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Rebooting Media: The Digital Publishing Revolution for a Fully Social Web

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Ben Elowitz brings together eight of the most thoughtful media industry influencers and offers their most cogent assessment of the future of media on the social web.

Ben Elowitz brings together eight of the most thoughtful media industry influencers and offers their most cogent assessment of the future of media on the social web.

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  • 1. A digital media thought leadership publication sponsored by for a Fully Social Web Rebooting Media: The Digital Publishing Revolution Jeff Berman NFL and Buddy Media Greg Clayman The Daily Lewis DVorkin Forbes Media Erik Flannigan MTV Networks Entertainment Group Jason Hirschhorn Media ReDEFined Wenda Harris Millard Media Link LLC Theresia Gouw Ranzetta Accel Partners Anthony Soohoo Digital Media Entrepreneur Ben Elowitz Wetpaint
  • 2. 03 Introduction by Ben Elowitz, Co-Founder and CEO, Wetpaint 05 How Facebook Is Crushing Search by Jeff Berman, General Manager of Digital Media, NFL; board member, Buddy Media 08 Facebook Delivers Sharing on Steroids by Greg Clayman, Publisher, The Daily 10 Tearing Down the Walls That Traditional Media Built by Lewis DVorkin, Chief Product Officer, Forbes Media 12 Building Great Relationships With Your Social Media Fan Base by Erik Flannigan, EVP Digital Media, MTV Networks Entertainment Group 14 The Three S’s of Social Media–Surprise, Serendipity and Spontaneity by Jason Hirschhorn, Curator of Media ReDEFined 17 Turbo-Charging the Web’s New Personal Recommendation Engine by Wenda Harris Millard, President & COO, Media Link LLC 19 How ecommerce Is Blazing a Trail on the Social Web for Publishers by Theresia Gouw Ranzetta, Partner, Accel Partners 22 The People-Powered Web Is Revolutionizing Innovation by Anthony Soohoo, Digital Media Entrepreneur 24 Conclusion by Ben Elowitz, Co-Founder and CEO, Wetpaint Rebooting Media: The Digital Publishing Revolution for a Fully Social Web Winter 2012
  • 3. 03 Introduction By Ben Elowitz Co-Founder and CEO, Wetpaint 3 The Ultimate Social Network – Confronting an Industry’s Greatest Challenge As Don Graham, Chairman and CEO of The Washington Post Company, recently remarked on- stage at a conference of leading CEO’s, the media industry as we have known it for the last 100 years is collapsing. The basic structure of our industry – content creation, packaging, distribution, and monetization – have shifted so substantially that the rug has literally been pulled out from underneath media’s business model. A new model must be created – and the DNA of the medium itself has been irreversibly altered so that it is now innately social. And yet, in the midst of this upheaval, I’ve found that even the brightest and most well informed strategies are able to tap only part of media’s new nature and capture just a slice of the industry’s remaking. At a time like this, to get a complete picture of the territory ahead, there is nothing wiser than integrating perspective from the best and brightest people in the publishing world. And, over the course of the last several years, I’ve been immensely grateful for those leaders’intelligence and vision. So, I thought it was only fitting to help create the ultimate social network – one that will enable our industry to share the smartest ideas as it remakes digital media.   That’s what this compendium is all about.   Rebooting Media: The Digital Publishing Revolution for a Fully Social Web brings together eight of the most thoughtful influencers and offers their most cogent assessment of the new online relationship-building that is helping to connect people in absolutely unprecedented ways. Together, these eight contributors reinforce three dominant themes: Building a media brand on the new social Web means that publishers have to meet consumers where, when and how they want. It’s all about user-driven pull, and publishers need to offer experiences and establish relationships that may not be on their own terms.
  • 4. Anthony Soohoo, a digital media consultant and adviser, focuses on the way that the people-powered Web is changing innovation. Wenda Harris Millard, President of Media Link LLC, advances the notion of a new personal recommendation engine on today’s Web. Erik Flannigan, EVP of Digital Media at MTV Networks Entertainment, shows how to build great relationships with social media fan bases. Theresia Gouw Ranzetta, a Partner at Accel Partners, zeroes in on the way that ecommerce is blazing a trail for social Web publishers.   I have already learned a lot from each of these people and their pieces, and I hope you do, too – not only to build your own ideas, but to help our industry move forward. To that end, I invite further conversation with me, and with our contributors. The digital dialogue is so essential as we all work to re- invent publishing for 21st century audiences.   Sincerely, Ben Elowitz CEO and Co-Founder of Wetpaint 4 continued from page 3 03 Introduction Facebook is a transformative platform driving new personalization and connectivity across the upstart social Web. We are still waiting to see all of what Facebook ultimately becomes, but we know it represents a once-in-a-generation paradigm shift. Any way you look at it, search (as we know it) is declining. The open sharing of social networks, and the power of social endorsement, are seriously altering what consumers look for on the Web, and how we’re engaging with content. The search algorithm has lost out – big time – to the will of the audience.   But the most powerful insights are in the essays that follow from each of our eight contributors. Jeff Berman, General Manager of Digital Media for the NFL and Buddy Media board member, talks about how Facebook is eclipsing search. Greg Clayman, Publisher of The Daily, explains why Facebook is taking sharing to a whole new level. Jason Hirschhorn, Curator of Media ReDEFined, considers the element of surprise in social media. Lewis DVorkin, Chief Product Officer at Forbes Media, discusses how he’s tearing down the walls that traditional media built.
