Nov 12

FOE5: Futures of Music

The Futures of Music.
The music industry is often cited as the horror story that all other entertainment genres might learn from: how the digital era has laid waste to a traditional business model. But what new models for musicians and for the music industry exist in the wake of this paradigm shift, and what can other media industries learn from emerging models of content creation and circulation?
Moderator: Nancy Baym (Kansas University)
Panelists: Mike King (Berklee College of Music), João Brasil (Brazilian artist), Chuck Fromm (Worship Leader Media), Erin McKeown (musical artist and fellow with the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University) and Brian Whitman (The Echo Nest)

NB: Music has been facing challenges for a long time. I was at music trade show a few years, ago, record lable people were joking they were used to a financail crisis., They maybe have some things to team to people. So what kinds of models to distribute that you see has potentailk

BW: streaming services, how they are interacting with things, it is not just a list. there is apps around experiences, look at Bjork, would love to see people move away form jsut listening

CF: a report, IPTI, with 400 new services. Record companies have lost about half their sales, from $12b close to $4b, they have felt it The biz is distribution, that generates income, Music has gone into that first, way ahead of creative culture, books, other kinds, 2-3 5 distribution, IN music 45-52% of allmusic sales will be digital this year, that is a huge change in business model, you are not telling a story, you are selling 99c song.

JB: it is rare to listen to full album. With electronic, you share music, you have closed groups, producers share things, they promote etc, it can spread and play all over the world.

NB: a distribition model of closed groups of producers. Bjork apps are a whole epxerience around an album though…

EM: would like ot propose we can learn a lot from Local Food Movement. Distribution and stories, will go find with people who grow my vegetables, we can do the same things with music, about thinking about relationships.

MK: I like that idea, to continue on with that, Music it is not a single product, a cd, moving into a era to offer what your ocmmunity want, you don’t have to offer what is available in retail, I saw casettes being sold in a music shop in NY, they serve their Hipster community, Heard on NPR, lables do away with CDs in 2012. it is about offereing what fans want

CF: Concorde bought McArtnety cataglog, released Band on the RUn in 3 formats, plus vinyl. With a book, give complete experience, what they want

NB: think about survey about how musicians make money

EM\: The future of music coalition, to connect policy worls with music world, 10 years old. Being working on net neutrality, public perfoamance rights. etc. Theyw ant data, so have asked about how musicians make money. Will do interviews, will do deeper case studies. Revenue streams get complicated and arcane, lots of strewams. Most musicians may be gross most money from live shows, but not net.

NB: funding, how about that? where to get money to build an audience

MK: nuanced, everyone different. Some, at a certain level, catalog ticking along, get revenuw to make new from old songs. Kickstarter can do this. PLedgemusic takes it do a different level, they are a platform, and get people together to start things. If you look at what a lable does, distribution, markeitng , finding. Distribution is now sinple, marketing is difficult, fiunding is even more tricky

CF:Capital is important, both knowledge and cash. Talking about commercial music. The impact of piracy has been on the lables, that has dried up the cash and capital. There is philanthropy..people want things to be created. I had an investor put up money (a christian hymnal) because of what it was

BW: it is easier for a new artist to get noticed, there is so much available, and everyone os working on getting ways to find things

JB: started singing, littel band and peopel started inviting me to come along as a DJ. A big buzz like that in Brazil, DJs. all over. Got rid of band, wanted ot produce music I wanted. I make it really cheap, with computer, download and put them together, make mashups, Put up blog in 2010, made 1 masshup a day, people thought was crazy. Started get invites to play all over the world.

EM: another story to get money, first record came out in 2000, had lable deal with money. now trying to work in new way. I feel that I had to scale down before i could scale up again. I’ve tried to get all my masters back. I have 4/7 back, the last 3 for a while. I out some time to get paid for music that I have made. getting soundexchange set up, getting royalties etc, then that is budget for next 2 records making. Budget was based on how much I could back from records I had sold. DO it with the scale of what you have, So get your house in orde, make it small, make it efficient

MK: Brian mentioned, marketing has become easier. Not sure I agree. The ability to get on net is easier, to have visbility. But martketing harder as everyone can do it. Popel say they’re on Twitter, FB, so where ar eh sales. It is the best practices about hwo to use the tools

NB: Nobody knows what is going on, so many models, how is this happening, Is there best practices emerging?

CF: You can look at the present, see islands of health and strength, like the model Erin is talking about. Int he 90s the lables re-purposed the content, they went to CD. So buying past work to remediate is a smart concept. There is all the noise, need to find ways to get above the noise.

EM: so JB, he mashes up, what about the rights issues?

JB: no…when I do the blog, always promote the original artist…it is common sense. A lot of Brazillian artists came and thnaks me. It was abig thing for them., collaboration, people aske dfor mashups. But no rights for anything,,

CF: digital has thrown it into the nascent state of the digital movement. Labels are gunning for pirates etc but there are new structures being developed around digital. The negative is hsaring, but it is a good marketing strategy…

NB: Brian can you speak about the is aggregating data,using machine learning, what is the role of metrics and data

BW: we try and collect all the information on web automatically, we read blog, we see things being posted, we follow mentions. We power music discuvery services out there. Musci should not just be data, look at it blindly. A lot of what the data use is doing is bristly for me (an ex-dj), i love being able to find stuff based on me etc, there are things that are worthwhile…i want to avoid the bad stuff

MK: I worked at a lable, i know the data we looked at to direct campagns, was archaic, from soundscan, pres,s radio etc, then direct campaign after the fact. But no in realtime, musicians can see in realtime how sites and sounds are doing. So next big sounds, looks at where artists being mentioned, look at trends, compare to artits. Data is important, one of the greatest things for musicians if you can use it.

BW: think that is more important for listener…to help discover stuff. I don;’t want artists to be statiscians.

EM: agree data is important., But sometimes it is wrong, and the process to make it right is not easy. So I want to put myself in shazaam and I can’t fix it, don’t know where it pulled from. Lets look at process of cleaning it and what if wrong. As a musician, I don’t want to look at metrics all day, but I also think that touches a little bit on myth, that i want to dispel, that oyu can;t be creative when looking at numbers. That’s the myth that musicians don’t know what is going on. Agree that listener data is good, but also good for musicians

BW: the whole reason we created echoprint is opemn verison of Shazaam, I got as angry when my own music was not in Shazzaam, to control data

CF: it is ironic that we talk about data, when the music is now data. I know engineers that are recording in analogue and putting out in hi res form. Nothing is real anywhere, it is all tools and data. You lose that sense of warmth from analogue..

MK: there is a difference beteen casual and hardcore. The replacement cycle, was not made because of superior sound, but it was convenience.,

CF: convenience is about customer value, it is not quality, in terms of sound. It is about how convenient it is to get and use.Music have been doing things with licensing to make it convenient toget

NB: question, backchannle, will music be free, with revenue from other sources.

JB: Spotify is a model. Zappa said it earlier, like a utility, you pay a fixed fee.

NB: but is the revenue too low.

JB: but the money from touring..does she bother too much about royalties?

EM: Wont’ hate on spotify, it is marketing tool not a revneue source…spotify is not useful for revenue, you need things set up around it

MK: you can go diferent ways. YOu have to have all of your other things happening as well, I was trying to find music, and I could not from this band..need to get the rest of the stuff in order

EM: chart showing how much you need to do for sources to make minimum wage. Need to sell 143 selfpressed CDs and 4 million + spotify plays

CF: the question of digital era, who pays for content. That investment indevelopment, where from. The lables, they added a lot of value in terms of development. Those have been stripped away, A&R not ness working for lable now. Content is not free..there is a lot of good folk content out there, anyone can make, but for professional development, that is not free. Levine has new book, Valled Free Ride, gets at nub of issue thinking of content

EM: so food is not free, there is a system around it. There will be a system around music industry for value to be in there

NB: does a 1000 true fans work; you heard about skimmers, dippers and divers. Different types of fans. Because musicians are narratives, does that group work, what is the balance of those different groups?

MK: you have to think about all of those different peopel, It makes sense to be on the streams, you get these curious people, then sell off own sitem si sell for all levels of fans. There are lot of people talking about the 1000 true fans model…you are serving lots of groups, you get the passer bys who get the song then otehrs who want the social objects, with a higher margin

BW: but where are the skimmers coming from? that’s what I am thinking about

CF: lables have become licensors. the business is becoming licencing agregators. You need to know who is agregating, how to get the licencing. That’s part of the new capital today

JB: the fan is heart, the crowd has to love you. You have to make this fanbase..burn own, sell to them. you can be like that for rest of life..

NB: iErin, is your career sustained by core?

EM: i have strength or problem if each record being diferent from last. I am sustained from a small group of people who follow me, my career would be different if I could make the same record over and over again. I do beleive in 1000 true fan model. I’m going to build that relationship…I would like to pull people into that, I make sure I take care of the people around me, I communicate with them. Sustained by people who follow my story, my personality.

NB: questions about food metaphor

EM: about the relatinship, goign to store, knowing the choices

NB: (video about Techno Brego movement)

JB: one thing about that video, the parties that are made, they are isolated geograpically, so Lady Gaga would have to do a techno braga release to be known., If a mix is not done, then artists have no chance.

CF: Gospel music, church music, When singing in church, the congrations pay a feee, geneating $30m a year. Larger churches etc, all have communities in practice, have artist in resident programmes, they need the band players. CCLI started as no song books needed with overhead projectors etc

NB: do you look at global flows?

BW: yes, we look at music, we look iusage across all areas, the flow of sharing, we geotag

NB: are there diffferences in different parts of the owrld

MK: yes, different channels, eg CDs in Puerto Rico, in other places, CDs are marketing, it is all about the live events. SE Asia is similar to that,

NB: raises questons about how artists can find audiences in different places. SO Kings of COnvenience have international success..are there other examples of niches…

MK: I like hte idea of musicians, thinking about values, psychographics and determine outlets based on this. like a brand thing

BW: I see biz dev happening like this…eg restaurants wanting to come and find things that sounds like ‘x’ without paying the expensive licences etc…different ways of finding thigns with data

CF: a large part of discovery is audience finding artist, not the other way, There is acertain amount of patience on the behalf of the artist. So building the artist platform, to own real estate on web, mnake yourself discoverable., But more of a pull strategy than push.

NB: so is music showing up in weird places?

EM: Yes, I am a fan of the long tale. I used ot have a big audience in UK and ireland, not genre to genre, but not enoiugh to tour there, can keep them from internet though, seeding out that was/Book about spider and starfish, the power of decentralised networks. I can make my distributed fans happy…eg I can do live streams to fans around world.,

JB: I am only possible because of the global nature. Live in London, record label in Germany, from Brazil I am mashing up scenes…during my one year project I tried all srots of music in mashup., so brazillaim beats with things. It is changing how artists are interacting with themselves.

CF: oneof the great things has been about decentrealisation of creative development, away from Nashvilles, NY etc. We see a lot of that. My mag has been developing song writers in the round, we bring in songwriters, publishing representative…face to face, new poets etc get opportunity to talk, that is why still doing it, the artist, the music etc. That’s what we love.

NB: your point about it is the music..there was a tweet asking about focus on tools rather than quality…and there is point on board about autotune…so ask about decentralisation of music…is the quality degrading?

BW: no problem with kid in basement, he makes best he can. The whole point of that is I want more in the world. i want more, it’s not a finite resource

MK: it comes down to curation. (asks about Facebook and spotify etc). Facebook acts as a recommendation system for recommendation systems. it is OK, bur can be better. something liek facebook so I hear form trusted sources about what peopel listen to. I don’t agree there’s too much, it is hoe you find it

CF: I think there will be a backlash, that singers can’t sing without autotune. There is a need for artists to do music in realtime, that can play together to create. There will be an appetite for music. With digital you can make things perfect, but things will swing back to enjoyment of realtime and real art/. You see it with love performances and the appetite for it

EM: Don’t think there can be too much and dangerous about what is good, bad etc. Someone in a blog saying if you don’t make money from spotify, then music not good enough. That is dangerrous. You want to find music that speaks to you..ONe danger is about a large corporate that blocks out things, that constrains

NB: the saying about the music industry is dying makes me angry, It is not that, one particular form is that, but there are lots of music industries.

BW: there are plenty of opportunities. We have done deals with EMI and UNiversal, they are letting developers do things with their music, they get share of revenue, but new experiences are being made. Now you can experiement, as lables are working with people

EM: I am a fan of direct to fan platforms. I have used (and nimbit, topspin etc), they have good tools for musicians.

MK: Bandcamp, founded by Ethan Diamond. He saw difficulty in buying tracks for bamds., He saw the problem existed and did something about it. People from outside indutry are making big changes and making things

CF: the old model is dead…the heirarchies have been humbled..the democratisation of creative culture has been phenomenal because of these resources. Watch adn learn about the successful people. The lbales have leveled off, are consolidating

MK:In regards to lables, it depends, If you are top 40 artist, you need a lable…there was a band called Carmen, big on YT, they got signed to Sony..I watch them . They build up leverage and decide where to take the leverage. There are good lables, eg Merge, 50/50 split after expenses. I am a huge fan of direct to fan, but lables can be a postive thing

CF: you need the institution and the new stuff, opportunity for both

JB: in Europe, labels guarantee the type of the music, with electronic etc, but not in Brazil, no labels there

Audience Questions

Q: one things that stands out, that is exciting, we have different types, eg technobraga, all very local. with the APIS etc, with distribution, you can create audiences outside of local. But music is finding the best solutions to distribute and get revenue..

CF: CD is free, but $20 for tshirt…

EM: can it be a girl in the basement for once? Also, put record out last Tuesday, on Tunecorp and on site, 2/3 of orders are for CDs This question about role of radio, it depends on what radio you listen to.

Q: Wondering about splintering of platforms for distribution,

BW: filtering, algorythms etc scare me as much,people need to care about it. Splintering will happen, but lots of opps. There are lots of people who care and who are making new stuff

NB: thoughts about itunes, apple?

EM: I make a good proportion from Itunes, it is very fair, I use Tunecorp to get on Apple
MK: it is one of the best models, to get revenue back. Eminem sued Universal about itunes, and he won. It was a licence deal, 50/50, so get more from it. They pay more,
CF: learning about the future from the past, Napster made the world OK for itunes. There are things being played out for the future as you watch the pirate things now

Q: been thinking about music journalism, about PR people who want money to get music out there, how will music journalism affect the artists

JB: it will keep ongoing…if not newspapers, then the blogs, People read the blogs to relate to understand. We are sometimes we are victims of them
CF: the jounalist tells the story, gets the narrative out there, otherwise it is just an artefct. There is ahunger for the narrative

Nov 12

FOE5: Nonfictional Storytelling

The Futures of Nonfiction Storytelling
Digital communication has arguably impacted the lives of journalists more than any other media practitioner. But new platforms and ways of circulating content are providing vast new opportunities for journalists and documentarians. How have–and might–nonfiction storytellers incorporate many of the emerging strategies of transmedia storytelling and audience participation from marketing and entertainment, and what experiments are currently underway that are showing the potential paths forward?
Moderator: Johnathan Taplin (University of Southern California)
Panelists: Molly Bingham (photojournalist; founder of ORB); Chris O’Brien (San Jose Mercury News), Patricia Zimmermann (Ithaca College) and Lenny Altschuler (Televisa)

JT: How has the tools changed the way you can tell stories

COB: after drawing back for a whikle, we have plunged in. For Occupy, we got a multi-layered story. I got down there, and wrote a few columns, a step back process, with assessment and analysis. Watched the other jounalists getting involved, having to buy gas masks, watched how they chose who to interview, who to tell the stories, see who it came a national story. We were pulling in tweets and photos etc, and putting these in the site as well. I was struggling about what picture I was getting; onthe whole it was a better more nuanced portrait, as we could get onfo from there, but still getting the traditional perspective

JT: A multi-dimensional story, that was a 2min piece on the news

COB: Yes, especially when it gets to some of the talk shows, filtering through narrative of the story they want, (eg Olberman, Riley). YOu get only a piece of it them. We gave a more rounded, nuanced story. But it is still hard to know about how people are consumingthe story. Do they read all the bits, or just the headlines?

