Media and Social Networks Roundtable

By Rob Antulov on July 27, 2008 | Permalink

Firstly, let me say congratulations again to Ross for a great conference. I was asked to moderate one of the Roundtable discussions held during the day – namely one of the three on the topic: ‘Media and Social Networks’, although we probably discussed ‘Social Media’ more broadly than we did the specific topic.
Participants in this conversation were:

  • Gavan Heaton (aka Servant of Chaos)
  • Josh Mehlman, Editor at Nett
  • Chris Saad, CEO of Faraday Media (Paying Attention)
  • Stuart Buchanan, General Manager at Community Engine
  • Stephen Collins from acidlabs
  • Ulash Tiwari, Web Analytics from IBM (sorry if I got the name/title wrong, Ulash)
  • Gemma Maughan, from Lewis PR
  • Myriam (sorry Myriam, didn’t get your surname or company)
  • Jemma Enright, from DaVinci, and myself,
  • Rob Antulov, CEO 3eep Pty Ltd
  • Some of the discussion around the table follows …
    Definition of Social Media

  • while social networking is mostly about connections, social media is more about content creation
  • personal media – enables individuals to express themselves, thereby socialising that expression with others
  • Corporate Participation in Social Media

  • employees as bloggers or social media participants – blend of individual prespective and the ‘corporate’ brand
  • many companies about which conversaion occurs online are NOT tracking this conversation, so are missing out on a unique opportunity to listen and engage with some of their passionate consumers
  • ignoring social media (by a corporate) doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist – the conversation continues even if ignored
  • invoking the Cluetrain Manifesto, Chris made the point that a company thinking that it can still strongly control its ‘public face’ is begin severley undermined by social media (and used his own example of Twittering about his poor experience with Qantas as an example)
  • companies are not resourcing internally to listen to or participate in the online conversation
  • companies’ strategies should be about listening and engaging – the tools are easy to use and relatively inexpensive
  • companies can use social media to ‘close the feedback loop’, right back/down to the product if that is identified
  • companies can use ‘crowd-source’ strategies – for example, with product support to other users
  • companies should aim to build relationships with people online in a similar way to that which they would use in a ‘face-to-face’ situation – treat them as real, use authenitc communications, enable access to real people (eg CEO, COO, etc)
  • How does a ‘corporate’ (eg Qantas) do it? – get involved, encourage employees, set boundaries; but, will require changes in the way companies hire, train and ‘guide’ staff
  • Stephen used a great example of how 10 Downing St has engaged with their online community by ‘participating in the conversation’ that occurs about British politics and the Prime Minister
  • NFP and Community Social Networks

  • NFPs often don’t have $ or resources to engage with their stakeholder coimmunities as nmuch as they’d like
  • They can use social media to communicate with their communities
  • Advertising Considerations on Social Media

  • social media ad budgets are generally miniscule for major brands
  • proposal is that companies could shift even just 10% of their ad budget into ‘new’ media for powerful and measurable results
  • ROI is not always the right metric to focus on
  • “What is the value of a conversation about your product?” – immeasurable!
  • Hope that gives you some insight into some of the thoughts that were discussed by a table-full of passionate and interested observers and participants in this very interesting time we find ourselves in!

    How will news and social networks be integrated?

    By Ross Dawson on July 22, 2008 | Permalink

    It is inevitable that news dissemination will become a largely social function. By whatever means, we will be provided with extremely low touch ways of sharing content we think would be interesting to specific people we know. This will then be filtered in various ways by the recipients, however most will value being recommended articles and sites on an individual basis.
    Digg, StumbleUpon,, and other tools allow us to recommend content to the world at large. But recommendations are far more valuable if they are specific to the person and context. The best way to disseminate these recommendations is through our social networks, if we happen to spend time there. So social networks can become a platform for the collaborative filtering of content, giving individuals the benefit of their network’s judgment and access to information.
    In this context, the announcement today by New York Times and LinkedIn of a way of providing custom content and recommendations to their network is a landmark. Over the next few years this integration of social networks and content will rapidly evolve to be a very important part of the landscape.


    Fantastic insights from the blog coverage of the Future of Media Summit

    By Ross Dawson on July 19, 2008 | Permalink

    Sorry I’ve been slow to follow up on the Future of Media Summit – it’s been a very busy time since the event, including some long flights 🙂
    To start off here are some of the most interesting blog posts on the Summit. There are some fantastic ideas and insights in these, so well worth a read. In no particular order :
    Stephen Collins: What will the future of media look like?, including the ‘artificial split’ between journalism and new media
    Chris Bishops: Monetising future content: business models as traditional content models break down.
    JD Lasica: Takeaways from Future of Media Summit, including the ‘Great Decoupling’ and media as ‘Distraction Machine’
    Phil Morle: A Future for TV: The Collaborative Crowd – the future is (crudely) present
    Seth Yates: Comprehensive Future of Media Summary including notes on all the panels
    Jay Cross: review of Future of Media Summit, including the US future of journalism panel
    Stilgherrian: Note to “old media: journalists: adapt or stfu!
    (Same post at Crikey with different comment stream)
    Jonathan Este: Bloggers: the biggest whingers since journalists (Response to Stilgherrian, originally posted on Crikey and reposted on Stilgherrian’s blog with comments)
    Brad Howarth: Live from Future of Media Summit Part 1, Live from Future of Media Summit Part 2, Live from Future of Media Summit Part 3 – detailed insights and commentary
    Craig Wilson: review of the Future of Media Summit, including discussion of the Twitter backchannel at the event
    Gavin Heaton: review of future of Media Summit: the future of media is PARTICIPATION
    Alex Gibson: compilation of ideas and annotations from the event Twitter stream
    Kathy Drasky: live blogging and commentary from the Future of Media Summit in Silicon Valley
    Gordon Whitehead: Future of Media: Opportunity or Train Wreck – believing in opportunities
    Also be sure to see the initial review of social media commentary on the Future of Media Summit. Since then, additional posts on the Future of Media Summit blog include two additional summaries of discussions on Participant Roundtables on the Sydney side:
    Media and social networks Roundtable
    Shifts in the advertising industry Roundtable

    Media and Social Networks Roundtable: moderator Jim McNamara

    By Prakash Mirchandani on July 17, 2008 | Permalink

    Media and Social networks.
    Moderated by Jim McNamara.
    We were asked to think about the word “social” with regards to social networks – since the networks were used for many more things than just social interaction.
    What about calling them community networks for instance? A group like Advance, meant to link the Australian diaspora around the world used it as a means of business, while Financial institutions used the networks for business interaction.
    Also, since there are so many uses for social networks, should they be classified under the generic term of ‘media”?
    One of the key points about the networks was that they used ‘trust’ and word of mouth, based on the user being empowered. Rather like an Irish pub, said someone, an example of a social and communications network and also a place for distribution of material.
    There was discussion about misterminology about the words social networks – since after all they were mediated – so were they not just another form of media?
    Or have social networks morphed into another and different form of media altogether?
    Depends on your point of view, said one participant: it’s a generational thing. Older people would use them to push agendas, whereas younger people used them more for communications and social purposed.
    The definition is irrelevant, said another: whatever you want to call it – you are a target audience to the advertiser. Not so, was the reply, since the advantage of Web 2.0 was the ability to talk back and interact. It gives participants a voice.
    There was talk about traditional media being ‘closed media’, in the sense the audience was told what to look at, whereas social networks were ‘open media’.
    Should we therefore, said the moderator, be thinking about a term such as ‘emergent’ media as it was still developing.
    The conversation moved on to the issue of the audience as content generators and the day of the citizen journalist .
    We agreed on the core concepts of social media as being: Open/interactive/participatory
    We then turned to history and reviewed the fact that there used to be the marketplace and the forum in a village society, which allowed for participatory contact and interaction. Mass media had in fact taken away from people the ability to talk to one another. “We’re back to the global town hall meeting and the world as a village”.
    Final Key points to consider:
    Information vs communication
    Peer to peer influences at work
    Social for engagement rather than just to be cosial
    And so, does this now make social media a mainstream concept?

    Shifts in the Advertising Industry Notes

    By Seth Yates on July 16, 2008 | Permalink

    * Donald McBain, Head of Brand Marketing, MLC
    * Alena Jang, MLC
    * Nicholas Wong, Manager, Corporate Strategy, SBS
    * Stephen Hollings, CEO, News Digital Careers
    * Chris Bishop, BizNet
    * Caesar Wong, Web Managing Editor, IBM
    * Craig Blair, Netus
    * Roger Kermode, Prime Digital Works
    * (sorry, didn’t catch her name)?, Yahoo
    * Michael Broadhead, Folk
    * Kara Sullivan, Folk
    Marketers changing focus on CPC, wanting more action.
    Underlying metrics: Different publishers have different spins. Some
    emphasise engagement, UB’s, PI’s, CPM, etc.
    Yahoo! Gateway – performance display, connection between offline and
    online. On back of TV commercial – “Search on Yahoo for XYZ”
    Much greater fragmentation, unbundling. Takes longer to buy media.
    Instead of 5 calls, now it takes dozens.
    Agency commission gone in the last 10 years for most, but agencies
    starting to charge “consulting fee” to claw this back.
    Online consolidating to representation (e.g., “networks”)
    Clients saying they want to do innovation for sake of innovation (“I
    want to do an online ad”, vs focussing on the message and target)
    Agencies often having independent “strategy units” to tie together
    different media types
    Media agencies currently unskilled at doing the cross-media planning.
    Many set up a “new media” division. Clients don’t want that, they
    want a media plan.
    Influx of hedge fund skills into media buying. Think of them as asset
    managers vs agencies.
    Demand for data and analytics increasing rapidly.
    Can we design our sites for larger screen sizes? Are those people in
    a more valuable demographic?
    “Free will win, but it will come at a cost” – Nicholas Wong, SBS

    Quick review of social media coverage of Future of Media Summit

    By Ross Dawson on July 15, 2008 | Permalink

    I’ll do some more detailed reflections on the Future of Media Summit tomorrow. I’m just about to fall over after a very long day, but thought I’d post a few important social media references and commentary on the event.
    First stopping point has to be the Future of Media Summit Blog, where participants have been busily posting all day, notably:
    Participant roundtables in Sydney:
    Mobile Media and Content
    Future of Media and Television
    Flow Economy/ Media Strategy Workshop in Silicon Valley:
    Reviews of panel discussions:
    Global Media Strategies – 1
    Global Media Strategies – 2
    CEO Panel – 1
    CEO Panel – 2
    Future of TV and video – by Mark Pesce 1
    Future of TV and video – by Mark Pesce 2
    Future of Privacy and Targeted Advertising
    Future of Journalism (Sydney)
    Unconference sessions:
    New Media – 1
    New Media – 2
    Twitter comments:
    See the Summize search for Twitters with the #fom08 tag – literally hundreds of Twitters from attendees at the Future of Media Summit (which included a Twitter 101 session during the Unconference session in Sydney).
    Live video:
    The Ustream video from Phil Morle
    All this will give you a good feel for the event from the perspective of participants. I’ll provide some of my thoughts soon.
    In previous years the Summit blog has continued to be active for quite a while after the event as discussions continue online – hopefully this will be the case this year too! Subscribe to the blog to keep up with the conversation.

