Is Noise the New Signal, or is Signal the New Noise?

Moderated by:
Henry Copeland (Pressflex LLC)
Panelists:
Silona Bonewald (SLC), Jonah Peretti (Buzzfeed), Duncan Watts (Yahoo! Research)
Big Idea, Strategy & Business Models
Location: New York East
Average rating: ***..
(3.50, 6 ratings)

Every two days the global info glut balloons by 5 exabytes, an amount exceeding all the knowledge created from the dawn of humanity through 2003. And our personal contact lists now far exceed Dunbar’s number, the 148 people who, theoretically, can form a cohesive social unit. Can our brains remain afloat amid web 2.0’s deluge of data and faces? Will we manage to create new devices that function like the card catalog for Gutenberg’s age or the search engine for web 1.0? Or will mechanisms like trust-networks, whuffiebanks, version-trackers, badge shelves and tag clouds just add to the confusion?

Seeking a pattern amid the stampede of pattern-making, this panel features pioneers who are leading efforts to turn noise into signal, including:

  • Silona Bonewald is the creator of Citability, which aims to create a perma-linked, version-tracked history of every word of US legislation.
  • Jonah Peretti is CEO of Buzzfeed, a community devoted to identifying hot topics online.

Henry Copeland

Pressflex LLC

One of the first to champion social media advertising, Henry Copeland founded Blogads.com in 2002.

Today Copeland’s company represents over 3000 bloggers,including giants like PerezHilton and DailyKos, to advertisers. Blogads employs 35 people in Carrboro, NC and a programming subsidiary in Budapest, Hungary.

Copeland also spear-heading social media monitoring services like Twiangulate.com and Taghive.com.

Before becoming an entrepreneur in 1998, Copeland worked as a bond trader and journalist. Copeland graduated from Yale University in 1984 and lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Photo of Silona Bonewald

Silona Bonewald

SLC

silona.org says just about everything

Photo of Jonah Peretti

Jonah Peretti

Buzzfeed

Jonah Peretti is known for creating viral hits, tracking online social behavior, and building technology to amplify buzz. He is a co-founder of The Huffington Post and more recently created BuzzFeed, a viral network that currently has 150 million users with over 7 million unique visitors a month. He has been called a “viral marketing hotdog” by the New York Times, “the poster boy of guerilla media” by AlterNet, and a “computer-whiz” by The New Yorker. This past October, Fast Company Magazine named Jonah one of the New Faces of Social Media.

Peretti is a graduate of the MIT Media Lab and has taught at NYU and the Parsons School of Design. His work has been covered by Time, the Economist, Fortune, and Business Insider and he has appeared as a guest on the Today Show, Good Morning America, and CNN.

Jonah and his team at BuzzFeed have created various relationships with companies such as GE, Comedy Central, Absolut Vodka, and IFC. BuzzFeed users share at a higher rate than Facebook or Twitter, giving these companies a diverse audience of people to share their ideas with as well as gaining real-time data from BuzzFeed’s audience.

Photo of Duncan Watts

Duncan Watts

Yahoo! Research

Duncan Watts is a principal research scientist at Yahoo! Research, where he directs the Human Social Dynamics group. Prior to joining Yahoo!, he was a full professor of Sociology at Columbia University, where he taught from 2000-2007. He has also served on the external faculty of the Santa Fe Institute and Nuffield College, Oxford.

His research on social networks and collective dynamics has appeared in a wide range of journals, from Nature, Science, and Physical Review Letters to the American Journal of Sociology and Harvard Business Review. He is also the author of Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age (W.W. Norton, 2003) and Small Worlds: The Dynamics of Networks between Order and Randomness (Princeton University Press, 1999).

He holds a B.Sc. in Physics from the Australian Defence Force Academy, from which he also received his officer’s commission in the Royal Australian Navy, and a Ph.D. in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from Cornell University. He lives in New York City.

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