Hear from the GM and VP of Sweet, the brainchild of Hearst Magazines and Snapchat

Ross Clark is Vice President and General Manager of Sweet, a partnership between Hearst Magazines and Snapchat, and the first media brand born on and built for Snapchat’s Discover platform.

He oversees Sweet’s partnerships across editorial, growth and revenue, and has led a number of high-profile initiatives for the brand including exclusive editorial partnerships with Gucci and Carolina Herrera plus advertising partnerships with Apple, L’Oreal, Universal Studios and more.

Ross will take the official #SMWNYC stage on Tuesday afternoon to explain how Snapchat is expanding into a full-blown entertainment and communication platform, why it’s so much more than social media, and how it is becoming deeply personal.

In this talk, Ross will speak on the importance of creating a two-way dialogue with conversational content and about future trends of different digital media that have outgrown their early “social” beginnings. If you’d like to attend this session, sign up to attend Social Media Week in New York this February 28 to March 3.

You’ll understand some of the ways Ross and the Sweet team capture the attention of the coveted millennial audience using a unique lens on how the platform is evolving and how to best leverage its features.

Prior to joining Sweet Clark was a Senior Director at Conde Nast. where he built a global distribution network by sourcing, negotiating and implementing multiple global content distribution deals to create a network of over 25 partners including Facebook, Apple, Spotify, Twitter and YouTube, and sourced the company’s acquisition of Pitchfork Media – Conde Nast’s first editorial acquisition in seven years.

Social Media Week returns to New York this February 28 at The TimesCenter. Register to attend here before passes sell out, and view more events on our official schedule here.

Bob Cohn, President of The Atlantic, will detail the brand’s transformation at #SMWNYC

Bob Cohn is the president of The Atlantic. He oversees the magazine’s business and editorial teams on its principal platforms: print, digital, video, live events, and consulting. He was named to the job in 2014 after serving five years as editor of Atlantic Digital, where he built and managed teams at TheAtlantic.com, The Wire, and CityLab, growing TheAtlantic.com’s audience ten-fold.

Six years after turning a profit for the first time, The Atlantic begins 2017 with its audience, revenue, and staff at record highs. This year will be marked by a global focus and continued expansion of TheAtlantic.com and CityLab.com.

On Tuesday morning at Social Media Week New York, The Atlantic’s president, Bob Cohn, will detail the transformation of the organization over the last decade, and the challenges and opportunities ahead. View the event here, and make sure you register for #SMWNYC to attend this session and many others throughout the week.

Before coming to The Atlantic, Bob Cohn worked for eight years as the executive editor of Wired, where he helped the magazine find a mainstream following and earn a national reputation. During the dot-com boom, he was the executive editor of The Industry Standard, a newsweekly covering the Internet economy. He began his journalism career at Newsweek, where for 10 years he was a correspondent in the Washington bureau, covering the Supreme Court and the Justice Department and, later, the Clinton White House.

Social Media Week returns to New York this February 28 at The TimesCenter. Register to attend here before passes sell out, and view more events on our official schedule here.

12 Must-See Industry Leaders Speaking at #SMWNYC

Social Media Week New York brings some of the world’s most innovative, educational, and inspiring executives to the official stage. From major social media platforms and global agencies, to the technology startups and publishing powerhouses we read about everyday.

Here’s a sample of notable industry leaders speaking at #SMWNYC this year:

By the way, only 275 passes left. Make sure to get yours here!

  1. Brit Morin (Founder & CEO, Brit + Co)
  2. Sebastian Tomich (SVP, Advertising & Innovation, The New York Times)
  3. Neha Gandhi (SVP of Content Strategy & Innovation, Refinery29)
  4. Ross Clark (VP & GM, Sweet – Snapchat Discover Channel)
  5. Michelle Klein (Marketing Director, North America, Facebook)
  6. Bob Cohn (President, The Atlantic)
  7. Sarah Frank (Editor, NowThis News)
  8. Adam Leibsohn (Chief Operating Officer, Giphy)
  9. Megan Summers (Global Head of Production, Facebook)
  10. Sam Dolnick (Associate Editor, The New York Times)
  11. Nazanin Rafsanjani (Creative Director, Gimlet Creative)
  12. Yannis Kotziagkiaouridis (Global Chief Analytics Officer, Wunderman)

You can view more official speakers here, and the initial schedule of #SMWNYC events here. If you are planning to attend, we only have 275 HQ passes remaining and will sell out soon. Take advantage of the 10%-off sale to lock in your spot before it’s too late!