JT: do mexico is a lot of drug cartel do you get past that

LA: Televista tries to cover the facts as we can..The conflcit involves drug cartels, gov but affect the whole country as the way it is told. You hear all these things, you get there and it is amazing, so what is all that media talk. In Telavista, a debate format, on opoen TV< with younger anchors and jounalistsand a lot of particpation using social media, which is growing. That debate has forced trafitional media to share the facts and not just the perception. That is one of the most important roles. YOu have to take facts from people, not the opinion from 9oclock news anchor. The perception is hurting the country..don't want to minimise problem...but perception still hurts...if you are a regular citizen, stay out of conflict zones, it is a shame were getting that perception, that impacts econimy of country, tourism, I hope that when we particpate as citizens and look at facts we can stop scaring people off from Mexico. We can help as cistizens, not leave it up to the gov, not to resolve it but to make living it there a more normal experience JT: YOu work with Witness, and stories that no one is thinking about, seeing. Does new media help get the stories told? Or do we still have the same problem... PZ: when we talk about joiunalism and documentary, it is from a location in countries of the global norht when e are insulated form life-destroying issues. Where we have tech and profilation. I've been in places whereyou cannot not imagine sittingin a room with so many APple products. IN some parts of Asia, there is an anti-Apple thing, as it is easier to repair PCs. I want to recalibrate this discussion,,less form global north, to think about being somewhere else in the world. Indonesian model..the gadogado model, a salad with lots of stuff in it....a sovergin tthough, an idea of moving from crowd-sourcing to collaboration, with communities, with projects that can promote communities, give meaningful dialogue. AN example, when talk about rvolutions fueled by tech..we forget that revolutiuon come from long social struggles, for rights, or access. Look at Papua New Guinea, that looks to explode. We need to think about moving from provacy, with first world global north definition,s to shift out of that to think about safety and consent..It's easy to think about everything online, but larger issues, what does it mean to have image online in conflict area, if image uploaded you use control. Can we think of mechansims for consent, if imnage to be circulated. What do we do in a world we can have these revolutions, but gov can shut down nodes. Can crowdsourcing used to put people in gaol. Iranian gov used corwdsourcing to identify dissedents, as in Burma...we talk about fastness, corwdsourcing is fast, amphetamine produced media. I'd like to ask for a diofferent kind of movement, slow media. Human Media, conflict zones, is slow media, where you have facts time to dig into story, time to convene community for meaningful dialogues. Not to dive into story worlds, but convene for meaningful dialogues/ One more shift...these issues are serious and they want us to work together. A shift from spreadable to permeable. Move form content providers, to context providers, to experience providers, to engage more people in more dialogue, those convineing are inportant in and of them selves, where new democracies are Indonesia COB: Web access growing, but 40% stilllive in extreme poverty. The gov does do initiatives to better their lives, ther eis a programme with all media companies, the INitiative for Mexico, is a transmedia project, a tv show, where people present projects fo rthe betterment of people lives, where no water, ne electricity. It's a TV show, and gives ratings, but people vote for best projects, they are fully funded. eg solar panales for light for next 25 years. Or water, clean water. These are the kinds where trad media, new media and society are taking action. JT: Back to safety and consent. Molly is the only person gaoled by Saddam know what safety means...we are being challenged to audience that there is no such thing as a professional journalist. The tools that allow people to do things are the same tools the state can use. MB: it was very complex, evolving everyday, Yesterday, FB discussion about what is being kept. Safety is somehting that you decide ot commit jounalism, you are making yourself vulnerable to insecurities, from your security network, from publich, frompeopel who choose violence to express them selves. Working overseas, in armed conflict, it was quite physical. It was also more subtle, if what you learned about what was happening, contradicted the national narraitve, about the US war was going, how was it persued., The reactions abou contradicting that, I was claled a traitor, for having interviewed peopel who were attacking US troops., THis is what we do as journalists. Now there is aggressive national narratives that make the conversation difficult. I;ve never beenscared in own country but was quite concerned after that article. We made rules, not talking on ophones, no digital footprint. Wre found the NSA had been tapping phones, etc. Security is a wide ranging, intellectual freedom and personal. JT: so what is profesisonal journalism? COB: people were challenging abut the role, and the need for people think we would be fine post-profesisonalk world (crowd reaction was that we need the profession). I get that question a lot, ie in Silicon Valley., I try not ot be super-religious about the term..I did not go to journalism school, I learned to do it by doing are doign researhc, verification, you may have domain expertise, a deeper knowledge to bring a perspective, about what is important, bringing context. You would hear different definitions. Also doing journalism and claiming it is not Michael to fluidity, i want to think about these, what they frame it as, is ta trade off, crowd or profressional, data or not. The win is about extending and enhancing. MB: i also did not go to J school. I see it as acraft, you learn through apprenticeship process. The adherance to a code of values and ethics, what you do and don't are clear and specific and you learn those things. The adhesion to the code is what defines a professional jounalist..and often journos who get paid viloate the code. There is great vcalue in citizen media etc,. a participatory public disccusion, but that is what I mean JT: so crisis is who is going to pay for it. NYT put up paywall, which is working quite well LA: in our organisation, we are a public broadcaster, it is free, access to all. Another paper you pay for subscription, there largest newspaper. We are major media company, we pay for supported. IN some parts. TV is ads, online no ads...most of population watch the linear content only. As they go online to watch favourite novella..they may see things and try it, eg search. We are looking at building a education and media literacy online as well, an educational tool to open access to information, who may not have another way to access. COB: people may take different info from NYT, about being paid for. One lesson there, from games, is that most engaged users ar eth eones who will spend the most money, they are successful to apply freemium model, virtual goods, the lesson from NYT is that there are core users who will pay, tht will help, to get that revnue. In Bay Area we see the SF Chronicle raise prices, they people who get it will get it for ever. It can be explored, that is one piece of puzzle JT: Patty, you raised context. Back channel askign about digital destroying context,,what can be done PZ: the crux. Context is about the navigation models that help us navigate the globe. You see streams, you see men doing violent things, doing things, singing etc, but does that explain the financial breakdown of countries, is seeing peopel on Egypt street explain what happened need ot look at the history..there is so much utopiaism. you need to shift it down to small projects., It is not tech....EngageMEdia, focus on Asia Pacific, they are jounalists, indonesians, technologists...NGOs. they discover that in conflict areas, you may be making videos, but you may end up in gaol. They are working on tech that goes into cell phones so when take picture will blur your face. Working on lack of electricity...with generators. Working on a site, curated around issues. You can download the site to USB ietc, where there is no wifi, can still share content. You need USB stick to move between areas. YOu need to work out how to upload with low badwidth, the best way to do this...EngageMedia are context providers, It is curated around issues, it provides context. We see projects that are collaborations, between community etc. Wanted to say something about storytelling and non-fiction, Interested about how people think about this. In SE Asia, the narrative is questioned. It is seen as a Western thing, where the narrative structure does not fit. MB: I've spent most of myt career going places as people are leaving., Where I am working now, it is all context. We lack that, the ability to makse sense of what is going on. We are trend driven, not event driven. That third thing is worth focusing energy on JT: BackChannel, wnat to know opinion on VBS..Vice TV. This makes short films from conflict zones...JT made a film Call to action about war reporters...they are all action junkies..I think the reason VBS is successful, it appeals to the action junkie in all of us. Is there some larget context? Do we need the action shots to get us to think about them? COB: one of criticism about Gulf war etc was that it was being santised, you were ot seeing how bad they were. Not seen VBS,it would hard for me to be disdainful about anything that provides more coverage..when stuff is waining. There are things that you won't see on mainstream, you don't see the body bags..where you run into, it, you have to assess on case by case basis, is this war zopne porngraphy, does it portray the terror of living there? Most peopel don't know how scary life was for the average Iraqui. JT: I thought about complicity of large media orgs in embedded reporter. In Vietnam, there was no one embedded...there were not censored. MB: enbedded means you have agreed to a contract. May not be censored, but it can. Talking about the fear in Iraqui peopel..without the weeks of unpacking,the violence does not have meaning. You show as they are incredible, they don't tell you much , It is the quiet long reporting, that gives understanding. But it is not glamerpous., watching someone bleed to death is not glamerous, getting sick with no medical helpo is ot glamnerous. One of the hardest things was knowing that I, as US, had a part in shredding this country. YOu looka tht eway a convoy drives down the road with disregard to foot traffic, a car backfires and soldiers open fire on all around. That is overlooked, JT: a lot of jounalists are creating own brand? How is your thinking about reporters as brands LA: it was a debate. Whenthinking about what twitter onscreen, jouno or programme. Compared to telenovelas talent, the journos, work across different media, they are there own brands. We have SocMed guidelines, We say your twitter is your can do what you want. you can't use the brand, but you can say what you want. if you want that on TV screen, then you can., It plays self epxression that should not be moderated. COB: we are moving more towards that, there is a feeling in Valley that you should establish the brand of you, but most peopel don't need to. In media, you can be noble, about social just read without knowing who does it. Moving to a columnist about 3 years, amazing the connection peopel feel to you, as you move into new era, making feel that these are real people, making them very postive, but frankly exhausting. You have to promote yourself, get yourself out there. It does not come natuarally for anyone, if I am a known quantity, it's also an act of self-preservation LA: Putting a human face on journo, adds to the credibility, beyond the official news. SO if journos have own identity, that gives credibility, makes it more reliable than the offocial posture JT: we have a lot of questions around ethics...the blending of objective and opinion..can it be doem when rewards sensationalism PZ:I have a huge issue as atheorist with objective journalism. We have to look at any utterace as embedded in power relationahips, having a utlity that is not obvious. Objectivity, It is so embedded ion first world american perspective. It came from the need for efficiency. Early journos were more like bloggers, they had opinions. The small newspapers, journos could be too political. Americans talk about news like this, other parts of the world, you see different jounalists, type, Can we agree to take this out of equation. There is a journalism of evidence, of explanatory models, of outting evidence in the public sphere, it is very US. In Aisa, I learnt to take things and flip it. and objectivity just irritates me. Can we say good bye to that context MB: there is perception that journos can deliver trith. Good Journos describe reality, but we are human beings, we have blind spots and predjudeices, a good journo will learn what they are and compensate for them, by surrounding with different people, by challenging themsleves. COB I hear this,..,I am a columnists, so get to do opinion. People are looking for a little of this, who is is boring. we have to be careful of the web rewards the stakeing out the far end of either spectrum. Popular stuff is the extreme. If you take the smart view, you don't get the attention., That is an ogoing thing. The objectivity thing is BS, JT: inthe UK, there are papers positioned. They are very clear where they are coming from. In Mexico, the TV positions in the ethey are diferent sides? LA: Yes, there is left and right., It is up to have to check out sources and form opinion., YOu choose to read a certain type. JT: At Innovation Lab, we do semantic analysis around stories, Are there lessons we can take, about twitter, blogs etc have played in the media revolutions. Is this something that has changed things., COB: there is often too simplistic notion that this was a twitter revolution...etc, There have ben movements for 100s of years that have got on fine without have to work out the comms challenge. But wrong to say there was not something new here. As with cicil rights, how to you take something and widen the frame, widen the story, make it national, you can change the power to tilt to them. How do you get sotry out to a wider audience and widen lens. If the NYT did not show up, how else would people find you have more opportunties. Move avenues to get sotry out PZ: now we are in mot exciting times for documentary or jounalism, everything has changed,upside down and ripped apart., Many multiplicity of forms, interactions tech, that has created a new a nd larger pallette, diff tech that can be mixed. Malaysia Kinny, devloped in Malaysia, a place with censorship, but they have lust for US content. They could not shut down web. So they people could not show video in cinema, or on newspapers. SO did citizen jounalism, on web, tell stories. Malaysia Kinny is the go to place to go, they have professional jounalist,s citizen jounalism crowdsourcing info etc, an example of matrix and social, tech model, a successful company now. We have to be careful, looking at complexity of pallettes. MB: I look at all of these as tools...used for many things. I see tech tools that can foster great sharing, it is how we use these tools, how we allow structures to use these tools LA: There is a repsonsibility to all of us, as we post content, about where things go, wher ethe content goes, YOu can change perception of things... we need ot consider things that we share Audience questions Q: how do you prepare for trips in warzones, what stuff do you use? MB: It's been a while since I packed, and it depended. the lighter you move, the better you are. When you have flak jackets etc...what i needed was cash and cameras and a way to file. In Baghdad, in 2003-4, the US built cellphone structure, was not a tool I could have use din reporting, social media helped around film to bring it out. I;m learning social media tools, Q: JT mentioned about UK papers, press aligned with politivcal interests..then it a whilke since been to London. Now we have destruction of that divide, with the NI, expose driven by Guardian, about the tactics papers use. Hacking phones, using detectives. etc, this has undermined arguments about integrity of acts us to ask about function of jounalism COB: is this Murdoch or everyone..over here, not heard the Guardian is doing similar things JT: teh Guardian helped break the story, which says there is journalism that goes against the gov. The Guardian would stay on story, it says there is a role for osmeone to break story. The bigger question, the role that the ubiquitous cellphone network plays, whats to say something like that is not happening here in the US. COB: we have had journo scandels here, Jayson Blair etc. It is trust and accountability, challenges we face as corporations and indoividuals, If I am transparent, doe s that absolve me of ethical and trust questions. And 3rd party services looking at rating us, algorythmically, or peopell , So PZ: there are many examples where peopel form groups, where design and experience, travels across many media forms, to do trust building and create community examples. One project, about mapping the Sierra in california, lots of different groups. They created this project, an exmaple of context designing, needed to figure out what is happening, and what people want. They gotthe stories, aggregated them, shared them, create community dialogues, to embody a community...many of stories were on NPR. They were initially crowdsourced, a really exciting project, There were lots happenign like that. What it is is a mix, that provides a mosaic of the issue, not a for/against model. There are many examples of these projects JT: A question.,. a challenge that bias is obvious. Do Fox news watchers think they are bieng spun? COB: the consumer needs to become more savvy and more critical..should be always the case...I do think there is call that I agree with, you need to have better digital literacy, to become more sophisticated consumers. But I live in a post-fact world, hard to cut through it./ JT: we live in a balkanised news world, you never get counter-factual opionion in your life. May not have happened 20 years ago MB: this is not Fox, nor US, but is global. If ad dependent, therefore audience dependent. If you make the audience uncomfortable, they will turn you off. It is not an outlets problem, but how we reinforace perspective, and how we choose to challenge it and how to welcome it Q: I would like to introduce...entertainment. What is the role of entertainment in future of jounalism LA:Jon Stewart. The perfect mix COB: I don; tthink I have to be Jon lesson is people like them because they are more lively and passionate wiritng. You connect to that person. Read newspapers from years ago, there was a strong voice, an identity. Then it became more professional, forms imposed...and every story had to read the same JT: do you want more entertainment in journalism? PZ: I would ask an ontological question...what is the definition is US first world, popular culture, or is it a media product, accessible easily indigested.,..what does it mean. Are there ways to push out media or should we pull in audiences. So look at Degenerative film media in china, documentary makes, all banned, on USB have to see it in a rock and roll club, where there is music, works are passed around on USB stick. Works go to where people are. Q: Is there a role of fiction in journalism... a lot of people have a difficult time with truth, they prefer fiction to the truth..the line between fact and fiction is getting fuzzy COB: could be whole other panel...a novelist had ability to take you into something that will give insight, I wuld still want to separate them.. MB: there is potential to describe reality through fiction, look at how military is using games etc, there is a value but I have a concern. The brain does not do a great job of distinguising fiction from reality, We as apublic, that line gets too blurred...a space to watch COB: News games, looking through a scenario, can be very powerful model of storytelling

Nov 12

FOE5: Children’s Media

The Futures of Children’s Media
Children’s media has long been an innovator in creating new ways of storytelling. In a digital era, what emerging practices are changing the ways in which stories are being told to children, and what are the challenges unique to children’s properties in an online communication environment?
Moderator: Sarah Banet-Weiser (University of Southern California)
Panelists: Melissa Anelli (The Leaky Cauldron), Gary Goldberger (FableVision) and John Bartlett (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

SB: Thinking about shape of children’s media in digigal media, about digital practices in telling stories to kids, what media for kids, storytelling, creativity, privacy, the market, have a diferent resonance for kids media. How should we be marketing, the differences betwen programming and marketing etc.
As a way to get it started, will take some of the questions from the last panel that was in the back channel. One of them was about ADD storytelling, Is there a way in which the multi-platform worls, how to take it into consideration when develiping for kids, especially if real area of ADD

JB: our view is platfom specific, to take advantage of that platform. Each of those has capabilities and has unique audience, we are looking at which makses sense for each platform

GG: Agree. Being looking at iPad, we are trying to create stories we wnat kids to read, but putting a lots of things on top of it which is distracting. It is changing the nature of stories. It’s a young media. Still need to learn what works

SB: you were clear in intro, that this is not about the gamification of education…

GG: it is a dilemma, who do we create enhancement but not distract from learning and reading. Need to balance

MA: with Harry Potter, there was a big buzz about bringing kids to reading..code for it was a really good story adn that was attracting kids. It was a great narrative and that worked, When on other platforms, there are issues..the video games. The EA games and the lego games. The Lego games are successful as keep it true to what they are – lego! EA beautiful, but missed some of the points. With ebooks, it would be a natural progression…but interaction is different, it is ayoung medium, so where does the narrative meet the medium

JB: adding multimedia is a positive, but it adds to the story, if we get kids to come back to the product because oif a great experience, that is what this is about, to get more reading. If the product is more engaging, it is still about the written word, but the added stuff srives people to it

SB: There is a moral panic about kids and ipads etc, the same that comes up with everything new…last panel had a question about YA fiction, kids fiction, there is an emergence ogf it/ From HP,etc, how does that come into play when looking at games/products

GG: it’s the content. We try and set up what a good story is and get out of the way, let people create around the space and then share it, beyond storytellers to us as platform developers

MA: is this a resurgence or just a final emergence It’s nver been more popular, Lots of brilliant authers. Now huge generation of readers, passionate readers, now paying off. At the last LeakyCOn, it was about the love of reading. 12-17 were so passionate, clamouring about getting the autograph. Green now has a videoblog, on YT, and discusses lots of things, getting people involved. THe video helps, drives to the story.,If a good story,t he format of the story is an aid to me…

SB: do the new platforms give kids new tools

MA: yes. and gives them a way to see the people who create the stories in new ways. Author is not a mystery…makes it more doable and attrractive to them, so they kids can do it

SB: SInce you mentioned YT, the video of the 5 year old singing NIcky Menage, with tutus, got lots of hits…came up in classes…then she was on the Ellen show…the cynical question…the promise of a social media site about charactter building etc, builds otehr things like the self bramd encourages monetisation…it becomes abour getting do you wrestle with that?

JB: it’s about the player being put into the game, earning rewards. The kids wants to particpaite, and the more we can do this, the more they play. they want to see how they do, how they keep score. And lots of apps are doing this

MA: the fame monster lurks over the self-participation model…brings it back to Green vlogging, started about self-promotion. Started having discourse with audience…treating them as people who could have intelllectual discourse. Eg one of the books was being looked at with a sex scene, had a very intelligent conversation about the scene and how not pornography; give people a chance to show best side they will respond

GG: 80% is under 13 kids, we try and get people not to upload kids to YT…We put so many gates in that you can’t get kids information but the parents are not as educated and we need to do a better job about this. Look at Togetherville, A FB for families, safe for families to communicate..there will be new biz models and structure forming

SB: both painted a complicated picture, we need to remember complexity. there are obvious ways you can look at lots of videos, and talk about the parents, and the issue of not upaloding the kids…that also places blame on the individuals, but it is a larger issue of culture of visibility, of recognition. It is fame monster, recognition. SM is the new narrative of discovery, if discovery is still the goal, equals commerical success it is not just about parental permission

MA: there is also naivity of parents, they think it’s cute, want to share then it blows up. Most are more aware, but you just think its funny and then it’s owned by the whole world

SB: parents thinking kids are really cute and YT worthy!!!

GG: my kids would love to be on YT…

SB: a friend of mine put kid of YT a few years ago…what was interesting and disturbing was she was interested in was how many hits she had (the kid)…it was about the idea of how many hoits did i get today. Need to keep this when talking about kids media….so how do the priovacy questions come into play when telling new stories to kids, not just COPA, in the content of story does provacy come into place

JB: we look at virtual worlds and privacy is key. Up to teh proivacy to guard the privacy of the individual and this is happening in most products, pretty good tools to protect privacy. It is growing, kids want social games and we need to find ways to keep them protected. Plus community management

GG: a couple of groups using stories to teach citisenship. They are using story to teach the lessons

SB: last panel, people under 35 have to think about privacy different? How about kids?

GG: they don’t think about privacy..they know I’m playing with friend, but not that they are playing with everyone

MA: they don’t think, the parents need to instill these values to be repsonsible. It can get easy so fast, to forget that you are doing stuff, that you are making nasty comments. The more people encourage you to be repsonsible, not to out people, to share things. It’s high school without teachers punishing you. If kids, without structure, you can get people into hot water, for things that friends have said etc. My cousin posted lots of racy pictures, my thought was where was her mother…

SB: do you think…not sure that they don’t think about privacy..they don’t think about it that way. There is an understanding about disclosure…our terms are inadequate..we think of it in conventional ways regarding the media. The stories that teach privacy is interesting

GG: something that is happening and things will be released soon (don’t know much more). There is a back channel about COPA, is it out of date. I don;t know, but it is not regulated correctly, it is ill defined and there are a lot of developer hurdles.

SB: In terms of storymaking of pottermore..can you say something? We have social change, education and entertainment…there is such a push to educate when kids stuff, do you think they are converging?

JB: by age…learning is entertainment when pre-school, by audience, middle school + looking for more entertainment. So matching brand, age can’t force education stuff to high school audience not looking to receive it

GG: we work a lot in educational space. There is push to make educational system more entertaining, as it competes. There is a clash of cultures, we are trying to bring new tech into that space…the system was not created for them to move quick enough…they don;’t know how to integrate ipad into classroom. Even more so now..but publishers of content are looking to make it more engaging, not just slap a text book. They are looking at getting more data…to learn about it.

JB: one of brands is Oregan Trail…started in schools, used in supplemental way., We are looking at bringing it back in new platforms. Challenge is are schools opening, to take game and use it for teaching., So how do you sell it into the schools in that context. Schools focus on core curriculum and supplemental is a much tougher thing. Tech is there, we can create great stuff, how do you fit it in

GG: met the creator of Oregan Trail last week and the question was about why platforms were not made to go into school. It went away from the data and darkness etc, wnet more to game mechanics and shoorting

JB: we launched on mobile, tabliet next week and it is on Facebook. The goal is to get it back into the classroom. We know what we want the game to do, talked to social studies to see how it look slike, that is not the challenge, it is the distribution, how to sell. Look at Minecraft, becoming huge, schools are using that even though not designed for school, but kids love it/ We need to get it into a few schools and see it get traction

MA: with oregan trail, i loved, hugely educational and big part of growing up. THe ompetus for Pottermore, it is a book that we cherish, how do we cherish it in new ways. If you do that with Oregan trail, if there was a clamour for it, distribution is easy.

JB: we are looking at leveraging how to take dev on opne platform and take it elsewhere, take FB and bring it into the school. LEveraging over multiple investments

SB: pick up about educational system being outdated..there are so many different standards, etc across states. There is a model of education that does not work..what about online communities, where particpatory cultures for kids as sites for learning

GG: the virtual schools community is growing every year,. eg K12. You can get home school stuff on line. You can get a curriculum experience online. We don’t have individaulise dlearning, we need persistant data, to get content to each student. Would like to see it go there.

