Social Media and Pop Culture Consciousness: Keynote with Andrew Jarecki of HBO’s “The Jinx”

The shocking finale of HBO’s The Jinx unleashed a tidal wave of reactions, controversy, and spoiler-alert headlines. But, how much did the chorus of Tweets, blog posts and Facebook updates play a role in that collective gasp?

The Jinx Director, Andrew Jarecki, will discuss social media’s role in how fans experienced it before, during and after the now-infamous hot mic scene, as well as unveil never-before-seen footage from the show.

Register your pass for SMW New York, and come hear Andrew’s keynote, “Keynote: How Social Media Manifests our Pop Culture Consciousness, Featuring The Jinx Director Andrew Jarecki” on Friday, February 26th at 1:30pm at The TimesCenter

Image Credit: Esquire

Spotify’s Maureen Traynor Will Discuss Millennials, Music, and Social Sharing at #SMWNYC

You’ve all seen someone recording an entire concert on their phone instead of watching it. Sure, the video looks great and received likes from friends, but is it worth the distraction?

Social media has an overarching role in almost every experience Millennials have, and according to a recent study, 70% of Millennials feel that social media enhances the live music experience. In fact, most Gen-Y and Gen-Z individuals prefer music content in their Facebook newsfeed to show their knowledge and interests to friends.

Make sure you register for SMW New York, and hear from Spotify’s Sr. Director of Partner Solutions, Maureen Traynor, who will discuss the role of social media in the music industry. She’ll explore what the Spotify team has learned from billions of songs shared on Facebook and across social media, as well as why Millennials and younger generations view music as an integral part of their online activity.

Maureen’s session, “How Social Has Rocked The Live Music Experience” will take place on Wednesday, February 24 at 4:30PM at The TimesCenter (FWD Stage).

GIFs are the Gifts That Keep on Giving: Hear from Giphy’s COO at #SMWNYC

GIFs (yes, it’s a hard “G” sound) are the new soundbites, quick one liners, exclamation points, reactions and punch-lines all rolled into one endless loop. It has become a new language for creators, artists, marketers and audiences everywhere. It’s the newest of mediums and has firmly taken root in the lexicon of modern communication.

Marketers have been quick to embrace the GIF and in recent weeks and months we have seen some exceptional examples of how this new medium can be harnessed to engage fans, customers and audiences in stunningly new and interesting ways.

Register for SMW New York today, get ready to hear from Giphy, the world’s first and largest search engine for GIFs allows people across the world to access their visual and cultural search engine that makes texting and communicating online more fun than ever before.

Giphy’s COO, Adam Leibsohn will join us for a chat with Toby Daniels, Founder and Executive Director of Social Media Week on Friday, February 26 at 10:00AM at the SVA Theatre (EDU Stage). They’ll chart the meteoric rise of the GIF, and how advertising is shaped around this new storytelling format.

StubHub’s CMO, Jennifer Betka, Joins #SMWNYC To Discuss If Live Events Belong In Our Newsfeed

You’re at a concert, sporting event, or performance, and it feels like the entire time you notice people around you experiencing the event completely through their mobile device. It’s the great debate of using an iPhone vs. a lighter at your favorite concert. Is one better than the other? Are both acceptable?

At SMW New York, StubHub’s CMO, Jennifer Betka, will discuss these questions and themes alongside leaders from Music and Entertainment Momentum Worldwide, AEG Global Partnerships, and Atlantic Records. The session, “How Social Has Rocked the Live Music Experience” takes place Wednesday, February 24th at 4:30pm on the FWD Stage at The TimesCenter.

According to a recent study, 70% of Millennials feel that social media improves the live music experience. The majority of Millennials will take part in sharing music moments on social media while at a live event. In fact, most Facebook users prefer their newsfeed to show their friends at live events and experiences over anything else. Join us to hear and learn about which aspects of social are actually making music experiences better, and debate when social and brands belong and when it doesn’t.

★ Register today by purchasing your pass ★

About Jennifer Betka

Jennifer Betka is the CMO at StubHub, where she oversees the global marketing team’s efforts around StubHub’s commitment to deliver a more personalized experience to users, and ultimately, moves beyond being purely a transactional company into a more end-to-end platform.

Prior to StubHub, Jennifer oversaw marketing strategy at Wikia, a top-20 global site convening authoritative communities of fans across entertainment and pop culture topics. The site grew from 43M global uniques in 2011 to its current scale, thriving at over 140M global users.