    Unconference – New Media

    By Alice Harrison on | Permalink

    New Media
    – Is consumer a dead word? It implies that they are passive
    – Does the same content player work for all audiences?
    – Participants drive
    o Content
    o Format
    o Delivery
    – Segmentation – not age but levels of interaction / media usage
    – Content
    o What you want, when you want it
    – Progression of people
    o Media literacy/interfaces
    o Demanding short attention spans of people
    – As quality increases peoples standards go up
    – Production quality not important on a 2×2 screen
    o Versus relevance quality
    – Advertising – selling a product through need or desire

    – Content
    o Interaction vs experience
    o Peer recognition
    o Sharing value with others
    – Technology
    o MID – Mobile Internet Device
    – Cheaper – increases penetration
    • Fundamental change in internet demographics
    – Variable content by device
    o Quality of the idea
    o People are not necessarily looking for production quality (time, relevance immediacy)
    – Funding notes
    o Selling product vs trafficking
    o Traditional model – aggregate – very little mass appeal content
    – We can’t make all of the good stuff free – public sponsorship
    – Wider distraction channels
    o Audience distribution / greater reach
    o What is the measure of sources and how can discussion be monetise / the value recognised

    Unconference: New Media

    By Erin Moss on | Permalink

    Notes from the group discussion…
    Generational difference
    “Consumer” is a dead word (implies passive) > changed to participants, but not every participant is active
    Does the same content player work for all audiences?
    Participants drive: content, format, delivery
    – Differences for different cultures
    – Participants drive the creation of niches
    Segmentation: Not age but levels of interaction/media usage; how much time do they have
    Progression of people – how does it change the formats people are looking for
    – demanding short attention spans
    – media literacy/simplification of interfaces
    – unleash untapped potential in audiences
    – transferred knowledge
    Segment by need vs product segment
    what you want, when you want it, how you want it, how you will make it
    – production quality vs. relevance quality
    As quality goes up, peoples standards go up
    Production quality not important @ 2×2 screen. Therefore, free/grass roots content acceptable
    Need content – what is it people really want?
    – information vs. experience
    – peer recognition
    Variable content by device
    – Quality of the idea
    – People are not necessarily looking for production quality but time, relevance, immediacy (e.g. happy to view grainy footage of the Gulf War that has basically been filmed on a mobile phone)
    Funding models
    Selling product vs trading traffic
    Traditional model – aggregate eyeballs
    – BUT very little mass appeal content (hard to create content that appeals to everybody)
    How do you fund content?
    Community supported content models (e.g. Wikipedia) – make value judgement about what’s important then voluntarily contribute to support it
    Reality is we can’t make all the good stuff free (Australian film industry) > public sponsorship
    – Implications for creating a “user choice” model
    Wider distribution channels
    – audience distribution/greater reach
    – leverage this idea to divide content up and sell it in different ways
    What is the measure of success and how can success be monetised/the value recognised
    – Multiple forms
    MID – Mobile Internet Device
    Cheaper – increases penetration, fundamental in changing internet demographics (i.e. currently the most people on the internet are English-speaking Westerners, but predictions are that this will change)

    Predictions for the Future of Media

    By Erin Moss on | Permalink

    Top Australian media executives discuss the findings of the prediction markets, and offer their own insights into directions for the media industry.
    Belinda Rowe (Zenith Optimedia)
    – Optimist at heart
    – Get tired of discussion around whether mainstream media will survive – most of the big media companies have moved into the digital space and are using this to enhance their customer relationships
    Angelos Frangopoulos (Australian News Channel)
    – Don’t see any option other than to grow
    – A case of embracing as many opportunities as you can
    – Digital since 1996
    – Fanastic future for mainstream media because we are all diversifying – those who don’t embrace change will suffer
    Wendy Hogan (CNET)
    – CBS integration
    – Contrary to last session, CNET employee a significant number of just for web journalists, who are allowed to blog if they like!
    – Different payment models for how you recognise the contribution of people
    – Inviting the audience to participate is a method people are using to bring their production costs down
    – Give bloggers the opportunity to be seen by audiences
    Mark Scott (ABC)
    – Positive picture for ABC – recognise they are a good content creator
    – Deliver content to audience at a time they want in a format they want
    – Advantages for ABC: has a lot of content and don’t need to execute that in a model that makes money
    – Business model relies on getting a big cheque from the Commonwealth Government, by showing they deliver unique content to Australians
    Australian media landscape is distinctive
    – Urbanisation, distribution of population
    What will make Australian media landscape distinctive in the future?
    – Global boundaries that have already been strong are broken down – Aus consumer can engage with content from all around the world
    – It will be harder for media companies than when there were far fewer content providers. Who will be able to financially deliver content created in local communities and delivered to local communities?
    – Access to 24 hour content from countries all around the world – challenge for mainstream media is about being more and more relevant to local markets. What is unique about us compared with operator overseas?
    – Australia has successfully exported content overseas (e.g Neighbours, Home & Away). Opportunity for Australia to produce more content to export, technology can pave the way – need investment in broadband for this to happen efficiently and easily
    – CNET: add content with a local context to a site that already exists (e.g. Game Spot – need to tweek Grand Theft Auto for Australian players). Deliver contextually relevant ads too. It’s all about putting decisions back in audience’s hands regarding content and where they want to read/view it
    – ABC: how to find a program that is intrinsically Australian? The real challenge for Aus program makers not that the global market is open to Aus content, but that the global market is available for audience here to see, but you still have to make your money back from the audience here as well – i.e. it’s not about selling Australian content overseas.
    – No doubt that online will be a big distribution mechanism – more and more people will watch traditional TV content online. How do you monetise it? No one wants to buy/watch pre-rolls? CNET says there’s a big drop off from pre-roll to video content, especially for 30 sec pre-rolls
    Media channels will be increasing age fragmented
    – Teenage audiences using social networking to share content experiences (e.g. MySpace page for Jamie from Summer Heights High)
    – Younger audiences are more personalised and selective about what content they consume, they are more content loyal rather than channel loyal (i.e. content is channel agnostic)
    – Advent of data

    Round Table Discussion: Mobile Media and Content

    By Rachael Bolton on | Permalink

    Clearly the iPhone is changing the way that the Australian audience thinks about consuming products via their mobile devices. Where arguably the technology has been available for some time, getting your head around the application of that technology – getting excited about it – that is a different matter.
    We discussed the potential of mobile as both a medium for consuming media product and a tool for creating it. As Stephen Quinn from Deakin University suggested, the mobile sphere has an enormous potential to reach people, particularly younger people, like never before.
    Viacorp’s Ian Gardiner made the point that the Australian mobile carriers are desperately trying to maintain a kind of “walled garden”, restricting access and hoping to protect their revenue accordingly, but perhaps “Carriers need o stop trying to be media companies, because they’re bad at it,” as was suggested by Christo Van Egmond from Stripe.
    The carriers might be trying to shore up their revenue models, retain ultimate control over content (however questionable the quality), but is there a real, substantial market for the content they are fighting so fiercely to protect?
    Generally the group believes there is – at least for certain content, and assuming Australian carriers loosen the leash in terms of download limits…
    Diverging for a second, does anyone reading this know the details and dynamics of the deal that lead to Telstra acquiring rights to distribute the iPhone and why 3 was left out? Would love more info on that.
    Anyway, returning to the point at hand, there is some debate over whether mobiles can compete with free content on larger screens over the internet.
    First foremost there needs to be appropriate infrastructure in place to accommodate the desire to view any content, to make that experience enjoyable and convenient, but once that is established, really the group agreed that there should be no “for mobile” content. It should all just be content, and platform agnostic. Some sites/uses will lend themselves more heavily to mobile – Van Egmond suggests sport results and breaking news – but really if I want to shop online, if I want to view YouTube, if I want to watch a streamed TV show, I should be able to do it.
    Mike Zimmerman from Technology Venture Partners suggests carriers might find some success and continued control if they begin to supplement subscription/pay-per-usage models with ad support, so offer a cut-rate cap plan in exchange for eyeballs during use time or SMS/MMS ads.
    Ultimately, as wifi becomes increasingly prolific and accessible and various different enabling technologies undermine the telcos’ ambitions, perhaps as Gardiner suggests “the carriers are doomed”.

