Future of Media Summit

July 18, 2007

in general

Last night I headed over to the Future of Media summit hosted by Ross Dawson. This is the link to the Future of Media Report. I like the format he’s trying to build both for Future Explorations Network and the way he connected Australia with the US last night. These distance connections and exchanges are becoming more effective. The two audiences were connected using Skype Video which other than a drop right at the very end worked very effectively. Ross was able to facilitate the panels one half in the US and the balance in Sydney from SF. The communications cost of this link up miniscule. A few years ago Satelite video links would have cost a fortune.

Both groups had an audience so they had visual feedback on what they were saying. That’s important as there is nothing harder than talking to a camera where there is no feedback. Then the last challenge is setting up the chairs etc… so the panelists can see each other and the audience can also hold all the panelists and the moderator in one view. That’s not quite so easy. A little more tech – dual screens etc and it may appear even more seamless.

The blog for the event. Here. I wrote a few notes on the first session covering media and virtual worlds. Posted here. Excerpt.

What are the new ways to reach customers using a Second Life type environment. Why should you have a branded site in Second Life? At the moment it is just a learning opportunity. It may provide some awareness for your brand. In the end it is experimenting with a new channel. No one has figured this out.

What they have been learning…. Conclusions.

  • technology complex
  • build costs high
  • engagement hard to control
  • traffic microscopic <6000 uniques per month
  • communities hard to aggregate and qualify
  • benefit soft and hard to measure
  • ROI NIL save for first mover’ PR which is fading).

I cannot help thinking that the examples of big brands and Fortune 1000 companies jumping into Second Life are just applying a Brand 1.0 type of model.

Separately, the disucssion became more interesting when talking about influencers. The following is paraphrased I think spoken by Mitch Radcliffe.

Recently … social networks meets influence networks. mostly noise in
social networks… the newsfeed and the api… events that have
occurred in your network. If you have people in your network that are
important influencers then …. role that is bridging…
synthesis.. different groups of people with complementary passions.

dell example . two groups. bloggers that needed to be a voice in the
marketplace.. Jeff. and secondly lot of people that were becoming
frustrated with dell. They needed a catalyst… and catalysing event
that brought the topic to a boil…. don’t see the same thing
happening yet on Facebook. … How do you use the API to create
synthesis? That’s increasingly isolated by applications operating within Facebook. How to expand beyond one’s borders and test the limits of one’s
edge… influencers will play a very important role.

There is not enough thought going into this synthesis role. However the thought that applications may be destructive to influence and synthesis on Facebook is interesting.

Overall we know that Media is ripe for revolution. However, I remain convinced that the media industry isn’t using the tools or the approaches to really explore “what next”. Lock-in to old models (even recent ones like web sites) are limiting management and how they think. Social Media is low cost experimentation. Organizations are putting inadequate resources on the experimentation.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ross Dawson July 21, 2007 at 12:48 am

Thanks for your really insightful comments Stuart!

Note that the video link was provided by Polycom and was high-definition – I don’t think Skype would have been up to the quality of link that we had!

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