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Internet Week 2014: Cars, Manicures and Popcorn

Internet week began Mon. 5/19 with a welcome address by Bill de Blasio. Bill de Blasio stressed he would continue to make NY a technology hub with better tech education for High School students, various education initiatives sponsored by companies such as JP Morgan Chase and others. He hopes to build tech incubators in all 5 boroughs Brooklyn being the example, Queens to follow and then the other boroughs. He promised affordable broadband access to finally cover all areas including Harlem and old phone booths becoming WiFi hot spots with collaboration from Time Warner and Verizon. He also promised affordable housing of 1/2 million in 10 years.

Internet Week 2014 -slide0
Alina Braverman

All this sounds good but has been promised before some such as broadband access to Harlem for decades and 1/2 million of affordable housing in 10 years is very little for a city that is projected to grow to 8.7 million by 2020 and 9.1 million by 2030. Brooklyn's growth as a top tech borough was due to cheap office spaces and apartments which no longer exist as Brooklyn has become the most expensive borough for rent. I wish him luck in negotiating with Verizon and Time Warner and as far as whoever installs WiFi will probably bankrupt themselves in the process my source says, the oldest WiFi provider in NYC. The day continued with panels, exhibitors of cars and manicures with the room permeating of popcorn that was given away to attendees.

Two outstanding panels that day were:

What is Technology's Role in Growing Media?
Moving beyond traditional media, publishers have embraced the unavoidable world that is digital. In this engaging fireside chat, Hearst CTO Phil Wiser and Thomson Reuters’ Jennifer Saba will discuss the digital evolution of Hearst, how technology is changing their businesses, and how Hearst is leveraging new behaviors and emerging tool sets to change the products it offers. Phil Wiser, CTO, Hearst, Jennifer Saba, Correspondent, Thomson Reuters

Phil discussed the changes in media and how companies must adjust to create digital content for Google Glass and the like to stay relevant. Social data on native apps and entrepreneurial drive will make or break media companies according to Phil. Phil was a straight shooter that spoke without annoying buzzwords of content is king etc. and gave real digital solutions to real world business problems but that is because he is the CTO. Digital and social has come more under IT's domain which is a good thing in my opinion as it'll become more actionable and analytical, fitting into business architecture making it scaleable and manageable.

The Media Startup: What We Can Learn from the Early Days of Media
The news and entertainment industry is in a period of massive transition driven by social, mobile, and digital technology. Although these shifts feel chaotic and unpredictable, there are many historical precedents of new distribution technologies dramatically changing creative industries. This conversation will look at the early "golden era" of several industries including newspapers and magazines in the first decades of the 20th century; the Hollywood studio system in the 20s, 30s, and 40s; and the cable TV industry in the early 1980s. It is hard to remember that the massive media companies of today were once small, rapidly growing startups, that thrived because they forged a unique marriage between content and new distribution technologies. Jonah Peretti, Founder & CEO, BuzzFeed, Matylda Czarnecka, Director of Content, Internet Week

Jonah spoke about how content can coexist because there aren't any constraints on the Internet, yet. Traditional news outlets started as entertainment then moved to news and back, Jonah explained. He pointed out that explosions in distribution technologies ie mobile, tablets etc have created new start ups. Jonah's advice to start ups was find a new technology that most people are ignoring and make it work with your idea to become successful. A crowd gathered to listen to Jonah as his advice and knowledge drew people in from across the room.

All in all a great start for Internet Week. I will report on tomorrows events as today was just to nice to stay inside and my legs needed to run in the sunshine:)