    Future of Journalism

    By Erin Moss on | Permalink

    Newsrooms are laying off staff, print journalists are being asked to use video cameras, bloggers are going professional, and sub-editors are writing headlines for search engines. Who will the journalists be and how will they earn a living?
    Gen Y don’t want to read papers. But some say the newspaper is the best browser – selects the stories for you to read, rather than you going online and searching for only the stories of interest to you
    Currently the revenue for media companies comes from newspapers and online is being funded – this balance will evenutually change
    Newspapers are not as ‘green’ as online?
    Is the future of journalism only in the hands of journalists?
    – It will have to involve people who don’t consider themselves journalists today
    – Newspapers as a technology will have to adapt
    – Most people won’t read it front to back but will choose what they want to read
    – Green nature of newspaper publishing – allowing people to purchase only the sections they want thereby customising newspapers for the audiences that read them
    Skill and professionalism involved in journalism
    – The more likely user generated content will come in the visual form (rather than video) because making text requires a lot more work – being a professional journalist requires a certain expertise, it’s a craft.
    – Blogger is a columnist, not a journalist. You can’t be both.
    – Need to clearly identify ‘reporters’ versus ‘bloggers’
    – But, a blog is just a tool, a piece of paper or web page – some bloggers use the tool to report. Right now I’m using this Future of Media blog to record what is being said during today’s panels, rather than to simply express my opinions on the topics
    Why don’t journalists like bloggers and why don’t bloggers like journalists?
    Craze of blogging – everyone wants to have a blog
    That will settle down so that only the people who really have something to say in a blog will make use of one
    Need to move away from the idea of thinking that blogs are just a place for people to say ‘this is what i think’
    People are stretched right now in the amount of time they have and the amount of information they have to absorb (like Ronald Regan insisting that documents he had to read consisted of no more than one page)
    Journalists will become more required to be sythesisers of masses of information
    Fairfax Digital has employed senior, well-known journalists to write for SMH/The Age Business Day (online business site). If you have a blog that has enough credibility and funding then you could employ journalists. For now it is traditional media that are the main employers of journalists, however this will change
    What is the business model for the future of journalism?
    – Imcumbent of journalists to break news, but as is human nature there is also a tendency to cut corners to save time
    – Surprised if we see the same continuing pressure of newspapers over the next few years and no change in the status of journalists
    – Journalist at The Australian says she writes for online as well as the papers. When a story happens she has to quickly write the online story – is this the future of journalists? Reporting in a multi-media world
    – As newspapers driven by revenue and costs start to shed staff (e.g. LA Times has gone down by about half in the last 5 years) the quality and quantitiy of stories go down
    – Correlation b/w the number of jobs in the industry and the quality of the output
    Decline in newspaper market in America
    – No one has invested in them for years – no glossy liftouts like in Australia
    – Pressure on revenues requires them to cut, cut, cut
    – In Australia we have 3 very large print companies with huge earning bases from which to fund new ideas
    – Most of the cost cutting has gone into getting rid of the salaries of people
    – If we go into online, theoretically reducing paper already reduces costs
    – Jobs are there for people with certain skills – movement from print to online
    – Police force tends to lose people at certain ages, but then they go into similar jobs (e.g. driving instructers, security guards). This could happen for journalists too
    CONTROVERSY! Bloggers don’t pretend to have objectivity, journalists do
    – Journalists have let us down in the last 10 years or so with the focus on Monica Lewinsky, etc
    – Trying to set up a dichotomy b/w journalists and bloggers, but blogging is just a tool
    – Where a journalist will go off and research people, an individual has already blogged about it
    – False dichotomy to say that blogging and journlism are opposites? They are just different?
    Branding – you read something in The Australian and this guarantees a certain credibility for the content. With blogging the wheat is being sorted out from the chaff gradually. Some bloggers are gaining credibility, others are good for a laugh but you wouldn’t base your opinions on what they say
    Would journalists be happy being paid on how many page impressions a certain article gets? i.e. paid on performance
    Conversation with US panelists
    Is objectivity attainable?
    – Values of journalists: fairness, balance, choose stories that matter and not the stories that get the most page views (we know what stories those are already). It’s okay to have some Big Macs occasionally, but if you have Big Macs too often you become one sick person
    – Do we all agree about the notion of fairness?
    – Importance of certain stories
    – Goal for all of us is to become more educated and informed about the world around us, rather than just focusing on the stories or marketing products that we want (avoid star gazing)
    – Is such thing as too much of a good thing
    – Formula for reaching mass audience with the Big Macs and also providing the content that will clean their arteries of the cholestoral! Don’t know how to convey the important stories with this news medium of online

    Predictions for Future Media

    By Alice Harrison on | Permalink

    Embracing change and opportunites as there is a lot of room for diversifying. Financially, it all comes from quality content. Blogs/news content – different payment models for contributors – there will be recognition for video or photo content
    ABC – new ops in digital media offers more ways in more situations to communicate to Australia – advantages are from content and it isn’t under a business model framed to earn money – purely quality content. Online, off-line – all consumers of ABC are access in significant numbers. No-one else is in this position to do so.
    Australia is disctinctive in its media landscape – how/ what will continue this in the future?
    Distribution of population
    Global opps
    – Global boundaries have broken down around media – global newspapers etc content are now accessible. Regional and rural australia – who will be able to deliver content that is created in local communities & made for local communities?
    The landscape is much different in the future.
    Angelos – ANC
    Access to 24 hours news content – is a threat to ANS
    Being more and more relevant to each and every market – which sees them offering localised portals to various areas
    As a provider of info – what is not going to be easily replicated overseas
    Australia produces high quality content and production – technology – australia has the opportunity to produce/export more.
    Reliance on investment in broadband is needed for this to happen sooner and more easily
    CNET – content in a local context – you need a local context for many platforms – simply to make it contextually relevant to various locations (e.g GTA – may need to be censored). Putting it into the audiences hands – show what they want and what they want to know/interact with. Sport, interest, hobbies etc.
    ABC – what australian t.v product has expanded globally/domestically on it’s own
    Summer Heights High – BBC etc
    Challenge program makers – you still have to make your money back – how do you create programming here that competes domestically with global/o.s. shows – competitively
    There is a growing division in the age demographic
    Advertisers opp – amount of data and knowldge that is now available

    Future of Media and Television Roundtable

    By Mark Pesce on | Permalink

    with mark pesce as facilitator. global market. very intersting group. across a range of dinterests, content and media. interactive. also gov. aggregators, aust content, media agencies, vry exciting.
    are we operating in two different worlds. budgets, how to be interactive and deliver broadcast content as well. haveing shelf space for australia, is there need for regulation to hear australian voice? why settle for small space? australians create huge content on youtube. partiicpation as well. distrbution and content. old media world of film and tv. new age of partnership. both in distribution and content. innovation to come from fleet-footed. offset initiatives to incent production. early days lots of competitors.
    national innovation review to come out soon – to support the fleet-footed opportunistic innovators. Cutler’s review supports this. small innovators can apply to government to funding as they are the new face of innovation.
    new models of internet video NOT advertising. no one right answer. is advertising meant to be annoying? or to help meet people’s values?. metrics on p2p. large media coming to grips with the metrics. then re-eduate what they mean – not just per view – but level of engagement. study from trade body in uk tv and online buyers if they see both. Integrated sell to advertisers. tv, print, online. ad agencies margins are not as clear online. margins bigger in traditional – not as big online. need to try to talk same language details to compare tv and print ad to online. reach and frequency.
    media buyers still split – integrate online and tv. transitional phase? online is not about cpm it is about conversation. radio is doing it commercially online. push consumers to online. that radio bloke. measurability, accountability to drive away from cpm metrics.
    How to get beyond big media – media planners dont understand that the conversations online are not managed by big media. global conversations and regional marketing have a disconnect – tension between the two.
    What do broadcasters do with youtube? the new tv. tv is just a monitor – where do you want to access it? fragmented distribution mechanisms is huge for heritage media. they will never really be good at it. next step is deeper interactivity – additional media in the experience.
    government can influence by tax and incentives. new age of popularism. gov controls of internet, spam dont work. how to protect the kids. deeper levels of understanding and knolwedge so parents can influence, ethics.
    are free to air commercial scared? or are they really ocmfortable with where they re right now.

    Global Media Strategies

    By Erin Moss on | Permalink

    How can content creators localise content, distribution, and audience engagement to reach multiple markets?
    French perspective: alienate yourself if you don’t consume media in English
    – More people consuming media in English in Europe even though there are so many different languages
    – When you launch something in the US it can reach a minimum of 3 million people, whereas in Europe there are 20-21 different languages which restrict the reach of a single message
    Is English becoming viable as a media language?
    Search: despite the efforts of Google in China, Baidu remains ahead in search
    Multi media consumption: ahead of the game in Australia
    People care about what is going on locally, especially in smaller places. As opposed to engaging about national/global issues, people want to complain about their neighbours
    Yahoo: challenge as an organisation is to develop platforms to deliver scale, but localise formats
    Compared to US, the diversity you find in Europe is amazing. South Europeans very active in blogging (ego led, especially if you use your name) and converstaion platforms – but the more you go north blogging is almost non-existent (e.g. Germany, Switzerland). Germans have a tendency not to expose their names, they walk under a cover.
    Linked In – dominate US first and then localise.
    In terms of where Australian businesses stand in terms of exporting content into Chinese markets, it’s going to be challenging. The relative cost of media is some $10X cheaper than it is in Australia. India is a bit of a different kettle of fish. There are a number of businesses succeeding in taking content service over there.
    What is the easiest place to get dollars? How do we get the advertising dollars in China?
    Baidu is never going to leave China, Google is never going to get there
    China is one day going to have companies that come out and compete worldwide

    There is a mention of Customer Relationship Management…perhaps Service Management should be considered instead

    By Bill Daul on | Permalink

    There has been a thread talking about how important “customer relationship management” is. I propose we look more at the new field of Service Science:
    Services Sciences, Management and Engineering
    Service Science, Management and Engineering
    Or look up James Spohrer and Service Science…

    The Future of Live Television

    By Mark Pesce on | Permalink

    While on stage at the Future of Media 2008 Summit, I did have a bit of a brainwave, the crashing together of all my recent research on self-organizing social systems and the last five years thinking about media.
    I had a bit of a vision, and it looks like this. There’s an event – in Australia, it’s arguably a footy game – which has many thousands of people in the audience. Many of these people have high-end smart phones (Nokia N80/N95 or iPhone, etc.) which have good cameras and 3G/HSDPA radios. Add in a nice piece of software, such as Qik, and you immediately have turned every one of these folks into live broadcasters.
    OK, that’s nice, and it’s reasonably revolutionary. But that’s not where this ends. That’s where this begins.
    All of that massive live coverage is essentially uncoordinated, at least to begin with. But as soon as the capability exists to have this massive live coverage, tools will begin to be developed which can coordinate and crowdsource this coverage.
    Consider: these mobiles all have AGPS receivers – they know where they are. They can all handle a large amount of IP traffic (both up and down). This means that it should be possible to create tools which allow the users (live broadcasters) themselves to optimize their coverage. So that everyone is getting a unique shot.
    Plus, all of this will be fed into a master “console” – again, available to anyone – so that the streams can be chosen, mixed, and rebroadcast out to a broader web audience – all in real time.
    This is where Qik is going. Perhaps not this year. But certainly next year. And I can see a huge market opportunity for these tools, for the audiences these tools will aggregate, and for the events thus covered.
    That’s just the beginning. I’ve just scratched the surface. But this will be huge.

