The opening keynote is being presented by Mark Canon, President of New Media, Yell.com - which owns yellowbook.com in the US. He was previously the founder of Switchboard, worked on AOL search, and was the SVP at Autobytel.
The title of his presentation is "Deja vu All Over Again"
Slide 1 - Reiteration as the basis of belief - Shows Mark's background in directories and search as mentioned above... Mark also talks about the heavy investment by companies in creating local online solutions (directories, etc..) and talks about the vision that these companies have had, and how that vision has needed to change.
Slide 2 - Received Wisdom and self-evident truths
- We will understand our users better than in the past - His point is that directory owners and platforms really do not have a good take currently in terms of what users do on their site.
- We will migrate our advertisers online without loss - Here he points out that many thought online would be an avenue whereby offline media companies could generate additional revenues vs. offsetting losses in revenue from offline media.
- ILM will be more engaging and meaningful to users than traditional media - The consumption behaviors are so radically different today.
- Content quality and accuracy will be critical - Publishers have thought for a long time that they would win the battle (vs Google, others) due to the quality of their content, journalists, etc...
- We will use traditional media to drive online media - Behaviors are so different that this has been difficult. I have seen this myself with newspapers - rarely do our promotions in-print for online drive real response.
Slide 3 - Facts on the Ground - Search engines are the new browsers
- Focus on engagement, its not about ownership. People do and will continue to use search to satisfy their content needs. Leverage search
- DUH!! (of course I mean that with all do respect to Mark. The fact is that many of the companies here need to hear this over and over again. Us search evangelists have known this for a long time.
Slide 4 - Facts on the Ground - Usage is agnostic and context is king
- Bottom line - leverage search, verticals, mobile applications, ad networks, etc....
- Format your delivery and content to match behavior and context of the user.
Slide 5 - Facts on the Ground - Information is getting smarter
- Mark talks about contextual models like Kosmix.com and predicts that this is the future in terms of content delivery. Again, "...own the context, not the content"
Slide 6 - Facts on the Ground - Publishers will sell what they dont have
- Vertical and Geo-Traffic content networks will be more the rule than the exception.
- The lesson - Create what you have to, but sell what you can.
- We have seen this more and more with companies like Yahoo, Google, and others partnering directly with newspapers and directory companies as the newspapers and directories have the sales force to sell products that these companies are not as capable selling.
- Focus on conversion!
Slide 7 - Cultural Anthropology
- We are moving from a rigid command and control structure to a much more fluid world where the value of advertising and content is
Slide 8 - Balistic Exercises - The future
- Smart contexts, smarter content
- Voice search and navigation
- Socially mediated commerce
- Dimensional consumption
WOW, ok, so a very academic and philosophical presentation really targetted at those company leaders in the audience that traditional publishers - newspapers, directory companies, etc....
Mr Kelsey even said at the end... "Wow, I felt I was in a Doctoral class!" - Same here...
Not sure if this will translate well for a blog post, but dont worry - we will have video coverage of this next week. Stay tuned.