Dec. 11, 2007 SDF New Media II

SDForum copy.jpgsdf-feb08-new-media-p1.jpgBiniak Bryan copy.jpgCastro Alexander copy.jpgChiang Derek copy.jpgClarke Diana copy.jpgDemarco Karen copy.jpgDulski Jennifer copy.jpgEpstein Jon copy.jpgForrest Viki copy.jpgGill Daren copy.jpgHalter Michael copy.jpgHamoui Omar copy.jpgHeckman James copy.jpgHasterberg Rodney copy.jpgHindus Debbie copy.jpgKhan Abdulkarriem copy.jpgKim Peter copy.jpgKinzelberg Chad copy.jpgLalwani Mahesh copy.jpgLeanse Ellen copy.jpgLeVine Thomas copy.jpgLister David copy.jpgLussier Jim copy.jpgMiller Nancy copy.jpgModi TJ copy.jpgOrr Andrea 2 copy.jpgRoter Davis Karen copy.jpgSolan Meliza copy.jpgStevens Tim copy.jpgStiles Colin copy.jpgSwisher Kara copy.jpgTellerman Shanna copy.jpgVan Diggelen Allison copy.jpgWong Richard copy.jpgWong Henry copy.jpgYen Richard copy.jpg

On Tuesday, December 11, 2007 at Microsoft in Mountain View, SDForum held “The Business of New Media II” to talk about the technology, business and social networking aspects of new media. There are new ways of creating, distributing and making money from content. On top of that, start-ups pitched their companies to VC, the press and an international audience.

Dan’l Lewin introduced the first keynote speaker Kara Swisher, formerly of the Wall Street Journal and currently of All Things Digital. She showed a hilarious parody of Billy Joel’s song “We Didn’t Start The Fire” called “Here Comes Another Bubble” which pretty much boiled down the experiences of everyone who survived the dotcom bust. She thinks the current boom is friendlier and full of widgets.

To drive home her point on how our actual analog lives are far behind our digital lives, she described her flight from New York to San Francisco. It left at 5:00 PM and did not arrive in San Francisco until 3:00 AM, with a fueling stop in Salt Lake City in between. The batteries in all of her digital devices went out one by one until she was stuck reading a book. Obviously we have a way to go before we can attach ourselves to an e-mail and arrive at our destination.

Consolidation in old media is accelerating. She said that recently Rupert Murdoch arrived at the Wall Street Journal and promptly fired all her old bosses. Meanwhile there is a concerted attempt by old media to control new media without understanding the implications.

She pioneered covering technology telling people not necessarily how technology worked but what it could do for them. Early on Swisher saw the potential of new media. She no longer wants to write books published on paper. She writes things online she would never have been able to write in print. Her online company puts out lots of original content to an larger active audience faster than print ever could.

The pace is also accelerated, so you must work harder and faster to stay on top of the story. Swisher can now focus on a story and follow it in ways she could not before. For instance, she thinks Facebook needs to justify its current valuation with real sustainable products and services rather than gimmicks and fads.

The more people involved in the news the more accountable and accurate it can be. Citizen journalist can do a good job holding those in power accountable. She thinks her readers are smarter than she is and can inform each other.

The current battle for the future of new media is in Hollywood between the writers and producers over the percentage of profits. Old media does not realize new media trends are like water coming down a mountain. You might try to divert it but it is coming down and nothing is going to stop it. If they are not careful they will wind up like the music industry where an entire generation thinks it is okay to steal music rather than pay too much for a product it does not want.

The first panel was “Success Stories from the Front Line: What does it take to get Venture Money?” They discussed new media business opportunities and the strategies to fund them. Andrea Orr of The Deal moderated a panel with Jon Epstein of Double Fusion, Jim Lussier of Norwest Venture Partners, Richard Wong of Accel, and Omar Hamoui of Admob. Social networking and mobile computing led the pack.

The second panel was “Dancing with the Elephants: How to Win without Getting Crushed” They discussed how partner with a large company while building your own. Heather Gates Massoudi of Deloitte moderated the panel with Karen Roter Davis of Google, Anne-Marie Roussel of Microsoft, Philipp Schloter of Nokia and Matt Thompson of Sun. Start-ups need to pitch unique solutions relevant to large companies without divulging any sensitive intellectual property.

James Heckman of Zazzle gave the second keynote. He talked about media consolidation in the past monopolizing “the truth” and leading to war and death. He thinks we need to raise an army of Davids to fight the new Goliaths seeking control of new media. We need to develop business models that allow individuals to make money reporting their independent views.

The next session was “In the Trenches: Picks and Shovels Driving New Media” Entrepreneurs pitched their new companies to venture capitalists Chad Kinzelberg of Scale Venture Partners and Richard Yen of Blueprint Ventures who gave their feedback.

The new companies presented a wide variety of ideas. Alexander Castro of Pluggd has contextual ads and searchable video. Michael Halter of Broadcaster Media delivers of graphically rich content to mobile phones, Blackberry and Smart Phones. Peter Kim of Compete has clicksharing, providing marketers with new insights into consumer behavior. Mahesh Lalwani of Ccube protects privacy while allowing telephone calls between strangers. Ellen Leanse of 222do helps create lists that people can share. Rich McGrew of Edgecast is a content delivery network, transporting music and video downloads. Shanna Tellerman of Sim Ops Studios shares virtual experiences online. Henry Wong of Zipidee supplies an online marketplace for premium instructional content. TJ Modi of Vezoom uses proprietary video search technology so consumers can easily sift through massive amounts of video content.

The third panel was “Where’s the Business in the Model?”. They discussed revenue models like subscriptions, advertising, content, licensing, retail, build + sell, Gary Sasaki of Digdia moderated a panel with Bryan Biniak of Jacked, Daren Gill of Veveo, Nancy Miller of Rattlebox, Colin Stiles of Monsoon Multimedia, Tim Stevens of Doppelganger. Advertising is the dominant and potentially troubling model. There must be other ways of making money.

New media continues to grow in audience and revenue as new companies move in to grab both.

12-11-07 SDF Crowd copy.jpg12-11-07 SDF Crowd2 copy.jpg

Copyright 2007 DJ Cline All rights reserved.