We’re thrilled to reveal the first of this year’s Webby Sessions taking place at Internet Week New York!
The Webby Sessions are a series of panels and discussions touching on the latest Internet trends and inspirations specially curated by us. Each day, we will bring you thought-provoking content and leaders representing the very best of the web.
The first Webby Session is taking place on Monday, May 20 at 11am and will feature the incredibly popular, engaging, uplifting, and Webby Winning photo blog Humans of New York.
Photographer Brandon Stanton will join Webby Executive Director, David-Michel Davies to discuss the Internet’s ability to foster altruism and build supportive community along with sharing the meteoric rise of his blog over the past couple of years.
We look forward to sharing ideas from some of our most inspiring Webby winners, judges, and friends.
We've gotten a few questions about our conversation with Chester, if you want to know what we talked about read on...
We took pictures with Chester and to our surprise he stuck around so we started talking to him. I asked him what he was doing in New York or if he was just here for today’s event. By the way he answered, it seemed that he was just here for Grace, but for all I know he could be working on his own secret project. He also called Grace a superstar which was super cute. We talked about playlist live for a while and how we ditched school to go to the internet week panel. He showed us the background on his phone. He wouldn’t let my friend take a picture of the background on his phone, and since he was kind of secretive about it I’m not gonna say what it was, but it was not a picture of Grace or a picture of him and Grace. We also talked about camp takota and how Grace improved the suck me line.
Chester was really kind and sweet and wonderful. He absolutely did not have to stick around to talk to us, but he did. We were really flattered and honored to get to meet him and talk for a bit.
When companies know a lot about you, should you be concerned with how they use that information?
In general, I expect that companies offering free services will collect and use data about me. Designers and programmers, servers, those all cost $ - and the company is out to make a profit as well.
At a recent Internet Week panel, I heard confirmation of this sentiment. Laura Salant from About.com said that (to overgeneralize) there is a generational divide. For example, if a company gives a recommendation based on the type of shampoo I use:
For those under 40 - I will recognize where the company got this information about me and see how the recommendation is useful.
For those over 40 - I will find it creepy.
This didn’t surprise me when I heard it. What did surprise me was my actual reaction to such an example a week later.
I was on my computer, looking up information about an old game app. On the Google Play webpage about this app, a little green box (shown in the screenshot above) informed me that the app would be compatible with all of my devices. Clicking on the box revealed a list of my devices, namely my tablet and phone:
I was creeped out.
Now why is this? I know that all of my devices are signed in to my Google account. In fact, the integration among my devices and Google services is one of the reasons why I’ve been a loyal Android user. This little green note is also quite useful. I have sometimes been frustrated by searching for an app that I have installed on my phone, but not being able to find it for my tablet.
So why this reaction? Logically, I would think that this shouldn’t bother me at all. Perhaps these sorts of data-driven hints aren’t as common yet (or at least, aren’t as overt when they are used), and it’s just a matter of getting more familiar with the practice.
Pete Cashmore and Robyn Peterson discuss how Mashable is changing the field of journalism
Pete Cashmore, the founder and CEO of Mashable, talked to CTO Robyn Peterson about their company’s latest developments, including the Velocity app for Google Glass, which alerts Glass wearers just before a Mashable story goes viral.
Cashmore discussed recent changes in audience engagement, particularly the shift in attention from words to images. The news site, as a result, now works on producing high quality images compatible with a variety of devices.
The Mashable executives also talked to the crowd at IWNY about how their company’s technology affects the newsroom. Cashmore explained that he sees the automated news source not as a replacement for traditional journalism, but as a useful tool to encourage writers take on challenges and more creative projects.
“You can use technology as an assist and focus your journalists on the more difficult stuff, whether that’s the more creative stuff, whether that’s tracking down their own unique leads, and take a lot of this easier, lighter-weight stuff that can be automated.”
Cashmore and Peterson discussed how readers’ engagement with long-form and short-form content will change. Despite current notions about the public’s decreasing attention span, Cashmore expressed confidence about the future of long-form articles, particularly well-written and perceptive opinion pieces.
“The short-form stuff is great, and people will read it, and it’s fantastic. But you also need to have a voice and that’s where opinion comes in. You need to have something unique. I think that’s really where the value’s going to be.”
Cashmore’s advice for new media companies? Pursue what’s new. Right now, he explained, mobile tech is hotter than social media. While social media is still rapidly expanding, there is far more demand for new products in the mobile realm, particularly for new technology like Google Glass and other small devices.
“Build for the newest of the new because that’s really where you can compete. It will take existing media companies a while to figure out a natural product and a natural fit, whereas new companies can build stuff that’s really organic to those platforms.”