I have been checking a specific blog quite often over the past 8 years. It has been one of my sources of photographs, music, books and contemporary poetry. Despite a bunch of interesting blogs that have popped up since then, Don’t Touch My Moleskine has been always on my feed, even almost a decade after I first found it.
Daniela Arrais, who was born in Recife but moved to São Paulo to work as a journalist, conceived this blog simply as a space to gather all the information she shared with her friends through email. Since the blog has started, so much has changed in the online world: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat came way after this blog was conceived.
Her blog became a big success and throughout the years of its existence, she joined all upcoming social media platforms and successfully managed to expand her online presence, i.e. Dani’s Instagram and Don’t Touch My Moleskine's Instagram. According to Dani, the online presence helped her meet many interesting people. One of the people she met online, Luiza Voll, is currently her business partner.
In 2010, Daniela and Luiza started Contente, which literally means happy, a company that connects people in the online world through multimedia projects and prompts.#instamisson is a project that suggests photo assignments based on small happiness in our daily life, bringing thousands and thousands of followers to share their perspectives on the theme proposed. After building a significant number of projects and an advocate online community, Contente grew almost naturally, since brands and companies sensed an opportunity to engage meaningfully with their audience through their projects. The most beautiful thing about Contente and Daniela, per se, is that it all comes from honest and truthful impulses, never doubting the power and vast possibilities of the internet.
Although their projects seem to be second nature, Daniela likes to say that developing a real and meaningful presence in any digital platform takes time and effort. More than creating digital strategies for brands, their job is to build a community by being human, they don't just deliver a message to their audience, but instead they sustain a constant interaction with them.
MS: Are you considering expanding any of your projects to an international audience?
DA: We would love to, but Brazil itself is so big already that we want to start expanding projects here first, you know? This semester we’ll start to do that with Vai lá project, which will win now its carioca (from Rio de Janeiro) version. :-)
MS: It seems to me the brand engagement done on your projects are always carefully thought out. How did all the followers of your projects take when a few posts started to be sponsored by brands?
DA: We understand brand sponsorship as a possibility of a business model for our company, but mostly we want to promote these projects as a magnifier of random people’s talents. We always analyze brand proposals through people's perspective. It might sound silly, but many times brands are so self-oriented forgetting that they are communicating with a "flesh-and-bone-person". And we are very careful when we “translate” brands proposals into real projects. Therefore our followers take advertising in project well.
MS: It’s very exciting to see women in front of the tech world. What’s the biggest challenge an entrepreneur has to face in a field with such constant changes?
DA: The constant changes are the biggest challenge indeed. There’s no such thing as long term forecast, because what is working today might not exist tomorrow anymore. At the begging that concerned us, but when we assumed uncertainty as an intrinsic component of our job, everything became easier.
Projects worth checking out:
Daily themes challenging Instagrammers to train their eyes to the beauty of everyday joy.
A collaborative guide of good stuff in São Paulo.
A hashtag that gathers photos of unknown people around Brazil.
Dani’s previous mix tapes have now grown into a verified account on Spotify.
Sentences from love letters sent by Instagrammers.
A hashtag that gathers many love scenes on Instagram.
Born in Brazil and currently based in Brooklyn, Martina will interview extraordinary Brazilian women who have been stepping up and becoming social change agents by either promoting women’s empowerment or just by following their guts.