New Media Order Conference #2

Chris Anderson & Christian Hernandez & Levent Erden

  "What if YouTube is the snack and the television is the main course?"

The next session of the New Media Order Conference was a panel with the participants, Christian Hernandez from Facebook, Chris Anderson from Wired and Levent Erden from Euro RSCG. The concepts of "me as a filter" and "me as a recommender (also known as word of mouth)" were not brand now but they were represented in a creative way for sure. What their discussion revealed to me was the wisdom Levent Erden had since most of the thoughts he presented were bearing unique and important insights about our lives. Erden claimed that we as the Turks live for today and "the long term" in our minds could approximately be one month. What matters here is that according to this view the changes in our lives don't happen gradually but suddenly and immediately. Combined with Hernandez's claim that sharing is very important in our culture, it rose the question whether it could really be because we internalized sharing, Facebook has become such an important phenomenon in our lives. I don't know, we should certainly count it among several other reasons.

Erden also claimed that the concept of social media is wrong in the semantical sense since we have become more asocial creatures. The name he suggests for this new phenomenon is rather interesting: "Tekil sosyallik", which would possibly mean "Singularly social" or like that. The notions that we hold on to these services is related to the fact that we feel the need to belong and this is a justification for our loneliness are not entirely new again (like almost everything else) but we should be reminded of them again in my opinion.

The quotation above is from Chris Anderson by the way.

- David Goodman's speech had nothing interesting for me to be completely honest, as a person who opposed to Last.Fm being bought by CBS; I prefer not to comment on anything mentioned.

Cenk Uygur

"Your audience is your gatekeeper"

Cenk Uygur, along with Seth Godin, gave one of the most inspirational speeches in the conference. His ideas seem to have grasped the spirit of the new media completely. He claimed that there was no need for groundwork capital in the online media nor is there a need for audience capital. You just need to put something worthy of being seen and it will be found. In the new media, the audience itself is the gatekeeper, the one who will decide upon your faith as an upstart.

Cenk Uygur also claimed that Google TV and Apple TV will change the way people watch TV as they enable the viewer to just type the name of the show to watch it. The way Uygur seen TV was also important as he indicated that it is composed of fake entertainment executed in a partial way to protect to relationship between the show hosts and the celebrities or the politicians. Uygur rejected that idea and in between the lines, one could notice that he endorses the idea that they won't change and it is the politicians and the celebrities who should change. Contrary to Erden's opinions, Uygur believes that change is a slow, gradual thing that grows up to be noticed when it has already affected everything in a radical way.

Finally, we have Seth Godin, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow.

New Media Conference #1

I am aware that few of my blog entries get to be in English; I hope that it will not be a problem for you.

Today marked the day for the New Media Order Conference organized by the Doğuş Media Group. It was actually a unique day in my opinion in the sense that one of the biggest media corporations recognized the importance of the new media environment and decided to act upon it. The conference marked its success for me for it both included certain important thought leaders in this area and had a very fine execution. I will try to dwell upon the speakers of the conference on several individual blog entries, and I hope you will enjoy them.

Chris Anderson

"How much innovation is too much?"

Honestly, I missed the introduction speeches as well as the first 15 minutes of Chris Anderson's speech. The people I know told me that those 15 minutes resembled the iPad launch event, but I hope to beg to differ on that point. Anderson pointed out their switch to the iPad application for Wired with references to his recent article, Web is Dead. It appears that people tend to spend 100 minutes reading on iPad, compared to 3 minutes over the Web. The importance of applications cannot be ignored on this matter as they also provide a lucrative form over which a significantly higher amount of people will reach their content. Anderson claims that this will remove their struggle in terms of achieving shelf space as everything will be online and available to their readers, but I believe that there is some sort of misunderstanding or misinformation on that. The problem of shelf space still exists, only it has changed form. In today's "web is dead, long live the applications" world, one has to fight for acquiring the status of featured applications on Apple Online Store. If you don't get to be a featured application, you are no different than a magazine on the lower shelves of a bookstore, counting on its loyal customers. You see, the solution to the shelf space problem on that matter still doesn't exist.

Maybe the most important thing Anderson mentioned during his speech was the fact that readers and their behaviours while reading can now be measured with much more efficiency on iPad. Tracking the specific location people click on enables us to analyze them and thus improve the content provided. This is a unique opportunity as I believe, but it has its own dangers. Imagine that Wired starts analyzing its audience in this specific way and finds out that its stories about technologic developments raises a lot of attention while the stories about social media get skipped right away. It is sure that the magazine will attempt to improve the quality of technologic development stories, but doesn't it also mean that social media stories may lose their importance with regards to the lack of interest shown on them (It can be argued that Wired may try to improve their quality, but what if the lack of interest remains even if the quality increases?). However, I believe that it was an insightful, satisfactory speech; I will not deny that.

Arthur Sulzberger

"Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, not their own facts."

The title for Sulzberger's speech as he claimed was "Citizenship and Journalism in the Digital Age". Having talked about certain numbers such as the reading minutes or the pageview statistics, Sulzberger continued with something those in the new media business know by heart: Storytelling is the new king. It is fundamental and essential in grasping attention and combined with the fact that today's products are dynamic and interactive, it creates a brand new unique experience (but we already know that, don't we?)

Sulzberger also mentioned the censorship issue by providing us several examples. As you would have guessed, I am a skeptic person and I can't help but wondering about the stories they have published about the malignancies in the Bush government: Where were you when Bush was in his prime? But the main problematic point is not that in my opinion. The fact that he claimed to dwell upon the subject of citizenship in the digital age but then reduced his speech to the citizenship as we know bothered me. The concepts of netizen and netizenship are brand new and I would welcome the opinion of a media professional on that.

The insight that can be deduced from Sulzberger's speech is that the corporate media bosses are now sleeping without any nightmares after a decade dominated by the rise of free content. Long live Steve Jobs for he saved their corporations with what we know as applications. NY Times iPad application will convert to a version that charges its customers and that reminds me the battle between Rupert Murdoch and Google over the news published on Murdoch-owned newspapers.

Hoping to handle the speeches of the rest of the participants tomorrow.

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