New Media Interchange

In The Field. Digital Media Summit

Tracy Pattin, host, Sizzle in the Middle.com

Tracy Pattin, host, Sizzle in the Middle.com

When I think back to all the New Media events I’ve attended over the past year one thing is for certain in this uncertain world;  just as the world of New Media has expanded, so have the audiences. Seems now they are always at capacity. If this is any barometer, it looks like New Media/Digital Media/Social Media, Non-Traditional Media have reached critical mass.

We’re all hungrier to participate in cyberspace but we don’t know where this is all going. How to navigate it. How to make it work for us. Filled to capacity, The Digital Media Summit at UCLA this past summer addressed those concerns.

“Today is about the existing media structure and the disruptive technology that will change media as we know it”, said the event’s producer and founder, Michael Stroud.

This “disruptive technology” seems to be cutting a wider swath of disruption at an accelerated pace. “We are no longer in the demonstration phase” Stroud says. This is an interesting, exciting time for New Media, Social Media,  and Web 2.0 (about to be 3.0). Although we’re not in the demonstration phase, it seems we’re still theorizing, hypothesizing and trying to figure it all out.  And on everyone’s mind is one word, monetizing. It’s beginning to sound like one of those (old media) broken records. So the questions are “Where is New Media going? How will we and it, get there? And the biggest question, “How will we all make money when we’ve arrived?”
There are all kinds of predictions like, “video on demand will replace the DVD within the next 5 years and disruptive technology will completely change the entertainment business model.

The first panel addressed “Rising Above the Marketing Noise.” Marketing to increase immediate eyeballs and growing brands long-term. Andrew Lin of Miramax, says, “a lot of brands are advertising on the web and it’s a good place to be.” But there has to be a conduit for engaging the viewer. This is where the line is drawn between New Media and (old) Traditional Media. It’s about the “lean forward” instead of the old “lean back” way of watching movies and television. It’s also about getting the marketing message out. ” Then, there has to be a reason to share the message.” Joerg Bachmaier of Endemol USA says “companies make the mistake of creating content while ignoring user behavior.” He goes on to give the example of “Married” the successful MySpace show. “We invited users to the wedding” he points out.

Chris Di Cesare CMO of YouTube, says “Traditional TV media buyers are starting to have opportunities to buy on YouTube as they are integrating brands with content. But he says it’s still a word of mouth world. Digital Media is a new tool for that word of mouth.

YouTube’s Jordan Hoffner in his key note address says YouTube is signing deals with Hollywood but we have to bridge the gap between OLD and NEW media. Once we stop making the distinction, we’ll bridge that gap. Jordan went on to talk about the major Hollywood disruption and resistance to New Media. In other words; Controlling the assets. But isn’t this a complete contradiction? New Media/Social Media is about a leveled playing field. It’s about the democratization of information and creative content. It’s about viewer control in both entertainment and marketing. The viewers can make or break, en masse,  a show or company with the touch of a key.

The second panel answered the question, “Who Controls What Viewers Watch?”
The simple answer in these Social Media times is, the ViEWERS control what viewers watch(At least for now).  But, Hollywood would like to incorporate a pay to play strategy. Then the topic becomes, Pay vs. Free. Always ending up back at the overall topic; Monetization.

As far as marketing is concerned, people are reaching people through Social Media, but there has to be a reason for them to share a message.” So it’s still a word of mouth world, morphing into a word of MOUSE world.  As far as the monetizing, it’s about the audience and the audience is about good content but it’s more than that. It’s about engaging those viewers.

Hollywood executive, Curt Marvis of Lionsgate summed it up best when answering the question, “How do we create content for digital media?”It’s all about the marketing. It’s just like traditional media. You need a budget to make the movie then a budget to market it. This is the formula that has to be there with digital media.”

So there you have it. Maybe the answer is in the question:
“How do we converge New Media and Old Media?” Because it looks like (in some form) both are here to stay.

Check out iHollywood Forum for events throughout the year.

-Tracy Pattin

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New Media is about sharing your message, not being a star

Douglas E. Welch, Founder, New Media Interchange

Douglas E. Welch, Founder, New Media Interchange

When I talk to people about the opportunities of New Media, especially here in Los Angeles, their thoughts often turn to the stereotypical image of television or radio shows. They see elaborate sets, expensive lighting and sound equipment and maybe even a live audience. This is NOT what New Media is about. Sure, New Media shows often take on some of the forms of radio or television shows since these are our most familiar examples of media. That said, New Media can have a higher goal than simply entertainment. New Media is about sharing your message with the world, not about being a star.

Sure, there are pure entertainment shows out there in the New Media world. That is the message that those people have decided they want to share. That doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to that framework. Television isn’t made up of only scripted drama series. There are a variety of show types. New Media takes that variety and adds countless new concepts.

For the first time in the history of media, you now have the ability to take your message, about anything, directly to your audience. This is a great power which almost anyone can use. Do you have a real estate company? Use New Media to communicate directly with the buyers and sellers who are most interested. Run a restaurant? Communicate directly with both your biggest fans and people who know nothing about you. Have a freelance business? Develop your own show to share the best of your knowledge and skills with those that need it most — and are therefore more willing to pay for it!