Announcing the Initial Lineup of #SMWNYC Events and Speakers

This February, Social Media Week returns to New York for its 9th year.

If you’ve been waiting to see who we’ve confirmed to speak, then your wait is over. Check out the initial lineup of events, speakers and presenting brands.

Tickets are selling fast and with less than 500 HQ passes remaining we’re on schedule to sell out the event in the next few weeks. Secure yours at 20% off today!

This year’s program will be our most inspiring and thought provoking to-date. Through our 2017 global theme, “Language and the Machine”, we will explore a future, where new elements of language and forms of communication will continue to evolve. We’ll dive into these trends via four themed days of events, which will look at the Business, Art, Science and Future of social media.

Each day we’ll address a range of topics including Emerging Platforms, New Business Models, Content Creation, Storytelling and Distribution, Fake News, Snapchat for Brands, Facebook Live and the Future of Video, Paid Social, AI, Chatbots and VR.

Featured #SMWNYC sessions already confirmed include:

  • Distributed Media All-Stars: Experts Share Their Viral Content Secrets, with Business Insider
  • Don’t call Snapchat a Social Media Platform with Hearst’s Snapchat publication Sweet
  • From legacy brand to multi-platform powerhouse, with Bob Cohen, President of The Atlantic
  • Experiential Brand Storytelling with The New York Times and Fake Love
  • Spatial Storytelling, with Megan Summers, Global Head of Production, Facebook
  • How Johnnie Walker Brought Drunk Driving Into Social Media Users’ (Virtual) Reality with VaynerMedia
  • The Future of Data-Driven Customer Communications with Bitly’s CTO
  • Serving the Public: PBS and the Future of Language with Iris Worldwide
  • Podcasts and Brands: A Match Made in Brand Marketing Heaven with Gimlet Media
  • A/B Testing is Dead. Long Live Rapid Mass Experimentation with Wunderman
  • Decoding ?: Building Machines That Know How Humans Feel
  • Social Etiquette For Chatting With Robots with Momentum Worldwide Chief Technology Officer

Social Media Week will take place February 28 to March 3 at The TimesCenter in midtown Manhattan. You can secure your pass with a 20% discount by signing up before prices increase on January 12.

Make sure you look out for more #SMWNYC announcements over the next several weeks. We’ll introduce new sessions, speakers, and brand partners taking the official #SMWNYC stages.

8 Speakers Leading Discussions on Publishing and Content Creation at #SMWNYC

Everything we read, watch, and listen to online starts as an idea, and ends up as content. Some content performs better than others, but it seems like anyone and everyone is trying to throw their hat into the content and publishing ring.

At SMW New York, some of the leading publishers and content creators will join us to share their knowledge, learning, and experience with attendees. Click here to register your pass for SMW New York, and gain access to events and speakers that will dive deep into the current and future state of online content and digital publishing.

1. Stephanie Losee (Executive Director, Brand Content, Politico)

Tuesday, Feb. 23 • 2:30PM • TimesCenter (FWD Stage)
When it comes to brands creating engaging content, the stakes have never been higher. The growth in programmatic and in ad blockers means that content needs to be at Hollywood-scale and cost half the price, which forces brands, agencies and publishers to prove that the level of investment in content is worth it. Along with Stephanie, hear from Brian Becker (Executive Director, Head of Newsroom, JPMorgan Chase), Shareen Pathak (Brands Editor, Digiday), and Jinal Shah (Digital Strategy Director, JWT New York).

2. Joyann King (Editor, HarpersBazaar.com)

Tuesday, Feb. 23 • 3:30PM • TimesCenter (FWD Stage)
Joyann will speak on this panel to explore how large scale increases in social followings are achieved, and compare the effectiveness of two differing social strategies: the use of performance metrics and audience data to inform social content, and following gut instinct to create posts that resonate with audiences. Kate Lewis (VP, Content Operations & Editorial Director, Hearst Digital), will moderate this session.