SB: Differentiating audiences, How do you cary investment, marketing, etc on different audiences. How to do that when marketing to kids, with different groups. Student, gamer, consumer etc

JB: from our perspective, wnat to know how to monetise it. Subscription. micropayments, ad based, It is a balance across all 3, for each product…virtual world, should there be ads etc.

GG: a lot of talk, about contributors, one of goals to make the percent of contributors widers, we want more divers, get more kids creating content in safe spaces. How do we do that conversion?

MA: THe HP community is full of divers, one thing we are seeing at conferences, we are celbrating all that content creation, It’s not just the’s the wizard raock band, the musical, the books inspired by, So many avenues, we celebrate. People want to celbrate creativity, with good spirit and joy.

GG: Is there conflict? different interpretations

MA: yes, we have fights…we have xome out of it with an understanding and the culture has evolved to accept this


Q: if kids are in a popular YT video that raises money..why assume it is dangerous?

MA: it is not in itself..but if parents take the kid on the road, or the kid is not shielded. If it imnpacts the kids perception of the world, if there is exploitation, then it is bad

SB: there is not ness an obvious downside, we need to at least have a conversation that this is a global site, and think that there are often important considerations about gender identity… not every video can be monetised…the ones that are most popular follow the typical gender scripts. We nee dot think about it as a new narrative of discovery, a new trajective

Q: Kids are often adopters of new tech, how does htat impact storytelling

GG: Toontastic, a way of creating new stories, Seeing new toys, that connect with RC cars..interesting but not enhancing story telling. Dinsey took over KErpoof, and that is great as well

JB: we are looking at connecting a parent on FB and a childs app, and the ability to communicate between new platforms, that would be unique

MA: all this ipad stuff is amazing for kids storytelling

Q: educational materials, provide rich content..limitations is that can’t achieve whole learning goals, other platforms can contribute., learning goals. Getting verification of other channels

GG: there is so much, even politicvally there can be false information pushed, it is a big challenge….in educational space, it is important to know where the info is coming from. So the Hub, from Hasbro and this commericals, eg My Little Pony show.. the hub is a 24 hour commercial.

SB: the blurring of boundaries…there’s a way in which the blurring of boundaries is more diffuse than the obvious, the MLP…online worlds. How does branding in programme narrative, does it spoil the story. That is so routine in media, in kids media, the presence of brands, partof structruing narrative of stories told.

JB: not changed all that much,,there were cartoon channels, that were entertainment, and other programmes educational. They have always existed..parents responsibility to split them

GG: but now they are doing everything, the distributor etc. they have more control Who is controlling it

Q: Can you speak about kids becoming more active participants? Become partof content creation?

MA: it has never been easier than now, it will always get easier., You create something…and it can publish it immediately., That creates a mountain of content, but you have to encourage controls of content, you get loads of bad, with the good. You still need to encourage sharing, creation etc, need to encourage an attitude of wanting people to see it but thinking about getting editing, advice etc. While freeing, it can be a little bit much if not encouraging quality as well…it’s never been easier, but isa that always a fantastic thing. It is part of growing and shaping, peopel see success, then they want to copy. Natural evolution…I’m pro, think it’s grat kids get past the fear, build an immunity to it

GG: the Zimmer twins, a tool to create stuff to go on broadcast. Also working with a partner where kids can do DIY projects and learn about instructional writing etc, the DIY movement, Make movement pushes us that was as way

JB: froma dev standpoint, you get focus groups, user feedback ther eis a bandwidth issue in terms of go to market. YOu can come up with V2 very quickly. You see the product launched and change to feedback

SB: so backchannel question, how does digitial content leave behind groups. Not all can do this. It’s not about sheer economics…but it has never been easier…but the authorising of writing a book, or if everyone can when everyone can’t

GG: We have an ‘ish system, it can be ‘ish. One of the biggest sellers is the blank book..we big believers that everyone can. We work across platforms to get everyone involved

MA: there will some form of threshold, even with books. It’s harder, if you want to create video masterpeice. It is allpossible, it is about creating the culture when it is natural to create.

Q: Can you point ot examples where cause marketing meets entertainment?

GG: Generation Cures..Zebrafish project, to get childen to get involved in philanthropic activities Tonnes of opportunities. Dinosaur Train, working with PBS, they did a geocaching progamme, announced on air etc..not cause marketing, but to kids outside

MA: the HP alliance, uses the messages to create analogies and realworld solutions…eg OccupyGringotts they use the narratives to let kids who have an activist spirit, helps then draw the line, know hwo Harry would react. With Haiti Earthquake, we raised $123k. The Vlog Brothers take over YT every year, get people to make video about cause/charity, They will pick them and then get people to take over the rankings etc

SB: interesting examples, cause marketing., Content creating…new forms, not just a PSA

Q: Ad revenue is important, but kids ads bring challenges..

JB: needs to be limited as part of the biz model, need to work as part of product, can’t be ad based model for childrens stuff. It can make sense on limited baiss

GG: respect of org that puts up content, we are self-regulating,.Wr try and retian respect of parents

Q: IMportant to have an awareness of how families shape kids..but also promises of media, designing and fostering educational play, and have kids educate parents on this new media

MA: Pottermore…such a chance for parents to sit with kids and experience a sotry together and discover things…

GG: Lego I would play with, A study about family activiites, it is board games. But what are new modes…lots of opportunities…we do some intergenarational game models. How can you make it in an informal space, eg museum etc. Wrestling with this now

Q: Anyone doing location base dplay, while still doing privacy..

GG: challenge is about LB and play and families thinking about the location

SB: it about different direction on teaching now as well, kids are teaching parents.

Nov 12

FOE5: Serialised Storytelling

The Futures of Serialized Storytelling
New means of digital circulation, audience engagement and fan activism have brought with it a variety of experiments with serialized video storytelling. What can we learn from some of the most compelling emerging ways to tell ongoing stories through online video, cross-platform features and applications and real world engagement? What models for content creation are emerging, and what are the stakes for content creators and audiences alike?
Moderator: Laurie Baird (Georgia Tech)
Panelists: Matt Locke (Storythings, UK), Steve Coulson (Campfire), Lynn Liccardo (soap opera critic), and Denise Mann (University of California-Los Angeles)

LB: wants to talk about stories, the state of the industry, how thigns are changing, how fan activation are playing in the new world. What are best practices, what needs to be done? Want to ask the panel, what is the favourite property? Mine is once Upon a time, where storybook characters come to life

ML: Love Misfits, Heros with ASBOS, chararacters on community service…the production compnay worked with team, to listen to fanbase, a ggood example of extending storyworld. Another, the opposite, a project we did, with BlastTheory, commissioned them to do an SMS drama, to create a project talking about sexual health and teens. Learnt a tlot of stuff about timing and engagement

DM: Once Upon Time, Grim, Terra Nova, intrigued Heroes, Lost, BSG, all key shows that shift entertainment model. Curious how networks are shifting back to traditional formats and experimenting on markets

SC: SHould probably say Boardwalk Empire…but SHowtime’s Homeland, great stroytelling, performances, potential to spin out, potential for expanded storytelling…Also franchses that are not fulfilling their potential, fan of comic books and comic universes. Looking at how Marvel are expanding storyworld with films. ANd how DC are destroying everything, with a series of moveis that don#t fulfil potential. And FX is looking at Powers, a new superhero series. Long for superheroes in an intelligent way

LL: watching shows that keep getting cancelled. THe one show that gives me some hope, that quiet serialised storytelling will survive, is ABC Switched at Birth, exploring family dynamics. If that works, there may be some hope for similar shows, quiet storytelling

LB: Looking at serialisation, two core demands, chunking, creating meaningful exngagement on each segment, what lessons can contmpory creators learn from earlier forms. How to you maintain audience

DM: original, build out fromn 1 platform but borrow from allother ones. THey were drawing from Charles Dickens serialisation, weekly periodicals…add new tech, new industries, with Hollywood….if you explore Hollywood development process and storytelling converntions, how they inserted all these vaudeville stars, you froze story, got the tricks done, then back to storytelling. We have done all of that, absorbing into the syste,. Each new tech has been a big shakeup, from broadcasting, week to week, dealing with ads, new changes woth cable and VHS, now internet. Tech always prompts changes, shakes things up, as they assess out what to do, and this is when opps are there for indis, outsiders etc.

SC: with profileration of different ways of absorbing story, we find that TV is great at tapping into peoples schedule, when we have released on a schedule, drives audience to expect things, lesson of tapping into a regular release is valuable to extend across platforms, for on demand ones. As a challenge, as storytellers, as we expand that storyworld, I see a question about scifi, it’s because they are a rich world. They work because they are consistent….look at Lost, BSG, the urge to take an audience fronm one to the next series is the cliffhanger. The story is on paude. That is hard for an audience that are expanding into other media. Soap operas are presentant and the story carry on

LL: But cliff hanger…with Who Shot JR…Dm was talking about predictability of story telling. THat is why networks should stop long form, they move things around, they cancel. You have people not even starting to watch, as they expect them to cancel. To speak to DM pint, about bringingin other elements of storytelling, that can be a good thing, but can be horrible, with soap operas, about 30 years ago, went from very quiet, interpersonal relationshipos to adventure, to the supernatural etc., Soaps feel inferior so they think they need somnethign else to be successful, turne dinto a discordant pastiche of storytelling, resulkting in a fragmented audience. When Sam talked about creators listening to their fans, there are so many conflicting voices.

LB: Matt has done work on design, aroubdn storytelling

ML: picking up on scheduling, mnost of audiences were using tech to watch shows. TV is facing what radio faced in 50s, where there are competing opps for attention, TV has to work out what it does next. That is liveness, live synchronous entertainment. Seen the rise of entertainment show, plus living genres that would not normally be live. SO Million Pound Drop, it is expensive to make a live game show. That has a bif issue for serialised drama, it’s about timeshifting, binging, saving themselves. If you need adveritsing to make money, if timeshifting, it is diff to make the investment story. Time shifting makes investment in big shows difficult. How can you feal with timeshifing, how can a cliffhanger be used. There is small timshifting, and big one., 6-12 months after show

LL: timeshifting had big iompact on economics of show, they watch at many times, web, SoapNEt rebraodcast. Problem thorugh soaps, not just commercials butforward through sections of story they don’t like. Soaps goign to web and fast forward goes away, so how do they structure stories so you don’t go through 80% of the show to watch the bits you want

LB: so Steve, how have you worked at getting people back to the show?

SC: interesting when create materials, are you talking to existing, or new audiences. One of the things we work on is different levels of engagement..the skimmers, dippers and Divers. Divers do everything, follow rabbit holes, play ARGS. Dippers will spend 30 mins at launch, watch the stuff etc, Skimmers will look at lots of things, but briefly, they ar ethe majority. We look to create different levels of complexity for those different audiences. YOu can grab a skimmer and pull them in. You spend a lot of time, working on the deepest level, It’s a small amount of people but it’s a lot of time. But they are the most vocal part of the group,t hat is an important driver for WOM, for recommendation, that becomes a self-fulfilling circle, providing them evangelism tools to share about. Sometimes they lack tools or language to make it accessible so make tools to allow them to share in a somewhat curated format

LL: Soap fans have done this through YouTube in an uncurated format..if someone comes in with 40yrs of backstory, there are links to videos of the history, the long term. As they go digital this can’t happen, so the companies will have to do that. This will change relationship between fans and material. When doing well, very integrated. A rela process of getting new viewers abour what soap form is about

ML: hard to overestimate how cut off form the audience, TV producers are. Watched documentary abiut making of Blackadder, conversation between Curtis and Elton, in those days it was before ratings drive, he still does not know how many people watched the show. HE used to walk the streets looking in windows to see if watching show. Over the last 5 years, TV producers are back in the crowd, having to relearn the call and response, being in the crowd. About listening, about getting pacing right. Steve say about going deep for core fans,,,how to do that without losing the story. Looking at Heroes, they misjdged the demand for content, far more than expected. Drama was produced standalone, now hard for peopel to enage, now learning what the skills are, how much to listen, how much to respond, how to manage core and casual fans. A lot of call and response skills.

LL: so Steve, how do you satisfy long term fans without alienating others?

SC: is distracting., A lot of showrunienrs say they do not go and read about fans saying, it would be distracting. Same story about Blackadder, also about Seargeant Pepper. We have that now, it’#s called the hashtag, you can see realtime interactions and reactions. Showrunners are taking note and adpating to it. It is easier to watch it.

ML: that’s what I mean by learnign the skills. As late as 2007 most of them were not using that skills. i moved because the education budget moved to online. I was on the TV floor..the team was about 20 people, i was asking about social media and they were negative. When I left, they all knew how to do things. Mainstream are just getting the hang of it, some are reacting with anger…why are they talking about me! others are going to far and losing control as an author.

DM: talking about the X-files, he did not want to know what fans thought, attention torating only. Now looking at online everyday, with network markets etc, seting up comicon, args etc. The WGA strike was driven from the extra stuff, to get online stuff wanting to use Guild people..the lag time of the guilds repsonding to the need to extra labour, as fast as they can, but it keeps changing faster than they can cope with. Complex question engaging with fans, is it content or is it marketing. talking to WGA, not concerned, only of writers in oneof the marketing compnaies etc..that is not dealing with change!

ML: When you respond to crowd, so what is feasible in the length of feedback loop. There is an assumption that you need to be there NOW, but a long loop may also work. For Misfits 1, we did extra stuff, with characters that did not appear on show, we looked at what worked. We introduced a fave online character into the main show…not feasible to always change immediately, so you have to step back and understand what the cycle is and how can you really respond

LL: out of the writers strike, an online network, strikeTV, started creating small series. Created new content. Like Anyone But Me, created 25 10min episodes, over 3 years, did very well, but could not raise ness capital to become self-sustaining., The move of ABC spaps to web is interesting step to see if that helps

SC: Yesterday, we talked about benevolant dictatorships…fans can contribute and they need to contribute to it as that gives them the incentive to engage. We talked about the mixtape, to spread, a pure example of curation. the order and selection said something about me, and my relationship with you. Curation drives spreadability, as you share, you comment, it’s social capital, a strong engine for WOM. Fans, have a role to play in annotation, curation, commentary ertc. YOu can rol that into the larger metacontext..

ML: we saw that around Skins, the nubmer of YT vidoes of characters ot music a good indicator of engagement. Looking at Moffat, Doctor Who, introducing a meme about the word Doctor, someone found a post Moffat he made in the 90s about that idea.

DM: comments about the archival nature of what fans do..studios are about maintaining libraries, re-using properties., Fans start to do this, want to preserve and save…we have seen with prequels, sequels, reboots etc, this speaks to the fact that we want to research, to look things up. So todfays student has this encyclopedic knowledge of a franchise.

ML: Someone asks about web stories, we did that with HOllyoaks, a web series. It is difficult to bifurcate storylines like that, how do you bring it back to the main show. Make sure casual audience can engage on main show if don’t watch the online show

LL: one challenge is not to get spoilt, of finding out storylines

SC: I hate the word spinoff…how if ‘offstage’ it won’t affect the main. If you want to extend, then extensions are more than spinoffs.

ML: so look at sandbox games, Red Dead Redemptions etc, so maybe use sandbox

LB: so lets talk about realworld stuff..

SC: as we become more online, there is a liek to do offline stuff as well. For Game of Thrones, we did a sense box, with scent boxes, you can mix spells etc, In the same way we put food trucks out on the street. There are problems with distribution of physical objects, to get the reach, to get them to people who will talk about them. If you can create phycial moments, a powerful way to get people engaged

ML: for SKins, before 1st series, they did a way to get people involved, they did Skins parties. The music booker and stylist were as important as the writers. THe trailer for 1st series was a wild party..the people in it were the early fans. Skins had a cult around it, about parties, gigs etc

DM: like the ARG world, if you love something, there is a core that will do it. an urgency about capturing that visceral Transmedia Hollywood, we looked at themeparks, there was competiion about how to get the experience from the book/film to the world.

[Missed a whole chunk as stupid Windows machine decided to reboot, about twitter, synchronous tweeting, second screen viewing etc. How live game shows etc have huge twitter peaks during the show, dramas its more spread, with peak just after the show, discussing the show, interactive games etc, asynchronous experiences]

ML: there is something about level of intimacy, with SMS, that is difficult to cross. Same devices but different feeling. Did an art project, really interested in SMS, work with Tim Etchells, gave him a brief. So with every platform we design to, we have some idea of context, how they are engaging with it. But with SMS, we do not know the context, where they are, when they will read the SMS. How do you create a theatrical moment when you don’t know things. We launched Surrender Control…you got instructions sent to you, getting people to think about things and then move into actions, knocking things over, writing Sorry on the hand etc. We did a trial, and asked people what they did.Most people stopped doing things when it became physical. Mobile can be creepy, that visceral intimacy, very hard to do well and in a responsible way.

SC: i think about audiences interacting, are we distracting attention away from storytelling But in reality we are getting back to how stories were told…interation. The last part of the 20th century will be a blip, when we told people toi shut up and watch. We are getting back to the re-engaging on a social level

LL: so what about the people who just want to engage in the shut up and listen way, is there room for that to exist. I want to watch, listen then think about it and then engage in writing about it

ML: we see that about drama. Organise Story(conference), Asked Mary Hamilton organises LARPS to talk about this, about zombies…used the term of frothing..inthe pub after the LARP experience, how they talk about the stuff, discuss what they have done. That’s what happens in soap opera behaviouir etc and more interested in that then the inthe moment, you are the hero stuff

DM: you see people filming themselves watching scary stuff, then talking about it. Yesterday’s conversation, about privacy, if you are plugged into SNS that send info to advertisers…I have 2 research assistants, one signs up to everything, the other is very careful on what she puts on. Look at Asylum, which means that you had to scan a bag of Doritos to get more stuff, to conenct sponsor with content. look at Take My Lollypop…about privacy and information

SC: I used that, to show parents about what could happen. It acts as a great PSA.

LB: shifting gears, how will mainstream media get this, what is the business case, the biz model

ML: at Ch4, went from beingthe new media person to a completely integrated team. It was restructured, to prepare broadcast org about what was happening. with ad spend moving from pure display to a data driven model., It will depend on adoption of connected TV etc. Even if 10% of spend shifts, then it changes everything. There is now a commissioning division..the multiplatform team sits with the TV ones, no new media dept. The TV sales head understands digital, then really important one was Audience Tech and Research, to turn CH4 from broadcaster to a service, it becomes a core business need, not an experiment. Broadcasters have ignored audience, did not know what they are doing, Ch4 is leading that work in the UK, to place audience data at heart of busines. If you can prove to ad buyers what the audience is doing, prove the value of the fan, understanding that shift, is crisis that braodcaster are in. The expanded storyworld stuff will be key, to get deeper data relationships with audience

DM: agree., The 30sec ad, upfronts etc, is ironically is what is killing network TV industry..Google has the opposite, leading the drive for marketers and advertisers to take a lead in the future of media. Targeting people in immediate ways, Facebook apps, casual gaming etc,. Interesting that Hollywood still holding out, as analogue still driving revenue. Small experiments in US, but not like the UK…you see the small groups becming experts on the behalf of network and cable shows.

Audience Questions

Q: you haven’t talked about how stories are told, eg episodes per season, Different models in different networks, diff countries

LL: Huge issue. Friday Night Light, started off on NBC, peopel loved it, but ratings low. 2 years in they did deal with DirectTV…first year was 22 episodes, then cutting back to 13 per year. There was so much disastisfaction about not seeing enough of the storytelling, they wanted the blanks filled in. Daytime, is every day but that model not working anymore…and the soaps going to the erb. My hope, we can split the difference, keep the long form, but fewer days. SO Prospect Park experiment, may show things.

