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Q & A with Josh Shabtai, Emerging Media Strategist

February 4, 2011
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As a follow up to our social gaming post, we’re bringing you a Q & A with Josh Shabtai, Emerging Media Strategist at JWT, and a game developer in his spare time. Josh is a panelist on Social Media Week’s Social Gaming: How Social Dynamics are Reshaping Games panel. Register here

What was your social media eureka moment?
At the risk of outing myself as a troll, I must say that my knowledge of and interest in social media all stemmed from, well, anti-social activities that were unhindered by geography or time.  In the early 90s, I spent more time in AOL chatrooms, cultivating fake personas and engaging unwitting individuals in horrific, 9600-baud-delivered pranks than doing homework.

In 2000, a group of friends and I from all across the country helped liquidate a promising e-commerce start-up, which opened my eyes to the (in this case, destructive) power of individuals within connected systems.

What do you use on a daily basis and how?
I’m old-school.  I rely on RSS (and occasionally Twitter) to keep myself up to speed on what’s happening in the world.

What is hot and what is just hype?
Quora is one of the most magnificently designed software products I’ve ever encountered.  If they can control a massive influx of people, I genuinely think they have a shot of supplanting a number of popular services.

What do you see as being the next big thing at next year’s conference?
Virtual reality.  I mean, how can you argue with http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104692/ ?

What is the one takeaway you hope everyone gets from your panel?
Whether they know it or not, everyone who has been touched by a social networking utility and its mechanics is playing a game.  We’re just scratching the surface of the genre of social games.


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