  • 5. 05 How Facebook Is Crushing Search By Jeff Berman General Manager of Digital Media, NFL; board member, Buddy Media 5 Q: How does the rise of Facebook change the relationship between media and its audience? Radically. The conversation has historically been pretty much one way – media to audience or audience to audience. And it hasn’t been at scale. In the new world, however, the conversation is scaled and omni-directional. Since Gutenberg, or at least since Marconi, media has had a massive megaphone. But the audience hasn’t had real power. Thomas Paine and his patriotic pamphlets may be the exception; Paine had a voice and a platform, but it wasn’t a scalable model and it lacked speed. Today, everyone is a publisher, and there can be millions of Thomas Paines, reaching tens of millions of people instantaneously. Everyone who wants to create compelling content, or a movement, now has the tools. This is a very different world from even seven years ago. Q: What’s changed fundamentally about media with the rise of the social Web, and what do publishers need to do to adapt? First, if you’re involved in a one-way discussion, you’re not taking advantage of the social Web opportunity, and you’re leaving a ton on the table. Another advantage if you’re a legacy media property – let’s say The Wire or The Godfather – is that you now have a chance to stay in the conversation and continue it, so you’re alive and you remain active in the culture. You can keep the property and the franchise in front of new and existing audiences, thanks to the new digital tools. If the show is taken off the air, for instance, it can still be all over Facebook. Audiences are empowered today, and folks want to participate in the conversation. No one may be able to control the conversation, but people do want to shape it – and they can. The social Web gives them choices, and it provides options and alternatives for publishers and media players, too. Q: We’ve gone from SEO (SearchEngine Optimization) to SMO(SocialMediaOptimization), so how will search change as the Web becomes more social? Here are some powerful numbers from a recent Forrester report. In 2004, 83 percent of Internet users deployed search engines to find content. That was before the rise of Facebook. By 2010, it was 61 percent. So, we saw a drop of a quarter in a six-year time frame, the same time frame in which “Audiences are empowered today, and folks want to participate in the conversation. No one may be able to control the conversation, but people do want to shape it – and they can. The social Web gives them choices, and it provides options and alternatives for publishers and media players, too.”
  • 6. social media took off. This isn’t a coincidence; it is, however, a causal relationship – and it makes sense, given what we know. On a more sweeping level, we’ve historically learned about shows to watch and diapers to buy because we’ve spoken to friends and family. Now we’re taking these word-of-mouth conversations to the digital networks. And we’re not just using Google to search for the answers; we’re going to our friends’Facebook pages (and, increasingly, to Twitter, particularly for real-time multi-platform engagement). This is trusted referral at scale, and it’s fast and reliable. That’s why Facebook represents such a monumental shift. But let’s not forget that Facebook is just seven years old; You Tube is six years old; Groupon is three years old; the iPad is 18 months old – so anyone who proclaims a clear vision of the digital world even five years into the future is either a prophet or a fool. Broadly speaking, you will see evolution in SMO, and a continued deep integration of social functionality. The key point here is that Facebook is a part of today’s Internet operating system, so the efficiency and reliability of social sharing and peer reviews is going to increase big-time. In other words, the 83 percent, which fell to 61 percent, will fall even further as the social Web grows. Finally, I’m especially interested in what Apple does with TV, and what will happen when Web TV is connected at scale and social functionality is built into the experience. The ability to share in real-time straight from whatever screen you happen to be viewing will meaningfully change the way we choose what content we engage with and how we engage with it. Q: How do you build a brand in publishing when, with greater frequency, media is distributed through social channels? There’s an apparent conflict out there right now. The brand world has never been more crowded than it is today. And yet it’s never been easier to build a massive new brand. The reason? As the universe gets more crowded, brand-building tools are being disintermediated. Spotify is a good example. All of a sudden, it’s skyrocketing, in no small part, because its offering is social. The same is true for LivingSocial and Groupon. These businesses have exploded like we’ve never seen before largely because of social functionality. People find it easy to share their experiences about the products, and they like having others show them the way to the marketplace. This is authentic social content. 6 continued from page 5 05 How Facebook Is Crushing Search
  • 7. Q: What are the critical success factors in publishing as we look to 2020; and who will be the winners? The old axiom that you have to fish where the fish are holds true so it starts with platform ubiquity. We’ve seen this already with the explosive growth of mobile, and it’s just going to intensify as a necessary success factor over the next decade. For the vast majority of publishers, you will have to empower your audience to experience your content where, when, and how they want. For startups, this is in their DNA. But the recent history of media suggests such change is not easy for mature publishers. You simply may have to cannibalize profitable (but declining or soon-to-be-declining) businesses to build for the future. That, or risk watching a newcomer come along and eat your lunch. Jeff Berman is the General Manager of Digital Media for the NFL. He previously held a series of positions at MySpace, ultimately serving as President of Sales & Marketing. Prior to entering the digital media space, Berman was Chief Counsel to United States Senator Charles E. Schumer and a public defender representing children charged in the District of Columbia’s adult criminal courts. He also held an adjunct professorship at the Georgetown University Law Center. 7 continued from page 6 05 How Facebook Is Crushing Search