Q: we treat one media as the primary story, but what if multiple mediums are used to drive the primary story?

ML: sort of last question, what is the right shape for content. YOu can build engagement over a long period of time, can use existing channels to punch through, you can create a huge event. If you are telling stories, you should not think like that but if you need attention, then think about that, you need to use another channel, eg talent. There are talent that have a much larger reach than the digital channels. Primary channel is about attention,

Q: What about the consumption of second screen extended content, for drama etc. People use it for chatting, but about enhanced experience?

SC: Traditionally, programme makers repsonsible for what was on he screen, and everything else was marketing. As we see storyworld expand to opther devices, that is not marketing, that is an extensions, the line blurs. Working on a project where makers have all the ideas about extensions and they are working it in to the script…when it comes to the second screen, who pays for it. how do we get that to work. It is not so much the idea, but the financial reasons

ML: when you do 2 screen events, the production team have to allow a looseness in storytelling, to send it back to the show. Million Pound Drop was hard to organise, synchronise elements. Also editorial, how do you cope with shift in attention., Reality, you can cope, drama is more difficult.

DM: It can be a 24/7 committment, keeping responding, logistical nightmare

Q: Comics are an expensive hobby to have…so the DC reboot, not just for new people, but for those who used to follow it, as it was too confusing. THe reboot lets the lapsed fans come back in. So with soaps, is there an option to do that, new entry points.

SC: with Game of Thrones, there were 2 worlds. The books and the show. We had to balance this, to make sure the work worked with the new stroy world and the existing one. With Dc comics, you know everything will come back…BSG was a great example of rebooting. If you can do this, allow different ways, then you get different involvements

LL: All My Children is on hold due to Prospect Park financial issues; another is on hold until next year, when it goes online. It will not be a complete reboot, fans may not stand for that. The production have been very selective in what they are doing, it looks as though they are going to change, pull story telling tighter

SC: as we use tech to tell stories in new ways, you have to respect ongoing contunity, but can still show in new ways. Star Trek reboot is a good one

Q: The feedback loops, with games it can be quickly, how does serialised content stand a chance?

ML: all patterns can work, Misfits was just one option. You have to ask yourself about what is your feedback loop, and can you sustain that. There are plenty of opportunities to change how you broadcast, lots of new shapes. As commissioner, need to assess what shape are you going for

SC: gaming companies are teaching us a lot, building worlds and telling stories in the world. This is immersion. LA NOire closest to an interactive movie. YThose who tell linear stories can learn.

Q: A few years ago, content was king, distribution was god? still true

ML: talent and audience attention patterns are challenging both. Talent as networks is driving more change than many others, Talent is realising it can reach audience without broadcasters

DM: Talent have option of experimenting of trying new things. Leaviyt Hit Record is a good example, Arcade Fire Google project,

LL: It starts with the story

Nov 11

FOE5: Privacy

At What Cost?: The Privacy Issues that Must Be Considered in a Digital World
The vast range of new experiments to facilitated greater audience participation and more personalized media content bring are often accomplished through much deeper uses of audience data and platforms whose business models are built on the collection and use of data. What privacy issues must be considered beneath the enthusiasm for these new innovations? What are the fault lines beneath the surface of digital entertainment and marketing, and what is the appropriate balance between new modes of communication and communication privacy?
Participants: Jonathan Zittrain (Harvard University) and Helen Nissenbaum (New York University)

HN: i was struck by the title, that presents this as a dilemma, positive and negative…what we have is a tighter relationship between the performers, the distributors and the fan base. The cost side, is privacy, although were the crowd is a useful construct, there is also a lot were the connection is individualised, in these cases there is a trade off, provacy vs the other good stuff. Maybe these trade-offs are necessary? A lot of the trade-offs are presented as such because a lack of understanding or a mis-representation of privacy or an understanding. In one, it is over-simplistic of privacy, that says any release of info is a loss, or a violation. If you are revealing your story, on these platforms, it means that you have released this info to world. Contextual integrityis about distinguishing release of info, when they are loss of privacy or when simply positive releases, new exchanges of relations. THis impoverished view of priovacy, means those who want tomake something of what is going on. The way we share in different ways, suggests that we don’t care about privacy…what i would like to suggest is that we think carefully..people when interviewed about Foursquare were puzzled about vendors using info, not aware that all could see. I would like to focus on mediators, to understand what the position is. THey are third parties that should not be doing everything they do. The release of info is selective and you should not be saying the info is public and you can do what you want

HN: there is an inevitability claim about how systems are designed..all these systems that collect info, to provide services. Personalisation requires giving up privacy. We say it not because you can’t have one without other, but that we have not been creative enough about what we are doing. you can have both, we need ot think harder. Some examples…traffic pattern in GPS systems. They are aware of traffic behaviour, to give you time expectations, Cars are sending out signals..scientists are looking at extracting information, to protect indi data but allow information from aggregation of data. Another is about biometrics, having a centralised gallery so it has your info to match against; it seems the only way to do it. there are ways to use it locally, so you have a card and your thumbprint, that’s all you need to authenticate.. A third, AGnostic system, provides possibility of targeting advertising, does not involve tracking server side, but on client side, so central server does not need to know what you are doing. LBS systems that allow processing to be done on client side, so without central servers knowing where you are. If we insist on privacy being protected, we need to be inaginative in how we are doing

JZ: this is why your work is special, you actually do something about it. YOu come up with something like Agnostic, with concrete examples,. It also calls to mind another project, TrackMeNot, that you were involved in, a demonstration of being fed up with sharing data. THis allows a browser pipe through a search launderer. So google has no clue who is doing what. I like using AdBlockPlus…so my question to you, is there an ethical probelm with that, given the premise of free content is that it is ad

HN: TrackMeNot does not work that way…but your idea is better…We have to generate searches that obfuscate your own searches. We could not think of a way of doing collaborative searchs, it would have to go via 3rd party and we would have the same issues. So we do dummy queries. We do get questions about ethical areas. I love that, people ask about wasted bandwidth..there is so much stuff going over the web, that this is minimal. Protecting your privacy is not a waste of bandwidth…there has to be different straegies for different issues Obfuscation is a desparate method for a system that is not being reactive.

HN: The best world would be one where TrackMeNot is not needed. Obfuscation is great, I want to promote this..Kindle Fire cries out for obfuscation, as everything goes through the central servers. Looking at AdBlocker…the challenge is to say it’s not an ad blocker. If we believe that behavioural advertising produces better experiences. ..if to get a better experience you need to be tracked, then we need better solutions. SO we need involvment of ad networks. So we need a win-win, rather than a win-lose solution

JZ: you reference the dilemmas and looked at how to escape the dilemmasl I looked at ambivalence. Is provacy Autonomy rather than release of data you want to keep to your self, in the frame of constitutional privacy, about the right to make decisions etc. I use the owrd gamification…the realisation that in the entertainment industries, I’m getting them to pay me money to entertain pay direct, or advertising. So is there a way to bind entertainment with a way of getting labour out of them? Like Tom Sawyer and the fence. Is this good or completely unknown. With Zynga and Farmville, which is entertainment..they use AB testing, altering features, to see what make people make you play. Instead of ad have to get your farm in a certain way…which means that you are doing labour for someone. Like the Captcha idea, or the ESP game, which does things, produces labels for images that is useful. Is this form of gamification, an invasion of privacy. SO geocaching, or real world stuff to get points, its a pastime, is this direct privacy invasion…as well as gamification

HN: I don’t think of it as a privacy problem, but it is an autonomy problem. When you think about entertainment, about what it participating on facebook a form of entertainment or something else. Does it have to be recognisable as a game or film. If we start tracking involvement in entertainment, they become selfconcious about what they are doing, subject to thrid party judgement or manipulation. In realm of entertainment, I think of it as activity, close to perceptions of ourselves.

JZ: I’m working on book of gamification. So looking at extrinsic and intrinsic motivations.. That makes entertainment intrinsic motivating stuff. But in the labour gamification, entertainment becomes extrinsic, you do that and we entertain you.

HN: that gives traction to a complex perception of what privacy is. It sets ahigh bar, the intemediary has a responsibility towards the subject. Looking at Facebook facial recognition, everytimne you tag a pciture you are contributing work to the system

Question: there is a diference between tracking and privacy for info for friends, and what companies have…

HN:I’m not sure we are focusing enough on the platform provider, who has everything and we need tofocus on this more

Question: cable law etc, about getting info about the box etc…is new media unregulated…

JZ: it’s a tricky question if they are monopolies? What is Facebook? it makes it hard ot say what is a monopoly., especially as it becomes a identity management systems. Cable comes out of braodcast, due to spectrum, easier to control, web is a moving target, what can you do, Cable is static. On one hand, we put controls over facebook about what is hsared and the other we share everything. At least there are platforms, they can be regulated..

HN: there is a lot of legislation, regulation that is targeted at specific tech..but tech changes all the time, so how can you do that. It’s not so old, it’s innovation, we have this fear of dampening innovation, it’s been self regulation

JZ: is this the difference between rules and standards. Standards can be flexible. But what you gain in flexibility is the uncertainty about you are doing.,

Question: connecting data – purchases and insurance, loyalty cards etc. This has bigger privacy issues…

HN: discimination, individual prices, services etc, depending on what your behaviour is. That is a separate set of worries. Information about stuff that can have legal implication, eg you have a car crash and you have bought beer

Question: you care sometimes and not others. How do you play the game so you win, what things should you think about…

HN:not sure I understand…what does privacy mean for you? it is not just control or hoarding of information. It is about the appropriate flow of info…is it about sharing at right time…to right people. Is it merely sharing, you may still be caring about privacy, you want to share appropriately.

JZ: I take it to be, some elements privacy advocacy, touchpoint is user choive, So users just get loads of checkboxes. Often its not clear what you are choosing, there is a paralysis that comes from choices. I think about it systemically…can I game out what the world will look liek if most people do this rather than that, will that be a better or worse worls. There are many worlds systemically that a lot of little choices can add up to worse worlds.

HN: We speak as if we know nothing about what our privacy preferences would not want to give people a choice about somethings…there is a disingenous behaviour about havng to set up everything new with each service provider…making the privacy choices annoy. So with entertainment, we need a world where people are not self-conscious. we look a tthe system, not just the rules

JZ: often what we find entertaining, is stuff that itself is a privacy breach, that we would find entertaining. StarWars kid is a great example of remix, creation etc, but the kid did not like this…an invasion of privacy. In the design of the web, for materials we make use of in entertainment that implicate someone, a way to connect with something and send a asking for it not to be forwarded…

Question: even if I had time to read the T&Cs, it gets updated all the there a future where we can communicate it simpler way..

JZ: could there by a creative commons for privacy…

HN: I would caution against getting into discussion about ownership of data, it does not help us understand privacy any better. YOu need to have substantitive expectations, about what different kinds of services can do with your information. There can then be choice…a smaller choice, with the rest of it taken care of in substantive rules

JZ: it’s shared stuff…not just property…Stanford has been working on Privacy icons, trying to see if it would make privacy policies more easily understood.
Question: is it the tracking or what could be done with the data

HN: it’s not the sharing, it’s who has it, what it means. We should not only be focusing on sharing, but the implications
Question: I’m for tacit consent, i get what role I play, what would be their obligations to make available the back end (ie advertising, search engines)

JZ:There are all sorts of secret sauces, there is so much coming at you, there’s AI setting what you can see. There’s a balance between what you want to see and what someone thinks you should see.

HN: Would you like Google to track everything so that the results are personalised, to what you are…one last thought

Nov 11

FOE5: Location Services

Here We Are Now (Entertain Us): Location, Mobile, and How Data Tells Storie

Location-based services and context-aware technologies are altering the way we encounter our environments and producing enormous volumes of data about where we go, what we do, and how we live and interact. How are these changes transforming the ways we engage with our physical world, and with each other? What kind of stories does the data produce, and what do they tell us about our culture and social behaviors? What opportunities and perils does this information have for businesses and individuals? What are the implications for brands, audiences, content producers, and media companies?
Moderator: Xiaochang Li (New York University)
Panelists: Germaine Halegoua (University of Kansas), @Alurabrava and Andy Ellwood (Gowalla)

XL: what terms, what criteria do you use with location

AB: we throw the word story around, when clients talk about story, they’re really tallking experiences. It is good to distinguish between them. If it has video, it’s not ness story

AE: smartphones, give location the opp to be more than an idea, or a feature. THey take a powerful piece of tech with them. 80% of people with smartphones have it within 3ft of them at all times…with GPS enabled smartphones, being able to build things on top of it, associate with places etc, it starts to get interesting. Almost all content on phones have some kind of location associated with them

GH: but what does LDS refers to a lot of different things. SO when thinking about it (for this panel) is this a digitally networked services, perhaps with SocMed, it relies on location to function, also imparts the user some info about location, changes the way they interact with location. Gowalla does it..but so does a map!

AE: when talking about story, through status, video upload etc, it is all story telling in some form. The narrative about your life. It is a narative I am commuicating to my audience. Location allows you to add place to the story, add hte where. So I’m at Starbucks, gets to which location. THere are lot of diff stories, but all about the place…wehter officially an LBS or just incorporates location

AB: is it explicit, or just part of it, about knowing where you are. THere is a rich history of where you are, where you have been and whether you let people know

XL: how does the entertainment enter it..the Here We are Now, how do you tack to present..the relationship of people and spaces etc. how do they interact, does it change how people interact

AE: so with Sony Pictures, with TInTin, Tintin goes on adventures, so him going on places is part ofthe fun, you can bring TinTin with you to places you go. Here’s been to 100 or so counties, all 50 states, people taking TIntin to their town, people taking pictures etc. They watned to get people to think about what adventure they were going on. TinTIn has been wiritng back to them, conversations around narrative of location and the movie.

AB: mobile is personal, you carry around a data feed, allows a sense of awareness in a public space. When you dance you are aware of your body and the space it is in…now the phone allows you to know you are part of a data feed. It is new and fantastic.

GH: when interviewing, about 4square, the idea of a hybrid between layers, of personal and public, visibility and invisibility. When can a virtual friend talk to you in physical worls? lots of tension…When you are a mayor of a place, you are visible to all, a tension of what they thought you could see. They were astonished when someone came up to them and said congratulations about being mayor – so pride and a little creepy. We are still in a public space, having unintended incounters in these psacves, but layered with privacy etc

AE: started with Gowalla last jan, from selling provate jets..very different but it’s about understanding expectations. What expectations of the service do they have. Being in an interative space was interesting. Foursquare and Gowalla launched on same day, and did not know each about each other until 5 days together..they have had different tracks. Gowalla was about using phone as a passport, explore etc, Foursquare about checkin, going to places the most, discounts etc…the currency we all trade in is social validation. When I get likes on Facebook, it says somebody cares. Validation can make you feel a little better. With location, there is some level of truth added to the location, I am for the most part where i say I am, people do not waste social credit on checking in places they are not.

GH: So the foursquare and gowalla launched on same day…when people talk about LBS, people think of why, and what about your shift.

AE: when we launched…the action of checking in did not exist..most people had no idea what it meant. Foursquare made it simple for you to know that. Gowalla had a stronger product, but they had more things to do, so people were not sure about it. There was confusion. And their Blackberry product worked and ours different. We’re about 2 million now. We focus on exploration and discovery, rather than discounts, deals and places you have been, when pitching to companies, we competed against Foursquare, but they could not do what we do. Airports are the most checked in places. Why – you’re doing something outside normal schedule, you have time to check have social I;m travelling you’re in the office. We partner with Disney, with the parks, what it looks like is photo albums on Facebook…Disney does not know a lot about this. Disney wanted a realtime experience around the park. So we created collectible pieces of art, that was shared across their networks

GH: what rewards are there for the users…what is the equivalent of the discount…

AE: it’s your passport, it’s about social validation, So Instagram is my new favourite app. I get likes, get feedback, seeing what people are seeing. Look at my passport, you see where i go, photos etc, people I go with. We have taken away some of the gamification elements, with some success..we look at things that rewards activities that should be done in the first place, rather than trick you into doing stuff. We have turned down money for campaigns, when it was not something we wanted to do, being true to exploration and discovery. We don’t collect stuff as much, we collect experiences and stories and pictures. We went to see Coldplay..and we spent most of the first 3 songs getting the right picture for brother’s Facebook page.

XL: When you take away the shiny game layer, what do people use them to do? what the impications, where are the challenges, how do you design for them?

GH: most of research around Foursquare and most people did not claim the discounts, it was more about play, about getting checkins…using for social interaction with people they knew, ways to tell stories. You gain an intimacy with a place. You had an ownership about a place. A lot of what was being saying, makes me think about what you are doing is about immersive quality, about telling stories, the play is important, not so much the rewards.

AB: they are doing what they have always done, they like to hang out and find ways to validate it and now we are tracking it. touchscreens, apps etc, boost activity as it becomes easily. Gowalla allows me to do what I’m already doing.

AE: people will change behaviour if you let them know why it is good for them to do so. I call it clicktime when I’m on the web…I look for info on web, you can’t make me wait. On a mobile device, there is a lot of other things going on, people are willing to change behaviour, but don’t make them jump through hoops as there value of worthwhile will have high…we push back on bad ideas, just because you can, does not mean you should. Alot of stuff is aobut using what’s there. or what you can make, but not from what should be done. We ask people how they use things, when they come back to us and say ‘it’s hot, can we do it’ we push back. You need to understand how it is used to work out how to work with marketing. We’re less than 3 years old and there’s loads we are still learning everytime we do things.

XL: there’s push back about idea we are collecting stories. What is different about what we can do now, is it different?

AE: defining story is important. I think about it as individuals creating story, sharing that I am here is a piece of a story…the way that peopel consume is faster than what I have done in past. From branding, how does a brand insert itself, through a piece of content, or over a campaign, how I can be involved in it.

AB: as an individual, you can be a star, create a wider audience, through experiences, you can chose to do that in front of a lot of people…there is a breadcrumb trail, a lot of experimentation goes on. But how long will these tricks last, when it stops working people will try something else.

GH: right to push back about it’s constantly a narrative, sometimes it’s about signalling, about information. People talk about checking in as an aspect of identity…someone was saying it is hard to lie…but it is easy, especially in urban locations when there is a density., They use it to manage identity, looking at foodbloggers etc, they use it to match up identities across elements. It’s always about expression, but about relaying information. YOu have to look at how people are using the tools, asking what their motivations, see how it is being used. THere are diverse uses and people are getting used to it. Data is being looked at, stored in ways that did not expect, can lead to pushback

AB: it is a low level commitment to enter the space, all I say is I’m here. It is a very comforatble baseline for a lot of people. Often there is some that very active, others tag along

AE: we break down into people who document everything, or just the important moments. Some do the everyday, or use it to tell people about things like landing safely. Others for superspecial times. Gowalla feeds it back to you in a beautiful way, having a designer as a CEO has its upsides.

AB: what happens these things? Can you get the information? what happens if it goes away?

AE: that’s a great question!

XL: what is the critical data input to make them robust platforms? What can you get out of it?

GH: one thing is when Foursquare put in photos, comments etc, that was really liked. SOme like being able to check in and not having to tell other information. A lot of people use it for self-documentation, they build maps, how they moved. I did not hear too many stories about taking data off.

AB: i rely on other platforms to make these stories of my life. I can’t get it! What happens to it?

AE: People are building visualisations about where you have been, or places you have been, with open APIs. That’s one of the things that is most exciting, what can be built on top of it. People are building in other data, making useful things. What is interesting what people are building, making apps about.

XL: Do you think users are aware of how to use platforms, in the data they are using and sharing?

GH: I found that people who use it more frequently, feel control as they know the system, are familar with privacy settings. When they checked in a lot, they were getting feedback etc, from peers…but they did not think about places where they were checking in. Placves wanted to know more abou thier customers. Sometimes there is adisconnect in needs, so places wanted to see more. Businesses thought it was OK to look at stuff in systems because it was ‘public’, but users wanted more private.

