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Published: July 2, 2008 at 11:44 AM GMT
Last Updated: July 2, 2008 at 11:44 AM GMT
Lessons from Personal Democracy Forum, The "Davos of Technology": While the RIAA and MPAA have been frequent whipping boys in any debate on the failure of Big Media to embrace change in a timely fashion, they are positively visionary standing next to government. But that's changing. Just as media has grappled with, and now leverages, user-generated content (UGC), politics is experiencing its first brush with viewer-generated-activism (VGA).
It's fitting then, to commemorate Independence Day by broadening our focus this week beyond the consumer, to the citizen. They are after all, the same person. Last week's Personal Democracy Forum (PDf) -- touted its organizer TechPresident.com -- was the most mediated conference in all of recorded history. In this one instance, believe the hype.
PDf truly was a spectacle of networked social media. During the two-day event it was ground zero in the Twitterverse; presentations were simultaneously uploaded to Slide Share; sessions were not only filmed for C-Span and uploaded on YouTube, but co-founder Micah Sifry used Qik.com to live-stream video from his cell to the Web. Beyond being blogged, notetaking was enabled (and rewarded, the prize-winning scribe won an iPhone) through Confabb Noteshare, and questions for speakers were posted in real-time through a tool created by Jonathan Zittrain, one of the keynoters. And during the "Mastering the New World of Online Political Video" session, attendees got a first look on Bob Greenwald's latest – a how-to for viral political videos (later that weekend he would be profiled in the New York Times). This all sounds very sexy, but the stories of what these tools support – and can enable -- is the true takeaway here.
Perhaps the single-most encouraging panel at PDf, in this era of hyper-partisanship, was Watchdogging Government. It described the building of a "trans-partisan" movement to make government more transparent. The session was chaired by Ellen Miller, founder of the Sunlight Foundation, and bookended ideologically by Mark Tapscott of the Heritage Foundation, who averred that the earlier keynote felt like an Obama rally. But Tapscott was equally quick to tap into shared common ground – that whatever one's ideology, faith in government, or contempt for it, (a la Grover Norquist) accountability is best achieved through transparency. Members of OpenSecrets and FollowtheMoney were singled out by the panel for their groundbreaking contributions to this effort.
Buckling under pressure from this loose coalition, all members of the Senate (but one) have complied with the request to reveal their mortgage-financing information. Next up: a demand that both campaigns unbundle donations, and disclosure of lobbying in real time. Speaking to Saul Hansell of the New York Times' BITS blog, Miller recalled, "I was at a meeting with lobbyists last week and asked how many have BlackBerries. Of course, they all raised their hands. I said they should be reporting on their meetings by sending a text or an e-mail as soon as they walk out of a legislator's office. They all gasped."
Litmus Test for PC Literacy?
A debate surrounding Technological Literacy sparked at PDf and continues to gain momentum. While McCain will never live down saying "the issue of the economy is something I don't understand as I should," PDf attendees were even more shocked by McCain's self-professed computer illiteracy.
While his campaign was keen enough to send a staffer to PDf, online advisor Mark Soohoo's defense of McCain amounted to a limp, "He is aware of the Internet." Why should there be any litmus test? Let us count the ways. How can any presidential candidate otherwise grasp the complex issues surrounding spectrum, copyright, e-commerce/trade, Net Neutrality, while properly sizing up our infrastructure against any threat of cyber-terrorism? What's most astonishing is that McCain sat on the Commerce, Science and Transportation committee for six years! While CNN's Jeanne Moos looked at this from with her trademark whimsy this is an issue that should have standing in the current and future campaigns.
An Uprising In The Obama Ranks?
Not that we're going to let Obama off the hook. A thread among the panels was empowerment through bottom-up democracy. While most presenters were quick to acclaim the Obama campaign for its use of social networking to raises buckets of cash, a few thought leaders including Jonathan Zittrain (The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It) and virtual reality pioneer Mark Pesce were otherwise unconvinced that the campaign itself was truly people-powered. Regarding the Obama campaign he offered this peek into what it might look like once the governance - when pilot goes to series -- begins: "The mob, now mobilized, will do as it pleases. Obama can lead by example, can encourage or scold as occasion warrants, but he can not control."
The test of this proposition isn't waiting until January 21st. In response to Senator Obama's FISA "yes" vote, a "Please Vote No" group formed on MyBarackObama.com last week - demanding that he filibuster with Sens. Dodd and Feingold after the holiday recess. As of this writing the group is the fifth most popular on the campaign Website, with 5,452 members and counting. Will this groundswell pressure Obama to rethink his position? It a first draft for WikiGovernment?
Posting on Jeff Jarvis' BuzzMachine Monday, Joe Trippi, now co-founder of Open Congress (with Creative Commons' Larry Lessig) wrote: "I believe that the next President will stand at the end of the Television Presidency and at the beginning of the Networked Presidency in which the President and the people will connect and work to pass their agenda together, where they can and do agree."
OpenLeft's Matt Stoller went Trippi one better: "[A] good amount of 21st century campaigning will look like the 19th century, with a politicized business community, much stronger local political machines, and engagement levels at 80% or 90%. Local debating societies, nonprofits that do service work and voter turnout, and a blurred line between government and politics are probably in the cards. As social media and public spaces increase in importance in our culture, they will dominate our politics."
