com is provided by IA-Connections. For more information, visit www.NewVoices.com or call 1-888-892-5000.

About IA-Connections
IA-C Networks is Internet Audio Connections, a leader in audio and video technology to enhance your outreach. IA-C can produce a complete Internet radio station, bring you into their existing group of Affiliate stations, provide syndicated audio programming for your broadcast or Internet listeners, or do audio production for special projects. The people at IA-Connections are demonstrating that the potential for audio to enhance your business and your listeners’ world is unlimited. Based in Sonora, California, IA-C’s line-up includes an Emmy Award winning new anchor and a variety of unique programming options. For more information visit, www.ia-connections.com or call 1-888-892-5000.

The Internet promised and we are delivering.