The promise of social communities on legacy media websites seemed bright at first. Ideally, communities on media websites inform journalists, have reasoned debate on issues, and add to the value of content on media websites. Or at least that's what was supposed to happen. Most legacy media companies have comments and communities, and many are let's just say less than accommodating to reasoned debate. We all know what I mean by that. How did this happen? Is it fixable? Should it be fixed? What are others doing to combat these problems? How does this conflict with first amendment values? On the other hand, many website communities exist without these problems. How did they manage to come into being? How do they stay civil? How do they continue to actually live up to the promise of informing journalism, having reasoned debate, and adding to content value? This panel will explore methods sites use to deal with nutjobs as well as how to encourage and reward productive members in the community.
As the proprietor and editor-in-chief of Fark.com, Drew Curtis is in a very unique position where digital media is concerned. For the past 12 years, he has watched as media evolved from an industry who eschewed and dismissed the digital realm to an industry very much aware that their survival depends on it.
With over 2000 news items a day submitted by a pool of three million users, there's very little that happens in the world that doesn't pass across Drew's desk, all thanks to the advances in digital media. And yet, without traditional journalism, there would be nothing to report. Fark represents a new piece of the media consumption equation curation.
Drew Curtis runs Fark.com in Kentucky and owns 100% of the company. He has appeared on every major news outlet dozens of times (each), and has done over 1,000 radio interviews to date. Fark.com is heavily watched by media outlets for story ideas, and as a result many of the eye-catching news stories of the week originate from there. Adding Drew to a panel discussion brings a wealth of knowledge of whats currently trending on the Internet and why. And hes damn funny.
Previous speaking engagements include South By Southwest (2009, 2010, and likely 2011), multiple Poynter Institute symposiums, and Web 2.0 and social media conferences. He also participates in and wins slide-roulette competitions, where speakers are asked to improvise a coherent speech on the spot that matches up with random overhead slides they havent seen before.
Kelly McBride is a professional smartypants. At Poynter she teaches ethics, writing and editing to both professional and non-traditional journalists. She is widely quoted as a journalism expert. She leads Poynter's Sense-Making Project, an initiative funded by the Ford Foundation and designed to identify and influence the best practices in entrepreneurial journalism.
Tucker Max's first book, I HOPE THEY SERVE BEER IN HELL, is a #1 NY Times Best Seller and has spent over 150 weeks on that list over five calendar years. There are currently over 1.5 million copies sold. Max co-wrote and produced the movie based on his book, also titled "I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell." He has been credited as the originator and leader of the literary genre, "fratire," and was nominated to Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential List in 2009.
Tucker Max received his BA with highest honors from the University of Chicago in 1998. He attended Duke Law School on an academic scholarship, where he graduated with a JD in 2001 (despite the fact that he neglected to buy any of his textbooks for his final two years and spent part of one semester-while still enrolled in classes-living in Cancun). He currently lives in Austin, Texas, and can be reached through his website, TuckerMax.com.
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