The PubCamp Report.

Tubby and I went to PubCamp yesterday arvo. Contrary to popular belief and rumours floating around the agency, this doesn’t involve camping out at a pub. PubCamp is an offshoot of BarCamp (which in turn is an offshoot of FooCamp), and is:

A Conference and Unconference” — a free event about the future of media on the Web — and get some group therapy for dealing with this precocious teenager and its seemingly limitless potential.

That whole teenager bit came from the intro on the website, which Tubby really liked, so here it is too:

The Web is now sixteen years old. Like most teenagers, it’s obsessed with its social life and wears strange clothing. It thumbs its nose at convention and is impossible for most normal grown-ups to understand. It’s not mature yet, but growing up fast. And while it may be out to change the world, it also seems intent on smashing up everything that has come before.

Unorganised events like this can be very hit and miss. Yesterday was pretty good, and was certainly worth it. I jotted down some random thoughts during the whole thing (speakers Bio’s are here)…

Tim Noonan
The ABS says 19% of Australians have some form of disability. And yet accessibility in the online world is treated as a ‘nice to have’ feature, rather than a core consideration. He can’t ’see’ any flash content via his screenreader.
In the future people may well be consuming their media via their preferred sense, rather than via the sens that it is offered to them in. In this case, the rest of us will be following the lead of the impaired people.
Tim’s accessibility studies have found that Web 2.0 apps are 38% less accessible than ‘the old web’.

New vs. Old Media Panel
This was actualy a complete debacle. Almost everyone up on stage was from oldskool media, and the audience was dominated by nuskool practitioners. In the end the crowd turned, and the final summary was actually delivered by an audience member. But here’s what I did note down…
New media supports old media because the new media can tell publishers more about their audience than they’ve ever known before, therefore creating greater ad value.
“New media needs old media to get people to find their sites”. This was an interesting point and one that never really got discussed any further. One of the new media panellists pointed out that he’s never spent a cent on marketing, almost bragging about that fact. But I wonder if he’s considered how well his site might be going if he’d spent some money.
Journalists have always been aggregators.
“Print is the life support for your online until online becomes the life support for your print until you close your print” - Ben Gerholdt from IDG.

Debate: That the new world of media choice is a dagger to the hearts of producers and creators alike
Value can only be created in content that has an inherent value that cannot be replicated digitally. That unreplicable element may only be a tiny element of the content, but it is immensely valuable.

Matt Moore on Value Networks
“The difference between the $4 bottle of water and the water that comes out of your tap is the intangible” (that probably makes bugger all sense outside the context of what he was talking about).
Analysing a value network and optimising your business for it requires addressing each exchange your business has with anyone and asking

  • Who is involved?
  • What does each role get and how does it benefit them?
  • What does each role give
  • Are these exchanges tangible or intangible

The above can apply to everything from selling mobile phones to creating a viral video.
Social media has turned the intangible (conversations in pubs) into the tangible (conversations on blogs)
Once you have analysed your value network, it’s important to understand that you only own your role in that network. Do that as best you can, and don’t try to own roles you can’t control.

Ian Lyons on putting the consumer at the centre of the universe
If a company (like Facebook) is valued at $3B, why am I not getting a cut? Why shouldn’t I get 10c for every ad that appears on my profile? If a service was created that followed this model, how much would it influence people in their choice to leave something like Facebook and join up to your service? Redefine the shareholder.
There is a point where data cannot replace the personal and innate things we know about ourselves and which we can recall in a split second.

Tim Noonan (again), this time just randomly taking questions.
Cloud computing means a new hardware interface could be possible for vision impaired people. Rather than try and read the code, look at the visual structure and allow the user to traverse and make sense of structure, then dig down into content.
JAWS (screen reading software) is really expensive ($3k). Is it possible that it could be made free to the vision impaired and be supported by targeted advertising?
Deaf people are linguistic minority. But there are a lot of languages in the world that are spoken by less people than the number that can read braille.

Also worth noting (and the reason I put in the BarCamp and FooCamp links) is that these events are a real-world manifestation of what’s happening online in terms of sharing knowledge and putting value in intangibles. The whole unconference/unorganisation aspect of it works amazingly well in some respects, but also there were some problems. All up however, I’m always impressed that events like this run just as seamlessly as your Ad:Tech’s and AFA forums.

Another interesting aspect of PubCamp was that an entire back-channel of conversation was going on the whole time through Twitter. While this creates a behind-the-scenes conversation of people in the audience, it also at times was brought up on the big screen so people on stage could address the conversations and questions happening in this backchannel.

2 Responses to “The PubCamp Report.”


  1. 1 Alexander Trackback on Jul 7th, 2011 at 6:24 pm
  2. 2 Alexander7 Trackback on Jul 20th, 2011 at 7:33 pm

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