Before Wikia, Jennifer held strategic marketing and management roles within major media companies including The LA Times where she helped to revitalize the brand with a multi-media rebrand to support a freshly integrated newsroom, Sirius Satellite Radio where she developed and launched Sirius Internet Radio and spearheaded the debut of mega talent Howard Stern on paid radio, and Time Warner where she was a founding member of the Global Marketing Solutions team that developed integrated programs across media platforms for Time Inc., Turner Broadcasting, New Line Cinema and AOL. (via BusinessWire)

View The Initial Program Of Events for SMW New York

Social Media Week New York, now in it’s 8th year, brings together thousands of professionals in marketing, media and technology. We’re excited to announce the initial schedule and speaker lineup for SMW New York, which takes place this February 22-26.

Join us across our two official venues, and hear from organizations such as Ogilvy, Starcom MediaVest, MRY, Forbes, Mashable, MTV, The Economist, GE, Pinterest, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Spotify and many more!

Register for SMW New York

If you’d like to hear from these speakers, and join the thousands of attendees that come to Social Media Week in New York each year, register today by purchasing your pass. You can also save 20% until January 14th!

Dan Harmon of “Community” Will Join NBCUniversal’s Evan Shapiro at #SMWNYC to Discuss Comedy and The Cultural Zeitgeist

The world is at an inflection point, similar to broadcast television’s boom in the 70s and 80s. Today, this boom is evident in content production across various platforms. How is this booming genre affecting the cultural zeitgeist? Does comedy flourish when reality is dark?

Join NBCUniversal’s EVP of Digital Enterprises, Evan Shapiro, as he reveals the strategic approach to the current media landscape with Seeso, NBCUniversal’s new steaming comedy channel. Joining him on stage will be Dan Harmon, Creator and Executive Producer of “Community”, “Rick and Morty” and “HarmonQuest.”

On Tuesday, February 23 at 1:30pm, the digital and entertainment duo will present their keynote, “Comedy: A Love Story with Evan Shapiro and Dan Harmon” at SMW New York.

★ Register today by purchasing your pass ★

About Evan Shapiro

“Evan Shapiro is EVP, Digital Enterprises at NBCUniversal. He works on the strategic development of digital opportunities to reach emerging audiences, including alternative platforms and direct to consumer distribution models.

Shapiro joined NBCUniversal in 2014, and previously was President of Participant Media’s Pivot, which launched in 2013, and grew to reach 44+ million subscribers under Shapiro’s lead. Prior to Pivot, Shapiro served as President of IFC TV and Sundance Channel, where he steered both networks to new business and programming models that garnered each network their first Primetime Emmy nominations, as well as a Golden Globe Award win for Sundance Channel.

He has also executive produced numerous acclaimed original documentaries and series, including This Film Is Not Yet Rated, Brick City, HitRecord On TV, and the hit series Portlandia.” (via Variety)

About Dan Harmon

“Dan Harmon is best known for creating and producing NBC comedy series Community, co-creating Adult Swim’s animated television series Rick and Morty, and co-founding the alternative television network/website Channel 101. He also hosts a weekly eponymous podcast, Harmontown.

In July 2009, Harmon was nominated in two Emmy categories for his part in writing the Oscar telecast: Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special and Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics, the latter of which he was awarded for “Hugh Jackman Opening Number” at the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards.” (via Wikipedia)

View The Initial Program Of Events for SMW New York

Social Media Week New York, now in it’s 8th year, brings together thousands of professionals in marketing, media and technology. We’re excited to announce the initial schedule and speaker lineup for SMW New York, which takes place this February 22-26.

Join us across our two official venues, and hear from organizations such as Ogilvy, Starcom MediaVest, MRY, Forbes, Mashable, MTV, The Economist, GE, Pinterest, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Spotify and many more!

Register for SMW New York

If you’d like to hear from these speakers, and join the thousands of attendees that come to Social Media Week in New York each year, register today by purchasing your pass. You can also save 20% until January 14th!

Image Credit: The LA Times

Genius Parking Maneuver Or Scumbag Move? The Internet Can’t Decide

Parking in New York is a never-ending challenge. We recoil and scoff at the phrase “just park in a garage” as if a friend visiting for the weekend suggests meeting up at Penn Station. Well, New Yorkers will do just about whatever it takes for a prime parking spot, and we may have found the King and Queen.

A vigilant driver in Queens turned on his dashboard camera to record the parking heist of the century. What happened? The driver explains all:

“I get to work early and wait about 30 minutes for a spot. A red Nissan pulls in front of me and in the most obnoxious way blocks me from moving forward. What happens next shocked me. The guy guides the red Nissan all the way to my car. I am out of options at this point so I just watch what his plan will be. The other car drives onto the sidewalk and goes perpendicular to the road. The rest is history.”

