Lori Schwab

Why did you first get online?

The why is the same as the when. For a job I had at the time, we needed to be inline or ahead of the communications curve, which is why and when I got my first external Hayes modem — remember those? This was followed with my first email account with CompUServe. It was very exciting for me as the first person in the office to have it — which drove the then IT guy crazy because he didn’t have enough knowledge to control it. Eventually I landed at NYNMA, where, obviously. the need to be online was implied.

When did you first get involved with digital and why?

My CompUServe account was in 1993. It was late 1994, when I received two job offers. The first was with a traditional design organization and the other was with NYNMA. When faced with the choice of traditional vs. uncharted territory, there was no doubt in my mind that this “Internet” thing was where I wanted to be.

How would you describe your work and professional interests in the 1990’s (or 80’s etc).

I started in public relations at Ruder Finn’s Arts and Communications Counselors, specializing in visual and performing arts public relations and marketing. We provided corporations, cultural institutions, government agencies and foundations with strategic communications counseling. From there I moved to a consulting firm, working with cultural institutions, community organizations, and companies to develop visitor experiences. One of our clients was the International Design Conference in Aspen, which then hired me as the Program Director. There I was introduced to the best and most innovative ideas through art, design, communications and technology. Finally, I was hired by NYNMA as the Executive Director, charged with running and growing this important new organization.

What do think the future will hold internet/digital?

Ah, the big question, and as they say, if I knew I’d be rich. Clearly the impact of both Social Media and Mobile technologies are the current trends that will lead future developments in the short term. Further, I suspect that the days of completely free quality original content are numbered.

Beyond that, frankly, I have no clue and I’m always suspicious of those that emphatically declare they know what’s coming.

This I know for sure, whatever happens is dependent on supporting and encouraging the creative and innovative work and minds of people who, as of today, we don’t even know exist.

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