Digital prophet accused of speaking nonsense at conference

SAY WHAT? AOL’s David Shing has been accused of spouting pure gibberish.
SAY WHAT? AOL’s David Shing has been accused of spouting pure gibberish. Contributed

A "DIGITAL prophet" hired by AOL has been accused of spouting pure gibberish after delivering a baffling lecture at a major conference.

With his gravity-defying hair, Australian-born David Shing cut a flamboyant figure at the Next Web Europe Conference in Amsterdam.

His presentation, The Art of Storytelling, confirmed Shing's reputation as the go-to guy for digital paradigm techno gibberish, taking corporate speak to a whole new level.

Describing the potential for "awesome" wearable devices delivering "pictures that explode", AOL's prophet threw out buzz phrases including "fail forward foundation" and "embrace always logged-in".

Among the pearls of wisdom, Shingy, as he is known, told delegates: "Dude, it's a whole other scene, man and it's pizzling (sic)."

Gawker's Valleywag tech site posted a video of the speech and accused Shing of "yelling insane gibberish" for 20 minutes.

Attempting to explain the meaning of "pizzled", Shingy described it as a mode "somewhere between pissed off and puzzled" which is "a whole other scene".

He clarified: "Is always on always good? Always on is important, versus always relevant is more important."

Described by one website as a "tech Zoolander", Shingy calls himself a "storyteller" who "inspires people".

His role at AOL is to meet clients and advise them on a digital advertising strategy. His speech, received with enthusiastic applause by delegates, concluded with a plea to "remix our budgets and embrace the fact that our brands are being utilised".

"Storytelling is about what we are empowered to do. Be provoked. Be provoking."

Shingy began working at AOL in 2008 in the marketing department and later awarded himself the title Digital Prophet because "it was fun and funky".

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