Imagine an app that could cut saturated fat from your diet. Or one that could cure gingivitis. Well, while technology has had a big role in making us more sedentary, it also has the potential to make us better informed, healthier and even more fit. In fact, patients are banking on this potential, which is why the AppStore offers more than 7,000 health apps for iPhone users alone. In this 60-min SXSW talk, Ina Fried of Dow Jones' All Things Digital sits down with Aetna Chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini to discuss how people are navigating this new landscape by using technology, especially mobile tech, to manage their health and make better health decisions. Already there are apps for testing eyesight, tracking exercise and even helping diabetics manage their glucose levels. Vast online communities complement these mobile apps by letting patients share, inform, and support one another. But what's next? Technology also has the potential to reshape the doctor-patient relationship, transforming it from one characterized by irregular visits to treat illness to true doctor-patient partnerships focused on wellness. And what about online health care records we hear so much about? We used to have a better chance of seeing bigfoot, but today companies like Aetna are making mobile health records a reality. Is this is a privacy breach in the making or are their real benefits to having this info on the go? This session is sponsored by Aetna.
Vic Gundotra will participate in a fireside chat with Guy Kawasaki to discuss the Google+ project. Vic will share how the product has grown since the initial launch, some of the lessons learned and the challenges the Google+ team faced along the way.
Bing Gordon knows how to spread magic dust: Look anywhere from Amazon to Zynga. A master of disruption, he's blessed with 20/20 vision into all things gaming and social. Go beyond the buzzwords as the former Electronic Arts executive, legendary video game pioneer, investor in online social gaming company Zynga, and partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers sits down with Bloomberg BusinessWeek reporter Brad Stone to help us understand how both trends are changing the way people engage, behave and consume. Bing explores why gamification and socialization have moved into the mainstream - and into our bloodstream. He explains how these concepts and strategies are relevant to just about everyone, from entrepreneurs to marketing professionals to musicians and students. Bing also discusses how game and social design principles are used to heighten the "wow" quotient in products, services and change consumer experience.
The term "social media" is quickly becoming obsolete. The social graph is moving from our computers into the real world, and soon everything we experience will be overlaid with the thoughts and feelings of our friends. Early adopters are already starting to experience this phenomenon. For instance, foursquare alerts you when you're near places that your friends like, and provides you with suggestions from your friends on what to experience at those places. Other companies are attempting to create this type of engagement with television shows ("10 of your friends are watching!") and music. In this session, Dennis Crowley, Co-founder and CEO of foursquare, will have a conversation about how mobile technology is accelerating the social graph's move into the offline world, and how services like foursquare are taking this kind of augmented real-world exploration mainstream.
The internet was supposed to allow media outlets not only to display the talent of their writers -- but to capture the intelligence of the audience. Remember that rhetoric? We've abandoned it; the most that publishers can claim is that their comments are not quite as bad as the competition's. Trolls and spammers are not the problem. They can be dealt with by brute-force moderation. The real tragedy: the triumph of mediocrity. People with time on their hands drown out more valuable contributors. We've all designed discussion systems with the most avid commenters in mind. We've given them stars and moderating powers and allowed them to develop cliques and a sense of ownership that shades into entitlement. They are not the only readers. They are not even the smartest of our readers. If we're truly to capture the intelligence of the audience, we need to design for the most intelligent of the audience.
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?
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.
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.
9th–13th March 2012