Roughly a year ago, Bianca Bartz spiked onto the list of top Trend Hunters. Fast forward to the end of summer, and she became our full time editor and publicist. So how did she get the job and what makes her tick?
For for starters, Bianca is a Trend Hunter addict. This was her first step in the door. She routinely asked for feedback on her trends and kept pushing me for more involvement. With the site popularity skyrocketing, the timing and fit seemed perfect!
But who is she?
A graduate in journalism and student of the world, Bianca is a vibrant young journalist. She has a craving for innovation and a dislike for traditional media. Although she’s been thrilled to see her Trend Hunter posts syndicated in the places like the Financial Times, she dislikes mass media, mostly because of the delayed speed and focus on tragedy. Touche. Instead, she gets a rush from bringing Trend Hunter to the forefront of new stories, days (weeks) before traditional media.
Finally, she has a contagious enthusiasm. Get to know her more in the following interview:
14 Questions With Bianca Bartz
1. How did you get involved in Trend Hunter and what motivates you to continue?
While I was studying journalism in Calgary, I was constantly looking for innovative new story ideas and ways to get published. Trend Hunter was my favourite site for getting breaking new stories – it was a guaranteed source for cutting edge topics.
Once I started Trend Hunting, it became a part of my being. It’s really nice to be the go-to person that people rely on to find out what’s new and exciting in the world.
What keeps me going is being able to share positive stories that inspire innovation. After graduation, I found the limitations of mainstream journalism too restrictive.
2. How significant are the topics of cool hunting and trend spotting for journalists?
They are the most crucial element that separate top notch journalism from mediocre writing. No body wants to read about something that they already know or could find out about by flicking on CNN.
The uniqueness or the content of the article is everything to trend spotting.
3. How do you define a trend?
I get asked all the time what a trend is – it’s the first thing people want to know when they hear about Trend Hunter. There is no magic formula though, but at the core of all trends is innovation, and that’s what I look for when I publish. I look for that spark; whether it goes viral or not, isn’t important. If it evokes innovation or highlights creativity, then it deserves a spot on Trend Hunter.
4. How do you define cool?
Cool is anything that evokes excitement that you want to share with as many people as possible. It could be something beautiful, bizarre, interesting or amusing. If something hyper-stimulates any of the five senses, then that’s cool. The stronger the stimulation, the cooler it is… and if it evokes emotion, even better!
5. What is the best way to write an infectious article?
By getting people to feel it. If you can get your readers to hear your enthusiasm and experience the content, they’ll want to pass it on. The key is speaking at their level, not using technical jargon, and using relevant examples that they can relate to… and of course, by infusing it with “cool” (see above.)
6. What is the key to innovation?
The key to innovation is the merging of creativity and inspiration. The fundamental building block is having something that evokes curiosity. That’s when natural creativity kicks in, leading to innovation.
7. What are the most important trends that you’ve posted that you REALLY hope take off?
I think the most important trends are the ones that will make this world a better place. This could be anything from changing the way you think, improving health or simply making life more enjoyable.
Smart Bra for breast cancer detection
Anti-radiation pad for expecting mothers
Digital Honesty Box
9. Some of the posts on Trend Hunter are about big trends, but other posts seem less likely to take off. Why do you still cover those smaller trends?
My hope is that smaller trends will inspire bigger ones. If you consider the fundamentals of inspiration, creativity, and innovation, then although a particular micro-trend may not take off, it could fuel the inspiration for someone else to think of something that could.
The anti-radiation pad for pregnancy is a really great concept, but at this stage, it’s not main stream enough to be considered a “big trend.” Covering something like this opens people’s minds to the idea of protecting babies, and often fuels the ambition for other scientists to come up with similar ideas.
10. What are your ambitions for Trend Hunter?
I would really like to focus on building a strong community consisting of like minded people who are passionate about trend spotting and web 2.0. It would be great to see a network of people who are really awake and looking at the world change around us. The more people can help spread good news, and show others that our world is full of “cool” discoveries, the better.
It would be great to see Trend Hunter become global, and ultimately, to be as addictive as Facebook. If people would turn to Trend Hunter in the morning over coffee instead of starting their day with bad messages from the news, we would build a more positive society. Instead of, “Did you hear about all the monks getting slaughtered in Myanmar?” people would be saying, “Wow, did you hear about the bloggers who devoted an entire day to acknowledge the monks by posting no more than a banner in support of their efforts?”
11. How do you reset yourself to be creative?
I don’t have to set time aside, because no matter what I do, my senses are always open for the unusual. I’m detail oriented; I look at the small stuff. I’m a passionate photographer, and it’s a hobby that lets me see the beauty that is constantly around me.
I reset myself by remaining curious. I’m always wondering, always questioning, it’s at the core of who I am. I don’t perceive things the way they are or always have been, but for what they could be.
12. Professionally, what do you want to be doing or studying in 10 years?
I don’t really set goals that far in advance. Life is way too unpredictable. If I had to set a general goal, it would be to figure out how to optimize my skills on the internet in order to spread good news to as many people as possible.
In the 50s, things were generational; in the 70s and 80s it was in decades, in the new millennium, things have sped up so quickly, that you can’t look much further than five years from now.
I’m a lifelong learner and hope that in the next five years, I won’t just report on emerging trends, but will experience them first hand. A huge part of that is traveling and seeing as much of the world as possible.
13. What are your most important hobbies?
I love people watching and observing people in their daily lives, whether at coffee shops, malls, in restaurants or, a personal favourite, at the airport.
I love cooking, being physically active (nothing beats a good hike), going on photo safaris and writing. I’ve kept a journal since I was six, and I think it’s an amazing way to track my evolution and those moments that shape and influence who I am.
I’ve had an insatiable addiction to magazines since I was a little girl… though I adore scouring the web for hours, the joy of leafing through a glossy magazine is unrivaled.
14. Finally, tell me why YOU like Trend Hunter.
Trend Hunter is the doorway to the unlimited, wonderful possibilities of this world. Not only does it fuel creativity and spark innovation, but it’s also a phenomenal source of info to make you the star of any cocktail conversations.