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Archive for January 23rd, 2007

3 moments at DLD07 conference

Posted by Annplugged on January 23, 2007

Back home to Budapest, Hungary, and here comes a quick, subjective assessment on ‘what were the brightest moments at DLD07 conference:’ at least for me, and for Esther Dyson, with whom I was honored to get to Budapest city centre in the cab she generously shared with me.

The top three results:

No. 1

Where Are The Editors? (Tariq Krim, Craig Newmark, Caterina Fake, Arianna Huffington, David Sifry, Jim Spanfeller. Moderation: Jochen Wegner) (definite vote from Esther Dyson) (definite official programme No. 1 from me) As my laptop battery ran down right at this discussion, i.e. the culmination of the conference, I still owe a blogpost on it. Do not miss it.

No. 2

  • Esther’s vote goes for Mr. Hubert Burda.
  • Mine goes for having an intriguing wifi-centred conversation with hacker-makecomputersexy Pablos Holman, and the like.

No. 3

  • Esther’s choice is all the interesting people at DLD07 (probably You), and talking to these people (unfortunately she did not go into details about it).
  • Mine is for another official panel session: in fact 2 of them
  1. Video sites, video communication, vlogging (Miles Beckett, Eyal Hertzog, Gabe McIntyre, Anil de Mello. Moderation: Rupert Schäfer)
  2. Disruptive Connections: on the mobile platform
    (Hjalmar Winbladh, Jeff Pulver, Marko Ahtisaari, Alexander Straub. Moderation: Christoph Braun)

There are lots of sessions that were also worth attending, and I wish to watch (again) on DLD conference 2007 video collection, as it was impossible to absorb everything.

Thank you Hubert Burda Media, and the conference partners. Big thank you from a blogger, believer, and search marketing advisor who had a chance to experience the real vibe of 2007 – physically not simply virtually.

It was an excellent, constructive thinktank meeting in Munich with truly interesting panel discussions, major market players, real stakeholders including business and design guys from big corporations, fantastic food and drink, mostly working wifi (quite a challenge for any conference organizor), professional conference settings/organizational solutions, and almost instantaneous video publication (!).

And what about you, other bloggers, participants? What were your best moments? And what did you miss at the conference?
ps: to provide my own coming out for constructive criticism (with the intention of making sth excellent even better):

a, I missed the opportunity to give feedback on the conference, b, missed some plugs to recharge easily running down laptops – maybe plugs, leads at the three, non-stage sides of the conference rooms would have been really convenient, c, some fresh (organic) food (fruits, salad) on the menu, d, some program points for facilitating networking. Undeniably, there were lots and lots of networking going on (on condition you already knew other people there), but there may be some solution for including newcomers, sort of team-building, and re-shaking oldtimers. e, I have jsut checked out youtube for dld07 tags, only 6 short bits are uploaded: convey the DLD messages, great interviews, keynotes on the central promotional site, please to reach out for more.

Finally, a daring dream: what about a DLD conference which juggles with 1 more day including workshops? Tough job, but very worthwhile, I think.

Thank you for the invitation, and the tons of food for thought, DLD. 🙂

UPDATE: DLD07 post-survey form has been sent to every participant. Thanks.

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Posted in Criticism, DLD07, reception | 3 Comments »

Lonelygirl15 from Miles Beckett at DLD07 conference

Posted by Annplugged on January 23, 2007

Part 3 of the Vlogging program at DLD07 is about the creator of lonelygirl15: Miles Beckett (a surgeon turned vlog-director, a remark in brackets no journalist would forget to add, neither blogger).

If you do not know what lonelygirl15 is, go to youtube and you will find more uploads about her than about JFK, Tony Blair etc. The main point is that for quite a long time viewers thought that she was a real person sharing her thoughts with the great public, asking for help, talking about her relationship with her boyfriend, etc. She turned out to be a fictional character springing out of Miles Beckett’s head. Or is it the main point? Or is it more important that

