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Content Reinvention with the Next Generation of Tables, eReaders, and Mobile Devices

My notes from this session at Digital Hollywood:

Sarah Lumbard – Sr. Director, Product Strategy and Development / NPR Digital Media
Bill Jensen – Director of New Media / Village Voice Media
Mark Ghuneim – CEO / Wiredset
Lee Shirani - Google
Richard Gingras – CEO / Salon
Russell P. Reeder – CEO / LibreDigital – Moderator

  • How to get content to audiences to successfully using these new devices. That is what this session is about.
  • When a company thinks about creating content on an emerging platform – how do they approach this?
    • We embrace each platform on their own terms. If the world thought that the standards would come between the environments, then they are wrong. We do quality testing at three different Starbucks that are near our office. Right now we have different solutions for each platform. We use our API for interacting with the underlying data. NPR has only been seven months on the iPad. We still don’t know what it means to have the NPR brand on the iPad. We have aha moments where we know we did it right and we have moments where we know that we did it wrong. We need to be on all the platforms and to do it well. We are very audience centric. If the consumer expects to listen to NPR then we will be there. Who would have though that people would be listening to NPR on their TVs? NPR has a two tier approach. We place big bets on platforms (iPad). NPR had a fan build the iPhone app to start. Whoa – we should build our own app. iPad/iPhone/Web for NPR are totally different. I think the iPad app is where we most embraced our brand. – Sarah Lumbard
    • Village Voice is transforming. At the end of the day it is about what kind of story you are telling. The one thing we have been able to make use of is our location based services. That is the best example of how Village Voice has changed. It is telling more stories and providing more content. 50 pieces of new content every day in each location. We have slideshows and multimedia. At the end of the day it is about the story you are trying to tell. Village Voice has a plan for the iPad – but we are not there yet. – Bill Jensen
  • TV has taken a lot of early positions with mobile. MTV has done well around social media. Focus on the narrative first and the uniqueness of the device second. We have tightly coupled solutions (live-live) – then we have uncoupled solutions where it deals with second showings. We knows events drive conversations. I think that TV is the forerunner in this area. If my friends are talking about something – I will listen to it. If it is a banner ad – I will ignore it. – Mark Ghuneim
  • When new technologies emerge is there a big R&D effort in larger companies? Need to identify this early. Look at Nokia, they didn’t and now they are toast.
  • Facebook is another platform. People discover what their friends are talking about via this site. – Sarah L.
  • How does Google think about new devices?
    • Looking at the web and Google’s approach – it has been about what their needs are and bringing an array of products and services to market. Google News is an example that brings 100,000 clicks second to companies. Android is a big strategic response. Trying to bring mobile apps more open. Want to create an open market for people to build apps. We have grown 70-80 million users. Consumers dollars are too precious. We give them the scale of a reachable audience that they can target. – Lee Shirani (Google)
  • How does Google help content creators?
    • Best directed at publishers … how do we bring our technologies to bear? Big part of our discussion around the variety of technologies that Google has at its disposal. We hope to share more about this in a couple of months. Google spends a lot of time on open standards. Our backing of standards like HTML5 and CSS is showing our commitment to an open Internet. Bringing some of the same functionality to an app framework – these are things that we want to enable everywhere.
  • How do you not over-invest?
    • I think you will over invest. We take a two tier approach – iPhone/Android as one tier and the others we will just focus on the most basic experience – Sarah Lumbard
    • It is a challenge to find a feature set that works cross-platform. HTML5 is thrown around as the wonder-pill for this.- Bill Jensen
    • There is so much media out there now and we can drill down into what individual users are doing to fine tune what we select – Bill Jensen
    • Swarming and swarm factors are important to understand.
    • You want to fish for transactions while those transactions are occuring – Mark Ghuneim
  • Every new device needs to launch with a considerable amount of content to make it. What do we think of grafting content from one device to another? Should we be thinking about creating unique experiences for each device.
    • It is a bit of both. The success of any medium is rapid experimentation.
    • It would be amiss to ignore the uniqueness of each platform. – You gotta fish where the fish are.
    • The audience are broken into two parts – couch potatoes and then the other 40 percent that are hyperactive and we want to build to the hyperactive folks.
    • People don’t listen too much via the computer (frowned on at work). iPhone is the thing that helped NPR.
  • Goals and metrics – what goals do you set for yourself
    • NPR – we look at people. We look to continue the discourse. It is all about the number of people that we are reaching.
    • Goals – If not saving $, building $, then you shouldn’t be there
    • Village Voice – Traffic and how much we spend on it ourselves.
    • Salon – We look at how we present content. New device platforms will not change the economics. Devices change how people interact with the content. What advertising opportunities does that give us. Subscription models do not work.
      • Android development is too tough – Richard Gingras
Posted on Monday, October 18, 2010 10:26 AM | Back to top

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