SXSW Interactive 2011 was overwhelming.There’s always a lot of talk about whether or not SXSW is over. I like Christopher Carfi’s summary and felt the same: SXSW was like navigating the internet. Without Foursquare I could not find people. Without the SXSW Go mobile schedule app I would have been lost. When I just showed up and did not plan I discovered unexpected sessions and people. The start-ups to watch that launched at SXSW are best summarized in this article. SXSW has grown to a point where dividing content and organizing in a different way would benefit next year’s agenda.
Themes that bubbled up for me:
- Trust in brands: brands have lost it, need to gain it back or keep it. Future efforts have to solve this and operate with this lense in mind.
- Social media was part of almost every session and seemed to weave in to everything. Interesting social solutions are custom and integrate with 3rd party platforms.
- Location based technology still needs more time and will evolve in the next 12-18 months.
- Design and think about “all’ digital: If you aren’t designing for dot com, mobile and all smart phones (Android and iPhone) you’re in the stone ages.
- I learned what “two screen” means. Social and TV are becoming natural partners.
- Influence was another reoccurring theme. Who’s an influencer? How do you get those influencers or is it about harnessing the influencers you already have?
- Brands are over using technology. Treat it like a “special effect” and get back to basics, and remember it’s about connections and people.
What did I find interesting and noteworthy?
As I mentioned trust was a reoccurring theme though out the conference. How can brands get it back? How is trust managed in the new digital landscape? “The Crisis of TRUST in a Social Age” sponsored by Sapient Nitro sought to examine this question.
Sapient Nitro’s view is that consumer behavior and decision is becoming influenced by social. Their study reveals trust in the people we know (traditional media: TV, newspapers, radio/news) is decreasing by 50% drop and that includes people we consider to be “friends and peers”.
Let’s examine that last point—are we redefining what a “friend” is? Potentially, I’m not your friend if we’re only connected on Twitter but do not know each other. People are becoming more particular about who they share information with and how they share it. Interesting statistic: 60% of people need to hear from a brand 3-5 times before they believe it’s true. We’re requiring more proof.
Where does trust fit in the social landscape? 40% of people surveyed said with more opinions and information they will trust more. While 18% said less information decreases their trust in a brand.
What is trust? Sapient says it’s confidence in the future in relation and to something of value. Trust exists to protect t what’s valuable and to commune/live.
What does the future look like for brands and trust? Brands, who are confident about their product and service, will ask their customers frequently about their individual experience and show this over time, i.e. a lifetime of client sentiment. To further this, brands who do this and show the sentiment publically will be the ones who lead in the sphere of trust.
Sapient is getting back to me on whether they can release a copy of the presentation. Stay tuned.
“TV + New Media = Formula for Success” panel was hosted by Andrew Hamp, LA Bureau Chief Ad Age with Dule Hill, USA Network, Jennifer Kavanagh VP, Digital Media for Oxygen Media, Jesse Redniss , Digital VP NBC Universal/USA Network and Steve Franks from USA Network.
The main topic of discussion was how is technology, digital and social working with TV successfully?
All major TV now have a website, Facebook, Twitter, games, transmedia and multiple apps for viewing, scheduling and playing more games to reach their audience.
The Oxygen network’s research showed how high other tech usage was with TV so they developed a custom combo Facebook/Twitter dashboard called Oxygen Live which uses Ustream for video with mobile. It’s a comprehensive way for the audience to engage with a live chat feature through social. Videos are available with real-time viewing. Follow-up research for Oxygenlive.com revealed that viewers used the app via mobile with 3 times longer engagement than the website. Not every show needs all new media, when core demo uses online actively, makes sense to do as much as you can.
The transformation is that people are no longer without their devices. There is an opportunity to story-tell and connect to others which creates a higher level of engagement. They used the term “two-screen” which means using social or a device with TV.
Oxygen is always thinking “two- screen” so that the content can be parsed and work on both. That means delivering extra content with that social “lense” on – content needs to translate and reach social graphs.
How is social moving the needle?
- Challenging to connect medias that “do not connect” , i.e. TV and digital. The networks are no longer looking at page views. The metrics that matter now are focused on engagement .
- Content has evolved to the game environment with deeper interactive digital. Oxygen is looking at geo/check-in technology (unlocking content is how they use this now). It’s a good additive to other digital platforms.
- Use fan base to “syndicate” content. Networks still have to focus on live network numbers. Talent is on board with “two-screen”, recognize audience is more engaged with augmenting the core program with social and digital.
I had not planned on attending this session, “Neurons Sparking! Design with the Brain in Mind” but was delighted with the content. Dr. MA Greenstein , PHD, RYT with the Green Institute hosted this session.
The session kicked off with this question, “Who are we designing for?”
In gaming and in all design she suggests you should have these three guiding principles: consciousness, creativity and collaboration. It’s not always easy to achieve all three but if you can, you’ll have a better chance of achieving a successful game. What do we know about the brain?
- Our brains are dynamically interconnected
- Our brains are a “predicting system”
- Our brains are good at predicting patterns
- Our brains are “neuroplasitc “, i.e. we create new networks, connections and maps
- Brain can send out receptors
- Neurotransmitters (reward, pleasure, pain, etc.)
- Brains love novelty. The use of gaming devices trumps exercise (studies with rats show they live 3 months longer if use of games is active). We want to be stimulated and to learn.
3 strategies for gamers to keep in mind….
- Selective attention is key for focus. The insula part of the brain focuses on absorption and attention.
- Face/pattern recognition is inherent to any comprehensive design. You need to tap the mirror neurons, which focus on imitating and being imitated.
- Integrating visual and spatial fluency keeps memory flourishing and aware.
Keep it novel and keep it fresh. Think about how your game can predict the future. We all have the need for immediate feedback—this keeps the novelty factor alive so people will want to play your game or application.
More to come….I’ll post a few more notes tomorrow.
Written by Guest Blogger, Wendy Bryant