PSFK Conference: Elizabeth Speirs, Dead Horse Media

The conference opened (at the early hour of 830) with a talk from Elizabeth Spiers, founder and publisher of Dead Horse Media.

Tomorrow’s Media Today
– What are the key developments in media publishing in terms of genre, format and functionality? What should we be reading, watching, interacting with?

  • 10 years ago, we were expecting broadband, X-platform programming and media fragmentation. Today, we are still expecting this, but it’s actually happening now. Just not in the way we thought it would.
  • broadband is really here; x-platform programming does not mean putting a magazine on the web, but using the web to present content in a way that suits it.
  • with DHM, all the properties are online and there are no offline analogues, eg DealBreaker, a gossipy, fun Wall Street blog. We focus on tight niches. The ones that work well are user centric- what do you really need. People want information in an entertaining manner.
  • Why is it different? it’s ends vs means, it’s familiarity vs usability.
  • Don;t assume you can do standalone media, it;s all connected. Online media provides a low cost test market -v you can launch a site with 3 people and $2k and see whether it works in 6 months. Far easier and cheaper than a traditional magazine.
  • Overnight popularity can often be achieved by taking an idea that’s already out there and making it usable for all, ie Digg, YouTube.
  • agencies are often looking for a brand extension, often use DHM to consult on this area. Having consumer facing entertainment, on a blog, can help broaden the audience. But it can scare advertisers off. Dealbreaker can be too frivolous. It is read widely in Wall Street, media age 29, salary around 250k, but advertisers don’t always get it

On looking over my notes, I’m not sure I understood exactly the key message was. But I think it was that ‘old’ media has changed, you can use ‘new’ media to do things differently, not everyone is comfortable with the new communication channels but the user is, likes it, uses them more and more. So advertisers need to change.

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