AB: we all have setting fatigue, difficult to pay attention to settings, privacy etc. People are not paying enough attention, clients also don’t know what they are putting people of risk

AE: you need to read the rules. You need to know the defaults. You need to take responsibility to privacy settings…

AB: Facebook is the obvious, how many people think about where photos going.

AE: small businesses are watching stuff, they see who has checked in and often do things. Lufthansa paid attention to who was checking in at terminal, in Berlin, looking up people on social media and rewarding them..they got it all on video YOu have to be smart about it

GH: heard lots of stories like that, form vendors. Guerilla marketing can be a lot more in your face, as they nbow you are there. The majority see such stuff as a violation…the active listening was OK, the response was a violation…once you learn how to listen, what do you do with it?

XL: i agree people need to take their time to learn settings. But there is information that we share beyond the data. Is this just growing pains, about the development of social contracts.

Question: in emerging economies, with smartphone pentration low, are there LVS services etc? What can there be there? What else can people do?

AE: look at the water charities..Water for the People, being talking with them, When they install a well, they leave a device to allow reporting every day – the phone. Now replacing with smartphones to get more info, looking at building pages. CharityWater is looking at these things as well. LBS work because smartphones are prevalent. THe ideas have been there for a while, but not the tech…

AB: I would be curious to talk to people who are doing crisis mapping, that assume they are doing SMS based stuff. What is the action?

XL: Question – will augmented reality become more integrated.

AB: after location, it’s the next most requested thing with the least information behind it. As a content producer, it’s fascinating how things work and are coming together.

AE: is AR the next QR code.Not seen a lot of value in QR codes, nor with AR. AR is cool, but is there enough value with the user?

GH: what were the clients asking about AR..

AB: they want an immersive experience, so layer it on top of something to ‘immerse’

XL: what is the possibility to integrate into fiction storytelling?

AE: we did a project last year, with Alamo drafthouse, Went to citites. Tagged locations in cities that were important to the film. If you checked into, you got tickets

Audience question: What’s next? NFC, geofencing etc, ways to make it easy

AE: we’re waiting for the hardware to make that decision. Look at Japan and NFC and it’s incredible. We will let it play out.

AB: I think mobile wallets, when we feel safe about that.

Question: there’s a whole load of things going on, not just Foursquare or Gowalla. And on or off for location is wrong, there’s a whole load of granularity about what you can share where, the different levels. There’s far more than you are talking about…

AE: there are a lot of things being done, but the things being adopted are different. There is so much starting, but do people want and use is different. I don’t have all the data about everything else..

GH: I agree. But that was the data I had, about what people were using. About what they knew about. There are more aspects about privacy than discussed, far more different levels, about the behaviours around it

AB: Lots of questions about how brands use it, they test and learn…

Question: what about media checkins, like Get Glue, can it be conbined with LBS.

AE: we are not, as most TV watching at a couch, or sports bar.

AB: you see that more in webisdoes, that involve a road trip,
there is a lot of interaction,

Question: What data is telling the stories…how does exploring affected by data put in to the system. Getting people outside of norm?

AE: That is one of our aims, to get people to try things they may not normally do.

GH: are those services designed for a particular group, do they exclude etc..lots of questions and not enough time…it is important to pay attention to

Nov 11

FOE5: Crowdsourcing

Creating with the Crowd: Crowdsourcing for Funding, Producing and Circulating Media Content.
Beyond the buzzword and gimmicks using the concept, crowdsourcing is emerging as a new way in which creators are funding media production, inviting audiences into the creation process and exploring new and innovative means of circulating media content. What are some of the innovative projects forging new paths forward, and what can be learned from them? How are attempts at crowdsourcing creating richer media content and greater ownership for fans? And what are the barriers and risks ahead for making these models more prevalent?
Moderator: Ana Domb (Almabrands, Chile)
Panelists: Mirko Schäfer (Utrecht University, The Netherlands), Bruno Natal (Queremos, Brazil), Timo Vuorensola (Wreckamovie, Finland – see Iron Sky and Caitlin Boyle (Film Sprout)

AD: how can crowd participate at different stages of the production cycle? Can we describe the value crowd sourcing brings

TV: the hardest part is getting started. Often they start on the wrong basis, they ask too much, or the pre-produciton process, it is easy to come up with 50 or so different tasks that are related. They need to be easy so anyone can give it a go, with a little work. So can they help create and test ideas…throw out a lot of small ideas and the crowd can get these ideas, and jump on it. eg a Nazi moon base on dark side of the what do they eat. People can research and add answers. Once they get something in, they get more interested

CB: on distribution side. Having a community, particularly for documentary, who have been invested, seeds their participation for the distribution.. In production, researching, info gathering all the time is a form of crowd-sourced, but not what I’m talking about. There is an understanding on makers that they need to assess, define adn reach out to audiences whilst making the film, as that can shape distribution. So not about the narrative, but about the message to attract the audience, to help bring the project to the world.

AD: a follow up with TV, it requires a different approach to comne up with tasks, to know what to ask the audience, that makes you work hard at same time. what advantages are there in investing this time, to work hard to get crowd participation, rather than financing etc.

TV: I never thought it was taking so much time and effort, it was kind of organic. It’s just social media, like checking FB, or twitter, i go and check the community. It’s about getting the rhythm right, making sure it does not take too long. YOu need to fail fast, so come up with things and kill the ones that don’t work.

BN: you can make a concert withouth crowd, but when get them invovled, you may make less money, but you get a buzz, helps promotion, more likely to be sold out…what you ask is about how much you ask and how much you give back. Ask them to work all day for it, then less people, will’s a balance of activitities of asking and giving. If you just ask people to just like, everyone can do that, but it does not really do anything, in practical times, it does not move what you need to do. We want people to get more involved, but we need to give something bigger back, a matter of finding the balance.

TV: looking at your video…this crowd particpation, gives it an interestingness…it’s fun. they care, it makes it worthwhile. It gives you more inspiration, that people care what you do.

BN: it goes both ways. It is not every concert we can give a full refund. When we don’t, we still get responses., We send out balances etc, and a couple of times, the early adopters paid more than those later people…but they did not care, they wanted to be part of it. It is about doing something, about helping bringing bad to town,

TV: they can say they are helping set upa concert, more important to them

MS: in those examples, both are addressing motivations of consult, involvement, Breaking tasks down to feasible parts, that people can actually do. Successful in doable for users…the risk they take is limited

CB: there is an inherant reward for the transparancy. So film distribution is pretty hidden to most people, when we do things, using grassroots channels, to small rural towns etc, there is an inherant reward in being able to see what is happening. It becomes clear, that access to info, the feeling they have agency over the process, has social value they can feel good about.

BN: we keep everything as transparent as it can be. We try and make it simple, but clear that we run this for profit, they all know this. They know how many people are needed there, they know how many people attend, because they know what is happening, it is not a problem we are making a profit. We re-invest a lot, and they know this too. We try and let them know what can go wrong..we run the risks, so feel comfortable profiting. Last week we had Beady Eye concert (Liam Gallagher)…he did not like the hotel booked, so went off to the most expensive hotel in the place,,,it was not in the plans. They let everyone know…

AD: to get them off the ground, you need to develop a series of competences and a culture, both on production and the audience side

MS: The OS software is doing similar, breaking down things into simple steps, to engage more people. A bucket chain is is about an infrastructure, that has developed, tasks executed by distributed group. SO web allows the infrastructure to be built, with wikipedia, the bar to participation is low. Successful crowd-sourcing works this wway, setting up a platform that is easy to use. The Guardian with MP expenses, asked people to check their own MPS expenses; had a level of gamification in it, showed scores of people finding thigs. Providing aplatform, an incentive, making it simple to do

TV: creative collaboration, it is important to teach the basic rules that make it work. YOu have to accept it is not democracy, it is dictatorship. There needs to be someone who decides, the choices. Looking at different styles, when you vote etc, it never works,, it dies, it is about lack of need dictators! But this does not mean you need to be an evil dictator. In the end, we say we will make money, you will not. We say you have to give rights to us..we need to be honest with it, that this is what will happen. People can have wrong ideas about what will happen, you need to make them agree to the rights etc That is the only way tp make it work

BN: Agree, otherwise it does not work, no committee ever got anyway. You hav eto have a common goal and there is a decision maker. We get a lot of requests for bands, but you can’t bend to much to audience and you don’t go to new things, you can’t repeat everything over and over. Curator is important, we chose bands we want to bring, may not be fully known, we try and push to people. Now people tend to believe us, they have seen who we have brought to them. It is not just what they have seen before.

MS: looking at the limits of partipation, crowd sourcing and funding comes with some idea that the audience is taking over, but that is not the case…need to distance from the idea of crowd taking over, there is someone deciding about it. Look at an older form, the stockmarket, if you hold shares you’re influence is still low.

CB: IP can be an issue, the audience feel like there is ownership, even if no idea in it, just holding a showing, you need to get them to understand the linits. THey need to sign things, the licencing etc. You have to help people understand what it means to hold a licence for a public performance. It’s partially an education project, about at what point the crowd-sourcunbg stops being helpful. You see examples when audience are doing things that they cannot, eg got a disk for a screening, they copy and give them away…or want to show at a crowd and not pay licence fee..because of ‘exposure’. You have to be a benovalent dictator to move things through and decide when crowd-participation value ends..but also be aware of what the crowd think of their value.

AD: goes back to the interaction of economy and gift econony. In what ways do you see producers tackling questions about this model, what obligations are creators, producers, distributors etc have with audience?

TV: so what do we as a filmmaker have obligation to active parts of the audience. We have crowd-investment thing, lots of paper work, agreements about what you get from film. We need to know what we have promised and stick to it…

BN: beyond the rewards you actually give, what is interesting, that in palces like Brazil, we get people to a place where people gave a lot of people a practical example that you can take part in something and make a difference, It started giving people ideas, We are being approached by NGOs to help them, ie to raise money etc…what i like to observe is about how people approach different things, now they know they can do things, that they can make things happen. There is a sense of awareness, that this is ours, we are suipposed ot do things not wait for others to do it.

MS: IN France, before 1789, even if in favour of democracy, it could not be done as the country was too big, that you could not get the information out. One of the drivers for telegraph was to unify country, so people can partake in debate. Now we have tech, it gives the impression it is easier to achieve it. THere are interesting attempts in doin this, eg Iceland on the constitution, commenting on the document. Facebook was asked to vote on the docs that govern them. It is important, to unpack the crowd….so who is the crowd and what context are they participating.

AD: so unpacking the crowd…how can we turn a crowd into a group that can accomplish something, what sort of crowds?

BN: can you? there is a cohesive crowd for each project., it is not easy to have a base crowd, You need to find the right people for each specific project. Even with concerts, it is different people.

TV: it depends on how you define..the borders…you have a crowd and based on how it partipates with you, it becomes a different type of crowd. THere are people who give money to the film, we work with them slightly differently, get them active on things they do; then we have the collaborative creativecrowd on wreckamovie, where films can set up creative tasks on the films…we do different things with them and then there is Facebook community. YOu need to know what they have done and what you want to ask and help you want and which is the best for it

CB: you can move crowd to accomplish a particular call to action, there’s a reason the phrase corwd mentatlity exists, crowds are disorganised…it is important to have a call to action, that is beyond just participation. But then you have to give them a specific very narrow direction, to move them somewhere, to provide structure. So between Jan-Aug, we distributed a film about plastic bags, (Bag it). It has a specific cal to action – stop using the bag. An action campaign was created, to be a companion to the film., you see a ban on single use bags in the film, in a town. So if you want to join the Bag It town campaign, there is a toolkit about organising it in your place. Very specific, very practical. It works, we see people who want to just want to watch a light-hearted documentary, come in a crowd and some leave in a cohesive group. If you offer the presecription, you get some of them doing it.

TV: what i find out with crowds, they work best when you can get them together to fight against it…if you have an enemy…for example, when we were taken down from Facebook (because of swastikas), we got everyone asking Facebook to reinstate them. Talking about creative collaboration, need to get an enemy etc…eg create someone who says they can’t do something…and then they will

MS: All these companies, such as Facebook, about integrating crowd without the crowd knowing about it….how do you channel the crowd without them knowing they are labouring for you. Crowd sourcing, is like crowd management. You can create crowds if moment of intrinsic interest..wikipedia editors are not a crowd as such, it’s temporal, they ebb and flow.

AD: a question, how long term can you expect crowd-sourcing intitiatives to be, A comment about Kickstart fatigue…will the well run dry. Can it be a long term relationship?

BN: the first comment we had..was about someone saying it would be really nice if someone paid my bills too. I can;t support all my friends projects..we give people money back, so it works for our team. YOu have to create something beyond contribute…has to be specific, about interacting etc, you ahve to find right crowd,

AD: TV, you have being working since 1998, is it the same crowd?

TV: with StarWrecks…the same core crew, some are still here…they follow you from project to project…they form the backbone, they don’t invest in projects, they invest in these people, they know they share the same mindset..with the concerts, they know that the organisers have good taste. You trust people behind the project and that is the important thing. WIthout the backbone, then the Iron Sky commuity would not have started. It is based on same people….

CB: it will never go away, as participatory culture will not go away., But how we do things will change…Kickstarter is faddish, crowd-sourcing is faddish, but you see it everywhere, not always web based.

AD: we have been talking about independent media…do these strategies work for larger corporations

BN: we do have support from corporations etc…up to half of our walls can be bought by a company. They have never sponsor, nor can they take up the whole thing, often local companies. We do not refund the companies. They lower the break-even, so fan investors can get money back fans want companies involved. It’s bottom up, the crowd is doing it, you can join in. We help them interact and take part. It’s new and hard to’s a different relationship, a little long-tail. Working in many things with a lower amount of money. There has to be an understanding on part of the brand, about adding something to the experience

TV: introducing brands to communities, a hard many people don’t care about the we asked them people about what brands would work well with Moon Nazis..we got a lot of silly ideas, but we did get some good ideas. It needs to be integrated and you need ot be careful, but it still may not’s about integrating brand into the content, so that people care about it, so they can participate in placing the stuff.

Audience Questions

Question: Call to action, can you determine about mobile vs web call to actions

TV: don’t think it’s a different audience!

MS: do not know how to answer the question…it relates to about integrating funders, participants. We see how media literate people are. It is not enough that you are in Kickstarter, you need to be in a special interest magazine, in multiple channels

BN: are phones ready yet, they just replciuate it. YOu need time for something that is really diferent?

TV: has a film used foursquare in a creative way? Let me know

Question: Did you have to build own platforms, or off the shelf. And to Bruno, were the bands taking less than usual rates

BN: we built our own…but it’s a mess and it works. We had a specific need. We let poeple use it..if they can figure it out! We are doing a new one. And the bands get excited..and can often play for less than usual. We do everything wrong, but we provide a better experience. Most bands don’t really know the full story until they are there…it makes it special for them, it makes for a different concert

TV: we had to build it and it is also a mess. We got enough funding to get it in place, but had to build by ourselves, it is really expensive to build these. I know there are platforms that will facilitate..but they are so unsexy. Ours works

AD: Crowd funding is perfect example of R&D in action – Risk and to balance the tasks/crowd and the risk of asking them, meeting deadlines.TV:Always have a plan B..and make sure you have do it anyway. It depends on how necessary the taks is and make sure you don’t depend completely on the crowd.

BN: we have deadlines given to us, we don’t choose them., We need to do contracts etc, so far we have been successful, but if it does fail, then would make a choice to go forward on own and see what happens or we cancel. So far, people have got involved…

CB: there’s a reason urgency built into marketing campaigns, because it works. We choose movies that are new, so the urgency about getting it now, it’s new, won’t last for ever. That’s why Kickstarter have that deadline. You can’t having meaningful participation without some shared pressure

TV: if you put a deadline too far away, then that does not work either..

MS: a question about Risk and detachment..aren’t there some key figures that you rely on, to balance the risk you have

TV: once you work with a crowd like ours, you get to know people, you can develop trust, you know they will participate..some will always do things and you never choose as not right…others you know will do things that suit, and oyu can conenct with them directly as well to ask them. THought about if would be worth making a different group, ‘gold members’ etc, make some more ‘important’ or more trusted etc…you know you can ask things, get them to do things.

AD: Where do we draw line between supported by crowd and created by crowd.

BN: two different things. Supported is someone elses idea,

TV: don’t want to make one or the other less important. If you give money, or spread word, you support. So how may that distinction be useful

BN: what do you mean by creating…getting it off ground and making it real, then supporting still part of the creation

MS: what do they mean? it opens upa range of other questions about the structures of crowdsourcing

CB: you have to tell the audience if they are supporting or is creative, promotional, financial etc. It reflects confusion in participants, about what their role is.

MS: at Flcikr, they are not being told they are developing a rich depository of metatags that can be used elsewhere…in other places, the building of churches through selling pardons etc Flickr and Facebook have a lot of unacknowledge particpation, they use the creation of crowd to do more things,

Question: Feel this panel is not controversial what is a crowd..what purpose are they serving. Examples are top down media examples, don’t change the form of the media. What is the crowd doing for these projects. We can look at other crowd circulated/produced that changes the are your crowds just about money..

CB: we create channels that are new, not just revenue streams. Traditional documentaries go to same place, we go to low-incomne areas, rural areas, that don’t have cinemas, that may neve have seen independent media. Documentary is not new, but the way it is being watched, places that it is being watched. We are repurposing places as cinemas, we are providing new access and distribution channels, inchrices, farms, vacant lots etc. It is a littel unexciting, it’s still a film being projected, but the way they are doingit, the diversity and types of people is astounding.

TV: you ask about a crowd, you say we only use it to get money. We started working for many years, only in last 2 years have we asked for money. It has been doing the work we don’t have the resources for. We have to squeeze money..resources. Eg designers of spaceships, getting information, doing stuff we don’t have money to pay for. More than that it is creative resources. It also serves as a way, we don’t have many people who know Finnish films, we want a film to get the word about FInnish films. We have done this for ages now, and we have reached a certain state..everything boils down to money but it’s resources and PR etc..but it also tells me somebody cares about me 🙂 I was fighting against asking for money for a long time…and then we made a way for it to happen and people wanted to it

BN: we try and stay away from this..we create a scene that was not happening in Rio at all. We felt we lacked this Rio…the most known city in the country. It was killing the music scene in Rio, the local bands were not seeing any other bands…cultural circulation is important was not happening in Rio…it is about creating the scene, in the end we may not even be needed. in 10 years time, if people are going to lots of concerts…we have a VIP culture in RIo, no-one wnats to pay for concerts..we charge for every ticket, give none away…there are many directions that this will go, it changes a mentality in the town. We need to think how to make a different experience for them, will bring it back to partners to think about

AD: is the crowd over-romanticised?

MS: key question, who is the crowd..looking at the dicourse, if the word crowd pops up it is an excuse about not knowing who is behind it. If we did researhc, we could find out more about the crowd, the people who participate. The metaphor is over-romanticised. We need ways to look into it, to see who they are, understand the fans.

TV: platforms like Facebook etc are adding more features to know who is behind the ‘crowd’ We have tried to look into who are the fans, we have a good idea.

Question: who vets the benovolent dictators?

BN: we get complaints from people asking for specific bands, often from genres we don’t know as it grows bigger, we get more complaints…they need to get off their butt and do it! I don’t know who vets them, but they should..or do it themselves.
TV: in films we have producers who look over the dictators…ie the directors

Question: if you are keeping track of people who are raising money,, how do you track fan value

BN: we know who they are, still thinking ways of rewarding them..or a mileage programme etc, still figuring it out

TV: it is easy to keep track, who is most active. You can give them credit and invites etc…not interesting, so how to track project to project they get more. We have employed some of the most active.

