Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics

Archive for July 17th, 2007

Liveblogging the Future of Media Summit 2007

Posted by shannonclark on July 17, 2007

I am sitting in a conference room in San Francisco, watching a discussion happening live in front of me and via videoconference in Australia. This is all part of the Future of Media Summit organized by my friend Ross Dawson.

The summit started in a very future forward manner, a Skype conference call while viewing on a projected screen a conference space in Second Life, with the main speakers calling in from Toronto. Nothing earth shattering but a good update on the presence of over 100 large corporations as well as the very global characteristics of the Second Life community (estimated at about 400-800k active users, but 63% or more non-US).

Now the panel is talking about future business models. I think people are missing key points, though they do get some. For one, people have written off the value and revenues of music too rapidly I suspect. One of the current speakers from Australia gave his list of business models as

1. Audience pays for content

2. Third-party pays for access to your audience

3. Third-party pays for your content for their audience

One buisiness model he is missing is selling something else – for example data generated by watching the interactions of your audience. Ross just asked about micropayments.

Keith Tarre (of Edgeio – who are hosting my MeshWalk next week) is making some points about selling micro-chunks of content sold without a storefront (a listing becomes transactional) – i.e. you can sell from inside of your blog for example. “Selling content through peer relationships”

Ross just asked about the Zune to the woman from Microsoft who is on the panel here in San Francisco. She pointed out, however, that the peer-to-peer sharing is actually not selling.

She is talking about peer to peer networks who are also advertising platforms (I think she is thinking about sites such as Joost).

First Neil Stephenson citation of the conference. Snowcrash mentioned specifically – a little woot for that, though I think there is more and richer complexity than the panelists are citing at the moment.

Discussion of “proxy currencies” (Linden Dollars) however I think you should consider many of these as real currencies.

Point was made that direct email marketing is personalized advertising today and works. Keith mentioned JCrew who know his shirt size and sends him very targeted emails a few times a month.

Keith just noted that targeted advertising in the case of the TechCrunch job board generates about $30k per month and has about 30k page views per month, for an effective CPM of $1000. Because it has an very targeted audience and message and is effective.

I asked about the concept of selling data gathered in course of a media business, mentioned specifically Technorati, but I was hoping to get into other areas as well. The panelists seemed to agree with my point but think that the best opportunities would be for the company themselves to leverage that data, which is not exactly my point. My point is that there can often be adjacent businesses which want something different – for example tracking trends.

Next panel includes Mitch Ratcliffe and Gage Rivera here in San Francisco is on influence networks. Now someone from Australia talking about social network analysis. Something I know a bit about from running MeshForum.

Mitch is talking about influence – pointing out that redefining the conversation is a different type of influence than the mass numbers of links and popularity. It is about relationships – all about it. Points out the walled garden problem of most social networks today.

Now first citation of Ron Burt and the concept of Structural Holes and “brokers and bridges”. If I get a chance, I’ll ask about how the speed of creating new networks and the very dynamic nature of them changes things today. Too often social network analysis is focused on static networks. Mitch talks about synthesis and cites the Jeff Jarvis “Dell Hell” story. Mitch cites the term “Synthesis” as something to create.

Discussion now about paying for influence/posts/blogs/comments.

Gabe was just asked about what has changed in the tech and blogging world in the past 12 months. “A lot of people want to be TechCrunch and that has distorted things a bit”

Follow up question was are there more or less authoritative sites and Gabe answered that there are now more, and more companies who are and have active blogs. Now most startups have a blog.

I asked about dynamics and pointed out that MySpace is still growing. The panelists in Australia thought something different about my question and said he thinks there will be a single winner. I think he is wrong and that Marc Canter’s vision of 1000’s of social networks is a more likely one.

Posted in economics, Entrepreneurship, futureculture, internet, meshforum, microsoft, networks, web2.0 | 1 Comment »