    Future of Privacy & Personalised Advertising

    By Erin Moss on | Permalink

    Will advertisers’ and publishers’ desire for highly targeted advertising be thwarted by the desire for privacy?
    Targeted advertising: Where are we today and where are we going?
    – Changing from push to pull model of advertising
    – Holy Grail of marketing – deliver the right ad to the right person at the right time
    – Most of the marketers out there are subscribing to the same tennants that traditional direct marketers have been for years (using consumer data to deliver advertising)
    – Ask Clients – what is the state of your database? Always problems. The issue is how much time & money do they want to spend on making their database healthy
    – Lack of innovation or room for innovation at the ad delivery level because everyone is too busy trying to sort out their data. Everyone is worried about how much personal information companies like Google have, but the thing is they actually have no idea how to use that information!
    – Search is your experience (you’re choosing to search for something) – targeting makes sense
    – Social advertising – Mistake a lot of sites are making today is trying to target too hyper-optimised. Users are creating content and participating in converations about content. There is room for non-targeted advertising where the advertisers participate in a social community and inform the social context – targeting doesn’t always make sense
    Who controls or owns data?
    Key points to clarify when talking about data ownership and privacy
    – The word privacy has a number of negative connotations, very vague. Can’t implement privacy, privacy is a biproduct
    – Data is personal and should be owned by the user. The problem is not one of ownership, what is missing today is control
    – Dataportability project is advocating tools to control personal data
    – When a person discloses data to a particular company/party they might feel comfortable doing so. Starts to become scary for an individual when data is collated through merges of companies, etc
    – Usually some sort of incident leads to public outcry and the government steps into to mandate privacy laws
    – Need to develop techniques and mechanism to protect ourselves before someone else tells us how to do it
    – Put control in the users’ hands to revoke permission to use it
    Who are the players in this world of highly targeted advertising?
    From a consumers’ perspective, if you are using a service you have a relationship with that particular service. But at the moment it’s relatively easy for a third party to get
    – How to avoid getting individual data sent around?
    Goods and services that provide utility in exchange for data (e.g. Users know there is a trade off between getting free Gmail and seeing ads)
    Users are the main players. Personal digital assistant – program to receive any of the information you’re looking for and serve as a data repository
    Vendor relationship management – customer collects as much data about themselves and then provides access to vendors
    Important to remember that not all advertising leads to an immediate transaction
    Trust is missing – how do we gain trust?
    Marketing is the process of having a dialogue with the people you’re targeting. Puts Facebook and other social networking platforms ahead because they create converstaions. However, Facebook may have made the mistake of trying to monetise word-of-mouth

    some photos from today in Mt. View

    By Bill Daul on | Permalink

    Future of TV and Video

    By Erin Moss on | Permalink

    How existing broadcast and cable TV are shifting into an open landscape including user generated video, IPTV, and video conversations?
    Where is the TV landscape going?
    – It’s a landscape getting more and more challenging – securing distribution and getting access to consumers
    – Key is to figure out how to package TV and present to people in a way that is compelling and doesn’t lose the editorial voice, but also to figure out how to make money of this business which is always evolving
    – Innovation – bring new things to this medium
    – TV is a medium which hasn’t changed much in the past 40-50 years
    – Time to innovate, time to bring new ways of consuming and participating in television for it to prosper
    Can current TV broadcast be maintained?
    – People yearn for experience and current broadcasters can still provide some of these experiences
    – But some broadcasters have been complacent in regard to some of the changes going on and need to consider new ways of attracting revenue
    TV broadcasters as far apart from consumers now as they’ve ever been. Media should be singular
    Two components of what broadcasters do
    1. Content (primary)
    2. Distribution (secondary)
    One simple solution to the problems is content. None of it matters (how/where they get the content) if the content isn’t compelling. You won’t get any readers or viewers if you don’t produce good content
    – No one cares about ‘quality of presentation’ they care about ‘quality of content’. But you also need to produce a ‘volume of content’. If you can do that you can win in any media
    We all create content – broadcasters & consumers
    We can now as individuals go into live broadcasting – 500 people in a crowd covering events live from their phones. Can TV win this ‘live broadcasting’ match?
    Broadcasters can pull the user generated content together?
    Content creation & editing – consumers can do this too
    All of us are in an information revolution where QUALITY of content is key. If you can distribute this content then you will succeed. If you’re controlling a large amount of content (editorial) you have to have regular & effective quality control. If you have this you can win in a commodity market
    Rise of documentary as a form is attracting significant audiences (think An Inconvenient Truth), whereas previously a niche genre. This is just one example of changing content forms. If broadcasters are smart and adapt the new forms of content then they will succeed and have a successful future
    People consuming more and more short form video
    – YouTube is a fascinating example of the profiliferation of different forms of content
    – YouTube is an extention of people forwarding content
    – YouTube can promote broadcast content
    Moving towards ‘salience-based aggregation’ of content (away from time-based aggregation)
    – Sending content you think someone will appreciate
    – If I keep sending my friend crap he will no longer open my emails! This is true for broadcasters too
    TiVo launching this month
    – A bit of a yawn (i.e. not the revolution it would have been a few years ago)
    – People have already got used to the idea of consuming content on demand
    We now can be active in searching out what we want to see ourselves – at work you’ll look at your favourites (content you know you like/care about). At home you turn on the news and discover content you didn’t know you cared about – key is credible, usable content you care about
    What does the consumer actually care about? What are they looking for?
    – People want content that is more relevant for them. They don’t want a top-down media experience
    – Look at the success of YouTube! YouTube is still struggling to build an economic model – if Google hadn’t come along they would be a very different business today – but while you need to take economic factors into account, ultimately the most important thing is what the consumer wants
    Previously all you had to worry about was distribution – Large viewership, easy money. It’s much more interesting now – How do I get my audience interested in this? How do I get advertisers interested in this?
    Gruen Transfer – spend a lot of time talking about the low end ads (the screaming low end ads). They only need to get a few people viewing their ads to make money. With the changing nature of content (i.e. short form video) and advertising models, why don’t we have millions of little ads dropped into a certain, tangled video stream rather than placed on television (when people may just turn it off)?
    You’ve got to produce as much as you can at a low price, but you’ve also got to produce some Mercedes along the way. People are beginning to make choices based on content – if you have this mix of ‘base level content’ and ‘quality content’ it’s a good model for world domination!
    Three ways we consume information
    1. Read
    2. Listen
    3. Watch
    These are the three ways news/content providers need to dominate. Media organisations must be able to do all three to succeed

    Flow economy analysis of Yahoo! at Mountain View session

    By Jay Cross on | Permalink

    My table of five here at the Future of Media Summit at the Computer History Museum analyzed Yahoo! to try out Future Exploration Network’s Strategy Tools. We looked at Yahoo! past, present, and future along the dimensions of connecivity, interfaces, relationships, services, content, and standards.
    Yahoo! began as a recommender of links and became a portal which seemed to offer anything that moves. They are in relationships, services, and content. Their services might be repositioned as time-savers, offering focus in the face of google’s breadth. Their content is good when specific, e.g. PR Newswire, so again a focus on specialty areas might differentiate them. Yahoo! would like to be sticky, but it feels like a bunch of separate sights rather than an integrated portal. We couldn’t find any viable means of repositioning Yahoo1 for the flow economy.
    Our advice: take Microsoft’s money. It’s $10 billion over the current market cap and we’re skeptical Yahoo! stock is going to rise.
    Cross-posted to FOM08/blog.

    Flow Economy Framework: CBS

    By Sarah Walch on | Permalink

    Our Flow Economy framework group chose CBS after much debate. Other contenders were TiVo, NewsCorp, and Comcast. CBS was the most interesting to the group because they are a dinosaur organization that is struggling to maintain relevance in a rapidly shifting market paradigm. As Cheryl Contee remarked, their audience is literally dying off. The audience of 60 Minutes for example has an average of 60+. We examined step-by-step the framework model, which includes six nodes: content, standards, connectivity, services, relationships (customer-focused), and interfaces.
    Standards: we determined this category was less relevant for the television industry — CBS’ primary focus currently. We didn’t see much opportunity for movement in this area, except for making sure that they are using the most popular standards.
    Connectivity: Lisa Frazier defined this roughly as the “pipelines” through which content is distributed. Their recent purchases of CNET and, plus a new relationship with Yahoo! indicates their awareness of internet distribution necessity.
    Interfaces: These are the devices used to deliver content and services, and on which standards reside. Though CBS currently using internet, broadcast TV, cable TV, radio, and publishing, this is a potential opportunity area for innovation and growth. Andrew Page helped the group think through many of the issues here.
    Content: CBS hosts a disparate suite of brands including CBS, Showtime and the CW. Yet they lack a strong multimedia interactive mega-franchise such as American Idol, the Simpsons or Dancing with the Stars. Their recent acquisitions point to a desire to diversify their content offerings across many channels to appeal to younger, more net-savvy audiences while bringing new talent into CBS’ fold. The quality of CBS’ content is in danger and in fact, it’s rumored they’ve considered scrapping their once-dominant news division entirely.
    Services: CBS has a service-based model that delivers content and generates revenue through advertising. Their current strategy appears geared to acquiring new properties which they can monetize as new advertising vehicles online, via mobile etc. The group determined that CBS can place more focus on providing new services to consumers and partners to succeed in a changing marketplace.
    Relationships: CBS suffers from weakened brand identities scattered among dwindling audiences.
    Their website has few community features such as blogs, e-newsletters, forums and so on. Their competitors such as HBO and ABC already offer these.’s videos don’t allow you to embed in blogs, share in social networks or even use the now traditional “email to a friend”. We saw CBS’ relationship with its consumers as one of the biggest opportunities for CBS to grow its revenue. One idea might be to shift some of its content to a Current TV style where viewers provide the content to CBS to share with the world in a more open and interactive framework. David Collin of American Cancer Society had some strong insights to share here.
    Thanks to all the group members for their strong insights:
    Lisa Frazier (McKinsey & Co.)
    David Collin (American Cancer Society)
    Andrew Page (Cisco)
    Sarah Walch (Chevron)
    Cheryl Contee (Fission Strategy)
    This blog post was co-written by Sarah Walch and Cheryl Contee.