3. Summer Anne Burton (Editorial Director, Distributed, BuzzFeed)

Wednesday, Feb. 24 • 11:00AM • SVA Theatre (EDU Stage)
In this interactive presentation, BuzzFeed social experts Rachel Christensen and Summer Anne Burton will discuss how they helped successfully build the largest social networks in media by rethinking the way the industry sees social media editors, content, and distribution. They’ll cover how BuzzFeed stuck to scrappy and unconventional ways of thinking, and how they used data to inform their strategies.

4. Chris Berend (Vice President for Video Development, CNN)

Thursday, Feb. 25 • 9:00AM • SVA Theatre (EDU Stage)
Learn how to build a content strategy that’s informed by data from your social media properties. Plus, find out secrets to harness that data for audience targeting, distribution and more. Berend brings a wealth of experience to Great Big Story, a socially-distributed video network that covers real stories, where he oversees strategy and day-to-day operations from editorial to product and audience development.

More at SMW New York: 5 Events At #SMWNYC On How To Engage Gen-Y And Gen-Z On Social Media

5. Emily Bazelon (Staff Writer, The New York Times Magazine)

Thursday, Feb. 25 • 11:30AM • TimesCenter (FWD Stage)
In 2008, the political news cycle moved to the blogs, and in 2012 it spilled into social media but remained mostly intact as an insular conversation among journalists and opinion-shapers. In 2016, it’s being disrupted by candidates, trolls, and everyone in between. Hear from Emily Bazelon as she joins this session hosted by Blue State Digital. Also on this session is Garance Franke-Ruta (Editor in Chief, Yahoo Politics, Yahoo News).

6. Neal Mann (Editor, The Wall Street Journal)

Thursday, Feb. 25 • 4:30PM • TimesCenter (FWD Stage)
Will data be the new Editor-in-Chief? With the rise of machine learning and the availability of data, both publishers and platforms rely on algorithms, analytics and data modeling to personalize content to no end. A reader’s interaction with content becomes part of an optimization equation, based on preferences, actions taken online and the communities they belong to. Is this a good thing? Does journalism suffer without a human touch? Neal Mann will answer these questions and more during this session.

7. Philippe von Borries (Co-Founder and Co-CEO , Refinery29)

Friday, Feb. 26 • 9:30AM • TimesCenter (FWD Stage)
Through the rise of social networks and smartphones, the millennial ideology has transformed communication, making instantaneous, raw, and constant contact the norm. Philippe von Borries, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of lifestyle media company Refinery29, will discuss the advantages and challenges that this new landscape presents using concrete examples of how Refinery29 is capitalizing on this moment through its recent global expansion.

8. Eric Alt (Editor of CoCreate, Fast Company)

Friday, Feb. 26 • 1:00PM • SVA Theatre (EDU Stage)
Eric Alt will participate in a session to discuss why designers, writers, photographers and video producers need to think about execution and ideas informed by data on how to better speak to our audiences. Content creators are reducing subjectivity in favor of new ways of working by bringing creative, strategy, account and paid media teams closer than ever, all through insights and numbers.

The Second Round of Official #SMWNYC Speakers and Events Are Now Live

We’re excited to announce the second round of official events that are now live. Click here to view the updated schedule for SMW New York, which features newly added event partners such as Comedy Central, Refinery29, Giphy, Salesforce, and BuzzFeed.

New Session Spotlights:

New Speaker Spotlights:

  • Rash Bhalla, CPG East Lead, Creative Strategy, Pinterest
  • Chris Berend, Vice President for Video Development, CNN
  • Emily Bbazelon, Staff Writer, The New York Times Magazine
  • Barbara Basney, VP Global Advertising and Brand Content, Xerox
  • Hope Cowan, Creative Agency Partner, Facebook
  • Brian Clark Howard, Writer and Editor, National Geographic News
  • Rachel Christensen, Managing Social Media Editor, BuzzFeed
  • Jason Dailey, SVP Search and Social, MediaVest
  • Garance Franke-Ruta, Editor in Chief, Yahoo Politics, Yahoo News
  • Johann King, Editor, HarpersBazaar.com
  • Adam Leibsohn, Chief Operating Officer, Giphy
  • Neal Mann, Editor, The Wall Street Journal
  • Mina Seetharaman, Global Dir., Content Strategy, The Economist
  • Bachir Zeroual, Global Dir., Marketing Ventures, Coca-Cola
  • Matt Turck, Managing Director, FirstMark Capital
  • Click here for the full list of SMW New York speakers

Announcing BuzzFeed, The New York Times And Mondelez At #SMWNYC

This year, SMW NYC is back, and bigger than ever. Social Media Week NYC Campus will be operating from February 23 – February 27, 2015. Today, we are pleased to share some very exciting announcements with you.

