Q&A with Stacey Higginbotham, Editor, Internet of Things Newsletter and IoT Podcast

Can you set the stage, give us some background about how your IoT podcast and newsletter came about?

I started the podcast after Gigaom exploded last year. I had previously offered a podcast on the internet of things at Gigaom, and about two weeks after the site died, missed it so much that I asked Kevin Tofel if he’d mind working with me if I started a new one. Figuring out how to host, edit and do all the technical stuff associated with a podcast was hard, but Kevin, my husband and random people on Twitter helped me figure it out. The podcast has now been alive for a little over a year. We just published our 57th episode!

Who is your audience? What’s your “Editorial Mission”?

We just conducted a voluntary listener survey that  showed that 40% of our listeners are developers, 67% are IoT enthusiasts, and a smaller percentage work in the industry as startup executives or in the enterprise. The editorial mission of the podcast is to share my love of devices and curiosity about where the Internet of Things is taking us with anyone who is interested.

The newsletter has a different mission. There I’m trying to tell people who feel overwhelmed by all of the information coming at them about the Internet of Things, where to focus. I’m trying to help them form a viewpoint and give them information to help them understand what’s happening and how it could affect other industries.

What sets “Stacey on IoT” apart from other industry media? 

I have covered technology for 15 years. The Internet of Things is a result of the development of better wireless networks, cloud computing, smaller processors, cheap data storage and analysis and ways to apply machine learning. I’ve covered every aspect of these technologies in crazy depth, while also writing about the business of tech. I can’t predict the future, but I can make really educated guesses that others can’t. I also have an amazing source network that respects the work I do.

What made you choose the Internet of Things? Are you interested in particular aspects?

I gravitated to this naturally based on that 15 years of covering everything that came together to become the Internet of Things (IoT). It’s going to be such a huge driver of change, I am interested in everything. Like broadband has changed society, the ability to get access to cheap data from billions of connected sensors is going to change everything again. I want to understand how.

What do you see as the most important IoT trends during 2016 and beyond? What should we be paying attention to?

For that, you have to download the podcast or subscribe to the newsletter 🙂

What’s great (and not so great) about what you do now?

It’s great to be trying to make a living doing what I love. I do miss the structure of daily deadlines and the camaraderie of a newsroom (even if it was virtual).

If you could interview anyone, who would it be and why?

Barack Obama, what’s he worried about related to technology. He’s relatively normal, but thoughtful. He’s not thinking about connected lights, I can almost guarantee it. But knowing how Washington currently thinks and could be led to a real understanding of technology issues would be so valuable. Unless that answer is wait for everyone old to die.

Why Austin instead of one of the traditional tech hubs?

I live here because my family is here and NYC is too cold and San Francisco is too expensive. Also, it’s awesome to not have every conversation be about tech. Or rent. Or the media.

What’s your favorite IoT device?

For utility, I’d choose the Echo or my Chamberlain garage door opener. For sheer fun, maybe the littleBits cloudBit and sensors. Or perhaps the illumi or LIFX bulbs.

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