HomeMAKING A RUCKUSDispatches From Austin – Day 4

Dispatches From Austin – Day 4

Day 4 at SXSW – We’ve got Mythbusters, Millennials and a look at how to create content your audience will love and how to make sure they’ll see it.

As with the whole conference Monday’s sessions really mixed insights and entertainment on topics such as content generation, digital place-based ads and the convergence of science and art.

Our first session featured Birchbox’ Molly Chen and Outbrain’s Jeff Pyatt talking about not only the importance of content but tips and tricks to draw readers in.

Chen runs Birchbox’ content development, a company that values content so much their first hire was an editor (they’ve since added 18 people to their editorial team). Creating content for their consumers – who she also calls readers – isn’t just about profiling the brand, but also delivering informative and timely posts their audience loves. She broke down the “secret sauce” Birchbox uses including a checklist that every post has to meet before going live – an always-needed call to action.

Outbrain’s Pyatt then talked about how brands are using their platform to take quality content and amplify it to even more readers. Outbrain’s premise is simple – deliver relevant content to readers who are already consuming content. He also touched on ways to not only distribute content but also convert readers with a strong call to action.

Next up was a panel looking at digital place-based marketing and how brands are taking their out-of-home marketing game to a whole new level. We looked at companies like Heineken’s brilliant Dropped campaign and Coke’s curated social content as key examples of how digital display ads can create true stop-and-stare moments for people and include them in the experience.

The second half of the day was a panel discussion on Millennials featuring Mashable’s Pete Cashmore, Cosmo editor Joanne Coles and MSL CEO Olivier Fleurot.  While an almost exhausted discussion at this point, it was nonetheless interesting to see companies like Mashable and MSL struggle with similar generational complexities.


Lastly we caught Mythbuster’s Adam Savage talk on the convergence on Art and Science and people’s misconceptions that the two are in any way related. As a (self-professed) creative person, it was fascinating (and a little gratifying) to look at the creative process as a scientific one.


One day left but still lots of great sessions to come including gamification, disrupting television and talks with former Twitter founder Biz Stone and social media icon, George Takei. Oh Myyyy.

Posted by
Gary Edgar
on 11/03/2014