    Ross Dawson: Future of Media Report

    By Erin Moss on | Permalink

    Media and entertainment industries growing massively
    Seven driving forces shaping media
    1. Increasing media consumption – ‘we want to swim in an ocean of media all the time’
    2. Fragmentation – proliferation of new channels (mobile, video, etc)
    3. Participation – people sharing their stories
    4. Personalisation – of content & advertising, issues with privacy
    5. New revenue models – advertising networks
    6. Generational change – younger people becoming dominant in marketplace
    7. Increasing bandwidth – shifting what is currently being delivered over other channels > iPhone mania
    Personal Cloud – content we own and create
    – From this rains down the ‘precipitation of participation’ – sharing our photos, stories and lives with others
    – To what extent do we control our Personal Cloud?

    Global Media Strategies

    By Alice Harrison on | Permalink

    You will isolate yourself if you do not speak/provide content in English – this is needed in order to reach people. Think about Europe – you need to provide up to 22 languages.
    -Search – yahoo!7: local language is the biggest driver of success
    – Multimedia comsumption in australia is ahead of USA comparisions… laptop, mobiles, iPods etc
    – Across USA there is a desire of consumption in social context – large consumption in small – medium towns
    – as a way of becoming more aware about what is going on in the world and within their town – they do not use facebook at all. In fact most of middle America have not heard about/of facebook. Their online interactions are about information and keeping in touch with friends/family.
    – Revenue models/business models – should these be adapted in different countries?
    – Yes – try to standardize the advertising platforms throughout the globe – people want a single point of contact
    – Develop platforms in order to deliver global scales but level locally in pricing etc
    – Publishers – games company: USA generating $1 RPU off advertising and d/ls – while in Asia they are getting 5- 10 times the revenue
    – Social software is extremely different from Europe to USA – USA stop at UK and get the perception
    – Blogging in latin countries are very high + are willing to pay for a type pad
    – Blogs are Ego driven – the more you move in Europe i.e. Switzerland they are much more secretive as individuals and do not participate in blogging.
    – Northern Europe – a lot of young people, however they too are not blogging – therefor the social networking is very different. North East Europe is where the blogging declines/dies
    – Online advertising dollars are in the USA – not in Europe – aside from the UK which has more ad dollars than entire Europe.
    – UK is the largest online advertising spender, followed by US at 4th place
    – Australia – is Australia in a good position?
    Some business have succeeded – however from a content perspective Australia has not yet set a high example.
    China and other markets are growing at a pace that the USA will not be able to match/keep up with – this is clear. With this comes the advertising – however the Chinese government will have many restrictions on this.

    Blog login instructions

    By Ross Dawson on | Permalink

    Go to:
    Enter your blog login name (for most people it will be your email address)
    Enter your password
    Follow the blogging instructions at:

    Summit tags are fom08 and #fom08

    By Ross Dawson on | Permalink

    If you are blogging or Twittering about Future of Media Summit, use the tags fom08 or #fom08 (for Twitter/ micro-blogging).
    I gather there will be plenty of activity – it will be interesting to see what kind of insights can be gleaned by people who don’t make it along…
    Have fun!

    See if I can post something…

    By Bill Daul on July 14, 2008 | Permalink

    I look forward to later today in Mt. View. ==bill

    Metarand: Podcast interview on the future of media and the value of frameworks…

    By Ross Dawson on | Permalink

    Rand Leeb-du-Toit, the indefatigable entrepreneur and social media evangelist, is very consistently producing interesting insights on the emerging tech landscape at his blog Metarand – well worth a look or subscribe!
    Last week Rand interviewed me for a podcast – go to the post to listen to the interview. We primarily discussed my thoughts leading into the Future of Media Summit, looking at the broad landscape of what’s happening in the media landscape.
    What I like most about being interviewed is that I often learn from my own answers. Rand wrote:

    The biggest takeout: he uses frameworks to synthesize his pattern recognition and as a communication tool for exploring trends and the potential paths we will follow in the future.

    I am very frequently asked how I keep on top of so much information and make sense of it. It was only when Rand asked the question of how I go about ‘pattern recognition’ that I realized how central is the role of the frameworks I create, which are as much for myself as for others. Of the collection of frameworks in the Future of Media Report 2008, released last week, unquestionably my favorite is the Future of the Media Lifecycle framework, which pulled together many of the loose thoughts floating around in my head.

    Future of Media Drinks in Sydney tomorrow – all welcome!

    By Ross Dawson on | Permalink

    After the Future of Media Summit in Sydney tomorrow speakers and participants will be gathering at the Firehouse in North Sydney from 5:30pm for drinks and general post-event conviviality. We’ve simply named it as a spot for all to gather to grab a drink, so anyone is welcome to turn up, irrespective of whether they’ve attended the Summit or not.
    Venue details and directions are here.
    I will be in Silicon Valley for the US side of the event and long since in bed after a long day, so will miss out on all the fun, but the Future of Media Summit Sydney Chair, Jenny Williams of Ideagarden, and Jessica Hough and Julian Hill from Future Exploration Network will be there to welcome you and say hi. Pass on word to whoever you wish. Have a great time if you make it along! I’ll hear all about it afterwards…

    The End of Radio

    By Mark Pesce on July 13, 2008 | Permalink

    Broadcast radio effectively ended on Friday 11 July 2008. While it may take some time for the implications to work themselves out – perhaps as much as a decade – historians will stick a marker in the ground, noting that the release of iPhone 3G spelled the beginning of the end for radio broadcasting.
    Why is this?
    Last year I was invited to give a private talk to the online services crew for Triple-M, Australia’s “adult rock” radio station. Radio had not, to that point, seen any serious numbers showing audience erosion – unlike television and motion pictures. This, I suggested, was simply a case of technological overhang – the facilities for hyperdistribution of media were most actively applied to television and movies, after having decimated the recording industry.
    Although television broadcasting, per se, has largely been unaffected by hyperdistribution, pre-produced (that is, non-live) television programs are now hyperdistributed globally immediately after being broadcast anywhere. There is no market for repeats, and there’s a slowly shrinking market for first-to-air broadcasts of pre-produced programming, simply because there’s a hyperabundance of it available through so many other outlets.
    While it has proved difficult (though certainly not impossible) to live stream broadcast television over the Internet, radio stations have been live streaming for well over a decade – ever since NPR started streaming “All Things Considered” using the then-brand-new RealAudio player.
    What’s to keep this off iPhone 3G?
    I note with some dismay that I can not drag an “.m3u” file to my iPhone – a data nugget which points to a streaming audio server. iTunes informs me that iPhone 3G will not play this file. This is not because of any hardware constraint on iPhone 3G. Rather, this is purely a software issue, and one that is liable to be fixed very quickly, either by Apple or by a third party. Already, Americans can enjoy Pandora, which live-streams music – though Pandora is not available in Australia due to various copyright restrictions. But the general facility to play any streaming audio source can not be very far behind. The lack of it in iPhone and iPod Touch seems somehow deliberate: both of these devices are easily capable of handling the data traffic (over WiFi, prior to the HSDPA upgrade for iPhone 3G) and playback without unduly stressing themselves. And it seems such a useful thing – Apple lists hundreds of streaming radio stations in iTunes – that there must be some business reason holding Apple back.
    After all, I can play streaming YouTube videos – that facility is part of the baseline software installed on iPhone and iPod Touch. So what is going on here?
    Update — Jono Haysom pointed me to NullRiver’s “Tuner” application – which costs AU $5.99, and has a list of several thousand participating streaming stations. This means the end of radio has truly begun. But still no explanation why this isn’t part of the basic functionality of iPhone/iPod Touch.
    From a business perspective, once arbitrary streaming audio files come to iPhone and iPod Touch, the entire rationale for radio broadcasting begins to collapse. Why listen to your local radio stations, when you can listen to any station, anywhere? Before iPhone 3G you were constrained to a local, fast wireless connection – but with iPhone 3G you’ve got the necessary bandwidth, everywhere you go.
    This presents another conundrum, this one for the carriers. The 3G carriers – everywhere – have built their networks on an assumption of low duty-cycle usage from their customers. The data plans on offer show that they really do think people will use iPhone for voice and text, not so much for data. I am beginning to believe that the killer app for 3G is radio – which is both perverse and unexpected. And, once a sufficient number of iPhone 3G users understand that their iPhone 3G is actually an excellent, worldwide radio receiver, they’ll be begin to use this feature – a lot. Then, in the words of one employee of a major Australian telco, “That’s when our equipment catches fire.”
    I warned the folks at Triple-M that the day was surely coming when 3G devices would be ubiquitous enough that they would begin to supplant broadcasting. That day has now come, and it waits only for a small software upgrade – or Apple iTunes App Store application – to bring it to fruition.

    Launch of Future of Media: Strategy Tools framework

    By Ross Dawson on July 12, 2008 | Permalink

    The third key framework from Future of Media Report 2008 (after Future of the Media Lifecycle and 7 Driving Forces Shaping Media) is the Future of Media: Strategy Tools framework.
    This lays out three of the most valuable tools for building strategy in the media and adjacent industries. The high-level overviews are intended to provide some useful introductions to relevant strategy tools for those engaged in the front-line of creating and implementing strategies in an extraordinarily dynamic environment.
    Flow Economy Framework
    The central framework used here is the Flow Economy framework that I first described in Chapter 7 of Living Networks (free download of chapter 7 of Living Networks here).
    The chart gives an overview of the process of using the Flow Economy framework for media strategy, illustrated by brief examples of the strategies adopted by Apple, BSkyB, and NTT DoCoMo.
    Scenario Planning for Media
    A high-level example of the scenario planning process is described as applied to media, together with a scenario framework that is particularly relevant in the current environment.
    Game Theory: Strategies for Openness
    Traditional approaches to strategy are having to change as the industry landscape moves at a rapid pace to openness. One of the most powerful tools available to address these issues is game theory.

