Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gabe Rivera and Steve Kovach Talk Techmeme, Content Curation

What do you get when you stick the founder of Techmeme (a site that uses an algorithm and human editors to bring readers the latest and greatest tech news) and the editor of Business Insider's SAI (Silicon Alley Insider) in a room together? An in-depth discussion on the role of skilled editors, technology, and the general public when it comes to collecting and disseminating tech and business news - a.k.a., content curation.

It all went down at Outbrain's HQ during a Content Conversations event cohosted by Contently (you can find more information about the Content Conversations Meetup group here). The goal? Find an answer to the question: Is curation an art or a science?

After a lively networking session, Steve Kovach (SAI) got right down to business grilling Gabe Rivera (Techmeme) about the topic. Although Gabe admitted that most of Techmeme's content gets pulled from RSS feeds or scraped from other sources (science), he made the surprising argument that he found it cheaper and more effective to have editors produce the final results by processing the data generated by his algorithm.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cyber Monday Video Game Goodness and More

So, I've got more than enough things to write about, but today I'm going to make a plug for some of my sites in honor of Cyber Monday.

Sure, it's a bit promotional - but maybe, just maybe, you'll find something you're looking for. And I'll be able to talk a bit about writing and niches while I'm at it :)

I create niche sites/articles on a platform called Squidoo that provide people with information they're looking for on the internet. For example, if someone wants to know what video game to get for a friend who owns a Kinect, I've got a list of the best Kinect games that will point them in exactly the right direction. Looking for handheld games instead? 10 Best PS Vita Games or Best 3DS Games might be more your style.

Monday, November 19, 2012

WalkaboutNYC: Campfire - Immersive Marketing Experiences

Welcome to Part Three of my personal WalkaboutNYC 2012 Startup Tour! To read more about why exactly startups in the city opened their doors on this day, check out my first post in this series: Walkabout NYC 2012 Recap: Startup-Hopping In the City.

I started out the day at OpenPlans (WalkaboutNYC: OpenPlans - Trip Planning At Its Best), and from there it was only a hop, skip, and a jump to the next stop on my list - Campfire.


First impressions are important, and after sliding yourself into the old-fashioned elevator, you can't help but wonder what this place has in store for you. But the well-appointed office with an open floor plan, an interesting wall full of clocks (just don't try and use them to tell time) and a well-stocked kitchen offering tantalizing snacks and drinks soon set me at ease.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Gawker's Erin Pettigrew Talks Native Advertising at NewsCred

Last Thursday brought yet another great event in the city, this time with the Content & Cocktails NYC Meetup group. The event was hosted at the NewsCred headquarters in the Flatiron District, and featured a short and meaty presentation on native advertising - a.k.a., paid posts, sponsored content, 'advertorials,' etc.

(And, yes, I know I need to get back to my Walkabout series, there's just so much to write about, and so little time!)

Back to Content & Cocktails... after a boisterous pre-presentation networking session, the co-founder and CEO of NewsCred - Shafqat Islam - sat down to discuss the evening's topic with Erin Pettigrew,  exectuive director of business development  for Gawker.

Approaching the topic of native advertising requires a delicate touch. For media companies that survive mainly off of ad revenue, and for brands that want to draw in potential clients, the idea of "presenting products in a way that people find more familiar and engaging than typical ads" is certainly an attractive prospect. However, as Erin put it, "it's editorially not cool" for brands to pay media outlets for exposure, without clear disclosure that the provided content is a paid collaboration between the publication and the sponsoring organization. Readers are very sensitive to being lied to or tricked, and it would be brand suicide (not to mention of dubious legality) for any company to squander the currency of earned trust in this way.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

WalkaboutNYC: OpenPlans - Trip Planning At Its Best

If you're just joining us, welcome! This is part two in my series about my recent participation in WalkaboutNYC, a free program during which startups in the city open their doors to the public in order to showcase their work, educate people about what makes startups tick, and build connections within the community.

For an introduction to Walkabout NYC, check out my first post: Walkabout NYC 2012 Recap: Startup-Hopping In the City

You get to choose one of several startups during each hour-long slot throughout the event, so I selected OpenPlans as my first destination.

The first thing you notice about OpenPlans is, understandably enough, the swift elevator ride that whisks you up to the gorgeous penthouse office overlooking a vast swath of lower Manhattan including Little Italy, Chinatown, and Tribeca. If you're lucky enough to check out the site, don't miss out on the rooftop garden, a secluded oasis which feels miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Walkabout NYC 2012 Recap: Startup-Hopping In the City

This year, I was lucky enough to hear about Walkabout NYC, a semi-annual startup-hopping event, just days before it took place.

What inspired me to sign up for an afternoon spent rushing around SoHo, Bowery, and the Flatiron District? Well, for starters, I love going to events in the city where I'm likely to run into cool and interesting people. And, as a freelancer writer, I'm basically running the "startup of me" - so it never hurts to get new ideas, especially when they're related to marketing, media, branding, or technology.

Walkabout NYC turned out to be a great opportunity to visit the beautiful Silicon Alley offices of OpenPlans, Campfire, Gin Lane Media, and Flightpath. At each location, my fellow Walkabouters and I were treated to insights into the company's products and services, customer base, and origins, along with some great views and tasty treats. The startups were forced to get creative with squeezing a lot of content into a small amount of time - within the space of the hour, participants had to arrive from their previous location, listen to a presentation, indulge in snacks, ask questions, and be off on their merry way to the next destination.