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Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2011 about Trust

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Friday 11th March 2011

  • Can You Trust Me?

    It’s no secret that it’s been a tough time for some of the world’s most trusted brands—BP, Google and Facebook are just a few of the companies that have been recent victims of brand erosion. In the digital age, information (truth and hearsay alike) flows like water, opinions spread like wildfire—one day a brand is synonymous with trust for millions of people, the next day it’s being dragged through the digital mud by a few over a product recall or privacy violation. Unfortunately, it’s happening faster and with bigger implications and greater transparency than ever before. Consumers have stopped basing their trust of successful brands on the mere knowledge that they are financially successful—or because they run ads that inspire trustworthiness. In fact, it seems the very definition of “brand trust” is morphing as rapidly as technology is. More often, an increasingly-skeptical public is flocking to the web for real-time information and social network commentary posted by “officials” or by anyone else with an Internet connection and an axe to grind.

    Paul Parkin, Founding Partner of SALT Branding and expert on brand building, will provide an overview of the ever-evolving “brandscape” and share strategies for building and maintaining brand trust online and offline. He will also discuss how to best redefine and measure brand trust across different generations—Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y—and why consumer collaboration will be key for marketers in the years to come.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Friday 11th March

    In Room 8A, Austin Convention Center

Saturday 12th March 2011

Monday 14th March 2011

  • Geppetto's Army: Creating International Incidents with Twitter Bots

    by Greg Marra

    Twitter has proven to be an invaluable tool for communication during intense periods of political unrest and social suppression. When thousands of people tweet about oppressive regimes and violence against protesters, the outside world gets a chance to understand events on the ground.

    But what if none of those thousands of people were real, and the events never happened?

    Previous research has shown that Twitter bots can build up a following, garnering hundreds of emotionally invested followers who are fooled into believing the bots are real. A single puppetmaster could create hundreds of Twitter bots, letting them live perfectly normal and believable lives for months while they build up followers. Then one day, a careful crafted false story unfolds on the stage of social media, played out by a single director with hundreds of actors. Incidents like Balloon Boy demonstrate that powerful stories can become widespread before there is time for fact checking. Before anyone realizes all the TwitPics of the massacre are faked, the fake event will have made international headlines.

    This presentation will discuss the technical feasibility of such an attack on the global media infrastructure and discuss the implications of a news system that trusts "recent" over "reputable".

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Monday 14th March

    In Creekside, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

Tuesday 15th March 2011