LeWeb: SoLoMo and Media

Moderated by: Thomas Crampton, Asia-Pacific Director of Social Media, Ogilvy Mather

  • Paul-François Fournier, Executive Vice President, Orange Technocentre
  • Gabe Rivera, Founder & CEO, Techmeme
  • Bruno Patino, Senior Executive Vice President, Strategy Digital Director, France Télévisions Group & France 5
  • Brad Garlinghouse, President, Consumer Applications & Commerce Group, AOL

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(photo by Adam Tinworth)

They were asked what they mean by media. PFF think they are are local and social, that they are not media, but a media acceleration company. They are looking for partners, eg as with Evernote. BG thinks AOL is investing lots of content…interesting how social and mobile change what media is. FB is media, twitter is media, that creates challenges for the traditional media. They think innovation, how to incorporate it, is one of the biggest challenges. So for Orange, BG thinks keeping it separate is the best model. NewsCorp with the Daily, spends lots of money creating lots of content and it’s not getting traction. Gabe would consider techmeme as media; Media as a word is overused. Is it social media or broadcast. Techmeme does not have comments, not too many tweets, focus on the media, it’s one to many..not like social media many to many. BP thinks that media is staying the same, the industrial mass version is changing. Big companies do not control the system, But audience still wants to gather around a tv programme, on whatever screen they want and still want a social connection with it. The difference is that the big company no longer controls the system. They have to think about maximizing the consumer experience. It’s a new way, maximizing the experience

What is good examples of integrating social and media. Gabe is not focusing on this; is looking at publishers. Social media is a follow on, it collects attention but not really adding. For Gabe, Twitter is one area, in terms of breaking news and being able to provide additional information, counterpoints etc. Not too often, usually not really useful. Gabe does not know of any traditional media where social is adding value (although he admits there may be there). Gabe looks at Reddit, with moderated comments that can be seen as a success

Paul thinks you are looking at the future, where is it going. He thinks we are still in period about understanding what the success will be. There will be soon something, but not seen know. Bruno thinks there are new models of storytelling. The news is no longer delivered to you. Or the story shows. You know people will get involved with characters etc. You engage in new ways of multidimensional shows and stories. The context is always changing..that that is a big thing with social

Looking at local, big media has a problem covering local in a way to make money from, says Brad. AOL has made a large investment in Patch, which is a local media network. They don’t do big towns, do small ones, do suburbs. Twitter is media, so the volume is huge – even if it is garbage. The challenge is making media more relevant, using social and interest graphs and then you have a proximity graph, bringing in mobile. Techmeme is always of the now, so always relevant.

But can you scale local? Brad thinks this is what the Patch experiment will show over the next few years. They have invested over 100m..some are profitable, can all of the 900 sites be so. Paul is talking about sharing knowledge and processes and platforms to scale, even if news is local

For Bruno, local is not what local used to mean. So local used to be a major town and suburbs..so 500-600k. Now it is more local, more granular. So the model is changing, it is not volume as such.

Audience questions

So how important is local? For Brad, Patch is a challenge, it is going. But local is important, people care about what happens around their area. Can people make money? Bruno says that there used to be lots of local press, but local was a huge place. The audience is smaller. You have to think about how to organise local news in a key way. Look at the US, with support of journalism is on local basis as many organisations don’t cover it. Gabe would not do a local site. There needs to be an abundance of the local news to consider filtering, says gabe, but there is not this. He does not see the success at the smaller scale. Patch does not sound encouraging. A Patch story did discover the Jobs presenting new plans, then techcrunch wrote this up. Local content matters, says Brad, but there is not an abundance, so difficult to curate and promote. With Paul, he asks what is local? how big is the size?

Looking at mobile, Gabe has about 10% mobile. He knows there are news sites where mobile is bigger, but for those that are like work, like techmeme, desktop is more important. For Twitter, it’s 50%, for FB it’s about 30%. It will become increasing in numbers. Paul sees 2 forms of mobile, when you are away, getting the info, or as a second or third screen when doing other things, to interact. Bruno is working on mobile apps, that to view, capture and share what you can see on TV. For Paul at Orange, this multidevice is a key element for their partners.

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