Hosting this year’s Broadband Infovision Awards ceremony is Emmy-nominated former TV correspondent and tech expert Daniel Sieberg.
Daniel has contributed to a wide range of TV networks and publications including ABC News, CNN and Time, before settling in at Google as head of media outreach, based in NYC.
Ahead of this year’s awards ceremony, taking place at De Duif, Amsterdam on October 17th, we speak to him about his book “The Digital Diet”, his work at Google, and why the DVR is his favourite broadband-enabled device.
At the recent IBC broadcasting convention in Amsterdam, Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas discussed the danger of hyperconnectivity supplanting face-to-face interactions. Do you agree?
I wrote a book called “The Digital Diet: the four-step plan to break your tech addiction and regain balance in your life,” so I certainly see value in remembering the impact of the human experiences in addition to the increasingly virtual ones.
My goal through the message of the book is to champion awareness and discussion about it, but I’m hopeful and optimistic about our future and I encourage people to love their technology – just not unconditionally.
I will always want to look my daughter in the eyes, not through a screen or by staring at the top of her head (or vice versa).
What is your favourite broadband-enabled service, and why?
Probably my DVR, which recently stopped working. That made me sad since many of us seem to time-shift our lives these days. Plus it can save lots of episodes of “Sesame Street” for my daughter!
Why do you think broadband is rapidly being seen as a basic human right?
I encourage people to read the comments of Vint Cerf, one of the “fathers of the Internet”, who says that rather than being a human right in itself, the Internet is rather an “enabler of rights”.
Can you tell us about your role at Google? And what is your “pet project” that Google famously allots employee time for?
I manage media outreach, which means I’m often working with journalists on how to use Google’s tools for newsgathering, and I’m occasionally a Google spokesperson.
My work might involve training related to our trends data or understanding Fusion Tables and Google Maps or helping to structure an event with our Politics & Elections team. I spend considerable time in newsrooms meeting with various news practitioners in all parts of the world but mainly in the U.S.
My 20 per cent project is working with the Google+ team on media partnerships because I truly believe in its power as a communications tool in the digital age. A Google+ Hangout (up to ten people in a livestreamed video chat) allows for an amazing advancement in spreading a message.