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Jenni Hogan

Jenni Hogan wants to change the way you interact with news — and the way it interacts with you.

With a vision for connectivity, communication, and entrepreneurship — not to mention more than 50,000 Twitter followers — the traffic reporter and Social7 creator is working with her KIRO news team to evolve the conversation between people and information.

“To change the entire television spectrum is going to take time, purely because of large corporations,” says Hogan. “Unless someone just says: ‘You know what, we are going to go for it, and we’re not scared to fail’ than that would be amazing. Just put it out there and see what happens, and we are going to make mistakes, but we are going to make mistakes with you guys, and if the bureaus would let that happen, that would be awesome.”

What lessons has Hogan, an Australian who previously captained the University of Washington crew team to national titles, learned along the way? And what’s she up to next?

Find out more in this episode of Nextcast.

  • Hogan doesn’t just want you to watch the news, she wants to have a conversation with you about the news. Turning the one-way, “outbound” communication of the news into a two-way interaction is what she’s all about, and she loves the possibilities “Now, with your iPad you create the news. You can go to whatever source you want, and you can design your own newscast,” she says. (2:11)
  • On being authentic on social media: “I think it really has to be something you are passionate about. I think you can’t fake it, or lie…. I have a personality who loves it, so it doesn’t overwhelm me.” (5:10)
  • Keeping an open mind and being ready for anything is how Hogan innovates. Be ready for “things that come out of the blue” because that’s where the game-changers are. “Be open to letting the community create what’s next,” she says. (9:30)
  • On innovating at big companies: “I love being a serial entrepreneur, but I am in a large company. So, it has always confused me that I have this personality that is an entrepreneur, but saying out loud that I haven’t quite worked out if that’s the right thing to do…. I feel like I am an entrepreneur in my company.” (10:30)
  • Who is her hero? Anyone who can “jump.” “People who are trying and failing; they’re not secure, but they’re following their dreams.” A KIRO entrepreneur herself, Hogan says anyone trying to make something new happen (no matter what) is worth admiring. (17:14)
  • On interacting with her audience. “My audience is everyday people,” she says. (21:55)
  • Hogan says she loves the possibilities of social media to connect everyone from celebrities to the everyday news viewer. Her goal? “Empowering people to give them a voice. If there’s a way to use technology to empower people to have a platform, a lot of people have something great to add, but they don’t have the spotlight,” she says. (23:45)

Nextcast founder Jeff Dickey is passionate about technology, business and philosophy. He works as the chief cloud architect at Redapt, a Redmond-based cloud and big data infrastructure company. Additional reporting by Kate Stull. [Editor’s note: GeekWire is proud to partner with Jeff Dickey who produces the Nextcast entrepreneur interview series].

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