Our Advisory Board is Rock Solid. Meet Steven Rosenbaum.

With over 500 speakers, almost 300 events, over 120 event partners, and more than 60 locations (including our Content Hubs), SMW12 is promising to be nothing short of spectacular. Our Advisory Board has shown enthusiam and guidance throughout the planning process, sharing their time, ideas, and tweets to create the best Social Media Week yet. Drawing upon their colleagues and companies, they’re producing events such as:

BigScreen LittleScreen: Web Video Content Screenings and Discussion

Deep Focus Presents: An Evening of “Connectedness

Reflecting on 2012 Grammys Digital Partnerships, Social Media and Innovation

The Dawn of Companion TV

Get “Schooled” by the Class of 2015: The New College Orientation – Powered by Students, Enabled by Social 

…and more!

Needless to say, our Advisory Board members are some of the most talented, brightest people we know.

We caught up with one of our fiercest Advisory Board advocates, Steven RosenbaumCEO of Magnify.net, author of Curation Nation and entrepreneur-at-large with New York City Economic Development Corporation for some of his wisdom.

What do you read for inspiration?

Well, that’s changed a lot in the past few years. It used to be books, magazines, and newsletters. But now,  it isn’t “what do I read” but “who I follow” on twitter. And that’s what is exciting! I follow over 3,000 people from a wide range of disciplines: some folks from digital and social media, some from film, others from book publishing and magazines, a bunch of startups I’m watching, and some VC’s and folks from the NY tech and economic development world.  It’s a wide array, and I like it that way. They help me curate my content and provide me with a diverse mix of voices and perspectives.

What advice would you have given to yourself 5 years ago?

Five years ago, I thought I had to move to Silicon Valley to build a tech company. I ignored the “Go West, Young Man” meme, deciding that NY was the place to build my next company. I can’t tell you how happy I am I made that choice. Today, I think the Valley is great if you need to write a lot of code, but if you’re building a company that is what I call a “hyphen tech company’,” for example Fashion-Tech or Media-Tech or Advertising-Tech, then New York has critically important ingredients you can’t find elsewhere. The vibrancy of our arts, fashion, food, and finance creates a buzz on the street that can be the secret sauce for startups.

What is your favorite aspect of your work?

Magnify.net is literally unlocking the frozen knowledge many of our partners have in their organizations. Putting powerful curation tools in the hands of publishers, brands, and organizations is making web video better. And not just a little better. TONS better. If you want to learn about what’s hot in NY, the video on New York Magazine is awesome. We power that. If you want to explore ideas worth sharing, TEDx has a collection of 10,000 incredible videos, and Magnify.net is the curation magic behind those pages. If you’re a brand that has something to say (like Patagonia‘s passion for the environment), video is what they’re going to use to share what they love. Plus, they’re amazing partners. For me, it isn’t about making content as much as it is about unlocking content — and making the world a better place by doing it.

What is the most challenging part of your job? 

I think that many people still think of video as the stuff they grew up on that their parents called “the boob tube.”  And I mean that in the most family-friendly way possible. They think it’s bubblegum or a time waster. But I think video has the power to transmit knowledge, share ideas, and cross boundaries and borders. It’s about breaking out of old ideas about what TV was and getting connected with all the things video can be. To share. To illuminate. To inform. That’s the coming revolution in web video, and the connection to the living room flatscreen.

So, tell us. What’s your dream job?

Easy: I’ve got it right now.


Look for other Advisory Board members throughout Social Media Week at the following events:

140 Characters Project: Lives Forever Transformed by Social Media

Socializing the NewsNGOs, Causes and the Original Interest Graphs – Interactive Panel Discussion

Getting to the Meat of the Tweet Redux (The Meatier and Tweetier Sequel): Applying Big Data Analytics to Social Media Data, Hosted by Opera Solutions

The Mobile-Social Living Room: How Emerging Media is Reviving the Live Television Experience

Creating Music for the Social Web 

Corporate Responsibility + Social Media – Are They Aligned in Your Organization

Spotlight: Advisory Board Member Paul Kontonis

With almost two decades of digital media experience, Paul has become a force to be reckoned with throughout the online video industry.

Under his watchful eye, over twenty-five original web series (including successful online branded entertainment for Warner Bros, Armor All, Experian, Holiday Inn Express, Phillips Van Heusen, IZOD IndyCar and Samsung) have been produced. He’s written numerous articles on online video and is frequently seen speaking at industry conferences and annual seminars. His leadership and strategic insight have manifested in pioneer movements such as the inaugural IAWTV Awards. He’s Chairman of the International Academy of Web Television, a non-profit organization founded to promote web video excellence. And as Vice President and Group Director of Brand Content for Digitas’ The Third Act, he leads the creation of digital brand content entertainment offerings.

Paul Kontonis, twitter: @kontonis

Having been exposed to so many creative minds and efforts, we wanted to learn more.

You are constantly creating. How do you stay inspired?

I listen to music for inspiration instead of reading: Metallica, Iron Maiden, Nine Inch Nails, System of a Down, Pantera and Muse.

What keeps you motivated at work?

Discovering incredible web series that are being created by independent creators every day.

What advice would you have given to yourself five years ago?

Never stop raising money.

If you had to pick one superpower, what would it be?


Your dream job, anywhere. Take your pick.

Owner of a top-flight professional soccer team.

Paul has helped The Third Act drive business results through digital content strategy, development, content creator partnerships, and a colorful assortment of offerings. In addition to housing a collection of creative, media, and client front-runners, The Third Act organizes Digital Content NewFront, an annual event that puts content creators, distributors, talent, and brands in the same space so that creative media prowess can be harnessed, and original online video and brand content can emerge.