Content and Coding Are Not Commodities

A session at SXSW Interactive 2012

Sunday 11th March, 2012

5:00pm to 6:00pm (CST)

Geeks see code as art and content as stuff. Journalists see code as stuff and content as the art. Geeks may say "provide me content" while journalists are like "build this site." With that kind of attitudes, it's hard to get buy-in from the other side. What coders and journalists should understand: they have more in common than not. Both sides are motivated by their craft and a desire to feel that an audience is experiencing their work, whether though prose or programming. They want to work with smart people on interesting problems. Coders and writers are not interchangeable. Great talent can be an order of magnitude more effective than mediocre talent.Though discussions of case studies from The Washington Post, New York Times, Huffington Post and the federal government, this panel will explain from both the journalists' and the programmers' perspectives how to speak a language they will understand.

About the speakers

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Andrei Scheinkman

Interactive News Editor, The Huffington Post

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Benjamin Balter


Ben Balter is a J.D./M.B.A. candidate at the George Washington University, a new media fanatic passionate about the power of digital communications, and an information junkie who loves learning new things. Ben’s currently part of the E-Government and Federal IT Team in the Executive Office of the President, and before that served on the SoftWare Automation and Technology (SWAT) Team, the White House’s first and only agile development team, and as a New Media Fellow, in the Federal Communications Commission’s Office of the Managing Director. This past spring, he received a stipend from Google to develop a government- and enterprise-friendly, open source document management and version control system for WordPress, the content management system that powers more than a quarter of new websites, and most recently, his paper, Towards a More Agile Government was published in the Public Contract Law Journal, arguing that Federal IT Procurement should be more amenable to modern, agile development methods. An aspiring attorney, a coder, and an all around geek, Ben’s background bridges three distinct disciplines: a formal legal education and commitment to advocating on behalf of others, a deep-seeded understanding of the intricacies of today’s business decisions, and a life-long passion for technology‘s ability to shape how we interact with one another. When not working or in class, he enjoys tackling otherwise-impossible challenges to sharing information using nothing more than duct tape and occasionally a pack of bubblegum. After graduation, Ben hopes to find an avenue to explore his dual passion for law and technology in the nation’s capital.

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Raju Narisetti

Managing Editor, The Wall Street Journal Digital Network/Deputy Managing Editor, The Wall Street Journal, The Wall Street Journa


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Jennifer 8. Lee



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29 attendees

  • Andy Pressman
  • Aparna Mukherjee
  • Andrei Scheinkman
  • Ben Balter
  • Coen
  • Cristiano Dias
  • Barbara Iverson
  • David Wright
  • EJ Lawless
  • Emily Sandison
  • Michael Paull
  • Jeff Beckham
  • Jennifer 8. Lee
  • joyce rutter kaye
  • kickme444
  • mike kuzin
  • Andrew Leimdorfer
  • Matthew Levine
  • Andrew Huff
  • Raju Narisetti
  • RamaaMultimedia
  • Rohan Jayasekera
  • Steve Lightfoot
  • Tall Tom
  • Tasneem Raja
  • Ken Burke
  • toft
  • Tyson Evans

16 trackers

  • Alan Botvinick
  • Beau
  • Carson McDonald
  • Chip Brantley
  • Cindi Ramm
  • D Nemec
  • Rick Mason
  • Gail Doggett
  • Robyn Flach
  • Mercedes Gray
  • Steve Myers
  • Sandra Marshall
  • Tantek Çelik
  • Tom Lee
  • Todd Budnikas
  • Mikael Zackrisson

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Time 5:00pm6:00pm CST

Date Sun 11th March 2012

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