New York City is a hub for innovation, especially in the content marketing space. Here is a shortlist of the most influential content innovators who are developing content platforms that you may just find yourself using over the next few years. Whether mentors, innovators, or superbrains, these individuals are leading content innovation.
The Mentor: Paul Berry
Previously the chief technology officer of The Huffington Post, Paul Berry helped lead the online news giant to mainstream exposure through SEO and social-media strategies.
Berry left more than a year ago to help build RebelMouse, a new hub for social feeds that media companies, brands, and individuals are using to paint a larger social-media and -messaging picture.
With vision and a rich sense of humor, Berry has been a meaningful builder of the NYC tech and media ecosystem. Berry has partnered with Huffington Post co-founders Kenneth Lerer and Jonah Peretti to extend his mentorship through the new viral and social startup incubator Lerer Ventures.
In addition to being the CEO of Rebelmouse and a partner at Lerer Ventures, Berry also is officially serving as the CEO of Soho Tech Labs--yet another social startup incubator. Catch up with Paul Berry on Twitter @TeamReboot or cruising around SoHo.
The Innovator: Brad Kenney
When it comes to brand and product innovation in New York, there are very few people who have touched as many projects as has Brad Kenney. Another former technology writer/editor and agency creative/strategy lead (Y&R, Tribal DDB Worldwide), Kenney spent more than a year as director of the mobile/social platforms practice at interactive agency juggernaut R/GA. Brad's campaigns and app development projects and team contributed to that agency's sweeping nearly every award under the Cannes sun in 2012.
Kenney spent most of last year driving cutting-edge brand marketing campaigns for Brooklyn, New York-based über-brand MakerBot, including the wildly successful #Robohand video that documented how MakerBot users developed prosthetic hands for disabled children. In addition, his curated collections of what he calls viral objects have been featured multiple times on MBI's Thingiverse site.
Kenney also is a founder of Stash.Me, a New York-based social-media startup that is the "Pinterest for events." He also has designed social games as chief experience officer of the boutique agency Dark Roast Media and serves as an advisor to vFit, a 3D-printing startup in health innovation.
The Superbrain: Maria Popova
Like Kenney, Maria Popova, a cross-training cool hunter and MIT "Futures of Entertainment" fellow, was a former writer for The Atlantic, Wired UK, The New York Times, Harvard's Nieman Journalism Lab, and other publications.
Popova started Brain Pickings in 2006 as an eclectic email newsletter that has expanded into a blog with more than a million visitors a month. Here's how Popova describes her mission: "In order for us to truly create and contribute to culture, we have to be able to connect countless dots, to cross-pollinate ideas from a wealth of disciplines, to combine and recombine these ideas and build new ideas."
Brain Pickings--which remains ad free and is fully supported by readers--is a so-called cross-disciplinary LEGO treasure chest, containing pieces spanning art, design, science, technology, and more. Brain Pickings is a discovery engine that "enriches your mental pool of resources and empower combinatorial ideas" that contribute to innovation.
Popova began her blog by pulling together all the interesting things she stumbled upon while working at an ad agency a few years ago. She now spends the majority of her time curating for Brain Pickings and inspiring readers and supporters around the world. Find Popova on @brainpickings or around the city, most often wearing yellow!
The Intelligence Agent: Cecilia Pagkalinawan
Any NYC shortlist of supermarketers--even one this short--wouldn't be complete without the dyed-in-the-cashmere fashionista Cecilia Pagkalinawan.
Pagkalinawan earned her stripes as a former e-commerce specialist in high fashion for Burberry, IBM, Barney's. and others. Since leaving Burberry, she has become a serial entrepreneur who most recently held the CMO job at Hone, a social intelligence and curation startup for marketing and communications groups, and the music discovery app Stagedom (as well as approximately 20 other entrepreneurial ventures). She also is an adviser at BetaAngels Management. You can find Cecilia at @ceciliaNY and pretty much anywhere else content, technology, and startups mix.