Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thought provoking event, MediaBistro Circus

Yesterday was my last day in NYC for the MediaBistro event that I was at since Monday. It was a pretty good content show. I had the privilege of seeing Chris Anderson from Wired Magazine and "The Long Tail" fame. I also got to see a conversation about the NY Times technology improvements with Jim Roberts, online editor there, and one of his colleagues (missed his name) that ran the special projects for the web. I also enjoyed Nicholas Carr of "Does IT Matter" fame as the last speaker of the event (he was interviewed by Business Week editor Jon Fine).

But, my favorite speakers/panelists at the event were Jon Wiley from Google and Robert Scoble from Fast Company TV. Wiley did a really nice job of explaining Google's attention to user experience. Not only did he explain it as their number 1 focus in their list of "10 Things Google Has Found to Be True", I also enjoyed his definition of profit. He explained it more as a utility for the user, not a function of money making. He also showed a fun little research video that showed eye mapping technology with green lasers. That was cool in itself... but the user audio was awesome. It was of a clueless user that was trying to find a television. So, instead of narrowing his search through any number of ideas that he had spoken, he just searched for the word "television" instead. That was Jon's way of saying that they still had work to do in making Google more intuitive/easy for the user. In his words (paraphrased), "It's unacceptable to expect the user to learn how to search better".

Robert Scoble was a completely different experience. I enjoyed this presentation for the frenetic world that he must live in. At one point in the presentation, he showed his desktop with all the twitter "tweets" and people he was following and real-time conversations and video that he was recording as he spoke... My mind is spinning just thinking about it. It was simply crazy. His content was good... don't get me wrong. But, I enjoyed his presentation for the manic quality it possessed. Very fun.


Topher said...

Aw, dude! I wanted to go to that event, but my company's too cheap to send us to things like that. Hope it was awesome!

Eric Gervase said...

My company was the main sponsor of that event. We had five free passes. If you could have footed the expense of being there, I could've totally got you in. That stinks.

You work for a media company, right?

Topher said...

Actually, I work for a very, very large transportation/logistics company which shall remain nameless, but I'll give you a hint: we sponsor a racehorse named Big Brown. I'm in marketing communication, so I do some media stuff. It's an uphill battle, though, b/c they don't get excited about "newfangled" things. It's worked for 100 years, so why change?-type mentality.