    Future of Media Summit blog: Mark Pesce on iPhone phails, Tom Abate on future of journalism, insights from other speakers and participants…

    By Ross Dawson on July 10, 2008 | Permalink

    Every event we do, we run a blog for all speakers and participants. Since Future of Media Summit 2007 we’ve maintained this Future of Media blog on an ongoing basis, including my blogging activity on the future of media.
    As we approach the Future of Media Summit 2008, the Future of Media Summit blog is taking off as a forum for fantastic contributions and ideas on the future of media. Summit speakers and participants are now posting, and we can expect some fantastic conversations on the event blog up to, during, and after the Summit next week.
    Some recent highlighted posts with brief excerpts:
    Mark Pesce on iPhail: A fantastic, detailed post on what is wrong with Australia’s iPhone plans, and proposing a fantastic potential solution: FAUC (Future Australian Carrrier) which will be completely transparent about its pricing and provide an alternative to the telco majors. It’s possible something big has begun on this blog.

    Never in my five years in Australia have I seen such a complete failure in marketing. Three Australian telcos – Optus, Telstra and Vodafone – have the device. All of them have completely failed to recognize the pent-up demand for the device, and the way it will change network usage. This was revealed – beyond all doubts – in the way they released their pricing plans, and the specifics of those plans.

    We could name our MVNO the Future AUstralian Carrier, or FAUC.
    Don’t like your plan from Telstra, or Vodafone, or Optus? Well, get FAUC.
    Yes, we’d still have to deal with Apple, we’d still have to promise them 10% of the operating revenues from iPhone, if we wanted to retail it on FAUC, but we could at least be completely transparent about our costs. Customers (that is, us) would understand where every dollar spent on FAUC went. That, in itself, would likely engender tremendous loyalty from the base of users – which would bring more users in, a slow tidal wave, as people abandoned the big-name carriers for a crazy mob of Australians who decided to do it themselves.
    So… who’s in?

    Mark Pesce (again) on Another Planet, Utterly Unlike Our Own.

    This is the risk Disney takes when it uses old-fashioned business models in a thoroughly modern world. They may squeak by this time, and perhaps the next, but one day – and for the rest of time – that tactic will fail them. They’ll lose their market window, because they misunderstood the audience.

    Tom Abate on Take me to your leader. Reflections from a life in journalism on where it’s going.



    By Mark Pesce on | Permalink

    At last the facts are in. Earlier today, Vodafone AU finally released their pricing plans for Apple’s iPhone 3g, being released in Australia tomorrow morning. (Midnight, if you’re among the select Optus customers.)
    Never in my five years in Australia have I seen such a complete failure in marketing. Three Australian telcos – Optus, Telstra and Vodafone – have the device. All of them have completely failed to recognize the pent-up demand for the device, and the way it will change network usage. This was revealed – beyond all doubts – in the way they released their pricing plans, and the specifics of those plans.
    Most striking, perhaps, is that this is the device the network operators have been waiting, dreaming and praying for. Seeking every opportunity to increase ARPU (average revenue per user, the gold-standard calculation for all network operators), carriers have done their best to charge for ringtones, games, and other effluvia, as well as the normal carriage of SMS (which costs them next to nothing, being a standard part of the GSM network protocols), and voice traffic.
    My own carrier, Vodafone Australia, has a market strategy which fits both its desires for high-ARPU customers and my own need for connectivity: for $99 a month, I get a “cap” of $720 to spend across most of the services they offer: in particular, voice, SMS and data. Vodafone does not bill data by the kilobyte or megabyte (as is common with other Australian carriers), but by time – hence, using my 3.5Mbps HSDPA connection with my Nokia N95, I can grab quite a lot of data in the 5-minute billing interval. An interval that costs me $1.00 within my cap.
    When I ran the numbers three years ago, this was the main reason I chose Vodafone as my provider. I knew, given my own proclivities, and desire to develop mobile data services, I would be using the data network more than I’d be using the voice network, so I chose a plan which gave me plenty of data headroom. That plan has served me well – I’ve never even come close to using my full cap, despite some very busy times developing software for mobiles.
    Now we come to iPhone 3g. It is already known, from data gathered in the US and Europe, that iPhone’s ease-of-use for mobile internet is unparalleled. Nokia, Motorola and Microsoft have been caught flat-footed, and, even now – a full year later – have nothing new to show. Their mobile web browsing is as complicated, unfriendly and ugly as it was a year ago. This is a real pity, because it means, in the near-to-medium term, Apple has decisively won the battle of the mobile Internet. Everything now hinges upon iPhone, and its ever-expanding base of users.
    Those users have been using the mobile internet in unprecedented numbers. Perhaps as much as 30x greater mobile internet usage in Germany; world-wide, 70% of all Google mobile searches happen on iPhone. It’s as if the mobile internet has been waiting for iPhone.
    Somehow, this fact has been lost on Australian carriers. Although they have long wanted to have an indispensable always-on device to drive ARPU ever-upward, now that such a device is reality, they have shown a pig-headed determination to choke the goose about to lay an endless supply of golden eggs. A typical example is Optus’ plan (general consensus holds that Optus has the most generous plans of the three carriers), which provides a maximum of 1 GB of internet usage per month – for a hefty $179.
    Let’s run some numbers here. The front page of the Sydney Morning Herald clocks in at just about a half a megabyte. That’s fat, but also fairly typical. The widespread deployment of broadband has lead to a proliferation of media-rich pages. Now, if I hit the SMH page (or a similar site) sixty times a day, I’d reach my 1GB cap. (Keep in mind that the SMH home page auto-refreshes, so that is hardly an inconceivable figure.) Add in any Google Maps activity, or push email, or what have you, and the figure could easily double. Now, instead of $179/month, I’d have that bill plus potentially hundreds of dollars in data charges.
    On the other hand, if I wanted to buy 3G mobile data service for my MacBook Pro from Optus, they’d give me a cute little USB dongle with the Hauwei 3G/HSDPA modem and SIM card, plus 5GB of data – and it would cost me only $39.99 a month.
    Have I missed something here? After all, data is data. The network usage for the dongle is completely indistinguishable, as far as the network is concerned, from the iPhone 3G. (I say this with confidence, as a network engineer with a quarter-century of experience.) The only thing that is different between these two data plans is the end device: in one case it’s a USB dongle, in the other it’s an iPhone 3g.
    Given that Vodafone offers plans competitive with Optus for mobile data, this must reflect a competitive reality: $40/month is what it costs for 5GB of HSDPA data, plus a decent profit for the operators.
    The only conclusion that can be drawn from this is that there is an “iPhone tax”. In other words, not only are we asked to pay a premium to purchase iPhone 3G, we will also be paying a premium to receive every bit of data on iPhone 3G.
    I few questions need to be asked here. The first one is simply a question of anti-competitive behaviour: Is it legal for any carrier to charge me more for data received on an iPhone than, say, my N95? The network itself is device-neutral – any compatible HSDPA network equipment may be used on the network, provided there’s a valid SIM card in the device. What is the justification that “bits cost more” when received on an iPhone, versus my N95? Isn’t this simply rent-seeking?
    Some of the justification, assuredly, is the 10-12.5% backend payment that Apple has negotiated with Australia’s carriers. That may justify some increase in costs as an “Apple Tax” – but it still doesn’t add up. It is plainly apparent that the carriers have jacked up their mobile data rates because demand for iPhone is so strong. But demand for iPhone is so strong precisely because it is the first mobile internet device worthy of the name. The tax on mobile internet usage is precisely the type of regressive policy which will do most to inhibit usage of the device, the network, and the carriers. In short, the carriers are acting as their own worst enemies.
    If this had been another, and more rational universe, the Australian carriers would have closely examined the wealth of data available to Apple, Google and AT&T to understand how iPhone users actually use the device, and would have priced their data plans accordingly. My guesstimate is that the average iPhone user would use somewhere between 2GB and 5GB of mobile data a month – a figure that’s bound to rise as 3G/HSDPA units reach the field. Working backward from that, the carriers could have developed an effective 80/20 solution which would have met the needs of the majority of the users, while still providing headroom (at a cost-premium) for heavy users, like myself.
    None of this happened, nor is there any indication that the carriers even considered this. Instead, they’ve ignored their own mobile data pricing plans, and have egregiously increased the prices for data carriage by an order of magnitude or more.
    Is is popularly believed that Australians will need to shut up and take this. I believe that a good case can be made to the ACCC that a substantial amount of anti-competitive behavior has occurred. Just the difference between their competitive mobile data plans and the plans for the iPhone is enough to indicate that there has been a serious failure in competition. Bits are bits, and paying more for iPhone bits – just because they’re iPhone bits – is wrong, and, I would argue, entirely illegal.
    Furthermore, I believe there is something we as Australians can do to “put the blowtorch” to the carriers. We need to protest, and we need to do so actively. Hence, I want to suggest that Australians form their own MVNO, a Mobile Virtual Network Operator. MVNOs purchase carriage in bulk from another network, and sell that carriage along to consumers. This has proven effective in the US and in Australia, where there are several examples of MVNOs. If we can’t get the deal we want from the carriers at the consumer level, we need to bargain with them to establish wholesale rates, then resell to ourselves.
    Is this a big ask? Hardly. If we put the word out through our various social networks (both human and electronic), I’m sure that in practically no time at all we’d have 10,000 or more subscribers ready to sign up for an MVNO. I don’t know how many subscribers we’d need to get to a break-even point, but I doubt it can be many more than that. Given the amazing facility of many members of the community for setting up and running online services that scale to handle many users, I suspect that much of the infrastructure for this MVNO can be created by the community, for the community, at very low cost. The power of social networks – as has been endlessly pointed out by Clay Shirky – is that it allows large numbers of individuals to self-organize quickly and effectively.
    I’ve heard people complain about the mobile carriers since before I moved to Australia. I suggest that it’s time to put up or shut up. Passive resistance is no longer enough. It is time to show the carriers that we can do this ourselves. We can service ourselves and our needs. We will do this because doing anything else is abhorrent.
    We could name our MVNO the Future AUstralian Carrier, or FAUC.
    Don’t like your plan from Telstra, or Vodafone, or Optus? Well, get FAUC.
    Yes, we’d still have to deal with Apple, we’d still have to promise them 10% of the operating revenues from iPhone, if we wanted to retail it on FAUC, but we could at least be completely transparent about our costs. Customers (that is, us) would understand where every dollar spent on FAUC went. That, in itself, would likely engender tremendous loyalty from the base of users – which would bring more users in, a slow tidal wave, as people abandoned the big-name carriers for a crazy mob of Australians who decided to do it themselves.
    So… who’s in?
    (If you are interested, join our FAUC Facebook Group – thanks!)