  • 8. 08 Facebook Delivers Sharing on Steroids By Greg Clayman Publisher, The Daily 8 Q: How does the rise of Facebook change the relationship between media and its audience? Facebook allows media to engage with audiences in new ways, and the amount of commentary, feedback and interaction with audiences is greater than ever. Facebook also allows for a greater degree of discovery. By dramatically simplifying the ability to share anything, Facebook has hyper- charged distribution for all media products: free, paid, subscription, ad-supported; they’ve made distribution friction-free. It’s one thing to tell a friend about something you like. That’s been happening from the beginning of time. It’s quite another to “like”an article, a song, a video, etc. and be able to instantly broadcast to everybody you know. Publishers need to embrace the social Web. They have to be where their audiences are and do what they can to make their content easy to share, and to digest across any given platform. Q: We’ve gone from SEO (SearchEngine Optimization) to SMO(SocialMediaOptimization), so how will search change as the Web becomes more social? Before the social Web, online search was entirely about looking for pages. And relevance was defined by how many influential sites were linking to a given page. This is the Google world: the link economy. Social adds an imporant layer to this –“What is it that the people I know and trust like?”“Where do they go?”“Who do they trust?”“What’s in their worldview?”This examination of one’s own orbit is part of what makes social media so fascinating from a search perspective, it’s a whole new dimension to explore. And one that’s clearly not lost on Google as evidenced by their recent launch of Google+. We’re in the age of the curator. The more “infinite”the Web becomes the more difficult it is to find the media that is relevant to me. I think curators are going to be ever more important in the coming years –Mike Allen’s POLITICO Playbook and Jason Hirschhorn’s Media ReDEFined are two great examples who come to mind. “By dramatically simplifying the ability to share anything, Facebook has hyper-charged distribution for all media products: free, paid, subscription, ad-supported; they’ve made distribution friction-free.”
  • 9. Q: How do you build a brand in publishing when, with greater frequency, media is distributed through social channels? For one thing, you have to allow many-sided conversations on today’s emerging and evolving social Web. That means ceding some control in order to engage with consumers and give them the experience that they want. Sharing is the cornerstone of brand building on the social Web today. It’s also important to have a strong editorial voice. Content aggregators, for example, might give you a tool to find just what you’re looking for. But that specificity can lack the serendipity of stumbling on something new by following a strong editor or curator. That serendipity is important and is how we learn to trust some voices over others. Q: What are the critical success factors in publishing as we look to 2020; and who will be the winners? You have to be nimble with distribution and go where the audiences are. You also have to work very hard to engender trust and build recognition and reputation. You want people to know you and feel good about your brand so that you can move quickly to take advantage of any and all new technologies as they develop and scale. This represents future growth. Greg Clayman is Publisher of The Daily. Launched by News Corporation in early 2011, The Daily is a tablet-native national news brand built from the ground up to publish original content exclusively for the iPad. Prior to joining The Daily, Clayman was executive vice president of Digital Distribution & Business Development for MTV Networks (MTVN). Before MTVN, Clayman co-founded Upoc, one of the first mobile content companies in the United States. 9 continued from page 8 08 Facebook Delivers Sharing on Steroids
  • 10. 10 Tearing Down the Walls That Traditional Media Built By Lewis DVorkin Chief Product Officer, Forbes Media 10 Q: How does the rise of Facebook change the relationship between media and its audience? There is an interaction between the two. Facebook turns everybody into a publisher. They publish what’s important and interesting to them, and they share it with friends and colleagues; they become publishers like the media. A whole group of people is distributing content to friends and putting a value on it. And that value is important to friends. People all over are distribution channels today, and they’re editing their feeds. But as they edit their feeds, they’re editing themselves. Q: What’s changed fundamentally about media with the rise of the social Web, and what do publishers need to do to adapt? Publishers who adapt to the social Web need to understand that content is content. Publishers, marketers, and audiences all create content; each brings knowledge and expertise, and it’s mingling in one place. So publishers must accept this new reality. They no longer control the content platform, and they have to invite others into the process. The traditional role as media gatekeeper isn’t valid anymore. The question is how you let others participate. I think you have to clearly state and transparently label each contributor’s identity, so users can form their own judgments. In the old world, traditional media would decide who got respect and who was worthy. Q: We’ve gone from SEO (SearchEngine Optimization) to SMO(SocialMediaOptimization), so how will search change as the Web becomes more social? Search will always be important as a way of discovery, so publishers have to continue to optimize; they can’t give up SEO. But now there’s a new layer, and that’s social media. So you have to work with tools like Twitter and Facebook to understand where the conversations are, who is spreading the word, and how to get your relevant content in that stream in a way that’s positive. There are a number of opportunities to become part of this world; and social media, which drove zero traffic in the past, can now be a significant traffic driver if you optimize content for it. The key question is how you get the edge in Facebook ranking versus Google page ranking. “Publishers who adapt to the social Web need to understand that content is content. Publishers, marketers, and audiences all create content; each brings knowledge and expertise, and it’s mingling in one place. So publishers must accept this new reality. They no longer control the content platform, and they have to invite others into the process.”
