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Posts Tagged ‘Barry Diller’

It’s a Wrap: SXSW Closes Its Biggest Year Ever

SXSW wraps up this weekend, and it seems that 2011 will stand as the year that Interactive finally superseded Music. The conference felt bigger than ever, with major brands within view at every angle. PepsiCo filled a corner block with games, and CNN turned local restaurant Max’s Wine Dive into the CNN Grill. Pop-up food bars were placed throughout the convention center, making it the first year attendees could get real food inside the building as they ran between sessions, instead of living on Starbucks and Zone Bars alone (Zone Bars noticeably missing this year).

Several themes emerged from this year, marking a few turning points. Speakers mentioned both “evolution” and “revolution” and indeed, both apply when you ask “what’s next?”

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SXSWi Keynote Recap: Liz Miller Interviews Felicia Day

Felicia Day, an actress who developed her own web series to combat a World of Warcraft addiction, took the stage on Monday, March 14 to talk about how she harnessed social media to build a fanbase, and ultimately, as media business. Her show, The Guild, now in its 5th season, has received over 100 million views since its inception in 2007. How did she do it? Crowdsourcing, for one – the first two episodes were independently funded, and the remaining ten were funded through audience donations on PayPal – and, staying true to the niche audience of gamers.

When asked about how she conceived the idea, Day replied,”Well, they say write about what you know.” She went on to say,  “Every website is like a channel and the internet works best for niche content, as opposed to network television which has to have broader appeal.”

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Barry Diller Takes On Big Media, Net Neutrality at SXSW

Barry Diller, the chairman of IAC, took the stage today with Poppy Harlow from CNN to talk about the future of media. For a man who is no less than a media icon, his perspective is unexpectedly entrepreneurial.

Harlow began the session by asking him about what he’s interested in, and what he would buy now. His response was that everything is too expensive to buy, but what he’s interested in is starting businesses, developing ideas, and growing organically. He doesn’t believe in chasing crowds – counterintuitive in many ways, to the crowd at SXSW.

The Daily Beast, for example, was started by IAC to “bring journalistic process to the rhythm of the internet.”  The recent merger with Newsweek will allow for longer editorial pieces, something he believes still matters. “It’s an experiment,”  he said. “I don’t know if it’s going to work, we’ll see in 6-8 months.”

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