Susan Sarandon at the SAGs, Beer Ads and More: Gender News Weekly
Inspired by Jack Myers' new book "The Future of Men: Masculinity in the Twenty-First Century" (coming in March), this is a weekly blog focused on gender equality, gender politics and the shift in gender norms in business and culture. Read on for this week's news roundup.
MediaBizBuzz: The Super Bowl, Comcast, ESPN, Viceland and More
A roundup of the week's key news from MediaVillage member companies and the wider media industry. This week, financial results from Comcast and Google shed more light on viewer and advertising trends, Nielsen fixes ESPN data, digital disrupts jobs at media companies, Yahoo tries to turn around its turnaround, Viceland’s executive landscape becomes clearer and how many digital ads a Super Bowl TV spot can buy.
Why I’m Excited About the Super Bowl for the First Time Ever
I have never been excited about the Super Bowl. I’m not a football fan. I neither enjoy nor understand it. The ads, which I do enjoy, are either released before the game or available immediately afterwards. I rarely care about the half-time performance. I do not like beer, buffalo wings, plain potato chips or really most go-to Super Bowl party refreshments. I do not like Sunday night engagements, as they conflict with “Downton Abbey.” Lest anyone rescind my invitation to their Super Bowl party, I am pleased to say that this year I am extremely excited about the big game. Why? Two words: Fantasy football.
ANA vs. 4As: The Advertiser Agency Battle Rumbles On
The argument between advertisers and media agencies in the USA over transparency rumbles on. Earlier Cog Blogs have commented on advertisers’ concerns over the agencies’ media buying practices, and their hiring (via their trade body the ANA) of two consultancies to look into the whole matter of where the money goes. Now, in what sounds like an attempt to get their retaliation in way before the consultants have even reported, the agencies’ trade body (the 4As) last week issued something called “Transparency Guiding Principles of Conduct.” In line with what seems to be something of a strained atmosphere between the two parties, the 4As did this without any discussion with their clients, whose trade body is as we said in mid-consultation and who might have had something interesting to input into what they consider to be the principles of transparency.
NBC Digital’s Bill Smee on the Evolution of News
News creation and coverage is one area of the media that has seen particular change in the past few years. Affordable easy-to-use production equipment, the shift from film to video to digital formats, advancements in production technology and expansive access to anyone and everyone via the Internet have dramatically shifted the business of news content formation.
Mindshare: Coordinates for the Perfect Playlist
This week on Mindshare’s Culture Vulture Live, Amanda Hechinger explores mobile location data and the opportunities for brands.
Access Confidential Brand Watch: AMA vs. ANA
The pharmaceutical industry is no stranger to controversy of late. Mergers and acquisitions activity, poor press and a divided front on DTC ads may have side effects on 2016 ad budgets.
The MediaVillage Articles Club -- February Selections
When Articles Club met late last month for our first meeting of 2016, we marked an important milestone … our one-year anniversary! While we have only been sharing our recommendations here at MediaVillage for a few months, we have together shared a year’s worth of our favorite articles. If we can just track down those missing spreadsheets from our first few months of meetings, we will have a pretty impressive roster. Our February picks are listed below. For the first time, they include television and radio content.
Data, Consumer Insights and Breaking With the Past
The last several years have delivered significant progress in the data insights sphere. Credit most players in the arena with responding to the changes the digital environment has enabled. Television has responded to improve accountability beyond traditional TV metrics we all grew up with, no small factor in its market resurgence. Agencies and traditional media platforms have instituted the Chief Data Officer position, to signal that “data” has an elevated seat at the table.
Out of Home Poised to Deliver Dynamic Analytics to Advertisers
The data and analytics revolution that ROI-hungry advertisers have been waiting for is upon us.
Five Questions for VSA's Anne-Marie Rosser on Alibaba Defined, China, and the Art of Navigating Cultural Perceptions
VSA's Anne-Marie Rosser was kind enough to take some time to discuss with AdForum's James Thompson the recent collaboration between VSA and Alibaba in developing Alibaba Defined, a comprehensive digital experience created by VSA Partners to help audiences outside of China understand the company.
Cantor Fitzgerald’s Youssef Squali on Ad Technology and 2016 Trends
Jay Sears, Senior Vice President Marketplace Development of Rubicon Project discusses ad technology and 2016 trends with Cantor Fitzgerald’s Internet analyst and Managing Director Youssef Squali.
When Reaching Viewers, Hallmark Gets to the Heart of the Matter
In this era of Peak TV there are more than 1400 series vying for viewers' attention throughout the year. Faced with such mounting competition, how do television programmers cut through the clutter, especially during the frigid winter season when viewing levels tend to be at their highest? Building strategies around holidays helps. "Emotional connections are key drivers in decision-making,” explains Michelle Vicary, Crown Media Family Networks’ Executive Vice President of Programming and Network Program Publicity. She's talking specifically about two of Hallmark Channel's annual programming events: Countdown to Christmas (October 30 – January 1) and Countdown to Valentine’s Day (January 30 – February 14), which deliver on the two big sentiments of the winter season -- connectivity and relationships.
The Year Ahead with Mindshare’s Colin Kinsella: Part 2
In part two of this Mindshare interview series, Colin Kinsella, CEO, North America and Katerina Sudit, Executive Director, North America explore the year ahead for the advertising industry, with a bigger look at influencer marketing and digital content.
Stuart Elliott: Super Bowl Ad Vets vs. Rookies -- Who Will Win?
The big story on Sunday in Super Bowl 50 is likely to be the faceoff between the veterans and the eager rookies. There also are different levels of experience among the football players.