As you can see, it’s quite the move. But, the Internet, especially this Reddit thread, has mixed feelings. Does the heist deserve praise in this dog-eat-dog world? Are these wrongdoing scallawags the jerks of 2015? It is New York after all. Well, either way, at least this parking scandal had a clear winner, unlike other instances where two cars just refuse give up…

All Aboard New York’s Nostalgia Train

Riding the Nostalgia Train sounds like something you do when you’re lost in reverie and memory, pining for what used to be. If that’s what it is, then many New Yorkers are casting backwards through time on Sundays this month, riding antique subway cars along the M Line, from Second Avenue to Queens Plaza and back again.

The people on the Nostalgia Train are a different breed.

Some come dressed in period costume, Depression-era hats and coats, shoes and neckties, dark lipstick shades of another epoch. These otherworldly anachronisms dance on the station platform to the music of a little swing band, the slick-haired singer crooning “Night and Day.”

Others come in MTA paraphernalia, railfans dressed in t-shirts and knit winter caps proclaiming their favorite subway line. The F and the 6 are tops. One young man sits grinning, running through a near constant patter of conductor announcements. He’s got the script down and compulsively, giddily recites its length and breadth. “This is Broadway-Lafayette,” he calls out. “Transfer is available for the 6 train. Stand clear of the closing doors.” Another young man, wearing an Amtrak t-shirt, holds his iPhone by the open door between the cars, audio recording the clickety-clack in the dark tunnel’s roar.

Haloed by warm incandescent light bulbs, an older man stands and pontificates on the state of today’s New York, city of yuppies, cell phones, and drunk Santas: “Is this the city you and I were raised in? It’s become alien. I have no feeling for it anymore. It’s scary!”

But no one listens. They’d rather pretend it’s the past.

Retired motormen trade stories. Clasp hands. Greet each other warmly, saying, “Hey, I ain’t seen your ugly mug for a hundred years.”

Among the fanatics and nostalgics, other New Yorkers climb aboard, acting like the everyday subway riders they are–tired, bored, going to work, coming home from a long day already. They’ve got no time for reminiscence.

The Nostalgia Train doesn’t sound or feel or smell like today’s bright and whispery subway cars. Heavy in its bones, it broadcasts a loud symphony of sound, rattling and wheezing through the underworld. Inside, ceiling fans whiz overhead. The air is olive drab or else some shade of sea foam.

Open windows let in the smells of the tunnel, which shift from swampy organics to a fragrance you’d swear was burnt buttered toast.

Soot flies in and lands in your eye. In these old cars, you are not sheltered from the city. You are joined to it.

There is no stillness here. The rattan benches bounce your spine up and down as the jolting car keeps all bodies in motion.

But the best part comes when the train dives beneath the East River and launches forth to Queens. The driver lets out the throttle, like letting loose the reins of a horse, and the whole thing torpedoes ahead. It dives deeper, faster, jerking from side to side, shuddering in its bolts. A gritty wind blasts through the openings, strong enough to knock off a hat, if it tried.

In this unbridled speed, the riders are giddy. It is a relief to feel the city thrumming in your gut, to not be insulated from it, to not be held in some sterile, hospital-lit tube.

This feels real. This knocking around. This sucking down the filthy wind. This robust mechanical jolt.

This is New York.

How New York’s Professionals Stay Updated in The Big Apple

New York is one of the best cities in the world for just about any industry, but especially for marketing, technology, advertising, media, and events. Individuals from around the globe come to New York looking to reach certain goals, and chase specific dreams. Essentially, attaining new benchmarks are only feasible by connecting with the right people.

However, many of the city’s newcomers, and natives too, feel lost in a large pool of events and resources for professionals. Here are some of the best ways to stay connected with what’s happening in New York around marketing, tech, events, and networking opportunities.

1. Meetup

Meetup allows any group, organization, or community to organize events for interested individuals. After selecting your interests, you can easily discover new events too. Meetup has some terrific discovery features that not only recommends Meetups to join, but also events that are nearby, or even ones your friends are planning to attend.

2. Timeout New York

On top of Timeout‘s cultural events, they also list networking and professional opportunities taking place throughout the city. Timeout occasionally throws an epic pop-up event which ranges in focus, and they continuously update their curated list of events to help you find the latest and greatest events to take advantage of.

3. Social Media

Don’t underestimate the power of Facebook, Instagram, Quora, and especially Twitter. All of these channels have pages or groups dedicated to specific New York communities. Utilizing Twitter’s Search feature can unlock an entire sea of opportunities. Use keywords such as “New York” and “tonight” to get a list of Tweets with those words. You can also see Facebook Events that your friends are attending, and Facebook even recommends events you might have not seen yet.

4. Word-of-Mouth

Asking friends and colleagues is the old-school way of discovering events, but it also might be the most efficient. Whether you ask around the office or message a friend online, you’ll likely hear about something new that peaks your interest. And better yet, it’s a great conversation starter at events themselves. “How did you hear about this?” and “which events around the city do you enjoy?” not only help break the ice, but they also give you more information on city-happenings.

