Kill all the lawyers

Day 2 was more fruitful for me. The day opened with an excellent thought piece from John Newbigin about the way society changes when new media forms arrive and how further the current developments are so changing our relationships that they are changing what it is to be human. I think this gets to a profound truth that is slipping by us – it can’t necessarily be influenced but it can be observed and reacted to. For instance, think about this. Schools are being created for the past – what is the role of teachers in a technologically advance landscape? How does technology drive and influence the core business of learning? And how about the fact that creative industries attract more buisiness support than any other area of the uk economy – but creative industry businesses don’t primarily categories themselves as businesses….

Quick fire quotes from his speech –

“Kill all the lawyers” – Henry VI Part 2, Shakespeare
“The first law of creativity is theft”

The next presentation was an intriguing one from Kaiser Kuo on Censorship, Culture and Chinese Netizens. I along with many others find the censorship – that he acknowledges exists – problematic, but he posited some interesting suggestions about cultural difference that we will need to take consideration of if we want to make contact and develop not just business but real understanding across the digital divide. I like to hear presentations that talk not just about different ways of doing but different ways of thinking. One of life’s most difficult challenges is to make a blank slate of your mind and be open to cultural differences but that kind of mental exercise should be easier for planners than most since we spend our days considering and questioning what the truth of an audience’s desires or the values of a brand are.

Quick fire facts from his speech:-
The average of broadband users in China is 32, n the US it’s 42
The Chinese are far more interested in IM than blogging – the anonymity allows more free expression
Online games garnered 70% more revenue thatn the ad sector in 07 – that’s 1.7 billion.

The real censorship is carried out by service providers on behalf of the government – because if it isn’t their sites and services will be taken down. But of course netizens find ways around talking about what they want to… don’t we always? Think prohibition USA.

Best in show for me was Carolyn Maze from fluorescentmedia. I have been saying for years that audience metrics for tv are up the spout and that by so being they seriously impact on the serious and therefore the budgets that are given to new media initiatives within broadcast. She is the CEO of a company that bases their whole business model on accurate analysis of media users and then, by engaging them, develops products they will actually enjoy/play/buy into. One channel now uses her metrics to sell to advertisers since those supplied by the american equivalent of BARB were so off kiltre (metrics stated that the audience for a certain time slot were old people – transpired it was students) About b***dy time. And I wish her every success with the venture and the interactive shows that are coming out of it.

One important gripe – the btween site which should be a model of usability is incredibly difficult to navigate and annoying to use. Shame as there is the potential to really connect people from conferences in the way they are trying to.


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