Futures Lab update #3: Events, social platforms, and news avatars

By Reuben Stern on April 1, 2013 0 Comments Ideas

In this week's video we show a few examples of how experiences that connect news organizations, audience members and online content are being re-imagined.

PART 1: Events as a business strategy

When GeekWire founders John Cook and Todd Bishop launched their tech industry news site two years ago, the business model depended on creating opportunities for their audience to interact with each other in the virtual and real worlds. We go to Seattle to see how that's working.

Upcoming events for GeekWire include a live taping of their radio broadcast, an award show for startups in the Pacific Northwest and meet-ups with entrepreneurs.

Brenda Spoonemore, the CEO of the startup Dwellable, has partipated in several GeekWire events. In this Futures Lab video interview, she talks about how GeekWire has managed to create community among entrepreneurs like herself.

GeekWire on Twitter:
@Geekwire
provides tweets about tech news with a particular emphasis on the Pacific Northwest region.
@JohnhCook: GeekWire co-founder John Cook tweets about startups and technology in the Pacific Northwest.
@Todd Bishop: GeekWire co-founder Todd Bishop tweets about GeekWire events, Microsoft and Amazon.

PART 2: Specialized social platforms

Emerging social sites can help reporters connect with specific audiences in the social space. One example is LockerDome, a fast-growing social media platform that connects fans, sports personalities and athletes all on one site.

Additional coverage:

LockerDome is ‘Facebook on steroids’ (Marketwatch)
LockerDome nets St. Louis Blues for first pro team network (St. Louis Business Journal)

LockerDome is just one of many social sports sites. For example, here’s a list of 9 Social Networks for Sports Fans (Mashable)

PART 3: Automated news avatars

A startup called Guide is creating an app that lets users select a digital avatar to read a personalized news report gleaned from text on the Web. Chief Operating Officer Leslie Bradshaw explains how it works and why people would use it.

Guide created a video showing how the app turns an entire print article into a narrated report. You can view this video and request beta access to Guide by visiting their website.

To watch the extended version of our interview with Guide’s Chief Operating Officer Leslie Bradshaw, click here.

You can follow Guide’s progress and get related information via Twitter:
@Guide: Updates about the app and news about social and smart TV.
@TMTYL: Freddie Laker, Guide’s CEO and founder, tweets about startups and technology.
@LeslieBradshaw: Leslie Bradshaw, Guide’s Chief Operating Officer, tweets about updates with Guide and women in the tech industry.

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