  • 11. Q: How do you build a brand in publishing when, with greater frequency, media is distributed through social channels? At Forbes, we now have a core group of full-time staff people and a core group of contributors. Most of these contributors are publishing content under their own individual names and own individual brands of knowledge. By doing this, we’re curating, and we’re extending the Forbes brand, especially with all the comments and conversations that result. Advertisers and marketers can take advantage of this extended brand, and they get to use the same tools, because they can also create content. Everyone who’s involved believes in our brand attributes – enterprise, the entrepreneur, smart investing, and doing something good with wealth that will make a difference. So, the extended Forbes brand is enabling like-minded people, people who believe in what we believe in, to share information and insights. Q: What are the critical success factors in publishing as we look to 2020; and who will be the winners? The economics of publishing today and going forward are vastly different than they were 20 years ago. And we’re not going to return there. Publishers must create scalable new business models for content creation and the voracious appetite for content. Staffers alone can’t meet this need, or equal the expertise of thousands of contributors. Publishers can’t control this experience either; so the trick is how to open up and still maintain brand values and attributes, while helping people feel a sense of partial ownership. Traditional media built up walls – between journalists and audiences; journalists and advertisers; and advertisers and audiences. But media is about connections. If you control the connections, it’s not what everyone wants. You can’t maintain silos; I just don’t see how you can do that anymore. Lewis DVorkin is the Chief Product Officer at Forbes Media. He joined the company after True/Slant, his entrepreneurial content network, was acquired by Forbes in the spring of 2010. Previously, Dvorkin has been Page One Editor of The Wall Street Journal, Senior Editor at Newsweek, and an editor at The New York Times. He has also been Senior Vice President, Programming, at AOL, and played a significant role in the launch of TMZ.com 11 continued from page 10 10 Tearing Down the Walls That Traditional Media Built
  • 12. 12 Building Great Relationships With Your Social Media Fan Base By Erik Flannigan EVP Digital Media, MTV Networks Entertainment Group 12 Q: How does the rise of Facebook change the relationship between media and its audience? Facebook is a platform, not just a Web site, and it has created a public sentiment meter. In fact, sometimes there seems to be wild over- reactions to the sentiment expressed by the“Like” button. And many people might suggest that“Like” has created a currency of some kind. Whether it’s actually worth something or not remains to be seen, however. It may end up being the lowest possible of all audience benchmarks of interest. We don’t know yet. Some of our properties get modest traffic through Facebook; others get 75-80 percent of their traffic through Facebook. From my perspective, though, it offers a measure of sentiment, a measure of what is most socially relevant. Q: What’s changed fundamentally about media with the rise of the social Web, and what do publishers need to do to adapt? On some level, the social Web breaks down the walls for those who want to go there. Real people tell us how they feel in an unvarnished way, in an unfiltered way. There is a fan base that’s active on social media platforms that wants more, and that is looking for relationships with shows and personalities. That means we have to create more and more digital content, and it has to be content that can stand alone. If you want to build a fan base, you have to do this with content. And this has probably made us at MTV think more about marketing our shows all year long, not just at premiere. Q: We’ve gone from SEO (SearchEngine Optimization) to SMO(SocialMediaOptimization), so how will search change as the Web becomes more social? Search is like fixing your tire. There are times when you have to do it. So, it will continue. That said, the idea that search is the end all and be all is definitely changing. We saw this in focus groups we did with young men. They said if something is important enough, it will find me. All I need is Twitter and a newsfeed. Also, I think more and more people understand that search is a game, that the search system is gamed. And so, search has become less satisfying, and consumers are moving away from their reliance on search. Social filters are better and more timely, especially because you can run out of things to search for. We’re moving “On some level, the social Web breaks down the walls for those who want to go there. Real people tell us how they feel in an unvarnished way, in an unfiltered way.”
