New Media Expo 2008 Deconstructed Part 1

Part 1 – The Good

I write this in the United Club at LAX on the way home to see my girls. I’m sure I won’t cover everything in this posting but I wanted to, at least, start the process of getting this out. It’s always a privilege to Blog because it lets me work out the thoughts and concepts swirling all around this giant head of mine.

As promised, my slides from my presentation are up. The audio is not for public consumption yet, but I’ll let you know when that is ready as well.

Today I want to talk of the great stuff that happened at New Media Expo 2008. My next post, I’ll chat the “bad” and we’ll end with a “what’s next” examination – at least from the cyberpen of this observer. It is always easier to tell everyone else what they need to than it is to figure these things out for yourself. Please subscribe to this Blog if you haven’t already, to get the rest.

The Tech. Who else noticed the ironic pairing of Gary Vaynerchuck’s encouragement to stop branding other video players with the new Wizzard video player offering? Am I the only one that saw the power of grouping shows together in Susan Bratton’s new widget? Will the TubeMogul integration with Libsyn help my constant theme of “publish your content via whatever channel will take it?” Whereas past tech launches of previous events were very exciting tech enhancements (I still wonder where we would be without Gigavox’s Levelator), what we saw this round were tools to make the makers more powerful players in this space. How could I not applaud?

The People. I usually start my presentations with a bit of an apologetic encouragement that it’s o.k. to see make money and make a business out of your Podcast. As I did the same this year, I could see in the eyes of the audience that they no longer needed this element. They were ready to take action re their own destinies. We have matured. Yes, there numbers were down but the quality was considerably up and … did anyone really think we’d see the (same) entire audience at the Ron Moore speech a few years back at Expo #4? It has very little to do with the Vegas location as much as it has to do with the people willing to give this the time and money this deserves. Forget the Podfaders and smile at those who remain.

Those who remain are doing some amazing things and encouraging a new generation to take us to the next level. I met so many people aware of what is in front of us with a strong willingness to do something about it (past waiting for Adam Curry to send them a paycheck for 20 downloads). It was the buzz of potential that was intoxicating – it wasn’t Vegas.

Microsoft, Sony, Panasonic. Not only are ‘we’ starting to take this seriously, but ‘they’ are as well.

Star Power. To have Leo Laporte in the back broadcasting live was a blast and a half. To have an event where (and yes, I will leave some off this list – for that I am sorry) Veronica Bellmont, Kent Nichols, Felicia Day, Gary Vaynerchuck, Zadi Diaz, Geoff Smith, Jonathan Coulton not only show up – but make themselves accessible – is just a kick in the pants. Always fun.

The Concert. The Coverville 500 was great to see and participate in. Watching talent like Dr. Floyd, JoCo, and Dan Klass live was as enjoyable as any “big name set.” Yet to feel like you could not only grab a CD but actually talk shop with all of them was what made this so different.

Yes, “numbers were down” but this year was marked by quality, not quantity. This reality was overshadowed by the very quantity, not quality groove that is Vegas – but those taking note, noticed.

My business will be better as a result of this event.

I have more tools and connections than ever as a result of NME08.

I’m more sure than ever that this industry is right for me – no matter what we call it.

I count many of you not just as business partners – but friends.

So much good to report from New Media Expo 2008.

Your thoughts?

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