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Nonick Conference

Nonick 2010 kicked off with Jennifer Preston and Jesse Thomas

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Bilbao

New York Times Social Media Editor Jennifer Preston plus Jesse Thomas & Leslie Bradshaw, CEO and President of JESS3, opened the Nonick Conference this morning at EITB headquarters in Bilbao.

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Jennifer Preston/NY Times

Jennifer Preston had the honour of inaugurating the Nonick 2010 Conference on on-line communities. With more than 15 years of experience as a journalist and the first Social Media Editor of the New York Times, she was the right person to talk about the power of social media in the web 2.0.era.

"When I started my career back in 1966, we only had to worry about newspapers, radio and television. Later on came the VCR and magazines, but nowadays there are so many different things that we have to take into accoun:. Smartphones, iPad, blogs, and so on", Jennifer Preston said in her presentation.

"The most important thing is to engage both on and off the web, to be a part of the conversation and to be interactive. The NY Times is the most linked newspaper in the world and we want to keep that standard, but for that, we always have to search for new opportunities; thanks to the use of social media that''s possible."

The use of Social Media in the news business is still developing, but it could be extremely handy. "The Base Shooting in Texas for example; it was very hard to gather information, but thanks to tweets we had a profile of the shooter and the next morning that story was on the front page of the NY Times."

"Of course journalists have to be careful with the information they find on Twitter and have to double check it, but it''s a great way to start a story."

Jesse Thomas and Leslie Bradshaw/JESS3

Thomas and Bradshaw are not only a couple in real life; they also work together as CEO and President of JESS3, an interactive creative agency based in Washington DC. The company is not just about design; they tend to look a bit further…

The start of their presentation summed up in a practical way what social media is about: ''free building blocks''. Apps and networks like Twitter, Facebook or Flickr may look quite unilateral but they play a significant role in the most complex online structures. You as a user or a creator decide how much weight you put into it.

Social media are here to stay. Not only that, they are becoming ''a part of the story where tools, opportunities and people are finding each other''. The Web has lost its impassive face and welcomes sentiment and commitment with open arms.

The fun thing about JESS3 is that they don''t want to be a grey mouse in the infinite world of the Web. They try to look at things from a different angle, which results in an interesting mix of innovation and creation.

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