  • 13. to a future where we’ll have some version of tracking, managing and increasing prominence of the super- influencers. And I believe that parsing out the most influential of your social followers will become big, and become a business. Q: How do you build a brand in publishing when, with greater frequency, media is distributed through social channels? It’s tough. And it’s easy to disassociate brands and content. That’s why we need to do more when it comes to thinking things through to the end experience. This is important, and you can see that consumers are giving publishers credit when there’s an open dialogue. Instagram is a good example here. They have thought about the end-to-end experience. It’s much more than a name. Its identity is tied to an experience, to sharing. And they didn’t allow themselves to just be a platform. They are aspiring to become a noun, not just a brand. Q: What are the critical success factors in publishing as we look to 2020; and who will be the winners? We must fix the issue of monetization in digital space. There is a horrible battle brewing between the growth of the audience and the lack of currency to monetize. And there’s nothing – no real answers – on the horizon. TV has been online for five years, for example, and the problem hasn’t been solved. There’s big growth and big innovation, and yet we haven’t figured this out. Erik Flannigan joined MTV Networks from AOL, where he was vice president of programming. Before that, he was at Buena Vista Datacasting / The Walt Disney Company as vice president of programming. And prior to that, he served as vice president of music services and programming at RealNetworks. Earlier, Flannigan was senior vice president, Entertainment Verticals, for the Walt Disney Internet Group. 13 continued from page 12 12 Building Great Relationships With Your Social Media Fan Base
  • 14. 14 The Three S’s of Social Media – Surprise, Serendipity and Spontaneity By Jason Hirschhorn Curator of Media ReDEFined 14 Q: How does the rise of Facebook change the relationship between media and its audience? Facebook is obviously a transformative platform. It’s a disruption in the distribution of content. The social endorsement in“sharing”or“liking”a piece of content on a platform like Facebook is almost as important as the content itself. And while they like the digital“word of mouth”I think this scares the film, TV and publishing industries. Why? Because, unlike in the past, they are not controlling the distribution and conversation the way they used to. The“feed”is taking on search, too, because users are ultimately using it as a discovery platform. You may go to Google to find what you already knew you wanted but now the content streams deliver you content you had no idea you wanted, and with an endorsement from someone you know or follow. This social endorsement changes the way you discover and consume content. Q: What’s changed fundamentally about media with the rise of the social Web, and what do publishers need to do to adapt? It’s clear that media is becoming unbundled. It’s also multi-platform as the access points are fragmented. It’s real time or archived and it’s on-demand. This sets the trend for what and where people consume. In today’s new and evolving social environment, the packaging and distribution are under less control. Again, the social endorsement of content is just as important as who created the content or what it’s about. Our interests widen on Facebook or Twitter, and we’re able to see the tastes and interests of people we respect or know. We used to turn to TV, radio and print for all our cues, but we’re now going to Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr… to our friends and the people we follow. Traditional media seems slightly hindered because it holds on to its traditional standards. Whether it is scheduling in television, definitions of journalism, and creators as curators or controlling the entirety of your brand. But things are slowly changing. New forms of media bring spontaneity, serendipity and personalization. There are always surprises within your content “Traditional media seems slightly hindered because it holds on to its traditional standards. Whether it is scheduling in television, definitions of journalism, and creators as curators or controlling the entirety of your brand. But things are slowly changing. New forms of media bring spontaneity, serendipity and personalization.”
  • 15. stream. I realize now I only know a little about the things I like. The fun is in discovering those things you never knew you’d be interested in. That’s what I like about it. Q: We’ve gone from SEO (SearchEngine Optimization) to SMO(SocialMediaOptimization), so how will search change as the Web becomes more social? My personal view is that search is falling down. People are now using it more for navigation than discovery. “Where is the thing that I want?”Maybe search isn’t about real discovery. I use search less today because of Facebook and Twitter, which are becoming significant parts of my content decision-making process. I’m interested in seeing the news that my friends are reading today. That would keep me on Facebook even longer, and add to the discovery element. Despite its huge impact, though, Facebook and Twitter haven’t even begun to really take advantage of content discovery experiences. They will. It’s going to be a great evolution to watch and positively disruptive. Those changes will be a perfect match between gathering or discovery technologies and a truly human filter. Ultimately, content discovery needs to have human layers. Without them, it has no“life”, no context. This is where Google has fallen down as a product company. Algorithms vs. Humans. When it comes to content, which always has an emotional bent, humans always beat the computer. Clearly Google+ is trying to address some of that, but they have a ways to go. Going forward, I believe we need to see more influencer targeting and noise-level targeting. How do you help people or companies find those who are moving the social media mountain? How do you find these influencers and deliver highly relevant and personalized content without infringing on their privacy or conversation and then let them run with it? That will be a key part of the new optimization. These changes will revolutionize advertising and make media spends way more efficient. What it takes to get“lift”will be far different and mediums like television will need to fall in line and adapt. 15 continued from page 14 14 The Three S’s of Social Media – Surprise, Serendipity and Spontaneity
