THOUGHTS FROM WEBSUMMIT DAY THREE

Some stuff that struck me as interesting from Day Three, the final day of Websummit 2015. It's a large conference now, with many interests covered. So FYI I'm most interested in design, marketing, user experience and media.
  1. In "replacing advertising", issues of scale rather than culture or process, are the problem facing the "everyone is a publisher" mind shift.
    Putting aside whether "brand content" is acceptable or trustable for a moment, the main issue with the thesis that content will replace advertising is simply scale. Ads in the mass communication era built brands. Will content build brands when it doesn't scale in the same way? Are "highly shareable" pieces of content going to replace "highly visible" ads. Maybe. But it varies by vertical. Hence: the scale problem. From a couple of talks, mainly involving people from The Onion.
  2. "You don't have to wind down your window like an animal anymore"
    Amusing quip by Benedict Evans of Andreesen Horowitz. It prompted a simple thought - technology changes expectations quicker than it changes behaviours. From a service agency perspective, this makes the "outside view" even more worthwhile for clients. People's expectations are being reset by tech all the time. Louis CK has an oft-quoted tale, of a guy complaining that his just-announced, first-to-market inflight wifi doesn't work. Expectations rising exponentially, alongside the technology.
  3. "There is no mobile internet, there is only the Internet" and other ways that we need to think post-digital
    Echoing a thought gaining traction. There is no m or e-commerce, there is only commerce. No digital marketing, only marketing. The "digital distinctions", once useful so we could be specific about what we were discussing and planning, are it seems becoming less useful, as they can lead to silo-based thinking and hamper organisational integration.
  4. In the media/content business, social & community reach is now inseparable from a property - is it valued over audience?
    I'm no media specialist, but it seemed to me that content properties with a huge social following seem to trump properties with "just an audience". Jim Lanzone of CBS noted that while Letterman's Late Show had an audience, Colbert's has a following, with the social & digital reach to boot. It struck me that this is another example of how the visible metrics will influence decisions. Because they are visible, they are defensible. Maybe that's what passes for rigour. But I'm not convinced.
  5. "Knowing how to give good notes"
    Seen as a critical skill by Ed Catmull, founder of Pixar. It has taken me years to understand how to capture my thoughts and give feedback to teams. It's something I value from me and others, and I'm still not great at it. It's stuff like this which allowed Ed to take teams in Disney from making turkeys to making hits. The same people, wildly different results.