Just checking in with a short post. I’m at the Web Summit this week, and my head is full of ideas about ‘what’s next’ in the digital media space. I know I usually write about parenting, travel, etc, but since this is my space, I can write about whatever I want! Some brief highlights from the Summit so far:
Listened to a fascinating discussion today about what makes Pinterest different than other social media platforms. Joanne Bradford, Pinterest’s Head of Partnerships spoke about how “On Twitter you follow people. On Pinterest you follow your heart”, which I found interesting. I’m not sure I am THAT passionate about Pinterest, but the platform definitely connects with users in a different way. Pinterest is also one of the only platforms in which the focus is on intent: you pin what you intend to make, see, do, visit, read, etc. Thinking about Pinterest as a view into the future certainly changed my perspective.
One of the most surprising speakers I heard was Lauren Wirtzer of Parkwood Entertainment, Beyonce’s production/entertainment company. She wasn’t the type of speaker that I would normally be interested in hearing, but I happened to be there for the previous session. She was great, but it was curious to see how old problems manifest themselves in new areas. Beyonce has basically gone to a full vertical-integration model. She writes the songs, records the albums, produces the videos and other media, all in-house. The decision of how much to vertically integrate a company is revisited again and again, but I often don’t think about new media companies. I’m going back to her other talk tomorrow.
Evernote – Do you use it? Do you pay for it? Phil Libin, founder of Evernote spoke on Tuesday. He spoke about how Evernote is the tool for the modern knowledge worker, but more importantly, he focused on making a great product. If you can’t make something great, then there is no point, because someone will come along and make a great product. “How will you know it is great? You will make it for yourself.” His last comments were about the monetization problem. Evernote makes money by selling their product…but the product is also available for free. Their view is that “It is more important that you stay than if you pay.” meaning that the longer you use the product, the more wiling you are to pay for it. I don’t use Evernote currently, but I’m intrigued.
I also sat through my fair share of dud speakers, or more common – great speakers, but a dud moderator. There is one more day to the conference. I have been tweeting from the conference mainly from my professional account, @RheaganCoffey. You can follow me there, as well as @SipsofCoffey. I hope to have a more coherent post about my takeaways from the conference, next week.