David Carr and Eli Pariser: The Ongoing Human Content vs Robot Content Debate

Written by Todd Hansen | Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014

David Carr and Eli Pariser discuss content at SXSW on March 10

Do you dream of viral content? Then you must attend the conversation at SXSW 2014 between journalist David Carr and Eli Pariser, founder of much-ballyhooed Upworthy.

Carr (pictured at right) spends his time wielding his keyboard into dissecting the current climate of media and technology for the New York Times. Pariser is on a mission with Upworthy to promote meaningful viral content. Together they'll discuss if algorithms can decide which content matters most or is this still a tag team effort?

After leaving his post as Executive Director of Moveon.org in 2008, Pariser began to dig deeper into the idea of web personalization. Specifically how search history was creating a content bubble for the individual and limiting exposure to varied content. This lead to the concept for his book The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You, published in 2011.

On March 26, 2012, his new idea Upworthy began. As a mission-driven business, UpWorthy aims to "curate great pieces of content that represent different sides." Did the idea hit a nerve? Definitely. In June of 2013, Fast Company proclaimed it the "fastest growing media site of all time."

At SXSW, Carr aims to dig deeper into Pariser's thinking and how he sees the future in relation to viral-ness and what happens when algorithms are smart enough to decide what is good content. Is it simple growth hacking for good? Or is it taking advantage of what Pariser calls the "curiosity gap" that prompts people to click on a headline?

Fulfill your curiosity on Monday, March 10 at 5pm in Ballroom D at the Austin Convention Center for their "Do Algorithms Dream of Viral Content" discussion. All sessions that occur in Ballroom D are convergence and therefore open to all Interactive, Film, Gold and Platinum badgeholders.