Stream 2011: Facebook Friending Agencies; Google in our Circle

Sunrise over Marathon, Greece.

Sunrise over Marathon, Greece.

Even after the jetlag has subsided and you’ve had a few days to reflect, it’s nearly impossible to justly capture the sense of creativity, openness, innovation and playfulness you experience at WPP Digital’s Stream 2011 ‘unconference’.

An avante-garde mix of WPP agencies (think Ogilvy, Mindshare, Hill & Knowlton, Blue State Digital) and clients (think Ford, IBM, Unilever, P&G, Coca-Cola), communications thought leaders (think Sir Martin Sorrell, Ze Frank, Rory Sutherland) and technological innovators (think Facebook, Google, Spotify, Yoni Bloch, Innovid), the event was a shorts-and-flip-flop discussion of everything ranging from the malpractice of Dr. Google to the miner (Chilean) Twitter parody.

I had the chance to meet folks from Facebook and Google and was pleased to hear that they’re not only thinking about how to work with marketers, but also how to work with marketers in ways that make sense to their customers. The major social platforms are now putting greater resources into collaborating with agencies who they see as partners in unleashing the full potential of their platforms – not just on the media side, but now on the creative design side.

As Facebook’s Patrick Harris and Sarah Personette expressed it, Facebook is primarily a technology company – not a content company. Thus, they see agencies as the “evangelists, designers and curators” of effective social media marketing and integration.

Facebook’s Patrick Harris and Sarah Personette

And as we all anticipate what the Google+ platform will offer brands, Chris DiBona says they’re structuring the platform for smart, sensible, segment-able marketing that makes sense to consumers. (I swear it was just a coincidence he used one of my favorite clients, Ford, as an example.)

Chris DiBona from Google

And because I’d love to tell you more about Stream 2011, but don’t have the time or space, here are some great recaps:

  • Five-part series in the Huffington Post penned by the likes WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell, txteagle’s Nathan Eagle, SoundCloud’s Caroline Drucker, Ford’s Alex Hultgren and Y&R’s David Sable.
  • TechCrunch video interview with Sir Martin Sorrell on content valuation and the “dreadful mistakes” we’ve made in giving it away for free.
  • H&K’s (and die-hard Stream-er) Candace Kuss’ amazing Storify curation of #stream11 tweets.
  • WPP Stream’s YouTube channel. Especially check out the Ignite playlist. Everyone should try to do a presentation with 20 slides that advance every 15 seconds for a total of exactly 5 minutes. My favorite: Esther Dyson on paying attention.