Furthermore, once you attend an event, you are one step away from learning about multiple similar ones. Take me as an example; last month, I attended a networking event where one of the speakers, Luis Vasquez, spoke about a workshop he had co-founded, StrategyHack. Following his session, out of mere curiosity, I reached out to Luis for more information about this event. This effort resulted in an opportunity to attend the workshop and work together with the StrategyHack team.

StrategyHack offers workshops based on creating real marketing strategies for real startups. Attendees network and learn from each other by attacking common challenges in the startup world in a safe, educational, and exciting environment.

You never know when or where the next opportunity lies. Reach out and ask!

4. Eventbrite

Every month, Eventbrite NYC posts a calendar of events spanning food, business, design, art, music, and more. They curate a robust list on their website too, which you can search and filter by date, price, category, and more.

5. Newsletters

Signing up for newsletters takes the stress out of searching for events. Instead, they come right to your inbox! Two of my favorite newsletters for tech and media are Gary’s Guide and Digital.NYC.

Have a resource or tip to add? Comment below to help New Yorkers discover more amazing events around the city!

The Delicious SMWNYC Celebration With Herradura Tequila

Amidst the excitement and hubbub of Social Media Week New York, one group of leaders gathered together to relax, network, eat, and celebrate the 7th year of SMW NYC. Herradura Tequila, a Mexican spirit founded in 1870, brought together a group of top senior marketing executives for a stellar night of taco eating and tequila tasting in the heart of SoHo.

Leaders from Ford, Spotify, MSL Group, Energizer, and Virgin Mega, among others, dined at taco spot La Esquina along with four special cocktail creations with Herradura Tequila. If you’re a tequila enthusiast, the 140-year old tequila is made from 100% blue agave grown in the valleys of Amatitan Jalisco.

The four custom drinks of the night were: Barrio Latino (Herradura Blanco, Cucumber, Lime Juice, Ancho Chili Infused Syrup), The Sexican (Herradura Blanco, Calamansi, St. Germain, Honey Syrup Second Course), Piña Tropicante (Herradura Reposado, Fresh Pineapple Juice, Habañero Syrup, Lime Juice, Tiki Bitters), and La Nueva York (Herradura Añejo, Sweet Vermouth, Angostura bitters, Mole Bitters).

For more information, recipes, and updates on Herradura Tequila, check out their website!

How Regular Organizations Evolve Into Cult Brands

The idea of telling stories while evoking emotion and creating community was the main concern during a session hosted by Lauren Crampsie, Global CMO of Ogilvy and Mather. Other speakers on “Cult Brands 2.0: How Today’s Top Brands Breed Loyalty and Fanaticism” included Ron Faris (Founder and CEO of Virgin Mega), Piera Gelardi (Executive Creative Director and Co-Founder of Refinery29), and Spencer Rice (VP of Marketing for SoulCycle).

These companies are all successful in their respective fields, and each speaker believes that although money is important, it isn’t their main priority. In fact, they focus more on building a community or “familial” aura with their audience. Audience loyalty is important to them, and they know through thick and thin, these people with help them thrive in the business world if they keep their genuine nature as they did from the beginning.

I’m Kristine Garcia, and I’m currently a student at Queens College. Social Media is a 24/7 priority for me, so if you’d like see me in action, follow me on Twitter and Instagram: @graciaskristine

Activism In The Social Age: Using Tools For Good

Social media comes with a ton of trust and responsibility. In a session hosted by Black Enterprise Magazine‘s Kelly Pierre-Louis and Sirita Wright, with guest speakers Charles Wade and Wagatwe Wanjuki, we explored events such as Ferguson and the Eric Garner case, and the way in which social media was used to broadcast these issues.

Eventually, these events not only developed into respective hashtags, but they also contained the power to spread across any language and become relevant to the world. This modern way of spreading news, issues, and current events has expanded beyond the horizon of many activist groups to fight for what they believe in, and try to make the world a better place.

I’m Kristine Garcia, and I’m currently a student at Queens College. Social Media is a 24/7 priority for me, so if you’d like see me in action, follow me on Twitter and Instagram: @graciaskristine

The New Millennial Model For Business In 5 Key Words

Passion. Purpose. Platform. These three key elements for social success have been recurring themes in sessions throughout Social Media Week NYC, and are useful reminders of why we do what we do.

Elise Andrew of “i fucking love science,” Rachel Gogel of The New York Times, and Jeremy Cabalona of Vine participated in a session called “The New Millennial Model for Business” which introduced two other crucial elements for the social sphere: freedom and fearlessness.

“Add your own voice if you’ve got something better to say,” advised Elise, telling the audience to ignore the naysayers and embrace risks.

