Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Live Experience As A Premium

Last week I attended a panel discussion on The Future of Media. It was one of those great conversations that if it wasn't for the fact the temperature of the room resembled a meat locker, I could have listened for another hour.

Moderated by Patrick Phillips of I Want Media, it included Roy Sekoff, President and Co-Creator of HuffPost Live, Jonah Peretti, Founder and CEO of Buzzfeed, Mark Thompson, CEO, NewYork Times Company, Cindy Jeffers, CEO and CTO of Salon Media Group, and Henry Blodget, Editor and CEO of Business Insider.

A pretty impressive group, the talk ranged from:  is it more important to be right or first when it comes to reporting the news, are legacy organizations more worried about what's next than what made them great to begin with, the intersection of big data and storytelling and the increased use of the visual in telling the story.

One of my favorite take-a-ways was this from Roy Sekoff.

And then there was this nugget from Mark Thompson.

Mark Thompson has an uncanny resemblance to Kelsey Grammer's Frasier character. So the seriousness in which he said that almost made me want to laugh. 

Except it was so true.  

It's the strange paradox of living in an increasingly digital world. Everyday there are more and more ways to interact - virtually. Yet in the end what we all crave is that in-person, live experience. It is part of our basic human nature to want to be physically seated next to another living, breathing person as opposed to a piece of technology. It's how we're designed. 

And now it has become a premium.

It's why there was standing room only for last Thursday's panel discussion. Why the Times Talk series are so popular. Why in person seminars still sell out.

The point of digital is to connect - more often, more seamlessly and more far reaching than ever before. But none of it means much if there isn't humanity involved - the living, breathing kind. It's the premium I'm willing to pay for.

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