    Launch of the Future of Media Report 2008! We predict the media industry will be worth US$5.7 trillion in 2024

    By Ross Dawson on July 9, 2008 | Permalink

    Our Future of Media Report 2008 is now launched! (See also our extremely popular Future of Media Report 2007 and Future of Media Report 2006).
    This will be given to attendees at the Future of Media Summit 2008 next week in beautiful glossy print format to take home. If for some reason you are NOT attending the Summit, you’ll have to settle for a digital version with small print-outs of the spreads (unless you happen to have a large-format printer handy…) 🙂
    This year we’ve taken a slightly different approach, moving away from providing statistics, and focusing on developing three frameworks to help people think about the future of media and engage in constructive conversations at the Summit. We’ve always found we get a fantastic response to our frameworks, so we focused on this as a way to create value with the report.
    Future of Media Report 2008 (pdf 1MB)
    A quick overview of the report contents:
    An introduction to the report. The full text is at the bottom of this post.
    Contains our prediction that the global media and entertainment market will grow from US$1.7 trillion this year to US$5.7 trillion in 2024 (in 2008 dollars) – released in this report – as well as information on current growth trends in advertising.


    Another Planet, Utterly Unlike Our Own

    By Mark Pesce on | Permalink

    On Sunday evening, in a taxi back to my flat after an exhausting day trip to Melbourne, I had a great idea: I’d invite my friend Nicola to join me at the movies on Tuesday evening – where we could get the “nice” seats for the “cheap” price – to see the recently released and universally acclaimed Disney/Pixar film Wall-E. I called Nic – she immediately agreed it was a great idea – and we set our plans in stone.
    The next morning I went over to the site for the Hoyts Cinemas in the Entertainment Quarter of Fox Studios, and scanned around, looking for Wall-E on the list of currently playing films.
    I thought, hmm, that’s odd. Perhaps it’s playing at Bondi Junction?
    Well, surely it’s at George St.?
    It turns out that Disney has decided to withhold release of Wall-E until the Thursday, 11th of September.
    Why is this? This is what I can not get my head around. I have tried to run the maths – perhaps they feel that releasing a children’s film at some time other than school holidays would bring them better box office? Perhaps they think that leaving a 2 month window between theatrical release and its inevitable Christmas DVD release will somehow not cannibalize ticket sales?
    Or, more likely, they just weren’t thinking. These international release plans were drafted by the studios a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far away… That being before teh Intarwebs became the primary distribution vehicle not just for films themselves, but for news about films. I was reading rapturous reviews of Wall-E in the New York Times, Deadline Hollywood, CNN, and half a dozen other blogs, from the weekend of its release. There is no territoriality on news, and hasn’t been since 1995: just because the Sydney Morning Herald or The Age haven’t written up a nice review, just because Margaret and David haven’t given it four-and-a-half stars, doesn’t mean that Australians aren’t perfectly aware of this film.
    Rather more significantly, the film is also perfectly available to Australians – if illegally. From a few hours after its wide release, Wall-E has been available through BitTorrent sites such as The Pirate Bay and Mininova. These torrents are well-seeded, so anyone with decent broadband could have their own copy (admittedly, without much of the high-resolution glory of Pixar’s work) within just a few hours.
    Disney is stuck in an old way of thinking that has been entirely obsolesced by a new mode of distribution. It could well be that interest in Wall-E will simply override the concerns of a tut-tutting media marketplace which (it is widely believed) simply shakes down Australians for their entertainment dollars, and screws them out of day-and-date releases in the bargain.
    This phenomenon is becoming rarer. Iron Man opened globally; as did Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; just a week ago, so did Hancock. Studios, just like television broadcasters, fight against piracy by making their products globally and instantaneously available. This doesn’t destroy piracy – nothing can effectively do that – but it does mean that the studios have the opportunity to earn back their production costs + 10% (their goal, as always) before the market becomes saturated with pirated versions.
    So, I ask again, what’s holding Disney back? Surely Steve Jobs – who sits on Disney’s board, having bought his way in with his Pixar shares – must understand the futility of artificially limiting access to content that the audience wants. The audience always gets what it wants, by any means necessary: that’s the new rule. So where was the failure? Does Disney assume that, because Wall-E is a children’s film, it is somehow exempt from piracy? Even if an eight-year-old can’t master BitTorrent, their twelve year-old sibling certainly can, and I’m sure that many of them throughout Australia are busily doing what they can to make their younger brother or sister very happy, with a freshly burned copy of Wall-E ready for playing on the family’s home theatre system.
    This is the risk Disney takes when it uses old-fashioned business models in a thoroughly modern world. They may squeak by this time, and perhaps the next, but one day – and for the rest of time – that tactic will fail them. They’ll lose their market window, because they misunderstood the audience.

    New Framework: Seven Driving Forces Shaping Media

    By Ross Dawson on July 8, 2008 | Permalink

    We are releasing our new framework: Seven Driving Forces Shaping Media.
    This is the second framework we are releasing in the lead-up to the Future of Media Summit 2008, which will be held next week simultaneously in Silicon Valley and Sydney. This and other content will be used to provide a starting point for discussion and conversation.
    The first was the Future of the Media Lifecycle, which has already attracted substantial links and commentary. In the next days another framework on strategic tools will be released, as well as the complete Future of Media Report 2008, including all three frameworks and additional content.
    Seven Driving Forces Shaping Media (pdf 700KB):


    Even more new speakers: Belinda Rowe – Zenith Optimedia, Stephen Hollings – News Limited, Bruce Meagher – SBS, Jane Schulze – The Australian, Willie Pang – Yahoo!, Jim Waltz – Traffic Marketplace, Brian Lott, Burson-Marsteller etc…

    By Ross Dawson on | Permalink

    Adding to my last post on the fabulous list of new confirmed speakers at Future of Media Summit 2008
    See the full line-up of media leaders speaking at the event.
    Others recently confirmed for the event include:
    Belinda Rowe, CEO Australia of Zenith Optimedia, one of the top few media buying groups globally, with very detailed insights into media industry structure.
    Stephen Hollings, CEO, News Digital Careers, who has probably the broadest understanding of the classifieds market in Australia.
    Jane Schulze, Media Editor, The Australian. The Media & Marketing section of The Australian is the most widely read media publication in the country.
    Bruce Meagher, Director Strategy at SBS, Australia’s multicultural public broadcaster, which has adopted a variety of new initiatives.
    Willie Pang, Head of Yahoo! Search Marketing, previously worked on Yahoo!’s Panama project and has very international perspectives.
    Jim Waltz, President, Traffic Marketplace, one of the leading advertising networks.
    Brian Lott, SAP Global Client Leader, Burson-Marsteller, one of the leading PR firms globally.
    Check out our Future of the Media Lifecycle framework, just released. More research and analysis posted here soon.
    Hope to see you at the Summit!

    New confirmed speakers: Phil Bronstein – Hearst, Mark Antonitis – KRON-TV, Robert Scoble – Fast Company TV, Tom Abate – MiniMediaGuy, Angelos Frangopoulos – SkyNews, Chris Tolles – Topix, Chris Warren – MEAA, Mark Goldman – Current TV… (mo

    By Ross Dawson on | Permalink

    Trying very hard to keep up on this blog with developments on Future of the Media Summit, which is falling into place as an amazing event.
    Check out the Future of Media Summit 2008 website for full details on the latest speakers – it’s been described to me as a “stellar line-up” and that’s about right…
    Just a couple of words in a few of the latest confirmed speakers:
    Phil Bronstein, long-term editor of the San Francisco Chronicle and all-round media star, now editor-at-large at Hearst.
    Mark Antonitis, President and GM of KRON-TV, which is one of the most interesting metropolitan TV stations in the US, with some very interesting practices.
    Robert Scoble, MD Fast Company TV, formerly the lead blogger at Microsoft and at the very heart of the social media revolution.
    Tom Abate, MiniMediaGuy, a blogger, journalist, and explorer of the future of journalism
    Angelos Frangopoulos, CEO, Australian News Channel, which operates Sky News and also distributes content over multiple online and mobile platforms.
    Chris Tolles, CEO, Topix, a Valley veteran running a leading US and international hyperlocal news site.
    Chris Warren, General Secretary, Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance (Australia’s journalism and content union), who is deeply engaged in the transformation of journalism.
    Mark Goldman, COO, Current TV, which is still one of the most exciting and interesting media business models since it was founded by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt in 2005.
    More fantastic new confirmed speakers in my next post – see the full list of speakers.
    We tested the high-definition video link between Sydney and Silicon Valley today, courtesy of our event Strategic Partner Tandberg. Looks fantastic. As last year, people will be commenting that they can’t distinguish between the local and cross-Pacific panellists.
    Also be sure to see our Future of the Media Lifecycle framework, just released specifically for the Summit. More frameworks and other content out over the next few days.
    It will be a great event – hope to see you there!