For Elise, Rachel, and Jeremy, the need for passion and inspiration in their work has led them to bigger and more challenging opportunities at each step of their professional paths. Yet, fear – that we’re saying the right things, doing the right things, shielding ourselves the right way – can often hold us back as both individuals and brands. And, while a little caution can be a healthy and necessary barrier from disaster, these three stories offered a helpful glimpse into what freedom and experimentation can do to open avenues that didn’t previously exist.

What did I take from the discussion? Well:

  • The best managers will offer you both guidance and the freedom to test new ideas, new platforms, new ways of doing things.
  • In the social realm, age isn’t as important as how involved you are.
  • Don’t be insular. Look at your social ecosystem for inspiration, but get out there as well. Expose yourself to new people, exhibits, art, etc.
  • This industry is changing at an incredibly fast pace. Keep your mind open and your skills fresh. As Jeremy said, “Who knows what the landscape will look like in five years?”
  • Be confident. Put yourself and your ideas out there, and see where they take you.

Be bold, add your voice, and drop an f-bomb or two. As Rachel reminded us, “Chance can happen to you, but chance can also happen because of you.”

Swipe Right: What Tinder Can Teach Brands

Online dating has redefined romance for the 21st century. One of the most popular entrants to the category is Tinder, a dating app based very much on “looks” and proximity. Tinder’s growth has been meteoric, amassing nearly 50 million users in just two years with no signs of slowing down. In short, Tinder is on fire.  But what’s even more intriguing are the parallels between why Tinder is so successful and how brands could benefit from what Tinder has taught us.

On  Tuesday February 24, join us for an interview between MEC Social Practice Lead, Noah Mallin and’s CEO, Sam Yagan, where we’ll attempt to peer through the window into the microcosm of human behavior that exists behind the walls of online and mobile dating services and ultimately reveal how marketers can connect with their audiences in a more meaningful way.

We hope the audience will discover that although people share intimate details about their inner most desires on dating services every day, the most intriguing information is that which they offer without ever being asked. Every action they take leaves a trail, which if followed, reveals much more about their true identities than they would guess.

In an effort to keep this session interactive, as people walk in, we will ask them to list a few physical characteristics they look for in a mate. At the end, we will invite them to start swiping on Tinder in the hopes to make a match and compare who they matched to the requisites they offered earlier. Hopefully our session will also help a few people find love at #SMW15!


Check out the latest lineup of speakers and events here, then get excited to join us for a week you won’t forget. Grab your pass to get full access to SMWNYC!


7 Apps, Websites, And Stadiums At The Forefront Of Sports Media Innovation

Tensions have run high between Kansas City and the Bay Area ever since those plucky west Missourians earned the honor of being city number one for Google Fiber installation, overshadowing the less publicized beta launch on Stanford’s campus. That history is sure to motivate the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals as they clash in this year’s World Series, starting tonight.

Well, maybe not, but Uncubed will use the occasion as an excuse to talk sports – namely, sports media, a landscape long dominated by that fratty, four-lettered behemoth from Bristol, Connecticut known as ESPN. From new broadcasting formats to futuristic stadiums to an athletes-only publication, Uncubed shares the lowdown on how sports media are finally escaping the shackles of complacency.

Players’ Ball

The dawn of Twitter brought with it something novel for sports fans: unfettered, instant access to many of their favorite athletes’ thoughts. Derek Jeter’s newly launched sports journal, The Players’ Tribune, gives athletes a new platform – an online magazine with a staff of athlete essayists. Since soft-launching at the start of October, Players’ Tribune pieces have addressed topics from domestic violence to Donald Sterling, offering thoughtful takes on hot-button issues in place of careful interview answers and publicist statements.

Voices In Your Head

A few months ago, we reported on SecondMic, which lets fans choose which broadcaster (or podcaster) they listen to during a game instead of being stuck with subpar commentators. With, enjoying an alternative audio feed while watching the game becomes participatory. Up to four remotely scattered friends can audio chat while browsing the app’s interface for game updates. Suddenly, watching your hometown team from across the country becomes a bit less lonely.

All In The Community

If Facebook is like a giant high school cafeteria, think of FanCred as the locker room (sans nudity). The iOS app creates a digital scrapbook for sports fans to share their excitement and exasperation in real time. On the other side of the spectrum, social networks for aspiring athletes are also cropping up – FieldLevel helps four-year college coaches connect with high school and junior college coaches in the recruiting process, and BeRecruited serves as a LinkedIn for aspiring college athletes.

Crowd Fun

A day out at the stadium is rife with tradition – the same chants, the same lines, the same overpriced hot dogs. Levi’s Stadium, the new stadium of the San Francisco 49ers, is changing all that. In-house apps enable line tracking, food and beverage delivery, and streaming video of other games in action. The public reception has been mixed due to various bugs, and there’s still no app for inadequate leg room, but other stadiums are sure to follow the tech-ready model.

