Thousands of people in New York, Miami and nine other cities worldwide came together for Social Media Week last week. A few personal takeaways from the NY portion follow:
Count New York Times media columnist David Carr in the growing camp of smart TV believers. At one of the opening events last Tuesday, Carr (joined by Times media reporter Brian Stelter) suggested that if the smart set makers develop seamless navigation for viewers to catch their favorite programs, Internet sites and original interactive applications, Web and app viewing or using will take hold in a huge way. "When navigating gets worked out, Katie bar the door," Carr declared. Another possibility for him: programs running on one half of a TV screen; Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest, etc. real-time reaction on the other half.
On the other hand, Carr's not hot on the idea of binge viewing--and believes Netflix made a mistake in releasing all 13 episodes ofHouse Of Cards at once. "They drained the water out of the cooler," he said. "They won't do that again." Stelter doubts that. "I binged on Nashville all weekend and loved it," Stelter offered. He's clear binge viewing will continue to happen--how big a viewing habit it becomes remains an open question. Bet Carr and Stelter will have a few water cooler conversations on the subject going forward.
The more you hear venture capitalists, angel investors and incubator/accelerator executives mention disrupt as a key way to determine what startups they fund, as I did during an SMW event at Bloomberg's headquarters, the more it comes over as an excuse not to fund startups, such as TV content and technology ventures. All due respect to TechCrunch and their sensational Disrupt events--what about the idea of VCs, etc. funding ventures because they innovate, or do something better than the rest of the industry they're in, as opposed to disrupting some business? Increasingly, I hear disrupt as a dirty word and even dirtier excuse.
Also, the more the subject of disrupting comes up, the more you wish TV industry organizations would disrupt the daily business of VCs, etc. on a frequent basis and advocate the benefits of investing, mentoring and nurturing TV content and technology startups. Let's go NAB, NCTA, NATPE, Women In Cable, NAMIC, Walter Kaitz Foundation, etc.--wake these people up to some new investment possibilities!
Side note: Thanks to Bloomberg for the free snacks, fruit and other nutrition people can pick up on their way out of events there. Appreciate the introduction to my latest snack love, Caramel Popcorners. Delish.
Congratulations to Toby Daniels and his team for a week of engaging events and solid crowds attending them. More theme weeks ahead--Internet Week in May, CE Week a month later, Advertising Week early this fall and the first-ever NYC Television Week in late October. Trust they will be equally worthwhile.
Until the next time, stay well and stay tuned!
Simon Applebaum is producer/host of Tomorrow Will Be Televised, the radio program all about TV. Tomorrow runs live Mondays and Fridays at 3 p.m. Eastern time, noon Pacific Time on www.blogtalkradio.com, with replays available at www.blogtalkradio.com/simonapple04. A weekly TV series edition will soon premiere on the new UBC-TV network.
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