Innovation, Passion and Global Media Trends

Posted: June 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

Global, cultural, inspirational. Three words that describe the line up of speakers and topics at X|Media |Lab’s  pro-day conference on the 18th June. Themed Global Media Ideas, the day was characterized by an eclectic mix of speakers who showed genuine passion in sharing their experiences as entrepreneurs in their specialised fields in media related sectors.

The event was precise with insights on individual experiences whilst still bringing a global perspective into the mix. I was pleased to see a broad mix of cultures, with representatives from Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern regions keeping the usual American and British contingent in good company.

I shared about Ralph Simon talking about innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, here are some other insights worthy of mention from the day (thanks also to tweets containing the #xmedialab hashtag):

~ Dana Al Salem: The more things change, the more things stay the same: shares how she built on the uncanny similarities between the Hippy (which she is one herself!) and the Gen Y demographic to create interest for her teenager-meet-band site, Fanshake.  To her, Gen Y is a hippy at heart, seasoned with empowerment, tech savvyness and high spending power.

Salem also recommends being selective with who you market to: targetting Trend-setters who are influential to their peers, instead of a random ‘shot gun’ approach which is hit and miss (sorry on the puns J).

Parmesh Shahani: Media convergence and development is a cultural, not technological process.

Youth & Culture: Indian Idol (source: @parmeshs presentation)

Whilst most people see India as highly developed and thriving, Shahani believes the boom is yet to come.  The emergence of educated, savvy youth and proliferation of sophisticated user cases with the mobile phone are considerations to this point. He also reminds us one must design a product or site for your customer, rather than yourself, suggesting the importance of validation across all different user types and cultural domains during development.

Nick Yang: The 34 year old founder of KongZhong and is a working example of how economically sound ideas, cast iron persistence and luck (a plug on feng shui!) can see through success. In less than 2 years and 2 months, he successfully floated both companies, and looks to take on Google’s search model with his predictive search concept. You can read more about his plans in this transcribed interview.

~ Yang claims that now is the ‘era of product.’ I tend to agree (no bias, honestly J), and here’s proof:  as the rest of Australia make a dash for iPhone V4, there’s already some really cool innovation already available: Ocarina by Smule is one which transforms the iPhone into a musical instrument. A whole new symphony genre has just emerged.. hear Led Zeppelin here (I kid you not). Updated, 30/6: St George today launched its own AR enabled app, named House Finder , with data powered by the Australian Property Monitors.

~ Practical applications of Layar were touched upon by Halcomb and Manson. With around 2m installs on the iPhone and Android, and 2.5k layers under development, countries like Japan are already taking advantage of Layar for virtual real estate and musical artist promotions. To that I’m very excited about the prospects of what augmented reality can offer in the next 12 months!

Presentation on LAYAR

Finally, if there was a prize for the most captivating speaker of the conference, I’d hand it over to Anand Giridharadas. The New York Times writer narrated his views on how the digital movement is challenging our ethics and priorities across online and offline worlds. Whilst traditional ways of sharing is well emulated in social networks by our behaviours, Anand points out that growing interest with personal branding may deter content distribution for the greater good.

Other useful sources circulating the interweb are here:

  1. Brad Howarth’s blog
  2. Paul Wallbank’s blog
  3. Augmented Reality’s slidedeck
  4. Stilgherrian’s live blog
  1. Kate Taylor says:

    Dana Al Salem’s talk fascinated me, not necessarily because of what she was saying about GenY’ers being techno-hippies, but about what WASN’T being said about the hippies themselves.

    Reverse the idea. Hippies weren’t initially marketed to very well, due to counter-culture hurdles. The hippies have mellowed as they began to invest financially as well as socially. They are ready to be engaged now, if not cynically marketed to. And compared to my generation, they’re loaded with DI.

    Given Dana’s valid points about there being so many similarities between my generation and my Grandma’s cohort, there is an incredible opportunity to use the new ways of connecting to reach the baby boomer generation. Young people might be sexier, but they’re undeniably poorer and harder to engage.

  2. nice post man. will surely drop by frequently.

  3. schmediachick says:

    Thanks Richard for your note, appreciate it!

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