Shortly after his keynote at ad:tech San Francisco -- and David Spark's timely pre-talk grab -- founder Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia sat down with me to talk shop.
Expect to hear his dish on where consumer generated media is now and why brands should dive in (as well as where). We also talked about what-in-hell happened with Wikia, why branding's underrated, and what keeps Wikipedia afloat. (It ain't advertising.)
After all that awkward backtracking over how much agencies dish out for its pencil-shaped paperweights (where does all that money go?), The One Show is under pressure to lighten the strain on its PR team.
Add to that the usual speculation about whether an old boy's club decides who wins what each year. How best to respond? Nudge-nudge the conspiracy theorists back, which is what One Show tries doing in this series of wordy tongue-in-cheek prints.
With headings like "Secret handshakes. Secret passwords. Secret secrets," creatives hither and yon can guffaw while the One Club rib-jabs and wink-winks the following message into our collective subconscious: Think we're not transparent enough? That's because WE'RE NOT!
"Shadowy" is at left. Also see "Whisper" and "Shroud." Work by Charlotte-based BooneOakley.
If you haven't been asleep for the last month you know there's been a project around here called Killed Ideas. It's purpose is to pick the top 50 ads that never saw the light of day. In other words, all those great ads your creative director, account manager or client killed.
The final 50 have been chosen and will appear in Killed Ideas Volume I which will publish in May. For now, we're keeping the selected fifty under wraps. After all, revealing them now would kind of defeat the point of the book, right?
But we can share some of the ideas that almost, but not quite, made it into the top 50. Here's one:
When someone commits suicide, it's not always clear why they did so. In a memoir written by Joan Wickersham, the author attempts to make sense of her father's suicide by putting together the pieces which led up to his death.
Last week at ad:tech Paris I got to hang out with VP-Strategy Robin Sloan of Current TV. We built rapport over Extremely Important Stuff: why the universe needs Battlestar Galactica, how you (or, well, I) can't get a good burrito in Paris, and whether the talking space ship in Flight of the Navigator would look as cool today as it did when we were weebies.
Anyway, at some point I randomly said, "Can I take video of you talking?" or something to that effect, and he was all, "Cool," and by some strange juju I managed to catch him saying some pretty agreeable stuff about the media industry: what it needs (in the context of the perfect conference) and where it's headed.
ad:tech Paris wrapped up with a keynote called Facebook Today and Tomorrow, conducted by Commercial Director Blake Chandlee of Facebook's EMEA segment (Europe, the Middle East and Asia).
I already LiveTweeted the sesh so the last thing I want to do is type it all out again. The biggest takeaways: Mark Zuckerberg is God, and God's particular mantra is "Efficiency, Effectiveness, Scale."
One of the bigger bits of news eclipsing this talk was a recent announcement that Facebook is now 200 million (active) users strong. According to Chandlee, 50% of those users log in every day and spend an average of 25 minutes on the site.
And while the US once composed 70% of Facebook's total user figures, it's now just 30% -- not because growth has slowed on our turf, but because it's blossomed elsewhere. (France, for example, exploded from 2 million users last year to 9 million this year.)
Here are a few key video moments, punctuated by random Tweetdom.
No ad:tech's an ad:tech unless there's a session that speculates, however pointlessly, on the future of advertising. This particular variant featured New Media Director Robin Sloan of Current TV and General Director Travis Katz of MySpace. The moderator was Editor in Chief Nicolas Arpagian of Prospective Strategique.
Interesting sidenote about this panel: Arpegian posed all questions in French; Sloan and Katz wore magic insta-translating devices that enabled them to respond in English without missing a beat. It was so "Star Trek."
Sloan was up first, and he kicked off with something unexpected. Positioning his presentation as if we were already living in the year 2019, he walked us through the "past" 10 years.
Video snapshots below.
If you've never been to Web 2.0 Expo or you've been and you just can't get enough, be sure to watch this Bubblicious video report by Jolie O'Dell. O'Dell spoke with exhibiting company representatives including ooVoo's Tom Herman, MindTouch's Mike Diliberto, Topix' Chris Tolles, Chimp's Anthony Eden and IBM's Kathy Mandelstein.
Miiko Mentz explained this year's Web 2.0 "focused on being agile in uncertain times. Everyone is feeling the pinch of 'having to do more with less' due to declining sales, staff reductions and budget cuts, so this year's Web 2.0 Expo's theme of 'The Power of Less' fit the climate and mood like a glove."
Full length interviews with each company representative will follow over the next week.
As if there weren't already a plethora of industry award shows, now (not that this is new or anything) we have agencies like Ypung & Rubicon handing out awards to individual agencies within its network for what it dubs great work.
The winner of the agency's annual Idea of the Year Award goes to Shalmor Avnon Amichay/Y&R Interactive Tel Aviv for its work on Orange Time, a site for Orange's entertainment and movie portal.
Yesterday EVP/GM-Global Ad Sales Chris Dobson of the BBC conducted a keynote on what it takes to succeed in the rapidly-changing media landscape.
The BBC, of course, was his primary example; though whether you believe it's one of the most forward-moving brands in the stratosphere is subjective. (Frankly, I'll buy it when the iPlayer is finally Mac-ready.)
It's weird about Paris. You get the sense that it's a lot like San Francisco: picturesque, unassuming, discreet by night. But beneath the surface, it's really more like New York: roaming, sleepless. You just don't realize the latter until you're swept up in it, holding on for dear life, then you look around and realize you haven't dreamt for days.
On Monday afternoon at Marketing 2.0, all 250+ speakers, moderators and attendees were invited to dinner at Bistrot Renaissance. Given the girth of our group, we thought the venue would be sizable -- so it was with surprise when I showed up to find it was no bigger than a cafe.
People sat in groups of four or six, wherever they could be squeezed together. (For visitors that popped in just for a drink or something, it must've seemed like every social media zealot in Europe had alighted upon the Renaissance with a vengeance.)
But claustrophobic spacing breeds intimacy among the far-flung. I was squeezed into a table with a girl from a British agency, Senior Editor Elsbeth Eilander of Tijdschrift voor Marketing, Marketing Exec Cedric Giorgi of Goojet and Sven Markschlager of JagerMeister -- who I knew already, because we'd become Designated Conference Walking Buddies. (Seriously? He talks about Jager ALL. THE. TIME. Did you know that in Germany, older people drink it to settle their stomachs? Or that it's preferred as a mixer in Australia? No? Now you do.)
All told, a pretty low-key night. We did the business-card-exchange thing, and I went home fairly early (around 11), which is great because on Tuesday, all flippin' hell broke loose.
David Armano -- you know the one -- was in town with his wife. We shook hands for the first time on Tuesday afternoon and he casually asked if I'd like to go to dinner. I was like, "Sure," mainly because I had no idea what havoc said dinner would wreak.