HuffPo Launches Technology Section — FCC Chair, Jimmy Wales, and Others to Blog

By on 09/21/2009 1:00 AM @beet_tv

The Huffington Post, the Web's most influential blog, is launching a technology section today edited by Jose Antonio Vargas, former Washington Post reporter. 

Signed-up to blog are a number technology innovators and wonks including FCC chairman Julius Genachowski who will write about net neutrality, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, and others.

Jose says in this interview that "technology is anthropology" and that the site will address how technology is used and how it affects society. 

It will be interesting to see how this page will be heard above the roar of  the mass of technology publications and blogs.  It surely has some advantages.  The site will have extremely high search optimization and traffic since the publication claims 20 million unique users per month.

I interviewed Jose at the Huffington Post headquarters in lower Manhattan last week.

Andy Plesser, Managing Editor

Editor's Note:  I am mighty pleased to say that Beet.TV clips will appear from time to time on the new Huffington Post technology page.  Great exposure for the purple channel and good for our video views, but like all Huffington Post contributing bloggers, there is no payment.

Video Transcript

Jose Antonio Vargas:  The
starting point, and kind of what I hope will make us distinct, is this
idea that technology is anthropology. You know, I'm not as interested,
I mean of course we're interested in the new gadgets, the new iPhone,
the new Nokia smartphone, the new Wii of course, all of that stuff, but
I'm kinda more interested in behavior. So it's not the gear, it's the
people. If there's a model that I think is gonna guide the aggregation
and the content that you see on page, on the new site, that's what I'm
going for. Because, you know, there's no shortage of tech sites out
there, you know, TechCrunch, Techmeme, Gizmoto, you know and I'm just
naming three and there's tons of them. Right now on my Google Reader I
have like 591 stories today that I have to read. So it's overwhelming.

So
the goal for us is to make sure that we're providing a very diverse
mix, kind of low-brow, high-brow, consumer oriented, psychologically
oriented. I'm waiting on a post right now, a blogger…so I've been
busily trying to recruit bloggers from all sides of tech. I contacted
somebody, actually she contacted us, who's the managing editor of Black
Web 2.0. On Twitter she's got 4,000 followers and she's going to talk
about, basically in my opinion is one of the least kind of covered
issues in the technology sphere–why is there such a lack of Hispanic
and African American, you know, not talking heads per se, but people
who lead the discussion and what are we missing because of that. So
she's going to blog for us. So when I see scope, I think about it, you
know I've been a journalist for eleven years, so scope to me is
something that is challenging and is something that is really exciting
and I think we have to think as broadly as possible about it.

I've
secured contributing blogs from the FCC chairman, Julius Genachowski,
you know the Obama administration and the FCC have introduced a new
broadband strategy, which is basically thinking about, you know, how do
we deploy internet access to all Americans. So he's going to blog about
that. Chris Hughes, the Facebook co-founder, who was a crucial part of
the Barack Obama campaign is going to blog about the future of the
progressive movement as it uses, kind of, the social web. What is the
future of that? Is it dead? How does it move forward? We also have John
Medea, who is the president of the Rhode Island School of Design, the
most prestigious design school in the country who is going to talk
about how Apple in many ways, through the iMac, the iPhone, iPod, has
basically kind of revolutionized the way we think about how gadgets are
designed. They're not just gadgets, they're a fashion statement,
they're iconography. So he's going to blog about that. We have somebody
from Rockstar games talking to us about the future of video games tied
to the release of Grand Theft Auto IV, the latest installment, I think
it's the fourth installment of Grand Theft Auto IV. So, as you can see,
these are pretty broad sets of bloggers talking about broad sets of
kind of how we think about technological innovation and how it affects
specific fields. I think it's exciting and I think frankly you know I'm
not sure where you're going to find a blog from Julius Genachowski and
Rockstar Games and Jimmy Wales from Wikipedia all in one page. I'm not
sure if any other tech site can say that.

I think balance is
going to be important here. We have to please…when you call somebody
"techie" I think…I grew up in Mountain View. That's where Google is,
right, I grew up in the Valley, went to San Francisco State, grew up in
San Francisco. Ten years ago when you said the word tech, the first
thing that came to mind for me was geek, you know. Tech is geek, right.
I made a very conscious effort to call this "Technology Section"
because to me, you know we had what, 1 trillion, trillion…1 trillion
text messages sent in America by Americans last year. Tech isn't geek,
technology is mainstream and so I think the content has to be
mainstream. We need to go high-brow, we need to go low-brow, we need to
go unexpected. As I've been telling the associate editor who's working
with me, we've gotta have broccoli, we've gotta have cheese cake. You
know, there are certain facts that we need to know about. What's going
on right now? It's all about the Zune HD, right. You go to Google,
that's what everybody's talking about. So we're going to have something
about that, but at the same time, there's a great post that Anil Dash
just put on about basically saying that the federal government is the
most interesting start-up of 2009. That's fascinating. So it's going to
be that kind of content. It's going to be mix and match and I think,
frankly, to me, that's the exciting part. I don't know how it's all
going to shape up on the page, but what I do know is that the focus is
on the users, not necessarily just on the gadget, but on behavior and
why we do, how we behave, how my iPhone is not just my iPhone. I
actually have given her a name, you know, so I like to think of it like
that.