Driving the conversation will be:


  • Jonathan Perelman – VP of Buzzfeed Motion Pictures, revealing the science behind creating shareable content for the social web
  • Meredith Kopit Levien – EVP of The New York Times, discussing how technology is making fashion smarter
  • Bonin Bough – VP Global Media & Consumer Engagement for Mondelez, exploring the evolving relationship between artists and brands

We will make many more speaker announcements over the coming weeks. For now, we want to leave you with a special offer to take 20% off your pass. This 20% offer expires soon, so act now to save big!

We look forward to seeing you in February!

Seasons of Change: A New Mayor, A New SMW NYC Vision & Home

The city has a new mayor, creating a new beginning and shift in the air. And here at SMW NYC, together with the city, we embrace this change. We celebrate change. This February, we’re bringing a new vision; a renewed passion.

This is our sixth year of SMW NYC, and we’re bringing you a totally new experience.

A New Home: Official Campus

We want your SMW14 experience, to be more social, more interactive, and more productive than you ever thought possible. Powered for a third year by our long time partners Nokia, we’ve moved all official programming to our Official Campus venue at Highline Stages to give you a more unified and cohesive experience.

A Unifying Theme: The Future of Now

SMW is where we make progress in terms of how technology and humanity come together. This February we will look at this through our theme The Future of Now, which will explore our always on, always connected world. Driving the conversation will be our keynote speakers, which this year include:

+ Steve Case – Revolution, founder of Case Foundation, and founder & former CEO of AOL
+ Robin Chase – co-founder of Zipcar and CEO of BuzzCar

Both Steve and Robin have built and sold hugely successful businesses, and both continue to drive change in their respective fields. In addition to these pioneers in business, you will also hear from:

+ Nancy Lublin – DoSomething.org
+ Doug Rushkoff – Author of Present Shock
+ Eli Pariser – UpWorthy
+ Scott Heiferman – Meetup
+ Cindy Gallop – MakeLoveNotPorn.tv
+ Soraya Darabi – Zady

We will be making many more speaker announcements over the coming weeks, but for now we have a really exciting offer to get in early! All events at Campus will require a pass, and today we are announcing an incredible offer, just for you, our existing community.

Because you’ve been a long standing member of our community, we want to thank you with a special offer. If you buy your pass in the next 24 hours and share it with your friends, you get 50% discount. SMW is designed to be social, so invite your friends.

Three floors of activities; four stages of content; four days of programming; and four ways you can experience it all.

Learn more and get the pass that’s right for you here.

Thanks and we can’t wait to show off all we’ve been working on this February!

Inventors: Blow Shit Up

As I began writing this blog, Part 2 of 3 in the Architects, Inventors, and Collaborators blog series, the name Cindy Gallop was top of mind.

You could say she’s notorious (befitting, as her apartment was once the set of a late Christopher Wallace music video) for her radical approaches to marketing, technology and advertising.

A household name in the UK, she was central to advertising firm Bartle Bogle Hegarty’s expansion into the Asia Pacific region and the US, where she served as the Chair. In 2003, Advertising Women of New York named her Advertising Woman of the Year, and in 2006 she started her own consultancy, Cindy Gallop LLC. It is Cindy’s work in the last three years, however, which appears to fuel her now cultish following.

During a 2009 TED talk, Gallop launched the website MakeLoveNotPorn.com, a forum for discussion on sex. Just four months ago she launched MakeLoveNotPorn.tv, a site aimed at redefining the myths that pornography perpetuates by featuring “real people” engaging in sexual activities. As she explained in an interview with the New York Times this September, “The issue I’m tackling is not porn. It’s the complete lack of open, healthy dialogue around porn and sex.”

The following year, Cindy launched IfWeRanTheWorld.com, which the site describes as “a real-world experiment in tapping good intentions and turning them into tangible, do-able microactions that anyone and everyone can help you to do.” Participants include fashion behemoth Levi’s Jeans who partnered for a campaign aimed at revitalizing the manufacturing town of Braddock, Pennsylvania.

Social Media Week believes that technology can empower individuals to direct their own future through sparking change and pursuing creative endeavors. And for that to happen, we need disruptive, audacious inventors like Cindy Gallop to keep inventing transformational tools, blazing new trails and inspiring the masses.

(Or in her words: “I like to blow shit up. I am the Michael Bay of business.”)

Join Cindy and our other inventors on Wednesday, February 20th, when we discuss new tools for taking the future into our own hands, and ask “what will your role will be in this changing world and how can we help you can get there?”


Architecting the Future of Social Media

(Part 1 of 3 in the Architects, Inventors, and Collaborators blog series.)

The theme of Social Media Week this year, Open & Connected: Principles for a Collaborative World, has been the catalyst for a number of hot debates in the Social Media Week offices. Identifying what, exactly, openness, connectedness and collaboration mean in an increasingly social world can be, well… tricky.

As conversations around the idea continued to percolate, so did a noticeable shift in their direction. The focus was no longer how to define the social media landscape, but a question of who was defining it. Who are the influencers, producers, and shapers driving social media?

While sifting through the heaps of notable tastemakers, we discovered most belonged to one of three distinct archetypes: Architects, Inventors, or Collaborators. So, we decided to dedicate three days of the conference (and this three part blog series), to exploring what that means.

Architects: devisers, makers, creators. At a time when “openness” is zeitgeist and transparency and collaboration are the very nature of social and digital media, architects must rethink traditional structures and develop new frameworks that reflect those ideals. It’s quite the paradox: design boundary-less boundaries.

This seemingly daunting task has done little to deter trailblazers like Susan Crawford. A visiting professor at the Harvard Kennedy School and former Special Assistant for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy to President Barack Obama (for more on her laundry list of accomplishments, click here) her Fall class, Solving Problems Using Technology, embodies this type of progressive design process.

Her students, from both Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, partnered with three community groups and The Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics in an effort to address Boston’s urban and civic challenges through technology. This month, The Mayor’s Office will select and fund the best of the student’s designs.

It’s this type of innovative approach to 21st century architecture that will inform the future of social media, and it’s imperative that we embrace and learn from these new models. To learn more about Susan’s work, and the work of other “architects”, join us at our new Global Headquarters on February 18th.

We look forward to seeing you there!

2013: A Bright, Collaborative Future

Today is the last day of 2012. It marks a number of triumphs for our team at SMW NYC, but it also marks the day before a New Year’s adventures begin.

One of those adventures, our 5th annual Social Media Week New York City, occurs in less than two months. And as you may have read in blogs prior, producing it is no small feat. It takes a number of talented individuals to pull together an event with over 11,000 attendees and more than 2,000 events. But the challenge is greater than logistics alone, it’s the thought, care and intellectual investment that goes into crafting something we hope you will enjoy.

As we develop the programs that underpin our theme Open and Connected in a Collaborative World, we continue to reflect on the new and exciting ways in which new media is created, landscapes affected, and industries impacted. You would be amazed at the conversations (yes, philosophical conversations about social media are possible!) that unfold as our staff shapes the programming. So, it‘s in this vein that we would like to invite you into these discussions: conceptual, comical and otherwise. After all, it’s you we are creating this content for!

From the Individual Industrial Revolution to Global Perspectives On Openness to Peer to Peer Economy and Crowdfunding, we are diving deep into the ways social media permeates our culture today. Starting this week, we hope to give you a front row seat into the making of SMW NYC. So please, feel free to comment, email, Facebook or tweet us. Let us know what you think of the events, speakers, and opportunities as they unfold. Make suggestions, give us feedback, or submit your own.

You should also be on the lookout for blogs by our Media Partners, Advisory Board Members, Sponsors and Speakers. We aim to include them in the conversation too!

Happy New Year from all of us at NYC’s Social Media Week team. We look forward to a bright, collaborative future ahead.