Question: What sort of return rate do you get? WHo comes back?

BN: Almost all people who are working with us, all of them were fans of project and then asked if they can help…they get involved…

TV: a really small amount, but they are the most enthusiastic…it is not about getting as big as possible, you will get people in and out easily; the most inportant is the quality, the good backbone of people you can trust. They are more valuable

Nov 11

FOE5: Participation in Decision Making

Collaboration? Emerging Models for Audiences to Participate in Entertainment Decision-Making.

In an era where fans are lobbying advertisers to keep their favorite shows from being cancelled, advertisers are shunning networks to protest on the fans’ behalf and content creators are launching web ventures in conversation with their audiences, there appears to be more opportunity than ever for closer collaboration between content creators and their most ardent fans. What models are being attempted as a way forward, and what can we learn from them? And what challenges exist in pursuing that participation for fans and for creators alike?
Moderator: Sheila Seles (Advertising Research Foundation)
Panelists: C. Lee Harrington (Miami University), Seung Bak (Dramafever) and Jamin Warren (Kill Screen)

SS: HOw do fans influence corporate decision making. I had done some research on CHuck and how fans worked with Subway, a main sponsor to keep the programme in the air. Is this s new way?

LH: Soap fans have a long history of letter writing keep fans etc…Hoover stepped into the All My Children debate about the cancellation. Chair stepped in to protest cancellation (his Mom was a fan)…it opened up a new door in types of collaborations

SS: content creators are consumers and fans of caonten, but we don’t talk about advertisers and marketers in this terms….the Hoover episode suggested this. Corporate sponsors are human and can be fans

JW: in games, not as much corporate sponsorship…but there is opps to leveage excitement around games, such as those not released yet. Mother2, a japan game, had a fan programme to get it translated and brought to the US market..

SS: this sounds like fan subbing in dramafever

SB: indi produced stuff, foreign content does well…not everyone wants hollywood stuff. Dramafever taps into the need, telenovelas from south america, boolywood etc., Allows content producers to get into different content. We have a interface that taps into the fanbase..the biggest barrier is language, so we tap into fansubbing subtitle the drams into English to spread out the content. 80% of the content that we have is from a small network of fansubbers. This grassroots energy hitting the producers…they fansubbers are building a demand for content and the overseas producers are seeing this. We curate site based on what fans want, we do deals based on this, we get fansubbed stuff.

SS: Fans building on licenced content to create own works?

JW: the opening of content creation tools is one of the most exciting things..removes barriers to entry. Publishers looks for opportunities…eg COunterstrike became an official release. Publishers look for ways to get creating tools in hand of tools. Little Big Planet…great example..the tools were opened up and active fan community created more than a million levels. Recreation of famous games, levels etc. Now Sony are working with education department to see how model can use.Another example is Minecraft, fans create enormous landscape…this is a shift from top down, to giving peopel tools and giving a sandbox environment

SS: what are some of the challenges, when fans have this much control. QA issues? Artistic integrity?

SB: for episodic dramas, there has been feedback, people calling to get their favourite stories. Now internet provides faster feedback…we looked at a show from wasa rating flop in Korea but one of the biggest one on Dramafever…different reasons for interest overseas. We are seeing more of these, a focsed international audience

SS: how do new models for fans, having voices heard, where audiences outside demographic become more valuable..

LH: I look at older audiences, how they can be more valuable. There are many different practices (young old vs old old). The Old old are less likely to think of collaboration as somehting they do but young old are more used to it..the media ear in which they are raised, as the population ages, you’ll get changing attitudes.

SS: Surplus audiences are interesting to you, Korean programmes for non-Korean..

SB: in asia the Korean dramas do very well..we launched in US with English subtitles but not sure who would come. The audience is about 30% Aisan, 40% Caucasian…the world is flatter than apreaciated. THe content spreads, travel, widespread friends etc, more exposure, you get more hooked on it. There will be more of this..more prevalent and more available

JW: we spend a lot of time thinking about audience. Games are focused on hardcore gamers (teens, FPS) and recently social games (eg older moms)..but I did not fit into either category. A report recently showed gamers were 30-40s, the ones buying new consoles. YOu have to stop thinking of demographics but of play cycles…don’t look at age but at what they want to do with the title. Some like to explore, others build, others passive…have to change how you think about the games, the audiences and what kind of audience appeals to them

LH: the older views of soap operas were aware they were not in the ‘key demographic’ that they were not being listened to…the actors are keenly aware they need to look the part.

SS: so these models lead to a shift in that? a change in target demographic..

LH: the Hoover campaign got an enormous amount of attention. Fans want an lement of authenticity in what Hoover did, and it was.

SS: BackChannel question..for audiences to participate, there needs to be a large community, How do you build this

SB: went from 0 to 1.4million in 2 years. You can create a viable biz model with price of zero with ad support. Now we are seeing opportunities for communities to contribute to story line, to throw in some money…the production costs not too high…the entry point for getting to fan, to shape where content goes is getting better.

JW: so was thinking about new models when starting mag…as we build audience on editorial biz, we are starting producing content for that audience..we can seed with audience and with partners. They create something for the existing audience.

SS:Sharing creation is a shift, but how will authorship model change?

JW: so Defence of the Ancients…based on StarCraft…was created by fans. But another company wanted to release a sequel to the fan game…so original producer wnated to trademark term., The fans protested, this was a fancreated game.. Look at cannot copyright the gameplay, but only the name and colours. Copyright does not always allow independent creators to protect what they have done

SS:How do curate, for quality…

SB: we have a fulltime team of people assessing the quality…you can easily get 80% there with crowdsourcing..and then finish of the rest. Cost moves from >$1000 an hour to less than $100. We still need human intervention

LW: a question about the professional editor etc, is it still there? still an open question…

JW: with games, there is a real need to ambassadors. There is not a public language yet..we connect game culture with other parts of culture. THere is a place for curation, like us. There is still the fan side Korea there is a community of Starcraft commentators to feed out to the public…they can become the gatekeepers. Fan created experts, you trust their opinion.

LW: expertise gets gets worked out through social expertise. Professional experts are different from knowledge experts

SS: UGC gets co-opted into professional content, still questions about this. BUt looking at tools that are opening up they still represent a power there enough tools, how do companies fit in?

JW: it is hard to create all by yourself, you are operating in game world. People fall in love with making things but not make games because you like games, not because you can code. The tools need to be accessible, but can’t be so simplistic to hamstring creativity…the first Little Big Planet tools were simple, soo the second version had more tools, more progamming stuff..the next one will probably be more complex. Challenge in finding sweet spot…does it become a gateway drug to actually building games

SS: how can the fans help?

SB: fans are very engaged…the more fan services you provide, the better we do

JW: there is a talk by Brian Reynolds, lead designer for Farmville…they listen to fans, they spend so much time studying what their players do. They really know what their fans want..they want to create maximum happiness. They test all apects of it..But traditionally game design is something they do in a vacuum, creation done without fan feedback..but potentially later patching, as a culture. Farmville is everything about the fans and how they behave. But supermario brothers – other end, no listen to fans at all.

LW: to bring the age question back, industry pay attention to needs in education, adolescent,,,but less thorough in developmental needs in adulthood and what they want. We have stereotype that once adult you stop developing..but there is emotional changes over life…so if we understand how emotions change with age, we can understand how fandom changes with age.

SS: Content creators who can understand the relationship with fans are succeeding well in this space, eg Joss Whedon, Kevin Smith those skills come from can we understand models from being a fan in the creator side

JW: i understand games from a spectator and a broadcaster..I don’t want to make games how do I love something that I want to enable others to do well. You need to figure out your role in the community. There is legitimacy to be a lurker and you can empower others to do good work…I want to tell people about great work.

SB: our challenge is to grow as business, without alienating core fans. So as we add from other parts of the world, how do we keep the existing. Do we broacden it or keep it focused.

SS: what tangible skills do creators need to engage audiences?

JW: games developers have a hard time talking to people who can spread the message. People spend time making games, not engaging…this is partly the structure of the games industry…there is larger structurally problems that prevents individual creators talking to fans. With independents, there’s no commercial ecosystem that supports you. You can work as an employee, or starve as a independent! Some spend time across both…we work to conenct game devs with clients to dev boutique games..

LW: from soap community…you have to know the genre, appreciate history. there has been a huge change in writing, since last summer. People are having conversations! the return to that, has been great…that was a brave skillful choice to go with that show.

SB: in video world, the barriers are being lowered, to building audience and monetising. The stuff is there..all you need to create and market, the platform provides a lot more.

SS: question from audience..can crowds make art?

JW: yes, it depends on the tools. A johnny Cash video was made by crowds…each person got a frame. Radiacal built a tool that allowed people to build things as a crowd…it is a function of the systems, do they allow people to express themselves creatively

SB: not ness art, but can create visually appealing content…

LW: there was study done about 15 years ago, asking people what kind of people they want on living room…they priduced the ‘national’ version for each country they asked

SS: do people know what they want from entertainment…are they good at being able to influence

LW: most people don’t want the lowest common denominator..

JW: content creation is good, people create things that they know what people don’t want! Then it becomes wanted. The timing of Angry Birds..the 49th game from Rovio, was just right then…when you make things (Ira Glass Quote) you make bad stuff…but your taste is there, so you need to keep going to make things better. SO how do you keep people invested long enough to develop the skills to create something great…

SS: having audience generated content, being sold as that the model we want or is it more independent?

JW: it’s not ness a or the others…co-option is not ness a bad thing. The commercial infuence and power of games has moved faster than our cultural literacy around the games…you can;’t just make the ‘next’. People don’t get how games work…it’s not easy to co-opt stuff…

SS: what are the best ways to motivate and reward valuable audience participation?

SB: we are taking our proprietary subtitling out into the public, to get more peopel rewarded..Look at Wikipedia, they are motivated by more than points etc, game mechanism, help us get crowds do what we want.

JW: gamification is popular..but is this taking the lipstick of gamification and putting it on the pig of work. Gamification looks at putting game points etc on something that has no intrinsic value! Just because there are points, does not mean there is value in there…it’s a case by case basis, you have to figure out the core values of the community, audience…

SB: yes, case, by case…magival things don’t happen if you put something out there. Most people are lurkers…

LW: so there’s a question…about psychographic instead of demographic…yes, still lots of opportunities for this. Chronological age does not matter as much now, we need to understand emotional/developmental age, the psychographics…you need to pay more attention to development needs.

JW: there’s a book about casual gaming audience, the perception is about not liking competition, about filling times., but the landscape is very different to this SO middle aged woman playing Angry Birds for 30 hours is similar to her son playing COD for 30 hours…you should think about how they play not just they play

Audience Questions

Question…so Hoover, Subway actions…so in 50s, with sponsors around content. what could the consequences be of commercial pressures

LW: there was lot of conversation about motivations..we need to ask them…with Hoover, it was the mother/wife there was credibility

SS: the model we use now to monetise TV is not ness working…the fans could go to the advertisers for chuck…meant they weren’t been valued by rating industry

JW: when brands have tried to infleunce, eg Advergames..the ones that worked well..when the brand stepped back. So Tapper, from Bud, did work. Goldeneye…the studio build a great game, in the JB universe…the game is getting a release..opps if brands let game designers do what they do best

Question: can you speak to responding communities/desires as if there is one requirements…how about multiple requirements

JW: you can’t make things that everyone likes. You can design to make something that many different groups want…Look at Modern Warfare 3 (COD), launched 1 ad, we are all soldiers..all in this game together…recognised the wider audience. They also changed game itself, so multi-player environment, was about kill/death ratio..favoured certain types of players, but now, it’s not a killbased system, a more co-operative system, so if you defuse a bomb, heal someone etc, you get more points…allows multiplicity of interests..

Question: Incentivising behaviour…most put incentives in a few buckets..authorship, or money/gamepoints etc…So Hipster Aerial..there’s no money, or authorships…they are there to make joke with 15 other people. Is collaboration itself an incentive..

SB: fansubbers, we talk to a lot, when you ask, there is people who love meeting others online, share comaderie around the act. Others. you need other reasons…

LW: some forms are not visible, it’s just talking, watching etc, the attachment is there, but can you do anything if not visible?

JW: there are other communities that just use social standing, eg Buzzfeed…it’s not outward reward…but 4chan never gives credit..never identifies people, but they still create.

Question: who takes on responsibility for decisions?

SB: people think they know what they want, but they don’t really. look how apple builds vs HP…focus groups can be about loudest voice.

JW: Press takes a large role in who is blamed for decisions…

SS: what relevance does mass media have – how can the two systems work together.

SB: there is an audience for UGC..but still a tiny fraction from mass content. We are still far away from that becoming main…the NYT still gets more eyeballs than lots of blogs. There is still room for quality..

JW: one of the roles is to use crowd-funding for testing new ideas, or watching what works…so not just attract fans but to get them to invest in them as well. The WSJ was looking at the cost of a like on facebook, questions about actively participating..

Nov 11

FOE5: Spreadable Media

Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Society.

How are the shifting relations between media producers and their audiences transforming the concept of meaningful participation? And how do alternative systems for the circulation of media texts pave the way for new production modes, alternative genres of content, and new relationships between producers and audiences? Henry Jenkins, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green–co-authors of the forthcoming book Spreadable Media–share recent experiments from independent filmmakers, video game designers, comic book creators, and artists and discuss the promises and challenges of models for deeper audience participation with the media industries, setting the stage for the issues covered by the conference.
Speakers: Henry Jenkins (University of Southern California), Sam Ford (Peppercom Strategic Communications) and Joshua Green (Undercurrent)


THe conference was brought together to look at ways academics and the industry can talk to each other..this panel is about some of the models that are in place, about the spreadable media project, started in 2008, presented at FOE in 2009. Had many hands on it, stewarded by the 3 of us, but lots of input. The idea, (it is currently with book publisher) is that the circualation in content looks very different, as a result of shifts, a series of dichotomies. Where bottom up participation has more sway, influence than top down, which requires adjustments in how you think about content, business and participation.

To explore ideas, 3 dichotomies. One is that we need to think about the circulation rather than distribution.

HJ: distinction btw distribution, controlled, top down, windows of opportuntnities. Circulation is partially top down, a hybrid system, and is increasingly bottom up. Shaped as much my unauthorised spreading, grass-roots channels. THe methods are unpredctiable, uncontrollabe, but generate a lot of meaning

SF: we look at emerging models and historic models we can learn gospel and christian music inductry. There content circulates through social, church groups etc, out side of mainstream. Groups used to gives concerts….and at some point ask about an offereing…there are moral implications in copying this kind of music without the offering.

HJ: we use the word unauthorised, a better word that piracy, which has a lot of heat in it. The spreading of gospel songs is better defined as can you steal the spreading of the gospel. This books explains reason why giving up control means you gain value. One distinctions in book, about participatory culture and web2.0…there is confusion between the terms. Participatory culture has several hundreds years history, about people looking to spread ideas, cullture, create etc. Web2.0 is a business model, to capture and commodify the desire to particpate. It has provided tools, but has lead to a set of business models that constrains it to.. If we have those descriptions, we can promote participation yet rail against some of the constraints.

jG: it’s not just a shift in semantics, but in acceptance and usage. IN web2.0 model, we place agency in content producers and the network, in particpation, not the people who want to join in. We need to shift emphasis between producers and consumers…between users and content creators. We need to look at diverse patterns of relationshipos. The categories are not fixed…we need to understand what happens when categories are not fixed.

SF: there is a lot ot be learned from grass-roots practices, that emerges from audience…that sees how spreadable content can be a positive, to allow you to learn where it goes. Eg bands going to where their music is liked. We look at indie games in the book, about new practices etc…we look at crowd-funding…crowd-sourcing. So much to be learned there.

HJ: independent media is a world there is a desparate need to have a new business model, a diferent way of looking at things. THe indie artist has greater opportunity to create product and get it in front of people but also more desparation due to break down in traditional models of funding. So crowd-funding has a increasing role. indi film maker may propose it there, get it supported and then look for other funds. THen the production phase of crowd-sourcing, builds visibility, more interest. Then netflix, viewing parties, etc build communities around titles and let them find public they may not have found otherwise. Spreadability is not just videos on YT, but a whole apparatus about how the public help create.

JG: We’ve been trying to provide an alternative discourse…defined by spreadability, rather than virality…we are trying to shift the tenor of debate about how content moves through culture away from just the awesomness content and to think about the agency of those who create, distribute and consume it. We need to stop looking at consumption in narrow terms, but how consumers add value…the new range of activities for producers, it suggests how we need to think about how they engage with series of audiences along the production chain. We need to re-evaluate value, where it comes from, how it is created.

SF: value is a packed word, economic or something else. It can be a point of conflict..or agreement or just two completely different agendas. We talk about the mindset, economic, or gift economy,. about how they are framed. Spreading media is about relationships with one another.

HJ: when starting thinking, we spent a lot of time on gift economies…how we are between commodity cultures and gift exchanges. Many gifts are an industrial society. A commodity is turned into a gift when we remove the price tag. It is then part of a system of social connection with other. THe same when you make mix tapes and give them to someone you like. When the gifts are the community, the labours pf love are UGC, which then drives an industry, revenue. So why don’t we turn free labour into cash, give them money for creating and spreading. But if you are in a commnity when the exchange is about friendship, if you commoditise it then the transaction relationship is changed. The idea we can change fans into producers, provides friction between participatory communities and web2.0 business models.

SF: an model is a rummage sale…you have a debate over the economic value and the social the internet is huge rummage slae. We switch back and forth betwen economic and relationship and back…so producers offend audiences they are trying to reach by having wrong state at a time..we have a lot to think through about best practices and ethics

JG: they affect non-fan communities etc, like at the scale of Facebook. Look at the Occupy movement, the argument about work, labour, where the profits go to. Who gets to enjoy the benefits of the value. How will big compnaies conceptualise their role, what they are asking their users, the role of the audience

SF: so how do indi behaviours apply to mass corporations…governments and big companies. We react to certain words and get grumpy, the project is a reaction to some of the framing/metaphors about the discussion. For many, it is about reach, the people who see the message. That does not ness the model is stickiness…so that does not work, move to push content, about the virality of content. Culture does not quite work that way…so can’;t braodcast, can;’t get people to come to me, i can’t infect, but can i get a few influencers who will spread it for me. Companies are trying to hold on to as much as possible of the old model. So a few influencers is as much a mistake as all the others. Companies are good at hearing, but not at being responsive. Not very good is listening – that is paying attention and reacting to it. Listening is harder, you cannot automate it, you can;t take the humanity out of it. Companies have a hard time working this out (at scale). They are slowly realising this. You need to listen before a crisis hits…

HJ: Occupy is a provocation as much as a political movement, a provocation for discussion, about how wealth has moved, how it is made. In Washington, a whole bunch of zombies had just turned up to support the Occupy people..and lots of people were asking what the zombies had to do with it..this would lead to lots of conversations. Popular culture images and words are being used to promote the occupy message…To push Occuy to be a movement with demdns is to push it back to a distribution model and not about how it is being used to create spreadable media and conversations

JG: We saw Anonymous recently disown parts of it going after drug cartels…they split and change…was it official or not. Movements diversify.

HJ: many negative connotations of spreadability, it can changed and be used against the groups. SO if videos of human rights violations…they lose control and they get used for different reasons, they get fetishised and all different uses not for what was orginally meant. If you are Perry, you hate spreadable media now, the campaign is probably dead.

SF: we can be enthusiastic about the possibilities, but the ‘opposition’ have the same tools and methods. The tools are not always just for ‘you’. There were some nice simplicities about the models of broadcast etc, eg who a reporter worked for gave a lot of information, about who they are what they stand for. We know that does not always happen, but it was ther. But in a space where brands have broken down, where is the trusted voice in the journalistic world. In spreadability, anyone can have a platform..but how trusted are they. Information can be passed along without truth behind it. We don’t ness fact check. You have to ask questions. We have a system not set up to teach people to ask questions. We need a lot of work to make potential live up to possibility

HJ: YOu see almost every week a bit of mis-information, even by people who used to be accountable and now deny responsibilty when the idea/rumour spread.

