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“New Media Visionaries” Series

"New Media Visionaries"

Bruce Carlisle

In a move to help students and faculty members keep pace with the ever changing communications landscape, the School of Journalism and Mass Communications has introduced a “New Media Visionaries” speaker series.

Next up will be Bruce Carlisle, CEO and founder of Conference Hound and Digital Axl. He will speak at 6 p.m. Oct. 23 in Engineering 189. Carlisle will discuss how the rise of interactivity and content has changed the distribution landscape, and he will offer insight into where he thinks new media might be going next.

Residing near San Francisco, Carlisle is a pioneer in the digital advertising world. He graduated from St. Lawrence University in 1978. Carlisle worked at ad agencies for 13 years in New York and then moved to Washington, D.C., to start a marketing services agency.

In 1996, he moved to the West Coast and launched SF Interactive, one of the first digital ad agencies which became Digital Axl. Now he is focusing on Conference Hound, a company that has helped business professionals organize over 100,000 business conferences.

Learning from entrepreneurs

The “New Media Visionaries” lecture series, a project of the graduate students in the Journalism 215 course of the same name, is in the middle of its first season and it is already receiving good reviews from audiences.

“The School of Journalism and Mass Communications relaunched its graduate program this fall with an emphasis on emerging technologies and new media storytelling,” said Assistant Professor for New Media Kim Komenich. “I geared the visionaries toward learning first-hand about what it takes to bring an interactive product to market in the mobile communications world.”

In an effort to define itself, the class met backstage with “City Arts and Lectures” founder Sydney Goldstein before the taping of the September event at Herbst Theater in San Francisco.

“Ms. Goldstein has been running her lecture series, which is broadcast weekly on 170 NPR stations, for 30 years,” Komenich said. “I distinctly got the feeling she thought we were a bit niave, a bit ambitious, and a bit nuts.
Students have told me that the most valuable bit of advice Sydney gave us proved to be to somehow make personal contact with your speaker.”

Calling on mentors

At the beginning of the semester Komenich grouped the students and assigned six topics related to developing an interactive product–ideation/entrepreneurship, venture capital, interactive project management, interactive design, development for interactivity, and marketing– and told them to find the most cutting-edge speakers for each topic.

“I asked them to make cold-calls,” Komenich said. “My experience as a SJSU student in the 70′s was that the more successful a person was, the better they understood their responsibility to teach and mentor students who call for help.”

It worked. The lecture series opened on Sept. 25 with an historical overview by Silicon Valley historian Piero Scaruffi, followed on Oct. 9 by an entrepreneurship lecture by Catalog Spree CEO Joaquin Ruiz, and an interactive design lecture by Element 8′s Allan Enemark.

Follow “New Media Visionaries.”