“For me, New Media isn’t about the show as a property unto itself. It is about the message.”

For me, New Media isn’t about the show as a property unto itself. It is about the message. In most cases, you will not make money on your New Media show alone, you will make it on the customers that it brings to your business, the side products that you sell and the attention and authority the show and the quality information you offer bring to you as an individual.

Since New Media is not about being a star, we don’t have to worry about huge budgets, fancy lighting, costumes, actors and more. Your show is about you, at a very personal level. People will come to you looking for great information and, in many cases, to know you better as a person. There is an intimacy to coming into someone’s computer and home on a regular basis. You will learn more about your viewers, your customers, your fellow hobbyists as they learn more about you.

Don’t let your long experience with mainstream media limit your view of what New Media can be or what it can do for you. We are still at the very beginning of New Media, still finding its power and its limits. This is the time for innovation and play. Let’s see how far we can stretch the bounds of this new tool. Let’s see how it can change our work, our businesses, our lives for the better.

It has been said that complete freedom can be one of the most frightening things in our lives. It paralyzes us with the possibilities. New Media Interchange is dedicated to breaking through this paralysis and helping you find a way to make New Media work for you, regardless of what message you are trying to share with the world.

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In The Field… At The Writer’s Guild of America

Tracy Pattin, Host. Sizzle in the Middle

Tracy Pattin, Host. Sizzle in the Middle

Last week I went to an excellent New Media event at the Writer’s Guild in Los Angeles, put on by New Media Interchange called, “From Camera to YouTube.” NMI’s  experts, Doug Welch and Michael Lawshe walked us through the process of creating a New Media project from initial recording to final placement on YouTube (or other video sharing sites).

Seems writers from Traditional Media are hungry to learn about this new way of distributing content. Of course, the Writer’s Strike of ’08 was all about the complicated issues around this emerging medium and how writers need to get paid what their worth and for their content. Still, it’s clear we all have to jump into this new world and participate, otherwise we could miss some great opportunities.

The evening was kicked off by the WGA’s  Elizabeth Flack, who heads up their New Media department. Then, TV writer turned college professor, Roseanne Welch gave an inspired and impassioned speech about New Media’s opportunities for pro-active writers, referencing Diablo Coty  who went from blogger to Oscar winner.

Doug Welch gave a colorful demonstration on the unique pros and cons of the different types of cameras reassuring the audience that “it’s fiddly, but not all that complicated.” From the HD Cam to the Flip Camera, looks like there are many inexpensive ways to create a web movie, webisode or web video.

The key to the production process comes down to one important component; Sound. The audio must be as clean as possible. Video can get by with less than stellar quality, but if viewers can’t hear it, they’ll tune out (or click off!).

Enter top Warner Bros., Sound Supervisor and three time Emmy award winner, Michael Lawshe. “Audio is more than 1/2 of video” Michael says, making the point that in the production phase of a project, audio needs special attention. You can make do with mediocre video but if the sound is distorted or there’s a lot of background noise, there’s very little you can do. Doug chimed in with an easy rule of (sound) thumb; ” Just don’t record noise in the first place.”

So how do you get better audio? “Know your camera” Michael points out.  He went on to talk about external microphones and camera mics.

Then, they shared the steps and tips to editing and exporting with an important tip; “Think about your shoot before you begin.” Great advice in this new era of  on-the-fly production. The more prepared you are, the less time you’ll have to spend in a dark room, editing your project.

We learned how to upload to YouTube, how to imbed and distribute through one-stop-shop sites like TubeMogul where you can share your content easily and efficiently across cyberspace.

The evening ended with audience questions. I was amazed by the amount of technical questions like which editing software is the best, which is the preferred video streaming software, sharing and tagging and more slightly geeky questions!

Impressive and telling. I think New Media has reached critical mass and the marriage of new and not-so-new media is beginning to really take shape.

The best advice in how to get up to speed with this rapidly growing and changing world of technology comes from Doug Welch; “you just have to get out there and do it.” It’s not about perfection, it’s about action.

Check out New Media Interchange for the latest news, information and events.

I’m heading back in to the field this week for more New Media and Social Media events.

-Tracy Pattin

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Case Study: Blogs Influence Consumer Purchases More than Social Networks

An example of a social network diagram.

Image via Wikipedia

This is the first in a series where I will highlight New Media case studies which seek to bring a deeper understanding of how blogs, povdcasting, ideo sharing and more are changing business today.

Thanks to Social Media Expert, Chris Brogan, for sharing his excellent collection of Delicious bookmarks to get this series started.

Blogs Influence Consumer Purchases More than Social Networks

The number of those who read blogs at least once a month has grown 300% in the past four years, and what they read strongly influences their purchase decisions, playing a key role in ushering them to the point of actual purchase, according to a BuzzLogic-sponsored study, reports Retailer Daily.

Continue Reading this Case Study

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