In a bid to put themselves on the map as another Silicon Valley-like hub for the ‘digerati’, New York kicked off Internet Week 2011 (June 6-13, 2011, www.internetweekny.com) to celebrate digital culture and the booming local Internet economy. The brainchild of Internet new media consultant David-Michel Davies (DMD, for short), Executive Director of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences, and NYC Commissioner of Media & Entertainment, Katherine Oliver, the festival is on its fourth year. With more than 20,000 people expected to attend over 250 conferences, meetups, exhibits, and parties, the festival has become one of the largest crowd-sourced events of its kind, showcasing a collection of Internet entrepreneurs, technologists, developers, and media ingenues that are based in the “Big Apple”.
“Internet Week New York has become one of the can’t-miss events on the Web community’s calendar, and we’re proud to facilitate forward-looking conversations through our presenting sponsorship,” said Mollie Spilman, SVP, global B2B Marketing, Yahoo!, before giving the audience advice on how to survive the week (comfortable shoes and energy bars). As veteran tech investor Fred Wilson, from Union Square Ventures tweeted, the activites are like “fleet week for geeks”. You can follow the official Internet Week New York Twitter feed at @internetweek, and catch the latest festival buzz by following the official hashtag: #iwny.
One of the highlights will be the “15th Annual Webby Awards”, presented by the Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences, whose members include musicians Beck and David Bowie, Internet inventor Vint Cerf, political columnist Arianna Huffington, “The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening, and interactive agency R/GA Founder Robert Greenberg. This year’s awards, hosted by actress (and nominee) Lisa Kudrow, will be livestreamed on Facebook for the first time, (click here to register) and are set to honor excellence in interactive advertising & media, online film & video, and mobile & apps.
At the conference headquarters, a few exhibits and displays included a history of computing and mobile devices, a “social-media” friendly vending machine from Pepsi (which allows you to gift a friend via text), and an interactive treasure hunt from Ford, utilizing ScanLife’s mobile QR code app. The unique user-experience, designed as a way to use social media to share and learn at the same time, guides Internet Week participants to various Ford locations, to unlock 5 images from clothing designer Marc Jacobs artist Matthew Langille. With Ford CEO Alan Mulally ringing the NY Stock Exchange bell today and claiming that Ford’s expected to grow 50% by next year, much of that comeback is expected to reach out to smaller cars, and consumers who see the value in their various tech-driven initiatives. To join the Ford Focus Hunt and win 2 tickets to the Webby Awards, click here.