  • Miles checked out what was popular on youtube and chose his theme accordingly (OK, could have been lonelypet2month if you ask me, but Miles hasn’t contacted me for ideas)
  • The mini soap opera series started on June 12 2006, already on July 4 a lonelygirl15 monolog attracted half a million users within 24 hours. So the time for success was there within 3 weeks. Was it coming free? Not in a sense of free time: lonelygirl15 was acting as a real member of the community, actively participating in youtube life, like commenting on other people’s videos, thus calling attention to herself and her problematic life. Miles did not talk about it, but there must have been certain preferences for picking the hubs in youtube. How many hours per day have they spent on it in those 3 weeks is another question. Finally, what sort of contribution was it? I guess more than a ‘nice post, thank you XY’ which is so typical of linkhunters merely placing their linktraps for cathcing eyeballs. etc.
  • They also have their own website now – so they have an independent site to monetize in addition to youtube.
  • (and here comes the most important bit): Miles does not intend to go ahead simply with the lonelygirl tributes, he is actually trying to mash up the video series with social networking. He is trying to discover what online video communication is capable of. How? For instance, they are encouraging viewers, or rather, fans to contribute to the story with their own ideas, whether it is on the forum, or in a video response format. There are four characters now, and one of them was announced to check out the chatroom at, let’s say, 6 o’clock Pacific time. ‘Was announced’ is not a good wording though: what in fact happened was that the fictional character acting as a real person, plagued by real problems wrote to the visitors of lonelygrillgirl15 site that ‘I dunno what to do, but at 6 o’clock Pacific time I will go to the chat room.” So (s)he was asking for advice, and fans were eager to share: “servers crashed in fact…,” says Miles.
  • Anyway, the fan-base is very-very interactive, there are 500-1000 comments per shot. Soap opera fans react very emotionally, e.g. they warn the characters what not to do (that reminds me of kids shouting to Little Red Riding Hood ‘the wolf is behind the bush’, and of moments when fans are actually raising money to save fictional lives. The good news is that we can get closer to a fictional existence to raise money for non-fictional people – like the guy who raised money for a new apple powerbook (!). Maybe the hundred dollar laptop campaign could use such fictional elements? Where is the limit?
  • LG15 is still the number one on youtube, states Miles. There are about 1-1.5 million users/week: continuously. Despite the fact, that it turned out that lonelygirl15 is an invented, edited teenager. In fact, as it usually goes with publicity, the number of viewers, and more importantly, the number of ardent fans has increased manifold. A question for Miles: have they ever used product placement in the monologs? How exactly are they monetizing this endless program of heartfelt bedroom intimacy while preserving its ‘authenticity’?
  • No copyright problems, no lurking litigation. Fans are actually encouraged to download the sequel, and make their own versions (Why not encouraged by other soap operas from TV companies? Can they react really so slowly? Have you heard about other TV series/serials building on viewers participation?)

Recommended article on the project in Wired magazine.

Posted in DLD07, Video | Leave a Comment »

Video abundance, Mobuzz goes for mobile snippets (DLD07 conference)

Posted by Annplugged on January 23, 2007

(Great, laptop battery is vigorous again.)

MoBuzz TV was founded 2 years ago, with the aim to provide good video content for mobile devices. 2 years ago, however, the bunch of operators in Europe weren’t ready with 3G, so Anil de Mello, CEO & producer of MobuzzTV, decided to put their video spots on the web. Today they attract 4.5 million viewers on a monthly basis. They have had major campaigns with Levi’s, Adidas, Disney etc. So it seems they are a lot more profit-oriented vlog (video blog) than RocketBoom, which is not only enjoying viral hype, but also features somewhat poor content. I am eager to check out more stuff on MoBuzz as the scenes with Karin (show hostess, so to say) were truly enjoyable (sharing statistics like ‘Apple is for the geriatric of tech geeks’).

So what do they cover? Several areas for young/ youngish/ still youngish consumers interested in technology, business trends and entertainment, and not only in English and Spanish, but soon in German, Dutch and French, too. The blog posts a new 2-4 minute video every day (recorded in Madrid, Spain), which you can download directly from MoBuzz, from itunes, etc. So far they have produced some 1200 shows (multiplied by 2 minutes, you get 2400 min, i.e. 40 hour content).

Do they take on training their audience how to make video content? Well, there is no training but they do encourage viewers to send in their material (mind you, no financial award for that unlike at Metacafe). Anil’s example: make an interview with your neighbour what he/she thinks about PlayStation. 🙂

Posted in DLD07, Video | Leave a Comment »