Archive - Sep 24, 2007
The New York premier of Michael Clayton draws a crowd of photographers and spectators as celebrities pause on the red carpet. Meanwhile, across the street, the attendees of the Online Media, Marketing and Advertising Conference and Expo drink their AOL provided cocktails while the Mission of Iran to the United Nations sits down to dinner in the Mercury Ballroom.
"The Truth Can Be Adjusted", the signs advertise; a message that is perhaps not missed by either the OMMA attendees or members of the Mission of Iran to the United Nations.
As I sit through the first couple presentations at Online Media, Marketing and Advertising Conference and Expo, I ponder their tag line: "Worlds collide; All Hell Breaks Loose!". How much of a collision will we see here? I look around the room and note that about 5% of the audience have laptops fired up. Perhaps we are still a long way from the collision.
The first couple presentations do not leave time for Q&A. Geoff Ramsey of emarketer.com does a great rapid fire introduction to what is going on in the world of online advertising. Currently, $289 billion is spent on advertising. It is growing at about 3% per year. Of that, $21.7 billion is online advertising and growing much more rapidly. He further breaks it down by email, user generated content (UCG, a phrase that gets repeated a lot), mobile, social networks and video.
He takes the typical swipes at Twitter and Second Life, and I post a quick comment to Twitter about it. I suspect I was the only one using Twitter during his speech. He is followed by Eileen Naughton of Google. There are various comments about Google during the introductions, moderation and Geoff's remarks. Geoff ponders if Google Earth is a precursor to a play in the real estate market by Google. There is a sense of nerveousness about what Google has done, is doing and will continue to do to the advertising market.
Eileen addresses this upfront by talking about convergence istead of conflict. She speaks about how searching is a core consumer behavior. She spends a lot of time talking about YouTube and how the Super Bowl ads played well on YouTube, not only immediately, but continuing afterwards.
What is lacking in both of these presentations is an opportunity for the audience to interact with the speakers, other than laugh at a random funny remark. Perhaps that is what is lacking in so much of the approach to online advertising.
The next speaker is George Kliavkoff, Chief Digital Officer at NBC Universal. He makes a comment about how at the end of the day, they belive professionally produced premium content wins. This sounds a bit like an either or world, either you have professionally produced premium content, or you have amatuer produced crappy material. I don't think it is either/or. In fact, George is so boring that I end up walking out.
I wander down to a session about "making dollars and cents out of social networking". The discussion ends up being mostly about how to target audiences and very little about building community. The exception being a discussion about Flip.com which has a tag line "Make Flipbooks | Make Friends". This panel is different in that there is time for questions and the concerns are with user burnout and the proliferation of social network sites. Will we move to an environment of greater portability between social networks? Perhaps, but people may want to keep their online personae separate. My business persona on LinkedIn or Ryze is different from my social network persona on Facebook or MySpace, and all of that is different from how I appear in political or non-profit spaces.
I think this captures where how we are still a long way from the collision. Online media is increasingly about being connected. SMS messages, Facebook statuses, Twitter messages, being in Second Life. These are about being connected with one another, and not simply sucking the pap broadcast by advertisers creating professionally produced premium content.
This gets amplified for me when kmakice comments about a twitter message saying, "Geoff Ramsey doesn't doesn't get Twitter. It's main value is the sense of connection, not what is typed"
So where is the sense of connection? I'm still looking, and I think that is where the collision really takes place.
It is seven in the morning and I'm sitting on the train heading into New York. I woke early this morning with "Where will my feet take me today" echoing in the back chambers of my head. They will take me to OMMA, the Online Media, Marketing and Advertising conference. I've wondered if this is a good use of my time. Last week, I was sick, as was everyone else in the house. I fell behind in my email and in my blogging. On top of that, both my laptop and Kim's laptop crashed, not the simple "time to reboot" crash, the messier, "time to reinstall the operating system" crash. I was up late last night getting my old laptop at least functional, and then I spent a bit more time on the train trying to reconfiguring things.
So, what are my expectations heading into OMMA? I'm not sure. I am wearing the Blogger shirt that Kim embroidered for me. I expect to see a fair amount of suits at the conference. I also wonder how geeky people there will be. I checked, and yes, OMMA is up on Upcoming. However, online one person had signed up. It is up on Confabb, twice, but no one had signed up. As I searched to make sure I had my directions right, the references to OMMA were sparse. One company had sent out a press release that their CEO was speaking. Another had a blog entry about being at the show.
The way I heard about the show is that one site that I use sent out an email to registered users asking that if you are attending the show, please stop by at their booth. As I searched around, I found that there is a Web 2.0 meetup this evening, with many more people signed up. Then, at the end of the week, there is DigitalLife. I wondered about the overlap between DigitalLife, the Web 2.0 Meetup, OMMA and the blogging and social media world I live in. How much overlap will there be?
Today, my feet will take me to OMMA,but I'm still not sure what I'll find there.