SF: we still have the idea that people need to be held accountable..but are they. News organisations are making that argument…with the drive for breaking news. there is pressure to release without fact checking.

JG: In summation…it is complex…

Audience Questions

Ian: relationship between media and social practice and how you think about that in the spreadable space? It’s about the object, the content, the meme…or is it about social practice. Different questions raised…

HJ: part of our reaction to viral is it strips out the agency..viral is the smallpox blanket model! The idea of viral strips out the ocmplex reasons we engage’s about the act of spreading not just the quality reasons. Why do people spread it..we start with Susan Boyle in the book, look at all the different groups, the different contexts and conversations around her. It’s about why and a negotiation between different communities, why they do things. If the brand is going to be meaningful in culture brand has to understand this and court communities, not create them

JG: the value we perceive comes from the social interaction, not the value of the object..the value comes because it is immersed in these patterns of social interactions. It’s value is negotiated along the way, it changes.

SF: Also what is content, is it the discussion, is it the liking etc. Alot of models look at something that is more production-y, but often the content is the discussion…what is more valuable, not just the stuff that cost the most!

Question..could spreadable media help fans develop block-busting model..and how does it fit into the longtail

HJ: look at long tail model, we ended up with a soft long-tail model. The hard model is that the long tail would repalce the blockbuster. The softer versions ays the availability of the content has expanded, there is more and more niche content. The softer version works with spreadability, lower costs of visibility…spreadable communities can tap into long-tail content and making it more visible…the advantages are still with the head, with the blockbusters..more able to promote. Spreadability can help but won’t overcome blockbusters…it may not be enough to overcome the power of mass producers…

Mar 13

2011 SXSW experiences part 1

Due to a few things, (mainly my lack of organisation), my SXSW experience did not start well. In fact, it started with a 5 hour delay to the flight, stuck on the tarmac at Heathrow as the American Airlines plane got a valve fixed. The staff did their best, we got snacks, drinks, but we were stuck on a plane not going anywhere. At 4 hours in, there was an announcement that we were now allowed to leave, as soon as they found some immigration and customs staff to do all the admin. 30 mins later, the problem was fixed and we were ready to go. But now, due to shift limits, we were not going to Dallas, but to New York. New York acheived, out through immigration and customs and back through security to get on the same plane down to Dallas, with a new crew. So instead of an good night’s sleep, I got less than 2 hours in my hotel before leaving again for the trip to Austin.

Once there, plans became fluid. Taking a look at the cinema where the documentary Senna was playing, I got recognised by a Twitter contact, Statesmanf1. A local journalist, he was perfectly placed to find me a good place to eat breakfast and then hang around with atfter the film. He had a spare pass to the post-film reception, being run by the Austin Formula 1 group to help promote next years event. Some chat, food, drink, a few speeches and an F1 car in the sun made for a lovely afternoon.

So it was only in the late afternoon that I made my way to the coonvention centre to collect pass and start meeting up with people. Although the evening did not last long, as completely exhausted with travel, I had a quick dinner and an early night.

Day 2 started with an early breakfast with Rebecca, a friend from London who had moved to New Zealand. Then panels, about TED and about ethics in transmedia, lunch with a great bunch of transmedia people (Adrian, Andrea, Dee, Brad and …why can’t I remember the otehr 2 names!) before back to keynote with Chris Poole. Now to recharge before starting the next part of the day

SXSW 2100

Mar 13

SXSW – Christopher Poole

  • founder of 4chan. founded in 2003 as an image sharing community, for Japanese comics.cartoons/anime. A chatroom with 20. Now 12m visitors monthly.
  • no registration. no archive. ideas – it’s about survival of the fittest. what resonates, stays on the board. Community flows over a day; the culture changes. to start a topic you need to provide an image still to start a topic. But it is more than the random board, about 50 topics – photography, origame, adult stuff. Media think the audience is just young, white, males..but not completely accurate
  • Last year, started to think about what could be done better…what a message board could be. Leanrt things from 4chan to share, that define it
  • Fluid identity. Site is anonymous; people can chat as anyone; moving towards persistant identity, you lose some of the innocence of youth – you can’t make mistakes, you can’t learn, you can’t start again. Cost of failing is high, if only one identity, as yourself. Anonymity is authenticity in this environment
  • believe in content over community. it’s not just your history; people can assume by history not by contribution. so site just judges you on most recent contribution. Content gets riffed on, changed, moved.
  • Added recaptcha last year (spam problem) and got a lot of backlash immediately. But people started to create art around them, adding images. Community takes a situation and turns it into something creative
  • A lot of 4chan is copy/paste, has been there before. a lot of the content is the same. It is not all ephemeral, the content is often there – but the experience is ephemeral, it cannot be repeated. It’s a community experience, a different way to share things. The refrigerator magnet game becomes a shared experience for 4chan people. It’s a place where people go to hang out
  • All of these things combine into a new thing called Canvas, building a site for people to share, play, collaborate and hangout
  • you can post anonymously, but using facebook connect during the beta period to register, to weed out more casual trolls
    built fun tools to people to use, to allow it to be easy to modify on the site. don;t need to use photoshop. has levelled the playing field. Finish the drawing are fun, get very popular. Making it easy, reducing fear of failure, has worked well
  • Wanted to focus also on contributors. On 4chan, because it is anon, you get a few more users, but lurker is still high. so on canvas, looks to encourage contributions. created stickers, you could tag content. to sort and categorise, help popular things to bubble up; had 100k in a few weeks.
  • Found that chat does not build durable conversations. Interesting to be in conversation, but not if you want to re-read. It’s like improv – funny to be there live, but not to rewatch/taped. First product was built to be chatty, but have gone back to comments, as people are putting stuff on that is worth going back and reading.
  • We are also looking at growing slowly. 4chan was not overnight, it was a slow growth. you have to allow for a culture and an identity to grow on the site. wnat to integrate users as they come into the site. Scaling is not just architecture, but building a community that is worth scaling.

You can sign up

Mar 13

Opening up TED, June Cohen, SXSW

  • Started releasing talks in 2006. as talks grown online, the audience has gone fromn 1000 people in a room to 100m around the world it changed the organisation, from conference for an elite audience to thinking about how to serve the global community. So everything rallied around the notion of ideas worth spreading. A complete turnaround
  • Will now be opening up API, to allow developers to build Ted apps, to continue with the philosophy of radical openess.
    The idea of having people running TED events makes lots of people nervous for us; most organisations would find the levels of openess challenging and frightening. They found the steps frightening as they took them. For all of the scenario planning, but have learnt that the unintended consequences have been overwhelming positive.
  • It started with the content, in 2006, podcasts, then websites in 2007. Was a controversial decision at the time; TED was know as an elite conference, expensive and that was part of the appeal, that it was private. But the impact was limited; deciding to put talks online was against widom – would there be any audience, this is against standard business – keep commodity scare and price high to keep the value.
  • In the first year, when we put talks online, we increased our fee by 50% and sold out in a week with a 1000 person waiting list. They’d sold out before, but not as quickly. Putting the talks online was not about selling seats – it had sold out always – but the goal was to spread ideas. Every decision has been around this question. Will it spread ideas.
  • We were looking to reach people everywhere, both in geography and in media habits. It needed to live on any platform and adapt as things change.It also needed to adapt the open model, eg releasing under creative commons. We wanted it to spread…out of our control, as long as it was non-commercial. We used embedable players, was very important to get it out there.
    Focused on for a small screen – the mobile. Focused on tight focus, engagement through tight shots etc, they designed the shoot for that model.
  • Ted talks start strong, they do not include the introductions as that is boring online. you need the speaker to get right to it. It has to grab them in 5 secs.. The talks look to evoke contagious emotions, evoke human connections.
  • They needed to find visionary sponsors, as it is expensive and time consuming. IF you have great content, you can find these sponsors who share the vision. You need plenty of support and a great team
  • Open translation project – people were asking for it. Took a few years of development, launched under 2 years ago Subtitles in 80 different languages, dynamically changing during the talk . 16000 translations, 600 translators. All volunteers. One question often asked, is about quality, how to maintain it. We thought about it for 6 months. We needed a systemthat worked in languages we did not understand. We did a lot of talking with others doing it. This was not wikistyle, we assigned places. There are 2 translators for each talk, a translator and a reviewer. You give them credit; and holds them responsible. There is also a feedback loop, to give responses. Finally they have guidelines, about principles, what to think
  • IN 2009, we were really only reaching English speaking. IN 2010, huge areas of the world opened up. Hitting around 65% of the worlds population. Theoretically. THere are bandwidth issues etc, so looking at other ways. TedTV is one pilot project to get the content out there. Broadcasters can take talks and build own programmes.
  • Next thoughts were about connecting people. Two weeks ago they launched a conversation tool; to propose an idea, stage a debate or ask a question. They have time limits, constraints are good. Significance completes what they were thinking about when starting putting content online – allows the conference experience of people/debate/conversations to move online. The stage is only half of the experience, the conversations are the other half.
    Opening up the whole programme – TedX. They could not produce the conferences themselves; they made a programme, with guidelines, etc. They do not charge event holders, TedX can’t make a profit. ALl about spreading ideas further. They launched with excitement but a lot of nerves. They put a lot of thought into guidelines. What has been fascinting has been the level of professionalism, experience and enthusiasm and they have learnt a lot. They thought there would be a couple of dozen events; there have been 1500 events, in many languages.
  • Open Sourcing the code – opening up the API. To spread ideas, need to reach people on different platforms. TED has a small team and can’t do it on own, and don’t have a monopoly on good ideas. There are so many platforms to reach. They want to be surprised by the apps. All talks and the metadata will be accessible. Looking at launching on mid year…but will work with developers to ensure what they do meets needs.
  • Openness works when there is a clear goal that inspires; where there is a passionate userbase; where there are clear guidelines – with rewards and consequences; allow community ways to police itself; Finally, make your contributors rock stars. THey thought about making the speakers rockstars, now it has expanded. THey make them feel honoured in the community.
    Openness is not easy; it goes against human instincts to protect what you have. it is challenging to fight against that but have to push through that fear. The rewards have been extraordinary.
Dec 09

LeWeb10 and Singularity University

Salim Ismail, Executive Director, Singularity University

LIVEBLOGGED – some paraphrasing, may be things missed

Salim Ismail
Photo by Adam Tinworth

Talking about neuroscience. over last 20-30 years, computers have gotten smaller, faster, better. we can do a brain of a mouse in a laptop. In 12 years, brain in a computer…that is the computing power, not the brain itself. we study the impact of computing on the brain, on the fields of medicine etc.

We are geared to a linear world, not an accelerating one..we have students looking at how these tech accelerations impact the world. At the Singularity University, we get students to look at where the world is going, what is happening and get students to think where the world is going.

Looking at a See Spot Run (picture) – a one way learning. once you learn it, you can’t unsee it…

In the brain you have 100, neurons..500m connections. On first studying brain, excited as look like computer…there is a ‘stack’ you can study, like a computer.

Many systems we have today have an AI…this is a top down approach, looking at functions of brain and how to mimic them. One of our students, looking to stimulate the neurosystem of a simple animal, through top down level.

At other levels, we know results after simulus, but not how it happens. A neuron takes in 1000s of inputs, some say there may be quantum properties involved..that’s the bad news, we don’t really know how it works

The good news is that we don’t really need to know how it works in order to interface with it. We have many ways if rewiring the brain, changing what it happens. Yoga, martial arts, therapy, NLP all allow us to impact the brain…

A classic influencer of brain is a brand..trying to get you to remember it more. The ultimate master of this are religions. They take a young person and throw ‘truths’ at it..once in there, you can’t get it out…

Now we have new brain computing interfaces…we have chips implanted on motor cortex to manage wheelchair…or biofeedback systems, FRMI, you can get realtime brain scanning…we are learning rapidly how to interface.

We are the start of a lot of changes in how we interact with brains…lots of different methods. for many, we have outsourced our memories to the phone…as we change rapidly the experience of what it means to be human, we have to think about what it means..
Nanowires..they exist today…put a wire into different parts of brain. Optogenetics…intersection of genetics, virology and optics. they fabicate light sensitve cells and then use virus to put in mouse brain. they put optical fibre mouse head and can turn on the change behaviour(Karl Diesseroth) So how can we use this?

Selfawareness – we’re not really sure what this is…when you get to a level of about a frog, it is dimly aware f itself..then it gets an increasingly aware. Can you create a test for self-awareness.
Another area is do we measure, define, create.

As our ability increases, what would you do with it? What senses would you amplify, how would you enhace experience…enhance memory. At SU, we look at Education…

Dec 09

Leweb10 and Thought Controlled Computing

Thought Controlled Computing Ariel Garten, CEO, Interaxon

LIVEBLOGGED – some paraphrasing, …some bits missed…video to follow
Photo by Adam Tinworth

Our team has been developing thought controlled computing…so what is thought controlled computing. Reads brain waves, translates, then sends to device. I can use mind to control lighting, or lighting can respond to state of mind. We want to create compelling applications. So we explore things around everyday actions, like taking a bath, making it fun for engagement.
So what do the graphs mean…we interpret them and do something with it. It is a convergence of ideas from many is interdisciplinary field…lots of things to make it happen. Until recently, it was the domain of a small number of people…previously cumbersome and needed to be still, with lots of equipment, it could not be used on stage. Now it’s popular and accessible….now used to display in Best Buy..the Brain Playground.
We help people experience it in many ways, fun experiences. In communicating,, we need to address fears and assumptions, we need to address fears. It can only do so much.

So the history…since 2nd century dissections, man has been interested in the connection bwtween man, brain and the universe. In the 1920s the first brain wave recorded…1970’s Jacque Vidal published paper about computer and brain connections. Now we have popular books about the brain, how we think, how it relates to the world

In 2008, there were commercially available headsets by 2 companies. Now we have a single reading sensor – down from $20k to $200. Interaxon works with partners who create low cost hardware so we can create novel applications – relaxation, golf swing or the game from Star Trek.

In the Winter Olympics, we had people controlling the lighting on Niagara Falls, CNN tower using their minds. We had 7k users. In consumer application, the Star Wars Force Training toy introduces thought controlled apps to toys and games. it brings popular myths closer to reality. Or the sleep monitor that wakes you up closer to your optimal moment. We find opps to do more and reach more people. We are partnering with doctors to create an epilepsy detector, to detect seizure. We do soemthing with kids with ADD, to help with focus. The neuro simulation, drug free market, will grow over time.

Perhaps the most important role is in closing the gap, blurring the distance between able and disabled bodies – controlling wheelchairs..then doors, windows, appliances. But in thought control contect, tech often dominates, and we lose the human connection..this is about the self., this is a personal and transforming experience…this is about the self. The new experience is an extension of the self, There is a growing interest in reaching the potential.

At CES, we will launch….an iphone app. you have to wrap a rope around an object, using your mind..the more you focus, the faster it rotates…we provide brain feedback, how your brain was doing. this is more than game feedback, it;’s a personal brain centre, knowledge about you…it’s inwardly focused…it reorientates the popular imagination. the more we look at future scenarios, we look at brain, mobile, body sensors etc. We can improve existing tasks and behaviours….they can transform tech, industries etc…every industry needs to be involved to actualise the potential. It’s more than a novel game controller…you can connect to everything your phone does…as we enter a new era of search, so how can thought control work, connect with eye tracking..the neurobiology of search is a rich area. We think it will change commerce and more…

Dec 09

LeWeb10 and SmartTransportation

Jack D. Hidary, Chairman,

LIVEBLOGGED – some paraphrasing, may have missed things. Video to follow

Wants to talk about 3 challenges, related to mobility and energy. we are nearing 1billion cars in the world. In the US 250m, China is fastest growing market…15-20m new ones per year. Progress we have and have not made since 1908…mpg, we had about 20mpg, in 2010, the average of a fleet is 22.5MPG. it’s a little higher in EU, China looking to move up as well. If we grow this, we will run out of oil…so we have a wall, we have a market failure. We have to go beyond todays technology. I’m associated with the X-Prize. we did space and just recently did cars – 100mpg and is cheap and easily manufactured. we know this is coming. The Nissan Leaf is coming, others etc. A lot of creativity and innovation

And now we need to merge worlds of IT and MT – Mobility technology. we need to connect in a network. The charging stations in 90s were not connected to web – so did not know what the charging station was like. Now you can get a app for the phone that gives you location of charging station and it’s availability. we need more of these apps, integrated into location based services, into car apps, into nav apps. All the cars are connected, all the charging stations are connected. This is the internet of things, it will be much larger than internet of people…

Second Challenge. We will have 9b people….and how many will want a car. If a quarter do, we are done. we need new tech…we need new business models. we need to rethink car ownership. Can we do the EV commons…so all can put up charging stations…make available. so if hotel chains put up charging stations etc, retailers, etc, everyone does there part, like the internet. A distributed mesh model, like the internet. we need 100s of new business models. Ownership for 9b people is not feasible

Third Challenge – the electric. how do we generate power and energy. So let’s make this cleaner, but we keep thinking about making just enough to power waht we need. We use 18trillian kwh in a year. in one hour the sun gives us more energy than we need in 1 year. (inc wind). Let’s think about 20tkwh, how about 10x, what about 200 tkWh…what would you produce if you had this energy?

Energy is not just electricity that comes in…it’s out human mental power we need. we need to think about these kinds of things, it is not jsut tech that holds us back, it is our own imagination…

Dec 09

LeWeb10 and Zynga

David Ko, SVP of Mobile, Zynga
Q&A with MG Siegler, Writer, TechCrunch

LIVEBLOGGED – paraphrased, there may be things missed. Video to follow

David Ko
Photo by Adam Tinworth

MG: you’ve been there a month now [David is new at zynga] , have announced a new deal recently, do you want to discuss?
DK: last week was big, we announced acquisition called NewToy, they have created something unique, the best social gaming experience out there. Words with Friends and Chess with friends. one of post popular on ipad/iphone etc, use it for about an hour a day, so sticky.

MG: you are turning this into Zynga with Friends?
DK: it’s part of our mobile investment – renamed it and will keep it there, keep investing it there

MG: will they focus on mobile and then move the properties into the web
DK: huge opportunity, huge userbase we want to leverage, they have a great team, great IP that you will see soon,

MG: how about some of the other platforms?
DK: if you think about the vision of Zynga, we want to connect the world through games..we extend to any device or platform, have to create the right type of experience. we focused onthe iphone to date. we are looking to expand and to move to different platforms. we will take Mafia on to the Android platform later this month

MG: Nokia, Windows, Blackberry?
DK: we need to understand the limitations of devices..many of us create mobile experiences for smartphones…but it’s expanding. we see userbase increasing with international users, we need to look at what they are offer seemless experiences to them

MG: you came from Yahoo, been there for 10 years, you were one of 3 big execs that left recently
DK: had a great time…great opportunities. can’t really comment as a few months since left…I wish them the best

why walk away from the stuff?
DK: I met Mark many months ago, always been impressed with Zynga…spent time with them, loved what they were doing..truely thought they could connect the world through games.

MG: but they did not have a strong mobile presence…you came in to do mobile?
DK: huge opp for Zynga in mobile…the next social frontier for gaming. Zynga has huge subscriber base across the PC – 200m playing every month. Yesterday there were 45m daily active users, huge potential to bring that to mobile

MG: another was to diversify away from FB?
DK: less about diversifying away….core thing of company is partnerships.,,think about what the compnay is, about social, social means FB. does not mean that we don’t have other users wanting to access on other Yahoo deal, MySpace deal. Primarily FB has been a tremendous partner

MG: what about FB and mobile? Connect and other services etc? are you working on some of the things
DK: if there are things we can leverage that makes it better and easier from user, then we are working on it. we look at best customer experience…seemless etc.

