Tag: PICNIC 06 (page 1 of 2)

PICNIC ’06, Day Three: Creating New Markets

Lorraine Twohill, Google‘s Marketing Director for Europe presented an excellent keynote address on how Google has leveraged its original core search service to expand existing and create new marketplaces on the internet, packing what seemed like two hours worth of information and anecdotes into a half-hour presentation. She discussed the rapidly changing user experience within the networked environment. Users were originally “pushed” information in similar fashion to traditional media such as television or newspapers. Technologies such as RSS feeds and improved search engines allowed consumers to “pull” only the information that they wanted or needed. Most recently, newly innovated sites and resources have enabled those average citizens to join the content creation marketplace and to publish their works to a global audience.

Google’s mission has always been to assist its users in finding the information and resources they want as quickly and as easily as possible. Ms. Twohill stated that Google’s goal with the search site was all about getting the user off of the site as soon as possible; if they are able to point a user in the proper direction in a fast and simple fashion, it is more likely that user will return again later and become more loyal to the service.

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PICNIC ’06, Day Three: Life After the 30-second Spot

Joseph Jaffe, author of Life After the 30-second spot, offered the keynote presentation for the first of four tracks at Picnic ’06. His talk, which revolved around the topics covered in his book and was directed towards marketers, encouraged the audience to look beyond the 30-second spot in order to provide consumers with a story of their brand. The marketing world has changed and the ad industry needs to change with it or they will be left behind. It’s time to move from the linear one-way communication and towards conversations with the consumers.

With so many options available to marketers, there is no longer a single choice on how to reach and connect with today’s elusive disenfranchised consumer. Consumers have begun to outgrow marketing as they can easily access information about the products as well as when and where to buy. That along with the clutter (so many ads), the lack of creativity (what’s the last TV commercial that you *really* remember), consumer awareness (knowledgeable about products and marketing), and unacceptable levels of wastage (broad appeals weaken the message) is killing the 30-second spot. Add in the fact that it’s now more expensive than it ever has been to advertise on television to a “potential” audience and it’s time to rethink the process. It’s time to rethink branding, consumers, advertising, and advertising agencies.

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PICNIC ’06, Day Two: My Second Life

Written by Sean C. Stacey and Brooke Thompson

Philip Rosedale, Founder of Linden Labs, presented his take on the empowerment offered by Second Life of the average citizen to not only create but monetize their own content and design. Second Life is a virtual world accessible over the Internet via software installed on your home computer, that has grown over the last few years into a vibrant creative community as well as a formidable virtual economy. The environment provided has its own internal monetary system which, as with many MMORPGs, can be translated into real world cash.

The central point of Mr. Rosedale’s speech was that “more is different.” He described how an enabling framework such as Second Life demonstrates the creation of emergent elements that could not have been anticipated from the beginning, once the participating audience community reaches a certain critical mass. This concept should not be foreign to those familiar with Alternate Reality Gaming, as it has been reiterated on many occasions that the larger the community, the greater the community’s ability to accomplish tasks and solve problems.

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PICNIC ’06, Day Two: Empowered by Creativity

Written by Sean C. Stacey and Brooke Thompson

The afternoon keynote address was presented by John de Mol, founder of Talpa and Co-Founder of Endemol. Talpa may be recognized for, among other things, its questionable contribution to society of the Big Brother and Extreme Makeover television properties. His appearance was quite a coup for the Cross Media Week Foundation, as he very rarely makes any public appearances or speeches.

Mr. de Mol posited that we were entering what he termed the “Application Age,” meaning that the real value of technology is in how it is used and applied. The Internet enables content production, content delivery, mass communication and discussion of information and issues. This has already begun to be wholly embraced by the younger generation that has grown up with access to the Internet and, more recently, high speed broadband. Ninety percent of consumer created content is developed by users under the age of 30. These youths are digital natives, navigating cyberspace effortlessly in comparison to their parents’ and grandparents’ generations.

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PICNIC ’06, Day Two: Conversations as a Source of Information

Written by Sean C. Stacey and Brooke Thompson

Dan Gillmor, Founder and Director of the Center for Citizen Media, spoke about the future of Internet-enabled media and content, focusing on the democratization of mass information consumption produced by the enabling ability of the Internet to allow anyone to be a media producer, rather than just a passive consumer. Consumers can not only produce media and information to present to traditional production companies but to each other too. Mr. Gillmor stressed that consumer-driven production on the web does not consist solely of blogs but many other traditional and emergent media forms as well.

Some examples he gave illustrated the vast difference between public-enabling technology today and the previously enormous expense required to develop content for mass consumption. The New York-based Rocketboom.com produces high-quality video newscasts daily, yet does so without the backing of the traditionally expected old media production company and facilities. Application mashups are popping up around the web, kludging together existing applications to create new and useful or entertaining tools and resources, such as the Chicago Crime Maps made with local public statistics overlaid on Google Maps using their open Application Programming Interface (API). For a bit of levity, he played a (YouTube famous) video mashup of President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair apparently singing a duet professing their love for each other, through creative editing of existing video culled from various sources.

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PICNIC ’06, Day Two: The Creative Process at Pixar Studios

Written by Sean C. Stacey and Brooke Thompson

Opening the day with the Keynote Presentation was Dr. Michael B. Johnson, Pixar Animation Studios‘ Moving Picture Group Lead. His presentation explored creativity and collaboration, art vs. craft, design vs. engineering, and above all, a unique entertainment experience. As he carried us through the creative process mixed with clips from a variety of Pixar’s projects, the message was clear – “Story drives everything.”

From the pitch — which is essentially telling a story at the same time as you are selling it — to the big screen, the creation process is driven by the story. It starts with the team – the best team that you can find because, as he pointed out, “A good team can take a bad story and fix it or reject it; a poor team cannot.” It takes a team to work through the process of iteration and criticism which is essential to fixing issues with the story, the characters, the design, and so on. At Pixar, art is a team sport. You cannot make a film by yourself.

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