Spent yesterday at the MediaGuardian Changing Media Summit subtitled 'Are you ready to play in the age of personal media?'
Overall it was a bit of a disappointment. Like several other recent events it appeared to be playing catch-up, still talking about media and new media, not old media and media - or just media.
The best panels were on radio (but with a woeful lack of focus on podcasts) and games (with Justin of Rivers Run Red doing a credible piece on Second Life, and some good stats on Habbo Hotel (30m registrations but 1m a month and 30 min sessions).
The session on mashups and geoloc just talked about mobiles :-(, and the TV session focussed on IPTV and established players rather than Joost and YouTube.
One of the few initial insights was about the fact that audience doesn't equal community and the notion of 'the people formally known as the audience' - referring to UGC.
However things took a definite turn for the better in the final session with Tom Loosemore (the BBC's web 2.0 guru), Alan Rusbridger (Editor of the Guardian) and Andy Duncan, CEO Channel 4. Alan had a wonderful meaningless diagram that he talked to in delightfully random way (whilst making complete sense), Andy spoke real sense and namechecked SL a couple of times, but Tom was the real star. Yes he was more pessimistic about SL, but was spot on around things like the increasing role of the "editor", and the way that media companies need cope with both an older generation that is not IT savvy, and also working out how to cede to control to the upcoming YouTube and MySpace generation.
My own take on the whole day was seeing the media company of old a a vertically integrated business of creator-commissioner-scheduler/aggregrator/selector-transmitter.
What we've seen over the last decades is the transmitter role separate and fragment (seeling off UHF transmitters, then using Broadband) and creators move out into the independent sector. We now see the audience moving into the creator sector to. The next step has to be the separation of commissioning and scheduling. Increasingly I am the scheduler - whether through Listen Again, or podcatcher or my PVR. All I need is a commissioner to actually pay someone talented to make the good content (and in many cases that is self commissioned, eg by the podcaster).
For the future perhaps, as Tom indicated, the real rolefor the BBC and big media organisations is purely as reputation stamps and commissioners. I'll choose to schedule in something I've never heard of because it comes with the BBC stamp of approval - through inclusion on their schedule or form their commissioning. Of course the other model is that I base reputation on peer recommendation (or peer subscription). And if I build my schedule then I can share that with others, or buy into others schedules. This applies increasingly across all media - TV, radio (or rather tele-audio, radio is completelyy the wrong label and caused all sorts o wrong assumptions in the radio session), and even print (in the form of RSS and self-printed newspapers - surely an idea who's time has come again.
A decade or so the Guardian produced a demo of an A4 self-printed newspaper on Tyvek indestructible paper. That is the sort of vision that was missing at this conference, and the dis-integration issus above are what it should have been discussing.
Oh, and the best bit. At lunch I'd been talking to this guy from a search engine marketing firm about SL, about how its search is broken, about whether Google would buy it, and how it might develop in the future. At the end of the conference the same guy, aka Richard Gregory, COO Latitude, stood up as the event co-sponsor to draw things to a close and invite people to the reception, and he spoke about about SL, about how its search is broken, about whether Google would buy it, and how it might develop in the future! My words were ringing in my ears.
***Imported from old blog***