8 ‘Back To The Future II’ Technologies That Could Become A Reality

The future is upon us—but if you asked Marty McFly, he’d tell you we’re already behind schedule.

When Back to the Future II’s time-traveling DeLorean blasted Marty McFly and Doc Brown to the future, they arrived on October 21, 2015. While the sci-fi comedy has already predicted some things about the future correctly (playing video games without hands, for example), other elements were rather off-track (phone booths and newspapers aren’t quite as prominent today as they were in the 1989 movie).

Director-producer Robert Zemeckis and writer-producer Bob Gale knew that much of their vision of the future would not become reality by 2015—they did not believe mass-produced flying cars were just around the corner, nor did they think Jaws would get its 18th sequel. Even though comedic tone was often prioritized over plausibility, Back to the Future II’s creative team did extensive research about developing technologies for the film. Gale tells us he wanted to avoid the dark, dystopian world depicted in films like Blade Runner and make the future look like a nice place to live. “We wanted people to look forward to the future because, when we were kids,” he says, “we always looked forward to the future.”

Consider Zemeckis and Gale successful on that account: Hoverboards captured the imaginations of movie-goers in 1989, and they still do today. So, should we put the soaring skateboard on our Christmas list for 2015? Mental Floss investigate the likelihood of some of Back to the Future Part II‘s technologies making an appearance in the near future.


This could be the most on-schedule of Back to the Future‘s predictions. A year from now, you’ll be able to pay an inflated cab fee with the touch of a finger or unlock your front door without digging through a mess of keys. Today, just a handful of airports have biometric scanners to speed up your trip through security, but there’s a good chance this tech will be near-ubiquitous by October 2015, “especially with an organization like Apple getting momentum behind it,” says Jim Carroll, an Ontario-based futurist.


Gale recalls that, after Back to the Future Part II’s release, “we got so many letters from kids saying, ‘Please send me a hoverboard, but don’t send me a pink one.’” Sad news, hoverboard fans: The Pitbull won’t be on the market by 2015. Anti-gravity technology isn’t there yet, no matter what a Tony Hawk-starring viral hoax says. (Magnetic levitation is the next-best thing now.)

Even if the developers at Mattel had a breakthrough and got the hoverboard ready for stores, there would be another force to overcome: lawmakers who choose what’s street-legal. Remember the Segway and how revolutionary it was supposed to be? New York-based futurist Michael Rogers says the hoverboard would probably be in for the same fate as the failed personal transporter.


Doc Brown’s visit to a rejuvenation clinic saved the film’s makeup department from doing old-age makeup on actor Christopher Lloyd throughout the production, but modern viewers can also see Doc’s de-wrinkling as a reality-based nod to the growing popularity of plastic surgery—and Doc’s replacement spleen and colon could be a near-future trend, too. Rogers says that in 2015 there will be some synthetic organ replacement, but it will still be in the experimental stage. According to Seattle-based futurist Glen Hiemstra, by 2030 or 2040 we will be able to clone our own organs and grow ourselves a new spleen or liver.


Marty’s power-lacing Nike shoes and automatically adjusting jacket seemed like too good an idea not to exist. Nike has hinted at upcoming power-lacing shoes, but don’t expect electronically size-altering clothing to be all the rage a year or two from now.


Forget 3-D movies—in Back to the Future‘s 2015, holograms are the newest trend at the multiplex. When Marty steps into Hill Valley’s Clock Tower Square, he sees a Holomax Theater marquee advertising Jaws 19, directed by Max Spielberg (oldest son of Back to the Future producer Steven). Hiemstra explains that holographic projections are still “fairly crude,” but the giant holographic shark that appears to eat Marty outside of the theater is not too far off from reality: As Rogers notes, interactive digital ads already interact with pedestrians in the real world.


What was once Lou’s Café has become Café ’80s in 2015. Back to the Future Part II was on-target about the current 1980s nostalgia, but the film was off when it placed workout bikes in that café. Hill Valley of the future is also notably devoid of obese people—not quite an accurate depiction of modern America—but a turnaround for Fast Food Nation may be less far-fetched than some think. The economics of obesity could be in for a change. “By the end of this decade, your insurance premiums will be very dependent on how healthy your lifestyle is,” Rogers says. Miniature wireless devices will track calorie intake and calorie output, so “the idea of working out will not just be a healthy thing, but it will save you a lot of money.”


When Doc blasts back to 1985 at the end of the first Back to the Future film, the DeLorean is sporting a new license plate—one that features no easily visible numbers or letters. Instead, it bears a metallic barcode. It’s unlikely that cars will ever have license plates exactly like that one, since drivers will still need to read them, but a scannable code that police can grab from long distances is a possibility. Rogers says that kind of license plate could use the same technology as tags on cars that automatically pay for tolls. Still, a more likely change for car identification will come with vehicle connection to the Internet. “By 2020, possibly sooner, every new car will be connected to the Internet all the time. That is completely inevitable,” he says, pointing to the development of Vehicle-to-Vehicle (a.k.a. V2V) and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (a.k.a. V2I) technology. “Every new car will have an identification and be logged on all the time.”


