For every brand turning on a new listening program or focusing on engaging their users online there is a lot of attention on the topic of social media strategy. Brands that don't have one are desperately chasing one - yet the problem is no longer a lack of strategy. That's so 2011. The problem now is that more and more brands are becoming strategically unlikeable. Being social isn't the same thing as being likeable. In some cases, they are actually opposite. In this panel, we will talk about the one principle that every successful person already knows, yet the one that has eluded so many brands ... why likeability is actually the golden trump card, and why brands are historically so bad at it. From examining the lessons from completely unlikeable leaders like Steve Jobs or Rupert Murdoch to sharing the theories of building likeable brands and the new culture of "likeonomics," Rohit Bhargava and Dave Kerpen, two bestselling authors will take audience members inside what it means to be unlikeable and offer real tips on how to avoid falling into that trap ... as a business and as a person.
by Jim March and Jeremiah Akin
This talk will expose the slight of hand tricks used by government agencies to make them appear more transparent than they are. "Transparency" is a common buzz word that suggests that government operates in a manner that is clear, visible, and understandable. Open Data Centers are supposed to increase accountability and transparency in government computer-based operations. However, can you use the data they provide to spot waste or corruption in government? Vote counting used to be a process that people could watch, but now you only see a false replica of the open counting process. Meanwhile the votes are actually counted where they can not be observed. The public needs to be able to differentiate between transparency and transparency theater, just as it needs to learn to differentiate between security and security theatre. Several examples of how government agencies produce this theatre will demonstrate how what is supposed to be transparent is intentionally hidden.
There is a lot of talk at the government, industry, and producer level about the promise of games in education, but has anyone really proven true educational outcomes from informal gaming? In this presentation, Sara and Drew will share some of the most effective gameplay mechanics for teaching kids, discuss how challenges and rewards influence outcomes, showcase video of kids engaged in gameplay, present some of the latest theories for skill-scaffolding within games, and share outcome data from real educational gaming evaluations. Using specific examples, we will show how learning and well-designed games share important traits (like fun, frustration, failure and flow) that get kids engaged and motivated.
by Bryan Nunez and Harlo Holmes
With the ready availability of social media, digital databases of ID photos, high-resolution cameras and free, powerful face recognition software that can run on smartphones, we are entering into an unprecedented shift in the visual privacy of everyday people. Technology that was once the domain of authoritarian states, is now being put to use by the hottest tech startups, who often lack the capacity or capability to consider the broader cultural impact.
What right do people have to control personal images in a socially-networked age or to be visually anonymous in a video-mediated world? Startups like Viewdle are building compelling user experiences that correlate people who appear in photos taken with your smartphone, with all of the profile photos stored in your address book and social graphic. The question is, how is it decided who can be recognized and indexed, how and when, and where does control of that record reside?
The ObscuraCam project (developed by WITNESS and the Guardian Project, funded by Google) will be shared as one countermeasure to these trends. It is a mobile app that allows users to automatically conceal faces or objects in photos and video, using pixelization, masks or redaction. It also removes extra metadata, such as GPS location, often stored in media.
Bryan Nunez will represent WITNESS, presenting human rights advocacy driven user stories and challenges. Harlo Holmes will counter with "privacy by design" technology solutions.
Slightly over a year ago we had this idea of trying to launch a ballon into the stratosphere (~100,000 feet) with a couple of cameras and get it back down safely.
Since then we've launched 6 balloons and successfully recovered all of them.
We learned a lot in the process: how inert gases cannot explode but can instead make other things explode, how to calculate volumes and weights appropriately to attain the desired height before the descent, how dropping the payload in salted water can be harmful for the cameras, how to put more and more sensors in the payload and still have it lift off, and how ideas that sometimes seem brilliant may cover hidden dangers (and extremely ridiculous moments).
We have also managed to gather dozens and dozens of people around this movement, up to the point of having 12 cars with 5 people each and lots of gear running after 3 balloons simultaneously. And did we tell you running away from wild animals?
