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SXSW Interactive 2016

Humans, Not Machines: Content is about connecting

There are an abundance of platforms to distribute across, marketing interests pulling us in multiple directions and more data at our disposal than ever before, so how do we consistently create compelling content that resonates with an audience? Spoiler alert: Surround yourself with people you can trust. While the temptation to game the system with advanced analytics might be strong, the best formula always includes good instinct and real humans crafting stories that create an emotional connection. Three top digital editors from Refinery 29, Hearst Magazines Digital Media, and Vox Media will discuss why people are the most important consideration of any successful digital media business.

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  1. How can you consistently create compelling content (articles, social media, videos, imagery) that resonates with your specific audience?
  2. When should you trust data and when should you trust instinct?
  3. How do you grow your audience while staying true to your company’s mission?


  • Kate Lewis, Digital Media Vice President and Editorial Director, Hearst Magazines
  • Christene Barberich, Editor-in-Chief, Refinery29
  • Lockhart Steele, Editorial Director, Vox Media


Olivia Bernardo, Assoc Dir of PR, Hearst Magazines

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