Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Social Media Storytelling at Sundance: MySpace, YouTube and Oprah Dudes–Also, My Twitter-Hating Mom–Discuss!

On Friday, BoomTown was back at the Sundance Film Festival for the fifth time for my annual techie panel at the famous independent film confab.

This year, we opened the New Frontier on Main series with a session titled, “Spotlight on Social Media: Successful Strategies for Storytellers.”

Panelists included Robert Tercek, president of digital media for OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network; filmmaker Ondi Timoner; Chris Gebhardt, head of Participant Media’s TakePart social media platform, which just sold a documentary featuring Bill Gates of Microsoft (MSFT); David Eun, head of film partnerships for Google (GOOG) video unit YouTube; Jason Hirschhorn, chief product officer of News Corp. (NWS) social site MySpace; and Matt Jacobson, Facebook’s market development exec.

The conversation was super lively about how social tools can bring filmmakers closer to their audience–before, during and after a work’s creation. There was also a lot of talk about how the Web gives movies with little chance of theatrical distribution more opportunity to be seen and possibly make money.

But still, with ever more disaggregation of entertainment and the confusing array of new mobile devices to receive content, it is not clear that Silicon Valley can save the day for anyone trying to reignite the indie space via software, hardware or any Web innovation.

Incredibly, Oprah dude Tercek ignored my brilliant idea for an Oprah-cam attached to the television host’s head. As in Oprah 24-7! Talk about social storytelling!

Here are my video interviews on this and more with three of the panelists–Hirschhorn, Tercek and Eun–as well as thoughts from my mother, Lucky, who most recently was bashing Twitter in this column and does so again here (although she said she would be happy to watch a movie via magic glasses).

Also, at the end of the video, I ski and use my Flip camera, for no good reason.

Here’s the video:


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus