Welcome to Ufront Media Insights;
Today, I had the opportunity to interview Robin Raskin the founder of the Living in Digital Times which is series of individual’s conferences that showcases lifestyle applications for emerging technologies and how it can make your lives better. Robin Raskin has spent the past 30 years exploring what it means to be living in digital times.
An author, editor, magazine publisher, blogger, TV and radio personality, and founder of Living in Digital Times, Robin Raskin says she’s never met a media she doesn’t like, and is happiest when she’s looking in awe at the role that technology plays in all of our lives.` An early champion of the digital lifestyle, Raskin has brought her unique perspective on technology to audiences around the world. Raskin is the former editor of PC Magazine and editor in chief of FamilyPC.
She served as Vice President at Ziff Davis Publishing, and she was one of the founding advisers at Yahoo! Tech. Robin Raskin has been a columnist for USA Today Online and has authored 6 books about parenting in the digital age. Raskin was a regular contributor to CBS News and appeared regularly on CNBC, MSNBC, Lifetime and other networks.
She’s served at the National Academy of Science and has testified numerous times in Washington to protect children in the digital age. Today she writes for Mashable and Huffington Post, and serves as the voice of Living in Digital Times as a frequently quoted expert. In 2007, Raskin entered into a partnership with the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) to produce conferences and events focusing on lifestyle applications for emerging technologies. From its toe-tipping beginning, Living in Digital Times has grown to encompass six different lifestyle-meets-technology events at the International CES: Kids@Play, MommyTech, HigherEd Tech, Silvers Summit, Digital Health, and FashionWare, She also created and produced The Last Gadget Standing (now in its 14th year) and The Mobile Apps Showdown, both wildly popular events at CES. Raskin serves on numerous Boards of Advisors including the CEA Foundation, and the Cyclic Vomiting Association. So enjoy my exclusive interview with Robin Raskin below;
Roger: How did you start your company Living in Digital Times?
Robin: For the past 15 years, I’ve done an event called The Last Gadget Standing at CES each year. It’s very popular so I had a lot of credibility. Six years ago I approached them with an idea to create “hubs” or “pavilions” based on demographics so that, for example, all kids products/ mom products/ boomer products etc. would be featured in their own areas. The power of the group would be larger than any single small to midsized company. It worked and we’ve grown new businesses for them ever since. In part we can do this because they are great and fair partners.
Roger: How did you came up with the idea to come up with conferences for different industries such as fashion, mobile, health, kids?
Robin: As the editor of PC Magazine , the founder of FamilyPC , author of 6 books and crew of the original Yahoo! Tech, I’d seen hundreds of products for years in a row. I felt as if I could spot a winner and help them get to market. First I did this by writing about them in print and now I use the same skills to find great products to boost into the mainstream. We treat products like editorial by creating conferences where our sponsors get to showcase their products and ideas. To me, it’s the ability to bring people together — retail, manufacturing, journalists, analysts, venture folks etc. and get them talking.
Roger: In your opinion how has social media and new technology changed the way we live our day to day lives.
Robin: Social Media – Oh my god! I wouldn’t be up burning the midnight oil if it weren’t for social media. It’s definitely a mixed blessing but it allows an individual to cultivate a group of like individuals… you don’t need to have ever met them in person, or live anywhere near them but you can become partners in a mission. You can share dreams, tastes and interests and business forges ahead. In rural Bangladesh, they gave cell phones to women in small agricultural communities. Soon they were doing business and trading provisions. Social media is the same thing. When communications happen, business follows.
Roger: What do you want people to come a with when they attend a LIVING in Digital Times Conference?
Robin: I want people to come away with good contacts and a support group to use for more information good working skills and grasp of a segment of the industry. Third, learning about technology but in a fun/entertaining way (they say you retain more when you learn in entertaining ways)
Roger: As a woman in business, what advice do you have for someone who wants to follow in your foot steps?
Robin: Women need to know that, First of all — it’s never too late. I had my children when I was young but kept freelance writing so that I could have some skin in the game when I returned to work. When I came back to work (at 35) I wasn’t as burned out as others around me so I could flourish. I didn’t begin the conferences business until I was over 50. Accept the cycle that you’re in – be in child-rearing, care giving, juggling work and home and know that each experience will prepare you for the next. Stay focused. Women have so many things pulling at them. They are also natural magnets for other people. That’s why they need to keep focused on the work they’re doing. It’s very easy to get caught up in social networking or surfing the web and forget that you do it to accomplish something .
Roger: Thank you Robin and for more information about the Living in Digital Times you can get more information at please check out www.livingindigtialtimes.com and stay tuned for another One on One interviews on Ufront Media Insights coming soon!!