Last week (24th and 25th of October) the conference; New Media Days were kicked-off. New Media Days is where Scandinavian professionals from both traditional and new media converge to create the media of tomorrow. The event took place in 2900:Happiness (aka the city of Hellerup) in the old Tuborg breweries facility. The event brought together more than 700 participants from all parts of the media world. Of course, MEC were represented by a handful of optimistic knowledge seekers. All hoping to learn new stuff and hopefully (..god help us!) to be convinced that MEC being a modern, fast-forward moving communication agency, already is in the core lead when it comes to new media thinking and application. Mission accomplished!
Well, I will not spend time taking you through every single speaker presentation, but I will extract some of the really good things, that caught my attention during the two days. (By the way, the presentations are available online as video/podcast here: http://www.newmediadays.dk/sw3548.asp – sorry, Danish only.) First of all, Peter Hirsberg is worth spending some time on. PH is Chairman of the Executive Committee and CMO at Technorati. The session he presented was called; “The rise of the audience” the message focused on understanding which challenges the social media must embrace being increasingly popularized and competitive in relation to the traditional above the line media. One of his quotes;”Control was so 20th Century” actually describes his point of view very precise. He described web 1.0 as the ’ism where everything was about Pages – in Web 2.0 its all about people. Community is the key. Forget about Privacy – it doesn’t exist. The users are the producers and our job is to give them the right tools. It’s definitely worth spending one hour listening to his presentation – in here you’ll learn more about; “Blogs, the changing nature of influence, content as a social medium and how the audience is increasingly in control of the classification and dissemination of information and ideas”. Moving on to another must-see, is the debate between Andrew Keen, author of ‘The Cult of the Amateur” and Peter Hirsberg from Technorati.
They had an interesting and lively debate about whether today’s Internet is killing our culture. Are we at the mercy of the amateur? How can we build trust into the new structures of knowledge enabled by the internet? Keen used to be a great believer of the web but no he’s turned into a disbeliever. The reason the cultural development, or destruction, that he thinks is the consequence of web 2.0. He says: “The web is a sociological reflection of our community. A mirror that reflects where the society is – it doesn’t add value – it doesn’t bring evolution”. An example on this is the popularity of the Wikis – in Wikipedia for example, you’ll find approx. 4 pages describing 4 pages describing Pamela Anderson and about the same space is dedicated to Joan of Arc. Because it’s user generated, the focus and attention is a consequence of the popularity of the specific subject. In my mind this is simply the consequence of living in a mediated society like ours. For more reading on this topic I recommend the book ‘Mediated: How the Media Shapes Your World and the Way You Live in It’ by Thomas De Zengotita. Zengotita nails it pretty much on the head. The book gives you enough perspective on the phenomenological processes of mediation to give you a tour of your own mind. Whether you like to do an iMix on iTunes; take eco-tourism vacations for their authenticity; or have ever told anyone the story of where you were on september 11th, this book has something to say to you and your most personal thoughts. Being mediated is the consequence of the homo sapiens living in a post modern world. We’re mediated, and we need to learn to navigate in a world reflecting this. You can’t blame the Wikis or the web 2.0 – no matter what Keen says.
Enough said. Check out the video-pods yourself – there’s some good stuff in there. See you next year at NMD 08.