  • 16. Q: How do you build a brand in publishing when, with greater frequency, media is distributed through social channels? From my point of view, curation is the next great layer of value on the Internet. In a world where everything is available, Curating content helps users sift through everything. Trusted sources are coming back. The New York Times is curating when it decides what it will cover. But they don’t seem to curate other’s work. And yet the journalists at The Times pass around links and stories on Twitter that are written by other sources. Those journalists are trusted sources and now curators. I think publications should be establishing relationships with curators; and then they can re-package and re- bundle content into new and important layers. You can build big and important brands with curation today. I know I’m going to try. Q: What are the critical success factors in publishing as we look to 2020; and who will be the winners? There are five areas I’d touch on here: 1. Curation, for the reasons I’ve explained above 2. Form factors. Content should be allowed to shape shift. 3. How you distribute. Your site to RSS to email to Flipboard to Twitter and beyond. 4. How you allow social media inside your content 5. How smart your paywall strategy is. The New York Times has done the best in this area. Allowing for social media linkages while continuing to build a pay-model. Jason Hirschhorn, a media and technology entrepreneur, is the curator of Media ReDEFined (@MediaReDEF), a free daily news feed covering the changing world of media, communications, entertainment, marketing and technology. The former President of MySpace, Hirschhorn has also served as President of Sling Media, Chief Digital Officer at MTV Networks and is on the Board of Directors of MGM Studios. 16 continued from page 15 14 The Three S’s of Social Media – Surprise, Serendipity and Spontaneity
  • 17. 17 Turbo-Charging the Web’s New Personal Recommendation Engine By Wenda Harris Millard President & COO, Media Link LLC 17 Q: How does the rise of Facebook change the relationship between media and its audience? I’m not sure that Facebook is media. But Facebook has changed everything. I see it as a platform for connection. The challenge for marketers is in connecting effectively with audiences in these kinds of social environments. I think advertising by its very nature is often intrusive, but it tends currently to cross the line and be disruptive in social media. It may violate trust with audiences. So, how are advertisers going to reach people most efficiently and effectively in a social environment? Advertising or commercial messaging is going to be like nothing we know today. Q: What’s changed fundamentally about media with the rise of the social Web, and what do publishers need to do to adapt? If you’re a brand marketer, you can no longer interrupt the discussion. You have to be part of the discussion. This has a lot of implications. And you have to ask yourself whether people come to you, or do you look at social platforms as a way to build and distribute content and your own messaging. The economic models have changed. In the past, in a siloed world, you had your own site, and you went about the business of attracting an audience and monetizing that site. That’s a simple formula, and it’s not nearly as relevant anymore. We are now living in a world where you have to find your audience where it aggregates. You have to find the audience on someone else’s platform, and then figure out how to make money. This throws everything we’ve known in traditional marketing on its head. Q: We’ve gone from SEO (SearchEngine Optimization) to SMO(SocialMediaOptimization), so how will search change as the Web becomes more social? We’ve learned so much about the value of recommendations from friends and colleagues. Now, with the continued advance of the Web as a social environment, what’s going to happen is that, instead of typing certain things into the search box, there will be an increasing tendency to go to your social circle for input. If you need an address, you’ll go to the search engine; but if you need a great back doctor, you’ll ask friends or colleagues. This is “If you’re a brand marketer, you can no longer interrupt the discussion. You have to be part of the discussion. This has a lot of implications. And you have to ask yourself whether people come to you, or do you look at social platforms as a way to build and distribute content and your own messaging.”
  • 18. the personal recommendation engine, and it will be part of our lives. Think of it as personal optimizations - how do you get the best information from your social circle? Q: How do you build a brand in publishing when, with greater frequency, media is distributed through social channels? Publishers are worried about the abundance of user-generated content in the whole social media experience right now. The plethora of choice for consumers is almost overwhelming. Yet I believe that consumers are still looking for a trustmark. Of course, you’ll be able to read your friends’recommendations, and you’ll share on whatever platform you’re using, but when you’re looking for information, I still believe that brands represent a level of trust or a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. That said, when you’re growing a brand today, you can no longer just build it and expect that they will come. Building and enhancing your brand as a .com online is only one element in all this. You need to be where people are – that’s the Facebook phenomenon. Q: What are the critical success factors in publishing as we look to 2020; and who will be the winners? New media, digital media and social media – it will all be called media. And the winners will be those who find a way not to define themselves by their tried- and-true or historical practices, or by their distribution channels. You can’t define yourself as a magazine publisher; you’re a content provider. You need to step out of the channel you live in and understand how each of the pieces fits together. How does TV fit with Facebook, for example? Or search engines or print with anything in social media? The key is knowing where commerce is – online and offline. What is the relationship among all media channels? The winners will grasp these interrelationships. Wenda Harris Millard is President & COO of Media Link LLC, a leading advisory firm that provides critical counsel to clients in the marketing, media, entertainment, and technology industries. Prior to this, Millard was Co-Chief Executive Officer and President of Media, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, and Chief Sales Officer of Yahoo. She has also served as the Chief Internet Officer at Ziff Davis Media, President at Ziff Davis Internet, and Executive Vice President at DoubleClick. 18 continued from page 17 17 Turbo-Charging the Web’s New Personal Recommendation
