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Media 09 Conference - Summary

Media 09 is a new media conference held in Sydney. I attended last year’s, and missed this year due to being in Canada. Fortunately, Brad from lagrangepoint was there and blogged many of the talks.

Below are some of the highlights from his coverage (click through for full articles):

Brian McCarthy, Fairfax CEO:

In discussing the media environment, he pointed out the differences between the US and Australia, including the greater investment in colour printing and the more discreet geographic distribution of our population that has protected Australian publishers.

He also reiterated his faith in content - and quality journalism - being the key to survival, as the company continues to merge its print and online offerings and diversify into new markets

Caroline Little, from The Guardian News and Media USA:

The role of the newspaper as a record of yesterday’s news has gone, and newsrooms need to adapt.

The newspaper is now no longer the most effective means for an advertiser to reach an audience, with the market becoming more fragmented.

She said there are four key areas - multimedia storytelling, database journalism, reader engagement and citizen journalism. Fear of failure must not hold proprietors back.

Understanding Twitter and Facebook are vital for understanding engagement and their viral nature, and it is important to understand how content is being distributed away from the publisher’s website.

Nic Newman, BBC:

Content must also be made sharable, within the boudaries of content rights, via widgets and other portals so that content gets to where the audience actually is.

Ben Self, used social media for the Obama campaign:

There were more than 1800 videos distributed to supporters, and 50 million views of this content. 68 million Americans were reached either online or in person throughout the campaign. More than US$770 million was raised - US$500 million raised online.

He said that having a dynamic and interesting email program was crucial, with more than 13 million on the distribution list by the end of the campaign. They also made it easier for people to communicate themselves through the web site.

He also looked at tools to target and organise voters geographically, to help get people in neighbourhoods together who want to be part of the campaign.

Meg Pickard, The Guardian Community manager:

We didnt make any money, but we generated an enormous amount of goodwill,” Pickard said. “We sold several hundred, but we had seveal thousand people linking to it on Facebook.”

There is a wholly trinity of technology, people and editorial. She also talked about the transition from casual users to connected users, committed users and finally catalysts - the final category being the ones who represented less than 1 percent of the audience, but are blogging and twittering about you, saving stories on and creating pages on Facebook, that you need to find a way to engage with.

Richard Cardran, Emmy award winner for his work in digital media:

Cardran says we have reached a point of maturity, to the point where if a business doesn’t have strategies in business for Facebook, MySpace or mobile, then they really should, because all it takes now is willpower.

Cardran says you need a strategy for ecosystem and for syndication, and that leads to a meta strategy. He spoke about creating value around an object, service or presence, not the object, service or presence itself.

End users should be allowed to design custom virtual newspapers and magazines, and they should be able to virally distribute their custom publications. He says newspapers should also create hyper-localised applications to exploit local advertising revenue.