Apart from telling (and showing) you all these things, we will also unveil our ideas for the future and answer your questions if you're planning to launch a HAB.
New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson discusses her vision for the future of The Times in the digital age in a session moderated by Texas Tribune editor Evan Smith. Does Abramson's leadership at The Times present a blueprint for sustainability for the newspaper industry?
by Adam Erlebacher and Rachel Schutt
A large number of scalable web businesses are built upon two-sided markets: Square, OkCupid, Groupon, eBay, and Google AdWords are a few of them. This talk examines the seeding and scaling strategies of two-sided markets along with the feedback loops that grow and sustain them. We'll examine not only the strategies, but also the underlying mathematical models that enable their growth.
Bad personas can make your skin crawl. The ones that offer no real insight into an audience and play make-believe with random facts are not useful in any context. Good personas theoretically inspire and guide innovation, but like any good story, it's difficult to create relatable characters. This session outlines a project where we developed five nameless personas for lynda.com.Our method uses no names, psychology, or broad habits. The philosopher Harry Frankfurt explained, "it is impossible for someone to lie unless he thinks he knows the truth. Producing bullshit requires no such conviction." We removed the things that didn't matter even if they were true from our personas. We communicated the major distinctions across the personas so lynda.com could immediately understand the lifetime value of their site to customers. In this session, we go over how we identified and eliminated the B.S. that creeps into personas, and how we made a video instead of the traditional paper approach.
One of the great failures of any company - for that matter of a capitalist economy - is ecosystem failure. Great companies build great ecosystems, one in which value is created not just for a single company or group of industry players, but for partners who didn't even exist when the product or service was introduced. Many companies start out creating huge value. Consider Microsoft, whose vision of a computer on every desk and in every home changed the world of computing forever, and created a rich ecosystem for developers. But as Microsoft's growth stalled, they gradually consumed more and more of the opportunity for themselves, and innovators moved elsewhere, to the Internet. Internet innovators like Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter have also created a rich ecosystem of opportunity, but like Microsoft before them, they are leaving less and less on the table for others. This is a bad trend. Wall Street firms, which got their start trading on behalf of clients, then began trading against them, then created vast Ponzi economies to drain the value from entire segments of the economy are even more dire examples of this trend. But this crisis of capitalism goes beyond individual industry segments. For example, the race by companies to eliminate labor costs has been a short term profit win but a long term loss. Since the cycle of capitalism depends on consumers as well as producers, and consumers are less and less able to find employment, at some point, we're going to have to start thinking about how to put people to work, rather than how to put them out of work. At O'Reilly, we've always tried to live by the slogan "Create more value than you capture." It's a great way to build a sustainable business and a sustainable economy.
Andrew McAfee, author of "Race Against the Machine," will engage with Tim about these ideas, and about how rethinking the economy becomes even more urgent in the face of the trend he explores in his book, in which jobs are being outsourced not just to low-wage countries, but increasingly to machines.
Messages tend to exist attached to a surface. Billboards are pasted to sides of buildings, emails come to us on a computer screen, and words in a book are attached to bound pages. What if our information came to us floating freely in the open air? This SXSW panel will be a discussion on messages that are not attached, physical messages suspended in space and filling our surroundings. We already have skywriting, fireworks and laser light, but what’s next? Adam and Albert will share their ideas of the fast-approaching development of floating media by showcasing projects that are pushing this trend forward thanks to advancements in light, sensor and pervasive technologies. New immersive and spatial media systems could create wonderful interactive experiences... but if designers, developers and architects don’t plan properly, media may just smack us in the face!
by Jaron Lanier and Nicholas Thompson
A conversation between Nicholas Thompson, a senior editor covering technology for the New Yorker, and computing pioneer Jaron Lanier. They'll discuss the virtues of technology, but also the ways it has made us less imaginative, more distracted, and less connected to other people. Lanier is one of the founders of "virtual reality," but he has since become the most prominent critic of what technology has wrought. Last year, he published “You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto,” a provocative critique of digital technologies, including Wikipedia (which he called a triumph of “intellectual mob rule”) and social-networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, which Lanier has described as dehumanizing and designed to encourage shallow interactions.