A long line of sci-fi movies would have you believe flying cars are just on the horizon. After watching a TV special in 1960 about what the world would look like in 1985, an 8-year-old Gale “was sure looking forward to flying cars,” he says. “I didn’t think I’d ever have to get a driver’s license—I’d only have to get a pilot’s license.” Alas, the real-world 2015 won’t have the prevalence of flying cars that future Hill Valley did. But futurists do have their eye on promising prototypes from companies like Moller International and Terrafugia. The biggest roadblocks now are the noise level of these prototypes and the Federal Aviation Administration. “There’s going to be a lot of lawyers between here and flying cars,” Rogers says. Hiemstra, however, is hopeful that affluent buyers will be able to purchase a self-navigating, personal flying vehicle by 2030.

7 Photos That Describe Our Closing Party Better Than Words Ever Could

Sometimes words can not do justice to an event. Our SMW14 Closing Party, hosted by Nokia MixRadio, is one such event — and it leaves us dreaming about next year’s VIP Closing Party.

  1. Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Dobel Tequila, Pere Ventura Wine, and Terra Andina Wine hooked us up, making the night quite an (un)memorable one.
  2. JOHNNYSWIM got things off to a great start.
  3. Nokia was an unbelievable partner, making the night possible.
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  5. Everyone was dancing and having an awesome time.
  6. Sean Glass kept the tunes spinning and the energy high.
  7. The White Panda broke down the house.
  8. All in all, SMW14 was a week not to be forgotten!
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Playing 5 Questions with Sean Glass

Social Media Week is just behind us, so we caught up with the industry’s favorite entrepreneur, Sean Glass. Glass hosted the Official Closing Party for Social Media Week, with White Panda as the special performance on February 21st. Check out our brief Q&A as we get ready with Glass about advances in music technology and Social Media Week down below.

  1. How often do you use social media: number of tweets a day, number of likes on Instagram, etc?
    I’ll generally tweet a few times a day, maybe once regarding something I’m working on like a release or an event, and then I’ll talk about Ryan Gosling or something like that here and there. Instagram — once or twice a week I’ll post, generally peruse my friends once a day on average, like a few. Facebook, I mainly use as a messaging service; I don’t read other feeds much at all. But I make sure to post events and releases on there, as besides email, it is the most important marketing tool.
  2. How has social media changed your life?
    It’s not even worth noting specific instances at this point; it’s just a part of life. It’s like asking someone how the telephone changed their life. Everyone is connected, information travels instantly and disappears in seconds or minutes if you’re really engaging. We can be working and programmed nonstop. There is no off switch, no office hours, no vacations, or days off. I’m less interested in how it’s changed those of us who grew up without it than I am interested in what the work force will be like when kids who were raised on it grow up.
  3. What is the best way of utilizing social platforms leading up to and during an event?
    It’s weird to say this, because I hate getting emails, but email is still by far the most important marketing tool. If I tweet, I can count on my hand how many people will show up. If I create a Facebook event, engagement is probably about 5%, and that means it’s an interesting event. Recently, I sent out an email to 3000 people, and 1000 showed up.
  4. What are you currently interested in music technology? A specific app/service?
    Data. I’m interested in companies that are compiling data that we did not have before, and analyzing it to create more informed decisions than we are making in our current day to day. A lot of inefficiencies will be made redundant by data, which I am excited for, as the work will become more creative and focused on building interesting creative ideas and products rather than sifting through the noise.
  5. How do you want to see music technology grow this year?
    Less noise, more creative products. We do not need more “music discovery,” we need distinguishing factors for why an audience will notice my stuff rather than someone else’s.

My Social Media Habits in Developing Countries

When I first moved to the US, Facebook and Twitter were only available via the web. But once social media was available on our phones; I got used to uploading, checking in, tweeting or updating my status while I was living inside the United States.

But during my first trip back to my home city, San Pedro Sula, Honduras, in 2008, I experienced a different story. How I was going to try to utilize social while I was walking in the streets of one of the most dangerous city?

I had to battle my habit of updating and posting pictures from my city while I was walking in the streets — since updating your status or checking into places could reveal my location to kidnappers or thieves. I was only able to post pictures at my house or any other safe location. I took a lot of precaution while I was visiting my hometown, since I don’t put a lot of faith in social media privacy settings, particularly on Facebook.

Whenever I was visiting touristic sites, this was not a problem. However, once I was back in San Pedro Sula, my fear to expose my cellphone or share information on social networks started again.

