Final Day wrap up!
The 2010 SXSW Interactive conference has come to a close and the experience for me personally, has been an awesome one. Just writing and sharing these daily blogs has added a great deal to my overall experience and I’m glad I could share them with everyone that took the time to read them. This year the estimated attendance was at 15,000 for the interactive portion of the conference and my personal take is just one of those voices. The goal of my blog was not to try to offer an all-encompassing coverage of the conference; just my personal experience. So if you’re looking for “big story” coverage, these blogs won’t give you that. It is a” journal blog” and while those may be a bit out of date for the times; it is the format that I chose to offer up here. That being said I’ll get on with the final day of events.
Making Sure the World Doesn’t Suck:
How Independent Content Can Save the Media
An intriguing title and an intriguing panel as well, Sean Lennon – Chimera Music, Evan Shapiro – IFC, Marc Lieberman – The Onion, Harvey Smith – Arkane Studios, and Jake Dobkin – Gothamist.com, all representing the variety of genres at the conference. Each talked and discussed content and the value of community that surrounds it. The major focus was on not trying to control and promote the content but instead letting the content, based on its quality, organically spread and proliferate through social communities.
Much of what they discussed was how todays indie content should have a new business model that is representative of this new web 2.0 strategy and unfortunately, where the income sources for the content may exist is still somewhat debateable. Everyone did agree on the fact that good indie content is founded on passion and all the new social tools for content delivery allow everyone to pursue what they are passionate about, without having to “quit the day job” and expect the passion to pay the bills. Man can I relate to that! While music is my passion, it really isn’t even paying for itself and I’m relegated to web and Information Technology services to “pay the bills”. Luckily, these things leave me a great amount of time to pursue the passion of music. Seems very appropriate to the times though. In the words of Sean Lennon “today especially, you have to be making your art from a place that is not financially motivated”. In essence, the panel could be summarized as such. If you are doing what you love, it will show in the work and that will bring forth the quality needed for it to proliferate and help to keep the world from sucking. Follow your passion and let it infiltrate the channels as best it can. In todays indie market, this is the best anyone can do.
Welcome to the State of Now
I spent pretty much the rest of my final day attending @jeffpulver‘s mini #140 conference. A conference within a conference, cool idea Jeff! He assembled an awesome group of speakers covering some broad angles but all centrally focused on the central theme of connectedness. The current state of now is indeed all about connectedness and the variety of panels Jeff brought together all demonstrated this in their own unique way.
Without going into depth about all the different speakers at the #140, I think the concept of “The State of Now” is a great overall note for me to conclude my blog series on for this years conference. My take on the whole experience is that today’s technology has us so obviously connected to each other, more so than at any other time in history, that the possibilities for collaboration and communication are endless. The new business is model is something that businesses today will either adapt or they risk losing their voice entirely in this vastly connected culture. The general rule of the road is transparency and the days of deceptive marketing campaigns are gone.
Every individual using these new tools now has just as much of a voice as a massive company with a million dollar a year advertising budget. Customer service is going to be what ultimately makes or breaks a business as well as each and every personal reputation online. We are all in the business of customer service now and we are all, each of us, our own brand.
It’s a real-time world and if a company falters in any way in terms of customer service today, a Twitter user with 15,000 followers can dramatically affect how that business does in the future. If they pull out their phone on the spot and document the service they are receiving, one person, one moment, one incident, dealing with one employee, can make or break the company’s reputation going forward. It’s a bit scary but it’s also empowering to know that the field has been leveled and that truth and respect now stands just as much of a chance as yesterdays deceptive advertising tactics. I say bring it on!