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SXSWi 2010

SXSWi in Quotes

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[Gym Class Heroes and Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz at the Ustream Party. Courtesy Nick McGlynn for mediabistro.com/RandomNightOut.com]

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We’re still digging through our notes from SXSW Interactive and wanted to present some of our favorite quotes from the event:

“Institutions fight to keep problems that serve their solution.” –Clay Shirky, Consultant/Author/Teacher

“Social media scares the sh*t out of everybody, because they’re not sure what to do with it.” –Brian Solis, Author/PR Agency Owner

“We’re like eight years into this experiment.” –Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley on the location-based craze.

“PR is not going to fix your customer service department.” –Frank Elasion, Senior Director, Comcast National Customer Service

“Last year was about listening, this year is about action.” –Erin Korogodsky, Senior Account Manager, Scout Labs

“Criticism of the mainstream media is misconstrued.” –Markos Moulitsas, Founder, Daily Kos

“I can’t see a future where CNN is solely the middle man.” –Lila King, Senior Producer for Interactive Storytelling and User Participation at CNN.com

“[Gawker Publisher] Nick Denton won’t keep a guy in Mexico when it’s physically dangerous to be there.” –David Carr, The New York Times

“I’ve had enough of agency life.” –Michael O’Connor Clarke, VP Marketing Communications, Freshbooks

“We have such a value on immediacy.” –Randi Zuckerberg, Marketing Director, Facebook

“I would hope the link economy would reward investigative journalism.” –Pete Cashmore, Founder, Mashable

“The Huffington Post and Google News are siphoning off ad revenue from every newspaper in the world.” –Bob Garfield, NPR Correspondent/Author

“[Online publishers] make money the more often we click. They have an economic incentive to keep us distracted.” –Nicholas Carr, Author

“I’ll be the first to admit to being a bit green as an interviewer, and entirely new to SXSW.” –Umair Haque in his first blog post since his widely criticized interview of Twitter CEO Evan Williams.

“What’s popular isn’t always what’s good.” –Pete Cashmore, Founder, Mashable

“This is the Davos of digital.” –B. Bonin Bough, Director of Digital and Social Media at PepsiCo

“If you think the internet is going to replace cable, you’re crazy.” –Mark Cuban, HDNet

“Hey, is that Ashton Kutcher?” –Everyone at every party

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Interview: Rick Murray and David Armano, Edelman Digital

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While at the South by Southwest conference earlier this week, PRNewser had the chance to check in with Rick Murray, president of Edelman Digital, and David Armano, a recently hired SVP at the agency.

We talked a bit about what specifically brands are looking for in Q1 2010 when it comes to social media services and strategy, what the competitive set looks like for an agency like Edelman Digital, and how they hope to have an agency website that people actually read, with the launch of their new site.

Interview: Jennifer Martin, Senior PR Director for New Media and Digital Networks, CNN

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“We’re really trying to look at where people are going, where are they gathering, and where is their community. Where are they having those conversations that are relevant to the news that we’re actually reporting on,” said CNN’s Jennifer Martin, when we asked her how the company decides which social sites and platforms to devote time and resources to.

Martin also commented on CNN president Jon Klein‘s recent comments that he is more concerned with social sites like Facebook than he is with rival cable networks, in terms of CNN’s competitive set.

Also, Martin was happy to point out at least one study that named CNN the number three “most social” brand.

CNN, MTV, Mashable and Facebook Discuss How Crowdsourcing Is Affecting Reporting

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“The way CNN reports a story today is fundamentally different than the way CNN would do it four years ago, before iReport, and before you could actually include the voice of the audience, and represent them back in the story,” said CNN’s Lila King.

That being said, King acknowledged, “I think we have a long way to go, for sure. I don’t want to sit here and pretend that it’s all figured out, but I think we’re heading in that direction.”

The comments came on a panel titled, “CrowdControl: Changing The Face Of Media Or Hype?” moderated by Text 100′s Joe Kingsbury and also featuring Mashable founder Pete Cashmore, Facebook’s Randi Zuckerberg, and MTV’s Jason Rzepka.

Cashmore said “curation is being underrated. It’s really important to make sense of raw materials,” when we asked him about just how much “true reporting” is taking place by crowd-sourced methods. For example, when US Airways Flight 1549 famously landed in the Hudson River last January, the initial image of the event came from Twitter, but almost all of the subsequent news reporting came from “traditional” sources.

MTV’s Rzepka said that MTV has “kind of been in the citizen journalism game since the beginning,’ and mentioned programs like their get out the vote effort “Choose or Loose.”

Cashmore acknowledged that news brands are still extremely important. “You see something on CNN, it’s a trusted brand. You see something trending on Twitter, it’s less trustworthy,” he said.

Facebook’s Zuckerberg said she sees crowdsourcing in two ways: ideation and distribution. She gave the example of actress Betty White being asked to host Saturday Night Live due almost completely to efforts on Facebook. Getting her on the show is “ideation,” while the “distribution” is people reacting to the decision and the show online.

PepsiCo Digital Director To SXSW Detractors: ‘People Just Don’t Understand The Event’

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This year’s South By Southwest Interactive conference has revealed a much larger attending audience, and much more brand participation. While many attendees have told PRNewser that the festival is “what you make of it,” there are still some vocal detractors who label it as nothing more than a Spring break-like booze fest for digital types.

We asked B. Bonin Bough, Director of Digital and Social Media at PepsiCo, what his take is on all of this. “People just don’t understand the event,” he said.

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“This is the Davos of digital…the reason why we’re here is this is the center of new thinking in this space.”

PepsiCo has 52 employees at SXSW, he said, and the company has launched a “SXSW Edition” of their Pepsi Refresh Campaign, which will dole out $20 million over the course of the year, to “bring digital pro social ideas to life.” The SXSW Interactive edition will award $50,000. (See our previous coverage of the Refresh campaign.)

The company is also a “super sponsor” of the event, said Tammy Lynn Gilmore of SXSW Interactive Press and Publicity.

“At the end of the day it’s about delivering real social impact” said Bough. “We’re plugging people into the Refresh network.”

Owyang: ‘You Can Never Hire Enough Community Managers’

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That is a soundbite mediabistro.com community manager Seamus Condron may enjoy. It comes from Altimeter Group Partner, Customer Strategy Jeremiah Owyang.

Owyang told a packed crowd at the South by Southwest conference today that “social media doesn’t scale” and that the way to make it scale is to integrate social into customer relationship management, or CRM software, such as Salesforce.com.

Altimeter Group consults to long list of PR and marketing firms.

“You’ll never be able to respond fast enough,” said Owyang, in regards to people who like to “scream” their complaints on Twitter. Also worth noting: Altimeter recently released a free research report titled, “Social CRM: The New Rules of Relationship Management.”