China was visiting the US, Iraq was burning our flags, Russia and Japan officially ended disagreements from WWII, and the New Media Summit went on with no "We will crush you!"'s or shoes slamming on table tops. No one expected thi sevent, put together by Itochu Technology, Sun Microsystems, and MeriselMOCA, to stir up too much controversy held at the elegant Soho Grand Hotel on October 29th.
Speakers included top new media thinkers including Owen Davis of TheThinking Media Corp.; G. Craig Murray of@Radical Media; Sean Skilling of BrandDialogue; and Eric Swenson of Hearst New Media. Tim Nadeau of Bowen Consulting offered that it was a good first attempt at a summit and it seemed like after the overused repurposed jargon some real substantive viewpoints came out. It must have been true judging from the length of discussions Kevin Sickles (SunMicrosystems) and David Frackman (Brand Dialogue) had going on after the event. Owen Davis's Java banners that track virtually (literally) everything were mulled over with tasty morsels of mushrooms in philo dough. Clay Shirky (sporting a handsome beard) encouraged others nearby to attend (and tell friends) of his Animators Ball in February. This event will not only be a showcase of animator's wildest dreams, forcing developers to meet the challenge for these applications, but also a chance for them to get to know about others in their field and begin a strong network.
G. Craig educated me on the inevitable convergence of TV and Web. Basically, TV is not interactive enough, the web is too interactive. Studies show that the TV is on for 8 hours but only watched for 2, and when a URL is on a commercial, traffic to that site spikes high. He believes a website has to be a natural extension of TV advertising, and that most people watch TV with laptops. I think a lot of people just happen to have computer and TV in the same (family/den) room. The web audience is one of affinity -- they come to sites because they want something from them, if someone is fed information (via commercial - and they couldn't click on the remote fast enough to get away) then the web is a natural extension of getting more information about the product or company. New media is offering a dialogue mechanism the beast media(um) (TV) isn't offering.
(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)