Wish you were here (well, for those of you who aren’t).
It’s 65 degrees, the streets are still wet from the afternoon rain, the cafes in SoHo are full of patrons finishing their lattes, and we just got done listening to Pete Cashmore speaking with the Webbys' Executive Director David-Michel Davies on the future of the Internet.
It really doesn’t get much better than this.
In the past 2 days of jam packed sessions, the content has been fantastic:
Billy Beane (of Moneyball fame) spoke about baseball, of course, and the unusual statistical methods he took to turn the Oakland A’s into a winning team. He was there to kickoff the first session: Big Data. Big Solutions. There’s probably no guy better to give the keynote to this opening talk. One, since data analysis is what he and Paul DePodesta used to change the way baseball teams are managed, and two, he’s damned funny.
Buzzfeed's Jonah Peretti and Jon Steinberg gave a compelling talk about their place as a leading content producer and vehicle for branded content. Both strongly believe that the way places like Buzzfeed are generating content will win out over people using Google to find out most information. They feel Google will be used to find guilty pleasures (they gave a few choice examples, I’m sure you can figure out what they are), to find answers to questions that you’re embarrassed to ask, and informational content, like where can you find your state’s 1392b-fz Form. They didn’t even have to be asked about their LOL and Cute feeds, they offered it up to everyone: people like to laugh and they like funny pictures of animals, so they shouldn’t be embarrassed to have them in their “paper”. (They pointed out that if a French intellectual sits in a cafe reading his paper then pets his dog, he’s the same person, right? Both a lover of intellect and cute animals. Good point.)
The New York Times' David Carr & Brian Stelter chatted for a little over an hour about the changing landscape of newspapers, Twitter’s role in reporting (“don’t mistake Twitter heat for real heat”), and the fact that people still need places for credible reporting. Charlie Warzel at Adweek covers the talk well in his recently posted article.
Pete Cashmore was a huge highlight. Quick facts from his talk:
- He started Mashable at 19!
- Mashable has never taken funding - it always reinvests its profits
- He sees his audience as publishers
- He used WordPress to start Mashable because TypePad was too expensive at $10 a month
- He points to a shortage of good engineers
- And because great engineers can go anywhere, you should treat them well and always let them work on great creative problems
There are too many sessions to even list, and there are 2 days left!
In case you can’t be here, but you’d like to feel like you were, check out Livestream’s coverage of most of the sessions on the main stage, partner stage, and classroom at the IWNY HQ.
Hey, we didn’t even mention, we got to see the mayor of New York here at the HQ!
Wouldn’t you know, his was the only session that went over its allotted time...