August marks the 15th anniversary of Avaans Media. Avaans started out as a digital communications firm specializing in social media.
Aside from the blind optimism of starting a business during the 2008 financial crisis in a city where she knew no one, in the middle of the Pacific, Coomans quickly made a national name for herself as a leading social media expert, in part because of her early involvement with the only educational professional social media organization, Social Media Club. Coomans would eventually serve in executive leadership roles for two SMC Chapters and the Global Board of Directors. Coomans didn’t realize then that she was on the bleeding edge of another trend that would take hold many years later; remote work. Living on a remote island in the middle of the Pacific necessitated remote work; back then, the best video conferencing available to small businesses was Skype.
Back then, we were Akamai Marketing, based in Honolulu, Hawaii. Eventually, we would settle down as Avaans Media after relocating to Los Angeles, shifting our emphasis to digitally savvy public relations. Back then, the entire company was Coomans, whose passion for communication continued to blossom. Today, Avaans Media A-Team is six people strong, and Avaans Media is one of Los Angeles’ top PR Firms.
A lot has changed since in media since 2008. Here are 15 other “Then and Now” examples:
- #1 Song: I Kissed a Girl – Katy Perry; in the summer of 2023, Taylor Swift’s Era’s Tour dominated entertainment news. Taylor and Katie have supposedly made up since “Bad Blood” Days.
- The Summer Olympics are held in Bejing after a contentious negotiation of whether there would be internet access during the Olympics between the International Olympic Committee and Bejing leaders.
- YouTube offers live streaming of the Summer Olympics for the first time.
- Facebook’s active users reached 100 million total active users; only two years later, Facebook hit 500 million users in July 2010. In the first quarter of 2023, it was reported that Facebook had 2.98 billion monthly active users.
- Twitter officially launched support for hashtags, a year after users started using them on the platform; in 2023, Elon Musk purchased Twitter and rebranded it as “X.“
- LinkedIn ended 2008 with 33 million members; in 2023 Linkedin has 900 million global users.
- A month after its debut, the new 3G Apple iPhone hits 3 million sold; it sells for $199, not including the required wireless subscriptions. When launched in 2022, they listed the iPhone 14 for $799, with the Plus version starting at $899.
- #1 Movie: The Dark Knight, a Batman movie starring Christian Bale and Heath Ledger. Heath Ledger committed suicide in January 2008, before the movie even released; he won a posthumous Golden Globe for his performance. In summer 2023, the meme is all about Barbieheimer, the double hitter movie pairing of Barbie and Oppenheimer; the opening weekend soared beyond expectations, with Barbie raking in $162 million and Oppenheimer posting $82 million.
- August 23, 2008: presumptive Democrat Presidential nominee Barack Obama selects Joe Biden as a running mate; before this, Delaware Senator Biden had two unsuccessful Presidential bids under his belt, in 1988 and 2008. Biden defeats Donald Trump to become President in 2021.
- August 29, 2008: GOP Presidential nominee John McCain announces Sarah Palin, then Governor of Alaska, as his running mate. John McCain passed away in August 2018; Sarah Palin ran for Alaska’s House seat in 2022, but her platform of “fish, family and freedom” didn’t capture the hearts and minds of voters.
- Only a month old, Apple founder Steve Jobs announced the App Store had seen 60 million downloads; Apple says it sold an average of $1 million per day in downloads despite most apps being free. Jobs died in 2011, today Apple is helmed by Steve Cook, reportedly the first gay Fortune 500 CEO. In 2023, Apple said it’s $1.1 trillion dollar App Store revenue came from downloads, in-app advertising, physical and digital goods, and services.
- In 2008, the average annual tuition for incoming in-state college freshmen is $6,585, for out-of-state students, the average annual tuition is $17,452. In 2023, the average in-state tuition is $26,027 annually at a public institution; for out-of-state students, the average cost is $27,091.
- “Farm to Table” menu concepts became more prominent, and other trends on the rise in 2008, according to certifiedhumane.org include “Sustainable” and “Biodynamic.” In 2023, top food trends include “Urban Farm Produce” and “Pasture-Raised Meat and Eggs.”
- 2008, minimum wage workers see a bump in pay as the Federal Minimum Wage increases to $6.55 per hour from $5.85 per hour. In 2023, the Federal Minimum Wage is $7.25 per hour.
- In 2008. 28% of women are self-employed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics; in 2023, that number has grown to 36.9%
We’ll report back in 2038 to compare the changes in media. We will probably think some of the 2023 stats are as quaint as the 2008 stats seem now.