    Launch of the Future of Media Lifecycle framework

    By Ross Dawson on July 7, 2008 | Permalink

    Another Future of Media Summit, another framework! We are today proudly launching the Future of the Media Lifecycle framework. This is the central framework of our Future of Media Report 2008. (See also the Future of Media Strategic Framework from 2006 and Key Elements of Media Business Models from 2007).
    Over the next few days two additional frameworks as well as the full Future of Media Report 2008 will be released – check back soon!
    Media Lifecycle FrameworkMedia_Lifecyle_Framework.pdf
    While I’d like to think that the Future of Media Lifecycle framework is self-evident, it probably helps to explain it a bit :-), so here goes:


    Newspapers promote QR codes, linking print and outdoor media to online, and building tighter social-mainstream media symbiosis

    By Ross Dawson on July 5, 2008 | Permalink

    QR code for this blog
    The Sydney Morning Herald has recently had big features in its Saturday edition on QR codes, the 2-dimensional bar codes that act as visual URLs for mobile phones, taking them automatically to the linked online content. QR codes are massive in Japan, appearing in magazines, billboards, business cards, shop windows, T-shirts, and more, by dint of NTT DoCoMo’s promotion of the codes. One Japanese magazine consists entirely of free things you can download with QR codes. Now Australia’s Telstra is trying to do the same thing in Australia, shipping all of its NextG phones with the necessary software, and making it freely available to anyone else.
    It is very interesting to see a newspaper so actively promote a mobile technology. The Sydney Morning Herald is introduced daily QR codes on page 2 from this Monday, providing a link to the five most popular stories in the paper and other content. This means that you can engage with the media cycle even while reading a print newspaper. I wrote over two years ago about how each story on the online version of the Washington Post was showing links to blog posts about that article. Now this kind of immediate reflection of social media views is available in the print world.
    So far in the US there have just been tests of QR codes in San Francisco, providing links to Citysearch reviews of local restaurants and merchants.
    While there are a number of competing standards for codes that will link mobiles to online content, QR codes are substantially in the lead, and look set to become an international standard. There is a good chance these could become commonplace globally within the next 1-2 years. What is most interesting is the innovative ways they are used, particularly within mainstream media (which can include television).

    Heading to the Future of Media Summit

    By Stephen Collins on July 4, 2008 | Permalink

    Originally posted at:

    I’m heading up to Sydney on 14 July to attend the next day’s all day Future of Media Summit at Luna Park.

    Run by Ross Dawson’s Future Exploration Network, the summit will explore issues around the ongoing change in the media landscape.

    It should be a great event, running parallel with a matched event in the US and with a wide range of really interesting old and new media types.

    The site claims it will be very participatory, so I figure it’ll have strong thematic and interactive links to PubCamp, but I’m guessing that the harsh (but entirely fair) treatment of the ivory tower dwelling old media types may not happen quite so vigorously. I hope it does.

    Personally, I think the backchannel will run hot, and people like Mark Pesce and Chris Saad will mess with the heads of the old media. Fingers crossed.

    Consumers want information, not “media”

    By Elias Bizannes on | Permalink

    For years now, we’ve been hearing how technology is a generational thing. Apparently, these unpredictable Gen y’ers had a keyboard and mouse grow in place where the umbilical cord was cut – and everything needs to be different for them. And whilst growing up with technology is a major factor on the adoption of things, is the traditional publishing industry in denial? Arguments for print seem to centre on it being a better experience, but take a look on the other side – we are time poor with the complexities of modern life, and whilst print is a more enjoyable experience, online makes it an easier experience.
    To get a reality check I asked my father, a 72 year-old battler who continues to practice in his law firm, on how he consumes the news.
    I first realised a change in his approach to buying the daily newspaper, when court listings for the day became available online (or at least, when he realised). Apparently, it was easier, more likely to be accurate, and more accessible. Fast forward a few years later, to the last week of June 2008 about his current news consumption – and his relationship with print has changed quite dramatically from that first warning sign. Apparently, he no longer buys the daily newspaper and only the weekend newspaper. As for the reason why he buys the weekend paper, it’s for two reasons. The features, perhaps? Possibly for the news summary? Not quite. He buys it for two regular columnists whose opinions he has come to admire. As for the rest of it: “It’s full of ads and crap; I don’t want to read it”. He buys the weekend paper for fun; but he now solely gets his news online. This is in stark contrast to the pre-internet days when he bought the newspaper not for fun, but because it was the sole source of information for his generation.
    Cut to another day, when receiving a fresh e-mail alert that day from one of my subscriptions, I saw an announcement that newspaper executives were confident in the long term viability of their business. So I couldn’t help but ask a colleague of mine a simple question, as he works on a newsprint company that supplies most of the needs of the newspaper industry. I asked: “So how is that company going?” His response – newsprint is a declining industry, if you assess it on the amount of newsprint purchased each year. For all the temporary spikes and boosts in optimism, the long term trends are telling are different story.
    A friend of mine, is the online editor of a high-profile magazine in Australia. He hates his job for the simple fact, that the executives in that organisation simply do not get new media. Its got to the point, where he is looking for a new job, because he believes with the current changes not enough resources will be devoted for online, and it will effectively make his job obsolete. He’s 26 years old and doesn’t get why they are cutting resources online to focus on print instead. The current website may not be optimal, but rather than cutting resources, shouldn’t they simply be upping the ante on experimenting what is right for their demographic?
    On my Apple iPhone, and for years previously on my Nokia smartphones, I’ve been able to catch up with the news on my phone whilst waiting for the train, waiting for girlfriends at the time getting ready, or stuck in traffic on the roads. During the day, I get newsbreak flashes up on my computer screen through several methods I’ve experimented. Both methods rely on me using RSS or Syndication technology that enable the decentralised distribution of content. I’ve bookmarked some news websites, but I rarely browse them other than when my browser fires up. I’m still the same news junkie I have always been, back from my days when I read a daily newspaper: I just now prefer to have my information in different ways, which in fact, has increased my consumption because of the variety of ways to access it. Newspaper companies are dead to me; but information companies are still heavy in demand.
    The solution? A change in attitude: experiment until something works
    Old money is driving strategy, and because no one has really worked out how to do it better, strategy is not changing enough. Why is a cash cow company going to cannibalise its existing business, despite being in for inevitable decline? Of course what shocks me, is not the fact executives recognise the times are changing – instead, there almost seems denial in the fact. And unfortunately, until better business models can be developed that don’t rely on a page view (which is really just a replication of the offline mass media circulation model), we won’t be seeing any change, other than those with the courage to experiment. Change is needed – and the longer this reality is avoided, the more likely this will not be a decision but a forced reality, with no buffer for the transition. The result: Expect to see a lot more bombs being dropped in the newsrooms.
    The first step to progress comes with recognition new solutions are needed. The recognition bit comes on the back of the fact that online does information better than any other method. And it’s information consumers want – the medium that delivers that information is just that: a mechanism to deliver the end product.

    Take me to your leader

    By Tom Abate on | Permalink

    Original post at:

    Tom Abate is speaking at the Future of Media Summit – Silicon Valley

    Collage by Doug Millison of NonHuman Communications

    My name is Tom Abate and I’ve been a daily newspaper reporter since 1992. I was 37 when I got my first daily job after I reinvented myself out of the typesetting industry, a craft that was then disappearing. Now part of me feels like it’s deja vu all over. The newspaper industry seems to be crumbling. Eric Alterman practically wrote its obituary in his New Yorker article Out of Print. The cartoon depicts web maven Ariana Huffington throttling the paper tigers of dead-tree journalism, and the article explains how her team is blending professional and amateur news-gatherers in a news engine that aspires to be both profitable and responsive.

    But despite such gloomy reports, and the layoffs such as the one I survived last year, I see a ray of hope so powerful that I feel compelled to bring it to light.

    Newspapers can do what seems to be working for the Huff Post — they can report and write with more attitude, and in a symbiosis with readers as opposed to the prevailing pontiff-to-parishoner mode. And it’s a simple fix if we have the will — push the power to publish way down into the editorial ranks through blogs.

    I packed a hint of that hope into a comment that I e-mailed to media reporter Steve Outing some weeks ago. Steve used some of my thoughts in a piece he wrote for Editor & Publisher. (It’s behind E&P’s firewall but if you have access to the archives, look for “What’s Needed in 2008: Serious Newsroom Cultural Change.”). Here is my entire comment:


    The symbiosis of media: Journalists find stories on Twitter

    By Ross Dawson on | Permalink

    This is cool. Renai LeMay, a tech journalist for the Australian Financial Review (just now returning to CNET Australia as News Editor) attended our Top 100 Australian Web 2.0 Applications event the other week. While he was there, he sent a message on Twitter asking if any companies had a good story to tell. Richard Slatter of Plugger, one of the companies showcased at the event, twittered Renai back. Renai found it a worthy story, and it appeared in the Australian Financial Review, the major business daily in the country, this morning as Plug in to keep tabs on directors’ board links. (See Renai’s telling of the story on his blog.)
    This harks back to what I was talking about a couple of years ago on the ‘symbiosis of traditional and social media’, as illustrated in the Future of Media Strategic Framework we released then (as below). While many have compared social media to parasites on mainstream media by feeding on it, increasingly mainstream media finds its sources and stories in social media. Things happen and are seen in social media before they are discovered and disseminated more broadly in traditional media. Each has their role, and they feed off each other in a highly complementary symbiosis.

    The future of privacy and targeted advertising

    By Ross Dawson on July 3, 2008 | Permalink

    One of the key themes at our Future of Media Summit 2008 (Silicon Valley July 14 simultaneous with Sydney July 15) will be the future of privacy and targeted advertising. The panel run across the locations will include top executives from Traffic Marketplace,, Acxiom, and Electronic Frontier Foundation (see event site for details).
    This topic is at the heart of the future of media. In a world awash with advertising, shown to a fragmented and increasingly cynical audience keen to avoid it, the value (and thus the price) of advertising is falling. Media proprietors are finding it harder to pay for content production, and in many cases media properties are getting smaller.
    Source: eMarketer
    What could entirely change the equation is targeted advertising, in which people are shown advertisements that are relevant to their interests, profile, and forthcoming purchases. Often the best way to understand people is to study their behaviors, thus the current emphasis on ‘behavioral targeting’. This would make the advertising far more valuable to advertisers, media companies would make more money, and media consumers should be happy because they get relevant and interesting advertisements.