SXSW Preview Day 2: A Case for Industry Evolution

Every year, SXSW Interactive (aka Geek Spring Break) gets a little bigger than the year before. To make things easier, we’ve combed the list of panels, looking for the best opportunities for affiliates and marketers. Each day this week, we’ll highlight a different day of panels at SXSW and provide an overview of the content.

Cultural Advertising

The top picks for Saturday, March 10, cover a wide range of topics from analytics to the current state of journalism. To keep things simple, I’ll begin with the earliest panel of the day (starts at 9:30 a.m), Multi y Mono: A Cultural Advertising Battle.

Unless you haven’t read a news story in a few years, you‘ll know that ethnic minorities are fast becoming a huge chunk of the consumer economy. To that point, this panel will explore the potential for minority-owned agencies and minority marketers to take the lead in advertising. Listed panelists include Carl Settles (Media Communications Council), Kelli Coleman (GlobalHue), Leslie Wingo (Sanders\Wingo), and Sergio Alcocer (LatinWorks).

It’s worth noting that the panel description states that Steve Stoute (The Tanning of America), who has been a force behind this topic, will also participate on the panel, however, he isn’t listed as an official presenter. You can expect this panel to deliver on their goal of outlining a vision for minority media makers in the 21st century.

Journalism Learns to Evolve

In the debate about what will help journalism survive, an often-raised option includes making journalistic efforts nonprofit. Organizations like ProPublica make a strong case for this model. However, in the session Philanthropy Is Not the Future of Journalism at 11 a.m., presenters Janet Coats (Coats2Coats) and Nicole Hollway (St. Louis Beacon) will explore the limits of relying on philanthropy alone and other, mission-supported revenue streams to support, non-profit journalistic efforts.

This panel also seems to touch on comments that Jeff Jarvis recently made about profitable journalism:

One of the most controversial things I have said (you’re welcome for that straight line) is that I insist my entrepreneurial journalism students at CUNY build only for-profit businesses…I’m not against not-for-profit, charitably supported journalism any more than I’m against pay walls. I, too, crunch granola (and sell books). But I do not believe that begging for money from foundations, the public, or especially government is the solution to journalism’s problems.

Despite our ability to publish at will now, this is an ongoing discussion that deserves attention. It will be interesting to hear the perspectives from someone actually practicing what she advocates.

The Numbers Matter

The speed and volume of created content makes analytics a huge tool for editors trying to fine-tune their delivery. At 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Rise of Analytics: Impacting the Editorial Process? will address this very issue with the goal of better understanding user behavior. Panelists Chris Reynolds (CondeNast Ideactive) and Jacob Young (Wired Magazine) we’ll get a sense of how user behavior should guide editor behavior in the delivery of media, both online and offline.

The presentation aligns with the recent news about Target’s ability to “predict” pregnancy in its customers based on behavior analytics. So while it’s definitely valuable to understand user behavior across platforms, hopefully Reynolds and Young will address some of the grey areas in its use.

The Internet Can Move When It Wants To

Just a few weeks ago, we watched what happens when the online community decides to make its voice heard. So given all the coverage of SOPA it’s no surprise that two panels connected to the topic have appeared on the schedule:

The first panel will dissect the chain of events leading up to the blackout, including how news coverage in general helped (or hurt) the public’s understanding of the legislation. The presenters include Brian Stelter (The New York Times), Jake Bialer (The Huffington Post), Kim Hart (Politico), and Stacey Higginbotham (GigaOm). I’ll be curious to hear their take on how SOPA-like legislation impacts coverage. For instance, many of the big networks are owned by companies that came out in support of SOPA. So how does that trickle down to the news coverage of opponents?

The second panel asks a big question of the online community as a whole. In the context of the SOPA/PIPA movement, how can we support similar advocacy efforts in the future? Presenter Mike McGeary (Hattery Labs) will highlight the efforts of a new group he co-founded in San Francisco, Engine Advocacy, that works to help startups engage with government and add their voice to the conversation. As we learned with SOPA/PIPA, legislation can be in the works for a long time, and we need to stay involved to have an impact on the outcome.

Tomorrow I’ll highlight the top panels for SXSW Interactive on Sunday, March 13. If you missed it, here’s SXSW Preview Day 1: Hitting the Ground Running.

Photo credit: Nan Palmero

About Britt Raybould

Britt Raybould has a passion for telling stories and she specializes in helping companies figure out how to tell their own stories. Through her firm, Write Bold, she shows companies how storytelling can define them, both to their customers and within their industry. When she remembers to, Britt blogs on her personal sites at and You can find Britt on Twitter @britter.

Twitter: britter

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