Friday, February 23, 2007

Being the ball...

I've spent some time wondering exactly what I would blog about after my first day of attendance at the Integrated Media conference here in Boston. The first day was interesting. My plan to update during the day and do some live blogging didn't work out as planned. First, the conference rooms are set up in such a way that access to power is difficult. Second, Twitter was struggling and going down for good periods of time. I tried... I'll try again today.

Here's my meta bullets on what I observed from yesterday:

  • There was a certain sense of gloom in the room about the future of public radio. I wouldn't characterize the mood as optimistic
  • There were many talks focused on helping people to understand that they have a problem. They're still working on helping people to understand how their world has changed.
  • They fully understand their strengths and what they bring to the media table: quality and trust. There was quite a bit of talk about leveraging these advantages, or at least being sure that these things they value are not sacrificed going forward.
  • Sessions on basic Web 2.0 stuff were packed. People are trying to get their arms around this.

Here's my take on what I observed from yesterday:

  • I heard very little discussion of the customer. Rule one of new media--it's about putting the consumer/community first.
  • It's too late in the game to be spending so much time discussing how the world has changed.
  • There should have been a lot more discussion about the role of public media.
  • In this age of disintermediation, why does the consumer need you in the middle? If you can't answer that question then you've got a serious problem.
  • So what if you produce high quality content? You do not have a monopoly on quality. I hardly think this is a strategic advantage going forward.
  • There was way too much talk about revenue generation for my comfort.
  • In order to do 2.0 you have to live 2.0 (be the ball). It's not something you can just hear about and then immediately grok.

In summary, today I'm going to be listening for some clear statements of why public media is needed in a world of abundant high quality content and unlimited distribution channels. What is it that public media brings to the table?

I'm also going to be listening for any mentions of the customer. I'm wanting to hear more of a public versus internal focus.

I'm wanting to hear if the culture of public media is one that understands how this new stuff really works. Do they understand the conditions that must exist in order for these new tools to succeed? Which is why you must be the ball. It requires total immersion. I'll be listening to hear if people fully understand this.

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