A few days at the Aspen Ideas Festival

A few days at the Aspen Ideas Festival


Okay, I haven't recovered yet from the Aspen Ideas Festival, too many interesting people and genuinely valuable panel sessions. I tried to do my part; here's a very narrowly focused take.


(The photos here also illustrate my fondness for the flora and fauna of Aspen; you'll note that I'm a fan of  Corvids, not only Magpies but Crows and Ravens. Note that you can click on the photos for larger versions.)

In a way, almost too thought provoking, here's one example, a really big deal for me…

P1010681-1 The session on social media and journalism was a really big deal for me
, included David Kirkpatrick, Vivian Schiller, Arianna Huffington, and Strauss Zelnick. The deal is that social media really is having a deep effect on what really matters in journalism, particularly needs for more investigative journalism, and lots more factchecking. Arianna quoted someone saying "trust is the new black", and even better:

Strauss: "The community is the message." (I need to think more about that.)

Kirkpatrick: "Social media is a truth serum for mainstream media."

These guys really made me think.

That led to my premiering a new phrase at a panel I shared with Vivek Kundra, who's the CIO of the whole US. He's figuring out how to better deal with Federal computer systems to provide better service at much lower cost, focusing on better return for the taxpayer dollar.

The new phrase: "the immune system of democracy" referring to the role of the press in the survival of democracy. We're seeing the emergence of a network of factcheckers to complement the traditional press, like factcheck.org, PolitiFact.org, and the Center for Media and Democracy (sourcewatch.org and prwatch.org.)

My panel was documented by James Fallows at the Atlantic, where he also deems me the Bob Newhart of the Internet.
Bob-newhart-thumb-150x285-29292 (Usually, I'm the Forrest Gump of the Net.) (The gf reminds me that I'm not as funny as I think I am.)

A good piece by Eric Kuhn from CNN talks about my work regarding accountability and transparency in Congress. However, it gives me way too much credit, which should go to the members of the Transparency Caucus and Sunlight Foundation.

P1010679-1 My deal is that plenty happened at the Festival, my head's still swimming, and it might be a very long time before I digest it and then realize what happened.



amy alexander

Dear Bob, I mean Craig, :)
Please do post more after you've had more time to process it all.
For now, re this post, it strikes me that while Arianna, Vivian and the others who comprised the "journalism and social media" panel are quite sincere and knowledgeable, they are also quite like-minded and similarly experienced in terms of their economic status and background. Where were smart Journalism and social media thinkers and practitioners such as Farai Chideya? James Rucker? Marissa Trevinos? Honestly, the gatekeepers and planners of these Whither Journalism and Digital/Social Media panels — whether at shindigs such as AIF or at big universities or think tanks — seriously must cast wider nets. They don't do their cause or their audiences any favors by excluding people of color or working-class folks from these panels.
Just a thought. ….
Please do post more – Oh, and we love Crows and ravens too even though the are kind of intimidating!
Amy Alexander

Skip Georges

I have been an ardent follower of Aspen Ideas since its inception. I also appreciate Craigslist.
I happen to have the domain name http://www.aspenideas.com registered and am interested in selling it. Do you have any suggestions on how best to advertise this on Craigslist? Thanks.


Will try. New to Twitter. Just left a message on the Aspen Institute's Twitter board. Hope that's the right place.
Sorry for the interruption, Craig. You are very kind to have responded.
Take care!

coach suitcase

People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said… but they will always remember how you made them feel.Did you agree with me ?

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