Recent Videos
image
Shelly Lazarus on Long-Term Career Success

When advertising veteran Shelly Lazarus began her career more then 40 years ago, marketers dreamed then about truly being able to communicate one to one with customers. Now, that’s a reality and presents an enormous opportunity for the industry and those leading the digital charge. “When I was ...

image
Horizon CEO Koenigsberg on the Transformation of the Media Agency

AUSTIN — The new media agency of the future needs a “white canvas mindset” says Bill Koenigsberg, President and CEO of Horizon Media, in this interview with Beet.TV. “With the way the world is changing so fast, each day you need to come in and paint a new picture. You have to keep ...

image
Starcom’s CEO Donohue & “New Establishment” Brand Airbnb

AUSTIN — One of the benefits of working with “new establishment brands” is they come to media planning without any baggage attached to them that iconic marketers often have to deal with, says Lisa Donohue, CEO at Starcom USA, in this interview with Beet.TV. As an example, she points to ...

image
Can The HuffPost Show Fill Colbert’s Gap, All The Way To Cable?

AUSTIN — With two of broadcast TV’s satirical news-meisters heading to pastures new this year, is online video yet in a position to move in and occupy the space? We may find out on April 3. That’s when Huffington Post launches The HuffPost Show – but, in time, the online media ...

image
Viewable Ads Are Up By 30%: GroupM’s Montgomery

AUSTIN — If you believe some of the shocking stats over the last 18 months, close to half of online ads sold may not even technically be able to be viewed by human users. Since then, industry bodies have taken great strides to iron out the problem, whilst ad tech vendors are selling ad buyers on ...

image
FreeWheel Plugs In Videology Ahead Of Upfronts: Rothwell

AUSTIN — Comcast-owned ad tech platform FreeWheel is plugging video ad tech peer Videology in to its platform, to help advertisers buy programmatically through its FourFronts program, an extension of its private marketplace. FourFronts enables marketers and agencies to reserve video inventory with ...

image
Let Advertisers Count The Beans, If They Choose: Videology’s Hagerty

AUSTIN — Some brands want to know the ins and outs of the new ad-buying platforms they are using, others are happy to stay hands-off – both should get what they want, according to a video ad tech platform exec. The trend is gathering amongst brands who want to take on more of the work of their ...

image
GroupM’s Rob Norman Sees Addressability, Not Programmatic, Shaking Up TV

AUSTIN — Many digital media executives expect it is only a matter of time before “programmatic” advertising – the collection of techniques which automate online ad-buying and which has taken hold in the display ad world – will work its magic on television. Indeed, many tech and ...

image
“Persistence And Pivoting:” Keys To Success For Videology’s Scott Ferber

This time last year, Forbes magazine wrote Scott Ferber “has what it takes to be world-class business builder”. After all, six years after founding the online ad network Advertising.com with his brother in 1998, a 35-year-old Ferber sold the company to AOL for a hefty $495m. Many a founder would ...

image
OpenX Puts Ad Fraud Detection On Consumers’ Computers

There are several techniques for identifying what has become the scourge of the internet for advertisers – code that fires up web pages just to ensure ads are displayed for which a buyer must pay. Now online ad tech vendor OpenX is trying a twist on fraud detection, with a third-generation iteration ...

image
Cannes to Recognize AdTech Innovation with the “Creative Data Lions”

The organizers of Cannes Lions have announced a completely new program at Cannes Lions titled the “Innovation Festival.”  It will be a two-day program, June 25th & 26th held at the Grand Palais. The program will recognize the impact of data on the creative advertising process.  (It happens ...

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 12.09.32 PM
“SSP’s and Ad Servers Will be Dead in Two Years,” SpotXchange’s Mike Shehan

PHOENIX – The digital adtech  sectors of supply side platforms (SSP’s) and ad servers will be dead in two years as publishers and advertisers will demand an integrated offering, says Mike Shehan, CEO of SpotXchange, in this interview with Beet.TV Shehan’s SpotXchange has been known as ...

loader