Baratunde Thurstonisms at SXSW Keynote

P13

You can almost measure the freedom of a society by its tolerance of satirists.

The code writer and the screenwriter have to work together.

There is room and need for artful ridicule and cultivated wit.

SXSW Keynote Speaker, Baratunde Thurston is a politically-active, technology-loving comedian from the future. He is also the author of How To Be Black and Director of Digital for at The Onion.

Baratunde Thurstonisms at SXSW

20120311-064002.jpg

You can almost measure the freedom of a society by its tolerance of satirists.

The code writer and the screenwriter have to work together.

There is room and need for artful ridicule and cultivated wit.

SXSW Keynote Speaker, Baratunde Thurston is a politically-active, technology-loving comedian from the future. He is also the author of How To Be Black and Director of Digital for at The Onion.

Dealing with Diversity and Tech… or the lack thereof

20120310-075335.jpg

There is no shortage of conversations surrounding Blacks In Tech at SXSW 2012. Day one kicked off with the panel Blacks in Silicone Valley: The Aftermath.

In CNN’s fourth installment of their “Black In America” series, CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien explored “The New Promised Land, Silicon Valley.”

Over the course of nine weeks, O’Brien followed a technology-focused accelerator program designed to help eight African-American digital entrepreneurs, who share a three-bedroom house in Mountain View, Calif., in an effort to secure funding to establish their businesses.

At SXSW, O’Brien brought together a handful of those digital entrepreneurs to talk about the aftermath of the show. The biggest takeaway? While Blacks in tech have come a long way, there is still a long way to go! How do we get past the diversity bias? We have to work together and become leaders.

Strategies for Your Business from What’s Next DC

You know how you go to a conference, rush from panel to panel, wish you could talk to the presenter one-on-one, and then have wave at someone across the room you really want to talk to but can’t approach because the room is too crowded?  Well, What’s Next DC is not one of those conferences.

What’s Next DC, a one-day marketing and communications conference that focusses on the latest and greatest innovations and trends we should focus our efforts on, is more about networking and strategizing than stale lectures.  We were treated to a series of presentations, small group breakout sessions, niche talks and one-on-one time with the presenters.  

I got a chance to chat with four What’s Next presenters who shared advice on what companies would keep in mind when thinking about “social”.

  • BBonin Bough, Senior Global Director of Digital and Social Media, Pepsico
  • Tim Mahlman, Chief Revenue Officer, Klout
  • Katharine Zaleski, Executive Producer and Head of Digital News Products, Washington Post
  • Sabrina Caluori, Vice President of Social Media and Performance Marketing, HBO

 

Special thanks to Vanessa French, President, Pivot Point Communications, for inviting me to cover the conference.  Also, thanks to What’s Next DC host, Tod Plotkin, who spoke to me about his impression of this year’s What’s Next DC.