More Notes from #ActivateNYC12

I am spending the day at the Guardian Active Summit.

Here are a few more observations/thoughts from the morning sessions:

Back to Basics. Adam Sharp, the senior manager for government, news and social innovation at Twitter outlined three trends in a Twitter-powered political world: 1) the democratization of access, 2) the impact of everything being real-time, and… most interestingly, 3) a return to retail politics.  Its not every day you hear someone from a tech company talk about the importance of getting offline and connecting with people in a more direct and personal way.  Politics has always been local, and platforms like Twitter make it possible for people to find and engage with others who share their interest in new and powerful ways. But we can’t forget what is actually required when we want to connect, and stay connected, to other people in a meaningful way and for a sustained period of time.

Filter for Good. Eli Pariser, the author of Filter Bubble and CEO Upworthy.com, talked about the tension between attention and relevance in a world of information.  When the focus is on attention, content publishers (media, brands, everyone) compete using whatever methods they can dream up.  But, as Pariser explained it “if you can engineer relevance, design algorithms that create relevance, you can get people coming back to your site and that means you have happy advertisers.  It’s a win-win.’  One opportunity for relevance is to ‘Filter for Good’ – make it possible for information that is important for people to understand (and not just ‘like’ as in the case of the button on Facebook) to get shared.  Pariser suggested Facebook consider adding an ‘important’ button that users could click when a non-likeable, but still relevant story appears in their news feed.

More later.