  • 19. 19 How ecommerce Is Blazing a Trail on the Social Web for Publishers By Theresia Gouw Ranzetta Partner, Accel Partners 19 Q: How does the rise of Facebook change the relationship between media and its audience? Facebook becomes the jumping off point for many browsers who count on their friends to curate interesting media for them. How news gets“found”becomes less about searching Google news, and more about checking your Facebook newsfeed. Q: What’s changed fundamentally about media with the rise of the social Web, and what do publishers need to do to adapt? Publishers need to understand the“start”point for their digital users. It used to be a portal, so you cut a deal with one of them. Then, it was a search box, so you SEO-optimized your content. Now, it is a social media platform (Facebook or Twitter), and publishers need to understand how to optimize their content for maximum social sharing and social media amplifications. Don’t get me wrong: in each phase, it has always been about great content. But that is just the necessary first building block. Then you need to figure out the distribution to get maximum audience engagement. Q: We’ve gone from SEO (SearchEngine Optimization) to SMO(SocialMediaOptimization), so how will search change as the Web becomes more social? Reference or informational search will remain relatively unchanged (for example,“What it he capital of Iowa?”). But“search,”where you are looking for guidance or information that has a subjective or has a taste aspect to it, will be completely transformed by social. Instead of typing in“Best sushi restaurant in Palo Alto,”you will ask your friends, or go to a site with a like- minded social groups (foodies, vegans, etc.). I think we are still in the early days of SMO. Many large publishers have not yet even thought about this, nor are they aware that they should be. As with SEO, they will need to upgrade their content management / publishing systems and processes. Many will turn to start ups, like Wetpaint, to help with this. “Publishers need to understand the “start” point for their digital users. It used to be a portal, so you cut a deal with one of them. Then, it was a search box, so you SEO-optimized your content. Now, it is a social media platform (Facebook or Twitter), and publishers need to understand how to optimize their content for maximum social sharing and social media amplifications. ”
  • 20. But SMO can be even more. Unlike in the search world, where a supposed Chinese wall existed between SEO and SEM, leading platforms can now encourage their advertisers to also invest in SMO as well. So a very savvy company can leverage and get synergies from their investments and learnings from SMO + SMM (Social Media Marketing) in a collaborative way. As with the early days of the portal and search platform eras, the ecommerce players were the first to experiment, invest and learn about the power of the new platforms to get broader distribution / audience. This is understandable, given that their business models more easily lend themselves to direct data gathering and learning for marketing spend. Once again, in social, I see the ecommerce players blazing a trail for publishers: the GroupOns, Zyngas, ModCloths, and Birchboxes of the world are good places to start. In parallel to social, I think we are also seeing a platform shift – from PCs to mobile Internet devices. So, clearly the rise of iOs and Android are important platforms for publishers to understand and adapt to, both in terms of the technology and the distribution nuances. Q: How do you build a brand in publishing when, with greater frequency, media is distributed through social channels? You need to learn how to build your brand following on social media and realize that, no matter how strong your brand is in other channels, this is a whole other effort. It is not just an add-on and thinking of how to get“Likes.”The“packaging”of your content needs to be social media optimized for sharing and tie to your social media presence on your Facebook page and Twitter. It is an interconnected ecosystem that cannot be thought of as separate pieces. Q: What are the critical success factors in publishing as we look to 2020; and who will be the winners? Understand that we are in a new era. Social media distribution, branding and user-driven pull – not your push distribution – will win. Also, understand how your mobile approach is intertwined with what you need to do. The winners today will be the companies that have created these new social and mobile platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Apple iOs and 20 continued from page 19 19 How ecommerce Is Blazing a Trail on the Social Web for Publishers
  • 21. Google Android), as well as the market leaders who have successfully built the first leading companies on top of these platforms (Zynga, Groupon etc.). As for the winners in 2020: I’m in the business of funding start up innovation, so I would say it’s the companies that may not even yet be formed – but they will be, in the next year or two. Theresia Gouw Ranzetta joined Accel Partners in 1999. She is an investment Partner in Accel’s Palo Alto & New York offices and focuses on companies in the social commerce, vertical media, consumer mobile applications and privacy/security markets. 21 continued from page 20 19 How ecommerce Is Blazing a Trail on the Social Web for Publishers
  • 22. 22 The People-Powered Web Is Revolutionizing Innovation By Anthony Soohoo Digital Media Entrepreneur 22 Q: How does the rise of Facebook change the relationship between media and its audience? What’s changed is how we reach users at a global level. In essence, Facebook has created an important layer of intelligent recommendations adding more relevancy than previously possible in a broadcast world. In the process, this will change how the media companies deliver their content. The downside, however, is that there’s less discovery of content going on. But the media has a real chance to build deeper relationships with users now; consumers just aren’t anonymous anymore. They – and we – know what they like, and don’t like. So, the delicate balance is this: Facebook makes discovery more challenging, but it affords us an opportunity for infinitely more personalization. And that means engagement is a lot more effective. Q: What’s changed fundamentally about media with the rise of the social Web, and what do publishers need to do to adapt? When they put content together, publishers have to determine who their influencers are. Who do they resonate most with? Then, they have to get to that group first, and build a groundswell with that audience. In the past, publishing was a broadcast type of model. Think of a bullhorn. It’s completely changed with the social Web. The key, as I’ve said, is to reach the influencers first, and then have them add to the story. That’s how you really engage an audience. Q: We’ve gone from SEO (SearchEngine Optimization) to SMO(SocialMediaOptimization), so how will search change as the Web becomes more social? That’s a great question. First of all, I’d say we’re going to see more personalized search results. In other words, search based upon what someone’s interests are, and what a person’s friends like. It’s putting a personalized interest graph on top of search results. And the efficiency and effectiveness will improve; instead of getting 43 million results, many of which are irrelevant, you’ll get the top 20, and they’ll be of considerable interest. So, in this way, the social Web will add more meaning. The people-powered-Web will be the big driver of innovation over the next five to 10 years. “Publishing will become more Wiki-like. People can – and will – contribute. And those contributions will matter as much as the stories themselves. The role of the editor will be to get the fire started by determining which channels and influencers are necessary to ignite the story. The editor will bring up worthy discussions across the Web and highlight them, too. This is how the stages of conversation will unfold.”