My trip took place six years ago, and I still question various social media companies and smartphone manufactures if they are doing something about social media and digital usage in developing countries.

Perhaps, social media and smartphones have been able to established and fit everyone’s life in developed countries by being able to use social media safely.

But is still different story in some developing countries, as many kill each other for any smartphone. I must admit that it might not be social media and cellphones companies’ responsibility to combat this issue. Although, I believe they could contribute with plans or campaigns for these countries’ governments in order to educate people about safe usage of different social media networks and smartphones. 

Social Media at Sochi: The Impact of Facebook, Twitter & Instagram

The Olympics have always been a time where nations gather around television sets worldwide, and watch to see how their country’s athletes measure up in the grand scheme of things. What’s different this time around, is that social media has evolved so much that this is not the only view we’re getting of the Olympics.

Because of the power of social media, athletes’ freedom to post whatever they want has been suppressed by the International Olympic Committee. Sharing on different social media outlets has become so influential that guidelines needed to be provided as to what was considered acceptable. This advisory apparently does not apply to journalists covering the event, who have been posting their less than livable sleeping quarters. There’s even a Twitter handle named @SochiProblems, giving viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the games that they would not have been privy to otherwise. The focus on the Olympics now becomes not just about the games but also the conditions surrounding it. In fact, the supplementary Olympics content being shared on social media may be getting more buzz and overshadowing the games themselves.

Instagram was launched in October of 2010, so it didn’t even make the February 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. This has given us an entirely different avenue to view Olympic content. Adhering to the guidelines that the IOC has set forth, athletes have been posting photos in their uniforms, videos from their practices, and documenting iconic moments, like the Opening Ceremony. This way of sharing content has become so influential, that even a publication like The New York Times is posting Instagram compilation articles. That being said, Instagram and Vine videos are also new to the games. These outlets are not only creating a way for viewers to become a part of the conversation but are also becoming another way to document history.

According to metered-market results, the television ratings for the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics was down, Forbes commented on the lackluster spectacle as well, but it didn’t stop numerous outlets from “live blogging” about the event. The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo, Mashable and more, all were providing their own play by plays in real time, commenting on what was being aired. This of course wasn’t live, since the ceremony was air-delayed for the US and sparked a negative backlash on Twitter with the hashtag #NBCFail, proving once again, the voice of the viewer and the exponential growth of social media since the last games.

This year’s Olympics in Sochi are a perfect example of the influential power that social media has on everything. It can completely change our view of an iconic event like the Olympics because we’re now getting more than the one view of what we’re seeing on TV. In the future, I can see our experience evolving to include something similar to Google Glass, so we can feel like we’re walking around at the Olympics, while never leaving the comfort of our own home. Until then, we can always live vicariously through participant’s Vine videos or whatever sharable media they come up with next.

Want more Vine and Instagram? Make sure you check out Nokia’s Now Studio at Campus next week! We’ll have on-hand stars from the platform to show you how to maximize shortform content.

More interested in dealing with regulation? Then, you’ll want to check out our special three-hour track with LiveWorld/Pfizer.

Stephanie Carino has spent over the past 10 years working in the city in the Fashion, Food and Event industries. She currently works in the PR Department at leading Technology and Business Book Publisher, Apress. On the side, she also writes event coverage and reviews for, Socially Superlative, a NYC-based event website, covering predominantly food, travel and entertainment stories. Connect with Stephanie on Twitter.

How to Be More Spontaneous: Curated by YPlan

Some argue that technology has eclipsed our ability to act spontaneously- smart devices have maps that prevent us from getting lost and reviews that prevent us from choosing the wrong menu item. When trying to decide how to spend a Saturday night in New York, there are too many options, making it is easy to be to just stick with what you know: Netflix. However, technology can help us move outside of ourselves to try new things and seek out new experiences.

YPlan is an event app, available in New York and London, that allows you browse through a curated list of events happening tonight in your area. Curation is at the core of YPlan’s success. By offering a digestible number of options and making it easy to pay on your phone, friends can keep the momentum for the night going, beyond the first round of drinks. Maybe you wouldn’t normally go to a comedy club or play, but seeing it on a short list of options makes you more likely to try something new.

We live with an abundance of information at our fingertips that often cripples our ability to make choices and dive into a new experience with an open mind. We believe that we could all benefit from a little bit more spontaneity, but there are some things are worth planning for, like Social Media Week (of course).

Register now for SMW NYC, February 17-21! We realize that  you may feel overwhelmed by the number of amazing events on our schedule, exploring topics like, technology and society, media and entrepreneurship. Inspired by YPlan, we are making some curated lists to help you decide which to attend!

Then, make sure you swing by and say hello to YPlan at SMW NYC’s Campus Pop Up Marketplace.