This is the archived SXSW 2012 schedule. Please see the current schedule here.

IRL: Improving Communities with Social Media

#sxsw #neighbor

A recent survey of 17,000 people found that 60% of Americans believe that neighbors are worse today than they were 15 years ago. What role does social media play in this perception of decline? We’ll have perspectives from State Farm, which commissioned the large scale survey across all 50 states; Kelly Weiss, Executive Director of Austin Habitat for Humanity; and Gretchen Rubin, an author whose research has focused on the question of how connectedness affects our happiness – including how ties with neighbors and communities have an impact on our overall wellbeing.



Gretchen Rubin Writer

Kelly Weiss Exec Dir Austin Habitat For Humanity

Kelly is the Executive Director of Austin Habitat for Humanity. A leader in the field of long-term affordable homeownership development, Kelly was a founding Board member of the National Community Land Trust Network and currently serves on the National Shared Equity Coalition. Prior to her position with Austin Habitat, Kelly served as the Sr. Vice President of PeopleFund, and she was the founding Executive Director of PeopleTrust. Kelly served as the Director of the City of Austin’s Housing Finance Corporation, a public non-profit housing finance corporation. Before her affordable housing career, she was in private law practice, and she began her career at Anderson Consulting. Kelly graduated with honors from Rice University in Houston, Texas with a B.A., and she received her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law.

Matthew Edwards Social Media Analyst State Farm

Shelly Brisbin Writer, Podcaster, Geek for Hire

Shelly Brisbin is a writer, editor, podcaster, and cocktail enthusiast. Her career in tech journalism spans 20+ years, 12 books, and several stints on the editorial staffs of leading trade publications and Web sites. As a freelancer, she has written hundreds of technology features,news articles, and product reviews. She served as editor-in-chief of Blogger & Podcaster Magazine, networking editor for MacUser Magazine, and online editor for Austin-based Powered, Inc. and two Hoover’s Web sites. Her podcasts include the award-winning Shelly’s Podcast, and App Store Pundit, an iPhone app review show. Her cocktail writing has appeared on her own blog, and at The Spirit World. She contributed essays to the book, Spencer Tracy: Fox Film Actor. When she’s not working, Shelly spends time with her husband and cats in Austin, Texas, watches ancient movies, and reads books. That’s right. I said books.

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