Posts about conferences


I’m at the Syndicate conference in New York. Just did the unkeynote. Have no idea whether it worked. You tell me.

: The meatiest thing that came out of it was a lot of confusion and complaint about the state of tagging. It’s time for taggercon.

: Richard Edelman, who’s becoming known as the most clueful flack, says that they are getting rid of the “message triangle,” the old, accepted wisdom of media training that taught the speaker to keep coming back to three points no matter what the question is. He says the John Kerry failed in his debates because he was too-well trained; he kept coming back to those points. Too much training reduces credibility, he says.

He says that PR people in the future should be “chief listening officers.” Yes, but that should be the job of all execs, no?

: Thinking about it, I’d do the unkeynote differently, modeling it more on the unconference. It needs to start with a goal — a question to answer, a problem to solve, a debate to surface or settle, so people try to pull together to some end and the conversation isn’t random … and so the unkeynoter can bring the conversation back on course when it veers off (as this one did). Lesson learned.

The unkeynote

Here’s my gameplan for my unkeynote at the Syndicate conference on Tuesday. I’m eager for any help and suggestions you can give me.

After getting everyone to agree that conferences, panels, and keynotes suck, I’m going to lay out a few choices for what we should talk about; the choice is the room’s. Then I’ll do a quick intro to the discussion and away we go, with me darting around the room like Oprah (or, considering the color of my hair, Phil) to bring out the ideas, questions, needs, and concerns of the room, who know more than I do. Those topics:

1. Media and syndication.
* This is about the yin and yang, the great mandala of distribution and aggregation in media: You have to be distributed (aka syndicated) and then you have to be aggregated if you want to be found. Big mediA have to learn to both share and promote others’ content.
* Feeds, I think, become the new networks; networks are becoming fluid (more on that later) and so links and feeds from those you trust become the new networks.
* Tagging enables reverse syndication — see Edgeio and the idea of tagging ads or restaurant reviews anywhere on the net and then collecting and organizing and sharing them (see Edgeio).
* TV networks are starting to syndicate (see network shows on iTunes and on the web and see Warner Brothers on Bittorrent); what is the implication for big media (and for P2P)?
* I’ll tell my standard Powerpoint story about Jon Stewart on CNN vs. on the web and what’s bigger — and what networks should do about it.
* We can talk about BBC 2.0, the unnetwork and where that should go.

2. Money and syndication.
* If anyone wants syndication to get ad support so it will (a) be free and (b) get tons of content, then we’ll have to figure out how to collect metrics: views, users, usage, and such via cookies and reporting.
* Is advertising working on feeds? (To my surprise, my Feedburner ads are yielding about $200 a month.)
* Can we put wrappers on feeds and P2P — as Warner Brothers put a wrapper onto Bittorrent — to enable measurement, tracking, and ad serving? Should we?
* What about paid-subscription feeds? Is this the new newsletter, the new magazine, the new cable channel? Good idea or bad?
* I’ll plug my notion of an open-source ad marketplace.
* Insert discussion of digital rights management here.

3. Technology and syndication.
* What’s new and what’s needed? Have we seen much development in syndication lately (and, for that matter, in blogging)?
* I’ll push the notion that feeds should serve as the information architecture of news.
* I wish for flexible RSS that is smarter, killing feeds I don’t use and adding feeds those I trust believe I should have (e.g., editors picking a World Cup feed for me for a month).
* Dave Winer’s Shared OPML as a means of recommending feeds (though I wish for some segmentation — tech feeds, media feeds, etc.).
* Two-way RSS (Ray Ozzie and SSE) and the possible uses.
* Multidevice RSS (feeds to my phone, TV, refrigerator…).
* Bandwidth issues (the problem of constant pings).

4. Conferences suck.
* We could talk about that, too.

5. N.O.T.A.
* None of the above. If they pick this, I just sit down and let anarchy rule.

We’ll see how it goes…

Conferences galore

Paid Content is again updating its list of media conferences. Panels for all!


Gnomedex goes unconference: There are no panels, only conversations. This is what I’ll try to do at Syndicate next week. We’ll see whether it works.

The unkeynote

I got hornswaggled into giving a keynote at Syndicate in New York. But, I protested, I don’t know what I can tell that crowd about syndication. So I decided to try to give the unkeynote, modeled on the unconference. I’ll throw out some questions/goals and have the people in the room decide on the agenda and then enable them to share what they know — which is more than I know — as I do what I do at unconferences: I play Oprah. I mentioned this on the Gillmor Gang last night and various of my fellow callers jumped down my throat. But now I see that others, including Tara Hunt, are planning their own unkeynotes at the Mesh confab in Toronto. This could flame out spectacularly or it could make the room the panel. What do you think I should do?