MG: looking at international markets, you have launched Farmville in Japan on mobile only
DK: yes, mobile first experience. part of focusing on international

: so why mobile only first?
DK: you will see difference in terms of regions. In Asia, many access first on mobile then move to a PC. we have to diversify away from some of the smartphones, to give right experience. not fully there, still work to do, but great start

MG: is Farmville on smartphones only?
DK: yes, but looking to extend it over time

MG: you have launched Cityville in multiple markets
DK: it has been the fastest growing game to date – 3m daily active users yesterday. 5 languages,. Shows we are thinking more internationally, thinking about user base. Our user base, more than 2/3rds are non-native English speakers.

MG: US is still the biggest country? France is huge? Is Asia the number 1 for expansion
DK: Yes..Zynga has 13 studios…5 are outside of US, based in Japan, China, India, Germany

MG: Poker is big in Tiawan…
DK: Poker was one of the first franchises we launched as a company and seen lot of success

MG: monetisation…?
DK: there are diffs in how we view mobile and is all about the experience. we do monetise a few different ways on mobile..some advertising etc, the goal is not revenue, but experience and user share.

MG: Rovio were blown away by advertising on Angry Birds? how big…
DK: so Newtoy does a lot of advertising, then they have a paid app that gets rid of that. we are experimenting..we don’t want to detract from the user experience, we want to optimise that.

MG: a lot has been made about revenues., there are a lot of guesses…mobile has to be a small part now?
DK: we are just getting a private company we can focus on building an internet treasure, you can’t live without..

MG: so one of the things talked about a new dog (??) activated thing
DK: I think what he means, when you see the dog (the mascot) you think about something that is fun and social…that’s at a high level what we think about when we talk about dog activated?

: are you talking about cross platform communication?
DK: speculation and you will have to wait and see?

MG: how about the Chrome Webstore, and Mozilla web store? are you going to explore that?
DK: it is part of being on all platforms, there are many different things coming out..we are exploring..I can’t comment on speculation as there’s nothing announced yet

MG: so, Google has invested in Zynga..what is the relationship like? is that a key partnership
DK: we haven’t announced….can’t comment on it…we are very partnership centric company…[note, it was announced by Marrissa Mayer in an earlier talk, but guess not officially[

MG: so why has there not been a focus on Android? was that about fragmentation? is it a pain? why have you waited?
DK: android…there is a lot of fragmentation in mobile, we have recognised we need to build for android…we are releasing a title this month

Dec 09

LeWeb10 and Social Gaming

How Social is Changing the Gaming Industry
Moderated by: Cedric Ingrand, Broadcaster, Podcaster and Resident Geek at LCI/TF1 in Paris
Panelists: Jens Begemann, Founder, wooga; Nicolas Gaume, Co-founder and CEO, Mimesis Republic; Jimmy Kim, CEO, Nexonova; Mike Kerns, Vice President, Social Games & Personalization, Yahoo!

WARNING: LIVEBLOGGED. some paraphrasing…I may have missed things. Video to follow

CI: FB users clock a billion hours a month on;s a growing areas…so please introduce yourself..
JB: wooga, les than 2yrs, old, do FB games, 15m users, no 7 in world. 55 employees
MK: Yahoo are aware of trends, have partnership with Zynga, distribute games,
NG: building next gen 3d worlds, with platform for social games. have closed beta with 160k users, launching next year
JK: here to talk about games today

CI: when we say social is changing gaming..are we changing gaming as we knew it or creating a new category?
NG: used to make shrinkwrapped games…real games..that is what you say in industry. Games, console game, becomes a product, create a fulfulling service. games are a great way to engage, connect, you can learn more from playing games with someone, have unique power to connect people

CI: it is not taking away from major players?
MK: it is expanding it. games are a core desire. 10-20% were playing..we do games for others
NG: NIntendo opened it up for others, get fit, train brain etc, people play games for hours but don’t feel like playing the games
MK: the distribution has was more difficult. flash or console. can get richer immersive, in your social network..time spent changes. We are largest games provider online (pre FB) it’s early days, a couple of weeks in Zynga partnership and happy so far

CI: social games, short session, easy play, massive return, engage friends. Is this changing? are they getting longer? does experience evolve
JK: accessibility, like to look at this. Console…need game and console. then need computers to do games..SNS open it up further, embedded. key thing is to enrich..deeper immersive experience
JB: from timeframe, I bet Farmville is played longer than most video games
MK: fantasy sports, started with spreadsheet then moved online. always with friends, now online, more immersive. the market was limited
NG: how much time at movies – play games more?
JB: gameplay session designed, so can be short, little resistance, but see people spending 30min or longer.

CI: what makes a great game? what kind of games to make to address what user group?
NB: should be easy to learn and hard to master, depth. needed. In social it is about the connections, mechanics need to be about portraying social connections…35-45 women are active on facebook, teens different approach, the social connection, projecting on social is different.

CI: FPS are teens/males in the main, older have you address different user groups
MK: we want to bring different experiences…we don’t design, just distribute. Fantasy football on FB is young men, yahoo games housewives etc

CI: about paying for features?
JK: it is about balance, experience, play etc, cash and virtual cash, we look at microtransactions…we get active users, which includes paying users. have to design experience for level up, access points, mobile extensions ..think content, accessibility and system

CI: how will republic do it
NG: it will be freemium. I made games that costs 60-70million then in a box. it was fine. With good brand and marketing, then would sell. with freemium, as a game designer, it is important to convince all that is worth it, with the audience, they like to try before buy.

CI: freemium assumes 5% to pay?
NG: it is an engagement mechanism that forces you to respect that experience…respect that they are in control of costs, stop at any time

how can you advertise against?
MK: get a lot of advertising, on yahoo games. as with Zynga, see multiple lines of revenue
JB: 2 years ago on FB, theere were lots of advertising on social games, now moving to virtual can build a business around virtual goods. Our audience is 70% women…hear people say makes sell weapons, women decorating! not true, have to sell functional items, that give an advantage in games

CI:brand marketing..does anyone do?
JB: we don’t at the moment, maybe 2011
Jk: blatant advertising turns people off..we look at giving value, with BMW Mini, racing games. has to be value, can’t be plain advertising. once you have that, then good opportunity.
NG: we are talking to brands for launch..have to do value add experience. look at films, you get product placement…gets connection to brand values, if mutually acceptable, then gets value for brand, can connect virtual world to real world, through brands.

CI: platforms…at least 2 of you using FB. is that the ideal platform? can you do it on FB
JB: the key to social games is the social graph…FB is moving towards a monopoly on this. it is essestial, it works like a layer and you can build a business on this. they are in big support of games and they do everything to make sure there are a good experience
MK: I built a business on FB, plus mobile. think mobile will become stronger. we see a huge opp to overlay connectability with graph and with new layers, on top of identity connections from FB

CI: is app on FB, like building on iphone, easy to cut off?
JK: Fb makes it easier to access graph but if you are rely on FB policy – they keep changing this…you need visbility of what platform will be. when stable people will stay
MK: you have to go in with eyes wide open. they want to make a profit, they are aware of need for developers. they are doing better at communicating changes,,,changes impact all.
JK: social graph and FB credits are a good move. for developers, need to see visbility of plan and stability. FB a great platform, but chapter still being written

: how to address mobile? different game or cross platform?
JB: have mobile background…did ringtones games etc for 7 years. we will do mobile in 2011, we will do same games as on web, connected via FB, extending the experience, optimising interface for mobile, increasing play frequency
NG: for us, you play on web, virtual world, on PC…mobile can be for follow up experience, enhaced the full experience…
MK: on app discovery for mobile is our focus
JK: 4sq is a game, game experience is not just mobile…can play anywhere, part of lifestyle, part of worlfd designing games we don’t consider mobile version, but extension entwined with users lifestyle

CI: console games are different??? but you can’t say that , EA/Ubisoft etc, not clueless…are they a threat?
NG: it’s a DNA are a product, structured in a way separate dev and sales. social games are about connecting with uesers iterations etc, hard to shift culture.

CI: look at Nintendo online though,,,
NG: it is hard to change. by aquisition etc, opps to create new paradigm. but it is tough. shareholder expect same revenue..but it’s difficult
JB: EA tried on FB, not successful., so bought playfish instead. looks at top 10 onGFB, no big ones. IP is less important in social games…
NG: people still play hardcore, social won’t replace…

Dec 08

LeWeb10 Dennis Crowley and FourSquare

Dennis Crowley, Co-Founder, foursquare. Q&A with Loic Le Meur, Founder, LeWeb

LIVEBLOGGED: some paraphrasing and may be missed areas…video below

Dennis Crowley
Image from Adam Tinworth

LL: this is the second time you’ve spoke in EU
DC: yes, only spoke in Amsterdam

LL: how many people do you have
DC: just about to break 40 people, a year ago we were 4 people. We’re getting the pieces together.

LL: so how did you get the idea?
: it’s all stuff we’ve been thinking about for 10 years. I had Dodgeball, a general idea of where your friends were, so that is what we built, to make NYC easier to use. Once Dodgeball got turned of, got talking to Naveen to resurrect this. We crammed everything together, to a mess of an app…brought to SXSW. Now have 5 million users, as of last week

LL: split?
DC: 60%US, 40% International. NY and SF are blips, the activity is world wide. we have groups of users.

LL: how is the growth? is it like twitter at same stage?
DC: It’s difficult to compare,. Our stuff spreads differently, we pick up about 25k a day. 2mill checkins a day

LL: how long did it take?
DC: it launched and was ugly, we had a peak of 4000 users and then the usage slowed. We saw people and merchants getting flyers about checking in an 4SQ and get a discount or something. The merchants thought about this, not us. Then we started to have to get tools for them, then the investors got involved. We raised1 million for Series 1, got to 8 people, got to Mar, then we did $20m for series B.

LL: you refused a FB acquistion ?
DC: yes, we talked to people, about how the company should go. this was the best shot to get things done that we needed to get done….we talked to a bunch of folks, it was distracting for company. we learnt a lesson – keep head down and focus on what you need to do

LL: you’ve not had an exit yet?
DC: yes, we sold Dodgeball for Google

LL: how tough was refusing that? (the offer – say 100m)
DC: we’re doing this stuff because we build things that people want to use…that’s the stuff that gets me excited.

LL: so what’s the future?
DC: we’ve been thinking about stuff for so long….we have a room that is thinking about this. we know what the road map looks like, we need to build

AuDQ: Starbucks integration was interesting. how can other brands work
DC: It was individual merchants, but when Starbucks came along, we needed new tools. We are experimenting with new tools, like loyalty cards.

AudQ: the cost for a branded badge?
DC:there is no firm price – who it is, the exposure, the innovation, it’s all over the place. It’s been difficult for people to work with us, so we are building self service tools now, so we can make things happen

AudQ: what’s next?
DC: it’s about paths and conections, over time. That’s what we are excited

AudQ: what about users..they check in? what about the data? games or something else
DC: I think about recyling the data and giving back to the users..we can think about building features. We have the API for people to build on.

AudQ: What would you change with the world?
DC: I enjoy building products to solve problems. We never set out to make companies, there were things that were borken about how we connect with people and things in the world. We start with things that will make our lives more interesting….

AudQ: FB are doing Places, does that make you nervous?
DC: a lot of people are doing it. There were competitors to Dodgeball, there’s more now. Generally it’s good. FB anbd Twitter has shown people how to share things online. What we are doing is about sharing the offline world with people. There are other people doing it, but not in the same way, with the fun thing.

AudQ: a master checkin?
DC: i think that may come, we are in the plumbing service at the moment, It will work itself out.

AudQ: What about the localisation issues? (languages)
DC: I think that is a problem, it feels US centric, we have fixes for language etc

AudQ: This partnership with Endemol?
DC: we have people wanting to do a TV show etc….Endomol came and asked to do this. Not sure what will come out of it.

AUdQ: So what keeps you going?
we know the checkin will be commoditised….we are enabling this etc. we have people building on it. our product looks different to others, We need to not get distracted, keep focused. we are inspiring other folks, this is good

Audq: What about international expansion plans?
DC: We are seeing activity all over the world. we doing carrier distribution deals, so it is preloaded, advertised by carriers. We are looking at it, it’s in plan.

Dec 08

LeWeb10 Osama Bedier, PayPal

Osama Bedier, Vice President of Platform, Mobile and New Ventures, PayPal
Q&A with Milo Yiannopoulos, Technology columnist,

LIVEBLOGGED: Some paraphrasing and missed areas

Osama Bedier
Image from Adam Tinworth

MY: PayPal and Wikileaks…did you do the right thing
OB: we have an acceptable use policy and a team. their job is to make sure we comply with moving moeny around the world, ensure we protect the brand. On Nov 27th we had a letter from US Gov saying wikileaks activity was illegal in US, so we had to close it.

UPDATE: Osama later clarified his remarks, that PayPal had not received the letter itself – Techcrunch have more details

MY: you’re not the only one, Mastercard did it too. Their site has gone down today
OB: this is not an exception to our usual mode, we are targetted [all the time]

MY: what have you being doing since the developer conference
OB: last year, we made decision to open up the assets we have around PayPal. you have to be an open platform to have longevity. it’s not new to web, but new to payments, there was a lot of opportunity and we could only address so much ourselves. so thought a great idea to open up platform. We’re amazed at traction. it was good timing, with the demand on the payment space. We announced in Oct, we are ontrack to move over 1billion [through other apps]. there’s a lot of 3rd party apps. Including our own mobile. we see this the biggest opp for moving forward. In a good year, we will deliver 100 new products, so a 1000 new ones with partners is a success.

MY: so mobile, payments, not new, talking about it for a longtime
OB: something happened in last 18 months that makes you feel this is now happening. we’ve been here in mobile since 2005. In 2008, the first year with a significant amount $25m. this year we are on track to do over $700m, that’s huge. this is growing much faster than 95/96 and we see all of our merchants are taking a different approach to what they did with web – it’s a lot faster

MY: other things? you have had a partnership with Discovery
OB: I can’t underscore enough the significance of the next 2 years in payments. We are going through the next evolution; payments and commerce has changed things. Plastic allowed credit and online..the next phase is digital, the concept of a wallet can’t go there. It’s the wallet in the cloud, to allow you to go back and forth online and offline. we think commerce will change considerably, based on the infrastructure and you bring the best of the web to the store. You should be able to go into a store, if it’s sold out, you should be able to scan and get it delivered.

MY: you may be optimistic about speed. People have relationships with money, like the physical element. Do you think there will be a lag?
OB: Two years ago, yes, I would have said too optimistic. But I point to itunes, the largest music retailer, a computer manufacturer. the trends are accelerating, We know the trends that are occuring. we know that half the purchases in the world are influenced from the web – research, price checks etc. We recently bought RedLaser – iphone price checking. Last year, a third of shoppers were comparing prices through that. We have conversations regularly, with retailers, as they are pushing us to change the process in the store. I did not expect offline merchants to ask us to blur the lines. the most important thing in a multi-channel world is to know the customers. You have to connect experiences and offer them personalised things.

MY: Difficult to achieve. One of the things you don’t get credit for is the cross-world operations. Do you see problems with mobile payments?
OP: the regulatory environment is a challenge in some cases, a opportunity in others.. We are like the universal adpater in payments, we have 10 years, it’s a competitive advantage. So how quickly can we expand. we see the demand accelerating. How do you make sure you can reconcile the differences in environments as you chart a new route. In many countries, the rules are not written yet. In many countries, we are helping to draft the rules, there is a pull effect. For the 3billion who are coming on with just mobile, how do you help them, when no financial infrastructure

MY: the tagline for your dev conference was mobile, social, local. We’ve not talked local yet.
OB: Mobile, the convergence of the 3 is what we are alluding too, creating huge opps. Online, is attempting to hit 8-900billion mark in next few years. globally theres 30-50trillion dollars. so the key is the other 96% of commerce that is not online yet. that is about to change.

MY: Your vision for the future?
OB: all of this brings commerce to where it should be, where it was. Local, people who knew you. it felt like a closer relationship a 100 years ago, and it could be possible again. the tech will let the store know you are there, you could get an offer onthe thing you were researching, you get things shipped if not there. you can buy there form mobile…the thing nows you’ve bought it so you just take it through the door.

Dec 08

LeWeb10 Mikael Hed Rovio and Angry Birds

Mikael Hed, CEO, Rovio behind the best selling mobile app Angry Birds
Q&A with MG Siegler, Founder, LeWeb

WARNING: Liveblogged, some paraphrasing..maybe missing bits. Video at end of post.

Mikael Hed
Photo from Adam Tinworth

MG: so what was the story
MH: started off with a single drawing of birds and a concept of blocks etc. We did not like the game but love the characters and ended up designing around it.

MG: how it’s going?
MH: 12million paid, 30million free

MG: you did the android version, for free
MH: we looked at the market, we saw that not all customers were able to download through android market. we wanted to make sure all had access to the game. the paid apps not available in all counties, nor on carriers. So we did advertising

MG: was that surprising 1 mill month in advertising?
MH: we knew how much people play, we know restarts of levels, we had an idea of how well it could do. I think there will be more advertising revenue based, as a great way to capture users for a long time in 1 app, i think it will complement tv, radio etc.

MG: are you thinking of doing a version on the iphone? (ie with ads)
MH: it’s possible, but commercial model is working there, everyone can buy

MG: you posted [on blog] about performance issues for some of the android devices etc? Apple are trying to frame it as a fragmentation problem…
MH: it’s not too much of an issue. Our background is in Java, we are 7 yrs, done 53 games, we have a way of easy porting across platforms, it is familiar to us. It is an issue, takes manpower and we can’t always support all of them, eg older have too small a processor.

MG: is is the processor/memory or the Android? so hardware rather than OS
MH: anything from 2 upwards is fine

you are committed to making a second version…
MH: we may do that…less graphics

MG: the other platforms? Windows said they would have Angry birds
MH: we are actively looking at Windows Phone 7…they announced a little too earlier

the chrome webstore? anything within browser?
MH: interesting, we are looking at that

MG: advertising or payment?
MH: it remains to be seen how wide the payment coverage. as long as it works, it should be good., the revenue split is interesting

MG: what about FB?
MH: yes,interesting, now the trend to have more gameplay element, it starts to be a favourable timeto get into it.

MG: how did the toy aspect come about?
MH: a member of the advisory board, Peter Levy, introduced us to a licencing agent, we made deal very early this year and set out strategy, looking at not to overexploit. now we are seeing the first products to market. We have sold out, waiting for more stock

: cross selling?
MH: we do have a button on game, very visible,

MG: are you involved those costumes that Loic wore?
MH: no, it is interesting how it has become a mainstream phenomenom, we received 100s of images from Halloween?

Loic the Angry Bird
Photo by Adam Tinworth

MG: how about consoles…
MH: next year we will move into consoles. it is a more traditional business model, but more interested in download model

are you looking at ways to tie them all together?
MH: we are, building a backend system to allow devices and people to communicate, to store progress across platforms

MG: what about movies? you made a statement about interest?
MH: we have looked at it closely..but it could take up to 4 years, we are looking at something faster. Focused on smaller screen…

MG: What about what’s next?
MH: 12 [people] at start of year, now 40 and expanding. all manpower on making different versions. Now we are working on also new titles.

MG: would the strategy be the same?
MH: yes, we are looking at game quality. we would rather do less quantity and high quality.

MG: in terms of the team expanding quickly. How are you guys doing in terms of revenue etc
MH: we don’t need more money…we could not figure out where to put extra money, one of things against investment. There is a lot of interest, maybe we figure out more ways to spend the money

MG: no doubt, there was a lot of talk about it insane the number of approaches
I like that kind of interest, it is good to have that kind of talks. but we want to build our own company.