by Zach Brand and Michelle Avary
NPR and Toyota share their insights on what it takes to build an App for the connected car. With the launch of Entune, Toyota has entered the world of mobile applications and has created a vehicle app ecosystem. Other automotive manufacturers are also launching ‘telematics’ platforms that allows Internet-based content into vehicles. In contrast to smartphone app stores, there are relatively few apps available in cars today. Learn how governance, utility, perceived value, time, effort, cognitive processing, and simplicity all have a voice in the process for successful automotive application implementation.
This discussion will uniquely present the separate perspectives of an auto manufacturer and that of a national content producer. From Toyota’s Advanced Technology Department hear first hand considerations, history and best practices in creating and growing the Toyota Entune platform. From NPR’s Digital Media group learn what is involved in creating and building an app to be used in cars, and what similarities and what differences there are from building web, smartphone, and tablet apps.
Jo and Blair on Facts of Life; Cagney & Lacey; Marlene Dietrich and any woman she shared the screen with. Before lesbians were allowed to be part of mainstream pop culture, gay women lived for subtext. As visibility increases, queer women dominate blogs, forums and social media sites like Twitter and Tumblr, “shipping” or “slashing” these fictional female couples (and the actresses who play them). The result is a whole new kind of relationship between online content and users. AfterEllen.com editor Trish Bendix and video remixer Elisa Kreisinger will discuss how cultivating these female-heavy fandoms though editorial and video has encouraged a consistent demand for new content for this active and ever growing niche audience.
Everyone Is Gay (EIG) began as a humorous pseudo-advice blog, but has quickly become a safe haven for young people-particularly LGBTQ youth, their families, & friends. Through a combination of social networking sites (Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube & Vimeo), the creators of EIG have successfully built a “big gay sandbox” where their audience can anonymously ask them everything from "Will people think I’m a gym teacher if I cut my hair?" to "What do I do if my religious parents disown me when they find out I’m trans?”The relatable advice gurus offer frequently funny & often poignant guidance, personal anecdotes, & professional resources, effectively establishing themselves as the cool big sisters of Tumblr who are there when you need a helping hand or a Beyoncé playlist.This panel will cover the effectiveness of EIG's multiplatform approach, discuss the ways in which the site utilizes anonymity & offer tips on how the Internet can be harnessed to create a positive social impact.
by Matt Vaughn and Dan Stanzione
In the developing world today, the average person consumes 25% more calories than in 1960. This tremendous progress has come from many sources: improved irrigation, new fertilizers, and the breeding of hybrid species, to name a few. But there are signs that traditional techniques for improving production are stagnating while pressure to produce more mounts. Limited supplies of water, fuel, and land combine with climate change, population growth and changing food habits to put increasing demands on our ability to grow plants. Surprisingly, the future of agriculture turns out to be a computational challenge. By exploring genomic and metabolic networks, scientists are gaining critical insights into how plants work, but the amount of data produced and the computational power required is growing exponentially. This session will describe The iPlant Collaborative, a large-scale project bringing high-end computing, data, and software resources to bear on the grand challenges of plant biology.
by Dan Miller and Isaac Chapa
Start warming up your vocal chords. With an expected growth rate of 13 percent for 2012, voice authentication is going to be the biometric protocol of choice as businesses, government organizations and consumers look for ways to further protect personal identities and secure data.
Why voice biometrics?
Your voice is as unique as a fingerprint. It cannot be lost, stolen or forgotten. Voice authentication doesn’t need expensive equipment or fancy software to implement – just a telephone connection. Your voice can be captured in less than a minute and verified in less than 5 seconds.
This panel will discuss recent advancements in voice biometrics, the current strengths and limitations of the technology and how businesses, government organizations and others are implementing the technology to protect customer identities, financial transactions and more.
9th–13th March 2012