Five Ideas Journalists Should Think About
This spring’s South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival in Austin brought together thousands of the world’s most innovative digital creatives for five days of panel programming, brainstorming, networking and fun. Here are five of the ideas that I heard at this year’s event that every journalist should be thinking about:
The cable TV industry is the next to fall. The Internet devours slow-moving bureaucracies. What is the next giant to fall? It could be the traditional cable television industry, which is currently facing severe challenges from Aereo, the start-up that Barry Diller unveiled at SXSW 2012.
The start-up economy can save America. Tech entrepreneurs are among the fastest-growing elements of SXSW Interactive. And why not? The barriers to entering the start-up world are lower than ever before. Moreover, while America’s GNP remains sluggish, the start-up economy is robust and full of energy.
Social discovery isn’t ready for prime time yet. Who needs small talk? In the future, your smart phone will be much better equipped to automatically tell you the interests of the people around you. This concept of social discovery had lots of hype going into SXSW 2012. But coming out of the event, we know that this technology is still a few years away from the mainstream.
User experience is king. Move over content, because the time has come for you to share your throne. For the technorati who attend SXSW, the bottom line is the bottom line. Make your product or service as simple, easy-to-use and intuitive as possible and you always will have an audience.
Creative thinking still matters. Thanks to companies like Narrative Science, computers can now write entire news stories. Good for them. The success of SXSW (and other events like it) prove that human-powered creative thinking is still the world’s most important commodity.
Hugh Forrest is Director of the SXSW Interactive Festival. He was a member of Poynter’s 1984 College Fellowship class.
• President’s Corner by Karen B. Dunlap
• Why Our Work Still Matters by Connie Schultz