The rain finally stopped on Sunday but the cool air (20 degrees colder here today than it was in Denver) continued. The jam-packed lineup from Saturday left a less inspiring list of options today but there were still a lot of great speakers on tap. Here are our takeaways from the day:
- My first Sunday session was a little bit later than normal because of a long night out on the town and an hour of sleep lost thanks to Daylight Savings. Jurgen Klinsmann, Head Coach of the United States Men’s National Soccer Team sat down with Roger Bennett of ESPN for a conversation that quickly woke the crowd up with an enthusiastic USA! USA! cheer. Klinsmann had some fascinating thoughts on leadership and integrating different backgrounds and cultures into an organization. His thoughts on accountability and empowerment can be applied to any size business or team. He ended the panel on a great note, “never settle, not even for a second.”
- One of the most crowded sessions I attended today was a panel on the secrets of addictive storytelling that featured some heavy hitters in the media industry, including a President at A&E, the GM & SVP from Buzzfeed and the Editor in Chief at Cosmopolitan. All of them shared some cool anecdotes on how they create addictive content in their respective mediums (if you somehow haven’t yet seen the jellybean video make sure and check it out below), but the biggest takeaway for me was a comment from Jonathan Perelman of Buzzfeed. He noted that their statistics show that less than 30 percent of readers who share their longform content haven’t read more than 10 percent of the story. They’re sharing it for purely vain purposes. People share content to build their own personal brands. Apparently several people share a lot of New Yorker content to help them seem more intelligent to their friends and followers.
- While today was a little bit disappointing in terms of the quality and quantity of the sessions it still proved value in helping a theme of the conference (for me at least) begin to flesh itself out . With two days remaining I feel confident that I’ll head back to Denver with a new prospective on how our content is engineered. I’ve realized that my team members and I need to put a lot more time on the front end into the hows and whys of our content while addressing all stages of the content lifecycle. I look forward to putting a new process into place to create content that achieves a specific goal.
Several of the sessions I attended today were outside of my normal “communications” comfort zone. The one thing that was quickly apparent is how far reaching the implications of social media really are. From the entertainment industry, to how the news is reported, to health and well-being.
- In “The Ethics of Social News,” panelists from Digital First Media and the Associated Press talked about news outlets using social media content to report the news, and the challenges social content presents. Things like verification, safety and attribution are all hot button topics, even when sharing tweets or Facebook statuses. For today’s journalist, there’s a fine line when using outside content, “The two biggest mistakes are solely using social media for facts and completely ignoring social media.”
- Randi Zuckerberg interviewed “House of Cards” and “50 Shades of Grey” producer Dana Brunetti and a majority of the discussion revolved around the importance social media plays in the entertainment industry. The main takeaway for me was the value of building a personal social media brand to engage with people and promote your professional endeavors. The more people are talking about your projects, or hearing you talk about them (whatever they might be), the better your chance for success.
- My final panel of the day consisted of the lead engineers from Airbnb, Pinterest, Box and Eventbrite all discussing how they’ve made the leap to mobile programming while continuing to build their core web presence. What I took away was more of a lesson in change management. Each company integrated a focus on mobile throughout each department, rather than having a stand alone “mobile department.” The result: understanding and adoption throughout the organization. The same can hold true for any organization launching a new product/service, or adopting new processes.
~Jim Licko and Jon Woods