SPIographies: Max Duke

Describe your role on the PBS Digital team.
I am the Director of the Station Products & Innovation team. Basically, I help stations use digital technology and strategies to do what they already do so well—tell the powerful stories of their communities.

How will the digital world change over the next few years?
I think the trend towards ubiquitous access to content and information will continue, with new devices and platforms emerging. We will continue to grow closer as a people and more empowered as individuals. The result will be that every person will be a participant in shaping the world, regardless of his or her place in it. So…more of the same?

How would you explain the PBS mobile app in a few sentences to a 10-year-old?
Most 10-year-olds know more about digital than adults, so regardless of what I say, I’m sure I will get a funny look. I would probably say, “You can watch the same stuff that’s on TV, but on your iPad.” That’s what I tell my mom, and it seems to work.

What is the one website you can’t live without?…I’m a University of Miami alum, and it is the only site I pay a subscription to access. Go Canes!

What book do you think every person needs to read?
I was an English major and, therefore, subject to a great many tomes I wish I never had to read. As a result, I became much more of a short story person (or short story collections). Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut and Batorsag and Szerelem by Ethan Canin are two of my favorite stories. I would recommend them to anyone.

If I had to pick a book, I would go with The Tao of Pooh. It had a profound effect on me when I first read it. It’s kind of a “Don’t sweat the small stuff” type of book, but has so many profound concepts. Plus, there’s Winnie the Pooh!

What is your favorite mobile app?
Too many to choose from! For games, I would go with Pocket Tanks, a version of the excellent, old school Scorched Earth game. Pulse is the one I use the most--no better RSS reader out there.

Describe your perfect weekend.
Happy Family, Great Food, E-mail Server Down.

If you could have a Google Hangout with any person, who would it be?

Kurt Vonnegut…he was brilliant, timeless, and hilarious. He observed the world in a way that few ever could, but the stories he told translated it perfectly.

Describe the internet in one word.