David Pogue: One Million Twits Strong

Set to speak at Syracuse University today, the popular New York Times tech columnist discusses his new book, Twitter and the future of technology.

Twitter connects David Pogue with an audience of more than 1,000,000 people interested in his gadget reviews, blog posts, and comic technology videos. 

But for Pogue, The New York Times columnist, author and tech-guru, his Twitter account also connects him to something bigger -- a million possible experts.

"[Twitter] is an endless, bottomless well of ideas and literate humor," Pogue said in an interview with The NewsHouse.com on Sunday.

See photos and highlights from the Transcending Conflict Through Culture: A Cultural Diplomacy Symposium.

Pogue's latest book, The World According to Twitter, is an experiment in this new, two-way communication between author and audience.  Every night for two months, Pogue asked his followers a question on Twitter, a social media site that allows users to write and communicate via 140-character messages. Out of the 25,000 replies he received, he compiled the book from the best 2,500 answers.

Pogue is in Syracuse as part of diverse panel at the Transcending Conflict Through Culture: A Cultural Diplomacy Symposium, which will feature a discussion about technology, culture and art.

A replay of the the panel discussion is available HERE.

Here’s what Pogue had to say Sunday about several technology trends:

Social media’s effect on the news

Pogue said the Internet and Web sites such as Twitter have altered the dynamic between traditional media outlets and consumers.

"The press used to be the man on the mountain with the megaphone and then the little people would listen, and you know the minute the internet was born that all started to change,” Pogue said. “It's becoming more interactive all the time.”

Twitter allows Pogue to communicate with his readers in a more direct way.  When Pogue didn't have a topic for his Times column a few weeks ago, he took to the internet and asked for suggestions on improving cameras, laptops, home theater systems and cell phones.  He then wrote the column about the ideas that impressed him the most.

Similarly, in July, Pogue created an ongoing movement among his followers called “Take Back the Beep." Its purpose is to force cell phone companies to allow people to opt out of minute-eating voicemail instructions.

The future of smart phones

Set to receive a his first Apple iPhone next week, Pogue said he believes the next development in so-called “smart phones” is a product that straddles the line between a phone and laptop.  Pogue said advancements in smart phones and their applications are far outpacing developments with laptops and personal computers.

"I literally can't remember the last time I reviewed a PC in my column," Pogue said. "There is so little news, or development, going on in computers."

The prospects of ‘ubiquitous Wi-fi’

Pogue, who is "basically online, all the time," said the demands of his work have led him to a simple rule: "No down time: If I'm in a taxi, on the runway, wherever I am, I'm generally making good use of the time."

One of Pogue's biggest complaints about technology is that instant access to the web isn’t open to everyone, everywhere.

"We're going to be telling our grandchildren," he says in his best mock-elderly voice, "When I was your age if I wanted to check my email, I'd drive around town looking for a coffee shop."

"It's ridiculous. Where is the ubiquitous WI-FI?" he asks.

Pogue participating at 2 p.m. SU cultural symposium

Pogue will join "Persepolis" author Marjane Satrapi, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Salopek, and 2008 Beijing Olympics choreographer Shen Wei for Monday's panel discussion and a question and answer session. SU law professor David Crane will moderate the discussion. 

For more coverage of the panel discussion:

For more information and video of the panel discussion:

Pompous Pogue Still Needs a Reality Check

We need more people like Clark Hoyt speaking to the future media moguls of America - not obnoxious, sell outs like Pogue.


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