  • 23. Q: How do you build a brand in publishing when, with greater frequency, media is distributed through social channels? It seems to me that you have to recruit and engage your influencers. And you have to make certain you’re hitting the right audience. Finally, you have to layer content down in a very social and personalized manner. Blasting content out like a billboard takes the uniqueness out of the social Web. I believe the stories of the future will actually integrate tidbits from influencers, and they’ll also be more rhetorical and open-ended. Publishing will become more Wiki- like. People can – and will – contribute. And those contributions will matter as much as the stories themselves. The role of the editor will be to get the fire started by determining which channels and influencers are necessary to ignite the story. The editor will bring up worthy discussions across the Web and highlight them, too. This is how the stages of conversation will unfold. At first, it will be unfiltered and like the Wild West, however. Then it will get reined in, and most stories will go through a filtered version via friends or an editor. This filtering process will allow content to live a longer and richer life on the Web. Q: What are the critical success factors in publishing as we look to 2020; and who will be the winners? Facebook could be a winner. And the two guys in the garage that we don’t know about will be winners. There are five to 10 big winners that we don’t know about yet. But the critical success factors are clear: know your audience; serve users and delight them; and then go beyond this. Content will change over time; and these changes will change because of the social Web’s profound influence. What we’re really talking about here is content plus one. Anthony Soohoo is the former Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Entertainment & Lifestyle Division at CBS Interactive. He is now an entrepreneur working on an unannounced startup. Soohoo joined CBS in 2007, when it acquired Dotspotter, a fast-growing community-powered entertainment property where he served as Co-founder & CEO. Prior to Dotspotter, Soohoo was Vice President at Yahoo!, where he was responsible for the strategy, management, development and financial performance of various business units. 23 continued from page 22 22 The People-Powered Web Is Revolutionizing Innovation
  • 24. 24 Conclusion By Ben Elowitz Co-Founder and CEO, Wetpaint 24 But today it is. Between usage analytics, audience data, social graphs, global Twitter feeds, and direct interactive feedback, we can receive millions of signals each minute that tell us how well we are serving and, more prescriptively, what we can do to better serve our audiences. For the publishing industry, this provides an unprecedented opportunity for content experiences to earn deep relationships with audiences who are now connected like never before. We can know our audiences, create for them, and reach them – and, in the process, make our own brands stronger and more meaningful than ever. And therein lies a path that will lead to the re- establishment of our industry’s success. The future prosperity of digital media will certainly have some things in common with its past legacy; but a host of other things will undergo massive change. What’s clear to me, though, is that the revolution in our data and connectivity-rich environment will help us create content and experiences that honor Staying Connected – The Right Way to Re-Invent Publishing for 21st Century Audiences I feel blessed and inspired to be connected to the incredible thought leaders whose insights and perspectives you’ve just read. And I’m hoping you feel challenged, provoked, and, ultimately, inspired to think about how to make the social Web a media success. Over the last year on my blog, Digital Quarters, and in my newsletter, I have shared stories, analysis and prescriptions – all in the name of driving this new digital era forward. To me, one essential principle lies deep at the heart of the rewired Internet. It is a simple and basic concept, but one that guides all the promise of the social Web: We must truly understand and delight our audiences. The social Web fully enables this concept in a way that did not exist over the last decade, much less the century before it. Indeed, never before has the data existed and been accessible – in real time, with precision and detail, and to every publisher – to know the audience and serve it well.
  • 25. the best that our industry has ever put forth, while pushing even further. I can’t wait to work side by side with the industry’s greatest thought leaders and practitioners to make it happen. And, as we look forward, if you’d like to join the discussion, I’d welcome your thoughts, opinions, views, comments and criticisms. Please send them to me at ben@wetpaint.com. And, if you’re interested in participating in a future edition of this thought leadership gallery, by offering your take on things, I’d love to hear from you as well. Thanks for reading. Ben Elowitz Ben Elowitz is CEO of Wetpaint, a next-generation media company that is reinventing the media model on the social web. The company is creating a portfolio of best-in-class media properties; the first, Wetpaint Entertainment, delights 18-34 year-old women with in-depth coverage of their favorite TV shows, stars and fashion. Wetpaint uses its proprietary state-of-the-art technologies, and expertise in the social optimization and distribution of content, to drive and monetize audiences. The company, which has offices in Seattle and New York, has more than 10 million unique visitors monthly on its media properties. Elowitz is also a thought leader and author of Digital Quarters, a blog about the future of digital media and the steps the publishing industry must take to become profitable. He also writes Media Success, a bold and forthright newsletter for digital media thought leaders. His work has been featured on TechCrunch, All Things D, The Huffington Post, Forbes, Fortune, paidContent, and CNBC.com, among others. Prior to Wetpaint, Elowitz co-founded Blue Nile (NASDAQ: NILE), the largest online retailer of luxury goods. 25 continued from page 24 24 Conclusion

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