Jakob Nielsen: 'The basic point about the web is that it is not an advertising medium. The web is not a selling medium;it is a buying medium. It is user controlled, so the user controls, the user experiences.'
I'd say that there are many places for ads on the web. But where this argument really does seem to have its strength is within the world of social media, and social networks in particular, where banner ads seem to go relatively unnoticed.
Remember, it's a provocative piece. But it's a great way to start a conversation about the right conversations to have on the web.
11:30am — Talking Talent
There's a new crop of stars in town who've grown their celebrity via MySpace pages, YouTube channels and videos gone viral. And now, of course, they're celebrity spokespeople.
Moderator: John Battelle, Founder/Chairman/CEO, Federated Media
Nathan Coyle, Digital Agent, Creative Artists Agency
Ian Schafer, CEO, Deep Focus
Robert B. Stone, Director of Interactive & Emerging Media, Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages
Damon Wayans, Founder, WayoutTV.com
This should be a fantastic panel, one that will address issues about online video and the talent that plays such a big role in its success. Brands, publishers, and talent will stand to learn a great deal from the varied perspectives on the panel.
Act now, because this thing is almost completely sold out, people.
While I do see that there could be a niche for a feed/update/sharing aggregator, this just feels a tad overwhelming. It's a bit like being in a room full of people where there are hundreds of conversations going on, and I can't pay attention to just one.
As a professional, I need something that's easier on the eyes, more compact. Not a long list of things that I have to sort through. This just doesn't do it for me. In its current state, it feels a bit like TMI (too much information). Maybe it's not for me, per se. Maybe it's more for students and kids. Time will tell.
With that said, it does have potential. Perhaps an open API, or some clever uses of its RSS feeds could make this more useful. It just seems like a collector right now. What I think it needs is to get smart. I'd want it to prioritize my closest friends' feeds for me. Show me the ones that are most important. Learn from my clicks.
It's hard to believe that MP3 players have been around for 10 years. It's also hard to believe how far they've come. The images below are (not actual) pictures of each MP3 player I've owned over those 10 years. It's amazing just how few I've been through. I've shown tremendous restraint in not picking up a new one every time they come out.
Perhaps my fondest memory of early MP3 players was not the player itself. It was looking for information about it on the internet. My first MP3 player was the Diamond Rio. And all I remember about it was it being incredibly buggy — every time I searched for information on it online I was sent to information about something completely different:
MySpace Apps launched on Thursday, and will be the largest social networking property to make use of Google's OpenSocial.
A quick glance at the list shows that the most installed app has 5408 installs. Not very impressive — yet. What's interesting, though, is the lack of Slide and RockYou apps there at launch. Surprising, given that they are responsible for most of the top apps on Facebook.
What are you waiting for, app developers? Here's your second chance to build a new distribution platform…
Remember, I'll be attending the Media Summit NY on March 12th, presented by Digital Hollywood where I'll be speaking on the following panel:
2:15 PM – 3:30 PM
Session C: Advertising NEXT: Social Networks, User Generated Video, Blogs, IMs, Podcasts, Broadband and Mobile
In this session, we will look for a comprehensive understanding of what advertising in the next generation will look like. The world of advertising has been completely dislocated by the acceptance and integration of the new technologies, from PVR and Broadband to Social Networks, VOD, Mobile, Blogs and ITV, the consumer is being both barraged by content and choice, he/she is being overwhelmed by the technology itself. While the decisions being made by the advertising community are always measured and incremental, the technologies at hand are profound and will only move forward. How fast and at what rate of impact is still to be understood, but the question is no longer about consumer acceptance and proof of distribution, it is about when the roof is going to cave in. The new technologies are successfully invading traditional media and the good news is rather than leaving the advertiser without a way of reaching the audience, the new technologies may ultimately prove to be better and more comprehensive vehicle for reaching and developing relationships with an even larger customer base.
So, we will not re-hash why Zuckerberg didn't sell to yahoo. We will not re-hash the fact that he's — gasp! — 23. I might make fun at his awkward 60 Minutes line: "was that a question?"
Everyone has glommed onto the corporate facebook story. And to Mark, that's the least interesting part. So we'll spend some time talking about the site itself, and the role it's playing in the world. And we'll tackle thorny advertising questions. (Beacon, anyone?)
Mostly, I hope to draw out some of the real Mark. I've spent some 30 hours or so interviewing him, starting when he was a 19 year-old punk. And you know, he's not a bad guy.
THAT'S the problem.
She told us what she was going to ask him. Lacy should have done a little more research into the makeup of the crowd at SXSW. She should have known that this crowd wanted answers. If Zuckerberg wasn't going to provide answers, or at the very least, information, then that would've been his (or Facebook's) problem. Instead, she utilized her 'familiarity' with Zuckerberg (she's interviewed him before, and is writing a book that features him) to try and 'friend' (approriately enough) information out of him. And that information never came. Zuckerberg is not known for his conversational finesse. You need to put him on the spot – without insulting him. If the questions were the right ones, the ones that the audiences wanted to hear, she could have at least satisfied some of the crowd.
But that never happened.
She never asked us about what we wanted to hear from him. Of course there is time for 'audience questions' after the interview. But why wait until then to hear what we have to say?
What Sarah Lacy should have done was write a blog post and solicit questions to ask Zuckerberg in the comments section. She could have taken the pulse of the crowd before she arrived. She could have at least given Zuckerberg the opportunity to address the issues that were so important to the crowd.
Style aside, a lot of what was missing was substance. In an interview, the questions need to have as much as (if not more) substance than the answers. It puts the onus on the interviewee. If Sarah gave the audience the opportunity to contribute substance to the interview — relevant to them — than maybe the crowd wouldn't have turned on her so quickly.
Isn't it ironic that one of the most attended, most accessible (to the public) interviews of the CEO of the most popular social and collaborative property on the web, had nothing social or collaborative about it?
Next time, please ask. Don't tell.
Oh…and please use this as an opportunity to listen to the crowd that is your audience. And converse. Don't antagonize.
Last year at SXSW, Twitter burst onto the scene in a big way, eventually paving its way to becoming a major force in the messaging/microblogging space. Twitter's ability to allow attendees to keep tabs on each other was a welcome addition to the festival, as there are so many parties, so close to each other, that it became easy to know where all your friends (or stalkees) were at. It was also helpful in telling you which parties to avoid because of long lines or closed bar tabs.
Lots of folks came down to this year's SXSW Interactive conference to anoint this year's breakthrough property or technology.
I'm casting my vote for Kyte. But while it's sponsorship of the flat-panel displays here at SXSW (as Twitter did last year) is helping it gain visibility during the interactive conference, it may actually be during the music festival later in the week where it truly shines.
You see, Kyte makes it as easy as possible to capture video with a mobile phone (any mobile phone with the capability) and post it to your own channel on the site. It's got one of the easiest interfaces and processes I've seen. One of the latest innovations by the company though (launching today, according to VentureBeat), may eventually be what makes it a key player in the space — the broadcasting of live video from a phone. Qik does this, but you're limited presently to Nokia phones. The samples of Kyte's usage playing on the flat-panel displays here show people streaming footage of bands performing live at parties, interviews with attendees, and green room antics. If Kyte, in fact, works with multiple handsets, we've got a winner on our hands here, folks.