Last week I was in New York City where I attended the Future of Online Advertising conference and problogger meetup. It was great meeting so many people and hearing about everyone’s projects.
The main takeaways from last week in no particular order:
There’s a huge discrepancy between the blogging world and the old media world. Old money is still very powerful. These media agencies are having a hard time gaining access to the web 2.0 demographic in a meaningful way and on a large scale. It’s not easy to stay relevant in the long tail, while having a meaningful “conversation” across thousands of different blogs and websites. They want to spend the money, but executing it well and tracking it are huge hurdles for them.
Likewise for bloggers, finding advertisers is also a challenge. Most only earn a few dollars a day through adsense. Whoever figures out a way to bridge this gap between old media and new media that does it effectively and are able to scale it will be successful.
There was a lot of talk about video advertising. No one still has the answer on the best way to monetize video traffic. Jay Adelson (of Digg) talked about in-segment sponsorhips as the answer – but I don’t see it as the solution. I agree that pre-rolls and post-rolls are bad staregies, but having my favorite vlogger hoc some Vcast phone erodes their credibility and impartiality (over time). Plus it’s not a good solution for the long tail.
Ryan Carson gave a great real world presentation on how he advertised the Future of Online Advertising conference and what worked (and didn’t work) for them across many different channels. Cross-promotion with other sites and bloggers worked far better than advertising on high-traffic advertising industry sites. This sort of solidified the point that leveraging personal relationships with people you know and cross-promotion are far better strategies than throwing money at mass advertising channels.
It was great meeting and chatting with Darren Rowse. He’s really accessible and cool to talk to. Some other people I met and/or chatted with were Allen Stern (Center Networks), Nick O’Neil (All Facebook), Matt Propst, Mark Phillip (Are You Watching This), Lara Kulpa (anubis marketing), Ann Michael, Simi (A cool Brit), Ari Shohat (di.fm – great techno music), Mike Levin (Hittail), Chris Conley (Startup or Bust), the B5media crew (Chad, Shai, and a few others), Erin Moore (luvmutt.com), Alex Geana, Shona Ridell (Richminx money blog), James Heise (VideoClix), Michael Schneider (Fluidesign, an LA design firm), and the Carson Systems crew (Ryan, Lisa, Gillian, Mel).
Overall it was a good time. It’s far better meeting people in person than online – and even better to have contacts in your field who you know both online and offline.