Huffpost Technology

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Ted Johnson, Maegan Carberry, Teresa Valdez Klein Headshot

See & Be Scene: Conference, Club & Brand Yourself to the Top

Posted: Updated:

In today's Wilshire & Washington, we talk Digital Capital Week, and the way things can go awry at conferences through backchannels. If that doesn't catch your interest immediately, let's just say we end on a high, but not quite salacious, note: Ted gives us a local's perspective on that RNC-favorite nightspot, Voyeur West Hollywood.

Joining us for today's show is Peter Corbett, CEO of iStrategy Labs and founder of the upcoming Digital Capital Week Conference in Washington DC, June 11th through June 20th. Beyond featuring the traditional panels, keynotes, workshops and (yes!) parties, Digital Capital Week is unique in that it is doing something, many somethings actually. Corbett and his team are carefully vetting and curating a number of projects - from DC graffiti mapping to "Lost Tax Due to Federal and Embassy Building in DC" map - which are intended to show that the world that DC is a city of action, not just of politics. Is this the future of government 2.0? Can developers, designers and strategists put all the talking behind them - talking being the problem at most conferences - and actually create something of real worth for the community? And can the conference support such projects without stifling the creativity of its participants? Digital Capital Week is about to find out.

One of the difficulties of running a conference in this era are what Jay Rosen calls the backchannels - a-la Twitter, Facebook, Email. Panelists used to have the complete attention of their audience; now the audience is elsewhere, online, or commenting on the speakers as it happens. Doesn't this raise the bar significantly for conference organizers? How do they overcome the immediate criticism - the most common type of backchannel chatter - that comes with any live talk? Is conflict the answer? What will get people to sit down, shut up, close their laptops, and pay attention? (And if we get an answer to that question, can we immediately apply it to the public school system?)

Finally, we talk the RNC and Sarah Palin's entertainment ambitions. The big news about the RNC blowing cash at a strip club is actually a little overblown, no? Why are we all concentrating on Michael Steele? Maybe it's a failure of leadership, but most of these recent RNC blowups have turned out to be small administrative mistakes, not big strategy screw-ups. And Palin getting a show on Discovery? This is a woman who has shot wolves from a helicopter for fun... Isn't that a big red flag, reading "Does Not Play Nice With Nature"?

Listen to the show here, subscribe to the iTunes podcast, or use the Blog Talk Radio player:

Wilshire & Washington, the weekly Blog Talk Radio program that explores the intersection of politics, entertainment, and new media, features co-hosts Ted Johnson, Managing Editor of Variety; conservative blogger Teresa Valdez Klein (, and liberal blogger Maegan Carberry ( The show airs every Friday at 7:00am PST on

From Our Partners