Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Kara Visits DLD in Germany


I am now at the DLD conference in Munich, which is put on by Hubert Burda Media, a gathering that has become one of Europe’s most interesting in recent years.

The three-day DLD–which stands for Digital, Life, Design–focuses on digital innovation, science and culture and has the most cosmopolitan audience of any conference out there.

It is chaired by publisher Hubert Burda and serial Israeli investor Joseph Vardi and hosted by Stephanie Czerny and Marcel Reichart.

It is interesting to be here to garner a lot of different viewpoints from outside the U.S., and I will be visiting a lot of German Web start-ups over the next week.

There is also a lot of Olympic-level schmoozing, of course, since there are precious few such events in Europe compared to the conference-crazy U.S.

There are also, of course, a lot of the usual suspects from the States and especially Silicon Valley.

So far this morning, I have run into folks like former Microsoftie Linda Stone, Yahoo’s Bradley Horowitz, writer and entrepreneur Esther Dyson, Facebook’s Matt Cohler and, yes, Martha Stewart (who needs no introduction).


I am also here to interview onstage for DLD today Kenneth Roth (pictured here), longtime executive director of Human Rights Watch, which investigates, reports on and seeks to curb human-rights abuses in some 70 countries.

To say I am out of my league in interviewing such a serious and substantive figure is an understatement, especially given that I spend all my time contemplating the monetization of widgets (to be more specific, the non-monetization), the fate of content on the Web and the exact date the hype of social networking will end.

Still, I will give it my best effort and perhaps focus on the use of digital tools to get information and stories of heinous injustices out worldwide. After all, the Web has to be more than SuperPoking and dumb online videos on cats skateboarding.

Our session is aptly named: “Inconvenient Stories.”

My favorite kind.

Video, of course, to follow.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald