Day two at Social Media Week started off with a bang – Eli Pariser took to the stage to talk all things Upworthy, for the first time since the site has become viewed by over 60 million people a month.
Here are the 5 takeaways our team have from day two…what were yours?
1) What’s trending isn’t always important
Good news organizations (and brands) bring together aspirational and behavioral signals to balance their content. Both need to be treated equally and both need to be fed. This includes looking at what people do (share, click, create community action) and what they say.
Is the content both compelling and substantive? The answer should be yes. And importantly, companies like Upworthy are looking at a new engagement metric they’re calling attention minutes and are going to the community to get their feedback on what they want the future of content to be.
By reading behavior in the context of aspirations, we should now look at content in terms of “Am I doing it right?” and not “Are they interested?”
2) Data will rule – but we won’t care
Data is becoming more relevant and accessible and more tailored to our personal interests. By 2020 we might see Google Now-like technology permeate our lives, making data available before we ask for it, and helping us keep track of our habits and routines. Our main function will be to optimize the feed, or adjust it in the moment.
Any app that’s relevant to you will be able to provide alerts or info, relevant to you, at a key time, possibly before you ask for it. For example: Your fitness-activity monitor, which knows you go running every Tuesday and Thursday, will let you know one of the streets on your route is closed due to construction and will know how to adjust your route, while keeping your distance, elevation, and other metrics generally the same.
3) Wearable tech continues to innovate
Wearables help amplify our expression and provide control over the sea of data we generate and have the ability to turn any activity into play. By putting the consumer at the center of action and allowing them to see how their actions impact the data and benefits – create a lasting bind between the person and tech.
Sports, fitness, wellness, heath are sizzling with opportunity in the wearable tech space. But, in addition to counting our steps and perspiration and pushing email notifications – there is great opportunity to aid integration into life of those who might have a disability or impairment.
Old school keyboard and mouse cause carpal tunnel for millions and it’s even more challenging for those with a disability. Wearables are here to change that.
4) The leaders of the next digital revolution will be unexpected
Steve Case, CEO of Revolution, a Washington, D.C.-based investment firm he co-founded in 2005, is best known as one of the founders of America Online, launched when only when only 3% of personal-computer users were online. AOL was the first Internet company to go public, in 1992, when it had only 200,000 users. “You just gotta persevere,” he said.
To find innovation, it pays to look beyond Silicon Valley and New York City. “Good ideas can be anywhere,” Case said, citing hidden gems like Austin and parts of North Carolina. Young entrepreneurs live in a world of greater diversity and opportunity where the people behind the company matter less than the quality of the idea.
To fully access troves of talent, America needs immigration reform to compete with countries with more lax laws, Case said.
5) The death of CPM ad units is near
Storytelling is exactly the same as it was 50 years ago. That’s how we like to consume information. The “way” we tell stories is what has changed. Can’t just put an ad on the internet because it doesn’t make sense.
Native advertising has a great role to play in the solution, but makes up a very small amount of ads. We have developed banner blindness – so we can develop social sponsored blindness too.
Advertisers should be scared by the prospect of Pandora One, Netflix – places where consumers pay to not see ads. Just because attention is there, doesn’t automatically mean advertising will follow. But if we do have the attention, the frequency model goes away. Everything changes.