Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Laura Swisher: Online Humor Expert

I'm back from SXSW, and am happy to report that LAX spat my luggage onto the carousel before Paul Reiser's. The return flight was chock full of funny people--Brian Posehn, Zack Galifinakis (sorry if I got your name wrong, Z.), Me, Paul Reiser. I wanted to snap some pictures but I always get self-conscious and feel like a stalker/out-of-control fan. Plus I like to think that I, too, am a celebrity, even if no one other than the occassional Starbuck's worker recognizes me.

So the Web Awards went really well. I didn't blog too much about my hosting fears before hand because I didn't want the staff to know they'd made a huge mistake in selecting me as the emcee. It turns out my procrastination wasn't as detrimental as I suspected it might be, and I was actually adequately prepared. I have to give major props to Joey the Intern who made a video montage for me that aired during the ceremony. I couldn't have done it without him. Literally. I have no idea how to edit, do Adobe Photoshop or otherwise create anything on video that involves more than pressing a red button. I may put it online at some point. It was a montage of tech luminaries who passed away last year. It's incredibly moving.

I also moderated a humor panel on Monday. Fellow panelists included creators of,, and After it ended I went to the Bloggie Awards and sat in front of someone who attended my panel. A guy asked her what we covered and she said, "It wasn't very informative. They mostly talked about themselves." In my defense, I must point out that I don't know anything informative about online humor, except what's funny and what's not. Nevertheless, I learned some valuable lessons about online humor from the panelists. One thing I learned is that people want fresh content. So when I don't post everyday, sometimes more, my audience is most likely dwindling. Good to know.

And according to Wonkette, the keynote speaker, language is very important. Apparently, it's better not to post a first draft. Sadly, I don't have time to pour over my every word. And that's why you get entries like this one.

Another speaker I saw was Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink. He describes it as, "A book about rapid cognition, about the kind of thinking that happens in a blink of an eye. When you meet someone for the first time, or walk into a house you are thinking of buying, or read the first few sentences of a book, your mind takes about two seconds to jump to a series of conclusions. Well, "Blink" is a book about those two seconds, because I think those instant conclusions that we reach are really powerful and really important and, occasionally, really good."

His talk was interesting enough that I just purchased the book.

Ummmmm....I guess that's all for now.


Freefall Jones said...

Good info on that book Blink, you'll have to let us know more about that topic. Of course I could just buy the book -- but I used that two seconds to decide to write this entry instead.

DRHobo said...

Nice description. Are you still communicating with the people from G4, not the producers the actual people. Have you heard about the sitcom piolet "Joey the intern" is doing.

DRHobo said...

Nice post, i havent seen you on premium blend yet but youwere pretty on unscrewed. Have you heard about Joey the Intern sitcom piolet

DRHobo said...

Edit: pretty funny on unscrewed

Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...

"they'd made a huge mistake in selecting me as the emcee" -- whateva chickeroonie!

c_neil said...

It is refreshing that someone in the entertainment industry is so open and honest.

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