Today’s preview at Harvard’s Berkman Center and the simultaneous webcast represents the first (public) unveiling of the technology, with launch only weeks away.
Congrats to the team for all of the hard work that it has taken to get to this point. Stay tuned to the blog for more information and context on what Wolfram|Alpha is and isn’t, as well as what can be expected from the company as a steward of knowledge.
That said, David Armano’s announcement last week that he is moving to Austin (the culprit: the resistance-is-futile tractor beam that Dachis Corp. has spent the last 12 months building) has me stepping back and remarking that we’ve got a seriously amazing community on our hands, people.
SXSWi is bigger than ever. We’ve summarily recruited all of Boston’s social media talent to relocate to sunnier environs. Interactive Austin looks to be a great show again this year. Dachis and company are up to big things, but we’ve also got a bevy of smaller shops of national renown (Michelle Greer and Co., Connie Reece and Co., etc.). UT is churning out smart, social media-savvy students thanks to Paul Walker and others. Allen Weiner and Peter Kim are splitting time here, and there are a few big names bouncing around that I won’t mention now — but that I expect to make the move sooner rather than later. And we’ve got social media groups and events up the wazoo.
BUT more importantly, in my mind, we’ve got real meat-on-the-bone social media people — in Austin we’re all about rubber meeting road, and bigger-picture cultural changes, as opposed to tool-level conversations and the shiniest new toy. That is a huge and remarkable difference as compared to other social/digital scenes. And I think that it is a huge differentiator ongoing.
Congrats to David on the move. I’m very interested to see who is next. I think we’re very close to the proverbial tipping point.
I’ve also put together this Google spreadsheet to track digital/social talent here in Austin. I’ve only just started it this morning and will add as I go — so please don’t take offense if you’re not on here yet. Help me figure out who am I missing?
[This list will NOT be used for recruiting purposes, and will remain freely available at this URL. If you’d like to be added as a contributor/editor of the list, just let me know. The idea of the list is merely to a.) entertain my penchant for list-making, and b.) merchandise Austin’s expertise to the rest of the world.]
I am adamantly of the mind that well-behaved PR people are more Kaiser Sauze than attention whore (and poof! He’s gone…)
Some kind words that were said about me and others at the link above, and I am very grateful. But I am still keen on getting feedback on the following thesis, which I proposed in the comments.
Is the problem that some of the people best suited for PR (and marketing generally) do not typically self-select for PR (and marketing generally)?
I look at myself and Louis as examples — we are nerds who somehow fooled people into letting us do marketing;)
I keep a Google doc that is what I call “the Bo Jackson list” – i.e. people who can play football AND baseball. And when we hire new people, we’re not looking to the typical crop of candidates for new talent.
Update: to be clear, if you DID self-select for marketing, I am not saying that I think you are not right for the job, or that I don’t want to hire you or work with you! What I’m curious about is whether, as an industry, we can do a better job of purposely introducing a diversity of skill sets and perspectives (and accordingly, whether some of PR’s ills can be attributed to, broadly taken, groupthink).