Future of Television Conference

Beyond TV: TVSpy.com Next Generation TV
So, I went to the Future of Television conference a couple of weeks ago and was somewhat suprised. Last year, I poked my head in to see what was being discussed and it was a big snooze. After checking out the website, I figured it was worth my time this year so I went.

Wow.. I was surprised. You wouldn’t know it but there are people in TV who really “get it”… Larry Kramer from CBS most notably get’s it.

Here is what I had to say on the day of:
I am writing from Future of Television Conference at NYU’s Stern School of Business today. I am here for several reasons, first of all I would like to know what the networks and traditional media concerns think of the scrappy interactive folks. Second, I am here doing recon. Specifically, I would like to know how long video bloggers and other decentralized media creators have before traditional media begins to offer enough of what they are doing to satiate “consumers”. (Perhaps that is not exactly my fear but close enough for now.)

First of all, I have to say that Larry Kramer gets it. He really does. He is open to experimentation. At CBS he has launched many interactive initiatives from a broadband news channel to podcasts of daytime soaps to fantasy sports sites to deep entertainment content add-ons to viewer/user photo posting to writer and producer blogs to actual audience participation through SMS. Phew..

CBS isn’t the only media company doing this type of experimentation. The other networks, cable and broadcast are doing the same or similar. Notable is ABC News Now, ESPN, Playboy and the like.

The question is, whether or not this is enough. Will this engage and empower viewers enough to keep them despite the ever growing number of alternative content channels. The networks certainly know how to deliver programming to a passive audience. They are just beginning to support a more engaged and digitally connected viewer.

A later speaker in the day, IBM’s Saul Berman described the audience by categorizing them in 3 camps. “Massive passives”, the folks that CBS has always served, lean back, over 35, want to be entertained but don’t feel compelled to buy the latest gadget or create their own media.

The next camp, arguably the focus of most of these efforts he described as “Gadgetiers”. He describes this group as heavily involved in content, they are fans, will seek out other individuals who are interested in the same content they are. They will purchase the latest devices, use time shifting (TiVo) and will space shift (TiVo To Go). They are also the heavy buyers, the early adopters, in short, the people that the advertizers (and therefore the networks) covet.

It remains to be seen whether what the networks are starting to do will appeal to this group in the long run. In the short term, it is clear, if you put it out there they will come. How long they stay is another matter.

The last camp, the “Kool kids”, the ones really getting all of the attention, are the hardest to understand. He suggests that this is the group that rejects DRM and “walled gardens”, in short, the group that wants media on their own terms. This is the group that uses P2P software and is heavily social. They have dream devices that aren’t out in the market as of yet.

I know that the kks (short for “Kool kids”) are what have network executives up at night. They are the hackers and inventors who are really driving the internet. TV and media in general will fit into their game or be disregarded.

Ok.. So the big question at the end of the day? Will the cable and TV networks run scared and do everything possible to protect their business models or will they embrace the new like they must. My feeling after this conference is that they have learned something from the music industry and will try to embrace but there will still be a major shakeup and Yahoo! and Google just might become the “new” networks. Good or bad.

OMDS Article

TECTONIC: How will you consume your open media?
Michael Sharon has written a nice article summarizing the Open Media Developers Summit.
From the article:
Two weeks ago, on a rainy Friday and Saturday in October, 65 programmers and developers debated these and many other questions at the first Open Media Developer’s Summit held at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) in down-town Manhattan.

NYU ITP Spring Show, Thesis Week, Performances and Screenings

ITP Spring Show 2005
All of the events are worthwhile but be sure not to miss the show:
Tuesday, May 10th, 5 – 9pm
Wednesday, May 11th, 5 – 9pm
ITP – 721 Broadway, 4th Floor
An exhibition of innovative student work including multimedia installations, physical computing and interaction design, sound and video design projects. All projects on display at ITP.

Art Mobs

Art Mobs
Opens tonight.. Cool, I thought I missed it already. They are pulling together some fun social and emerging technologies, Text Messaging, PodCasting and more.

From the site:
Guests are invited to share their experience of student artworks by text messaging on their mobile phones. View the work while reading the most recent 4 text messages left by others—then leave your own message for the next guests. Guests may also download podcasts of interviews with several of the artists about their works. View the work while listening to the podcast on your iPod or other mp3 player

ITP Winter Show 2004

ITP Winter Show 2004
Sunday, December 19 from 2 to 6pm
Monday, December 20 from 5 to 9pm

A two-day explosion of interactive sight, sound and technology from the student artists and innovators at ITP.

An oversized Greenwich Village loft houses the computer labs, rotating exhibitions, and production workshops that are ITP — the Interactive Telecommunications Program. Founded in 1979 as the first graduate education program in alternative media, ITP has grown into a living community of technologists, theorists, engineers, designers, and artists uniquely dedicated to pushing the boundaries of interactivity in the real and digital worlds. A hands-on approach to experimentation, production and risk-taking make this hi-tech fun house a creative home not only to its 230 students, but also to an extended network of the technology industry’s most daring and prolific practitioners.

Interactive Telecommunications Program
Tisch School of the Arts
New York University
721 Broadway, 4th Floor South
New York NY 10003

Take the left elevators to the 4th Floor
This event is free and open to the public

No need to RSVP

For questions: 212-998-1880
email: itp.inquiries@nyu.edu

Wearables conference

ISWC ’04
Colocated with IEEE and ACM International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality
From the site:
ISWC 2004, the eighth annual IEEE International Symposium on Wearable Computers, will bring together researchers, product vendors, fashion designers, textile manufacturers, users, and all other interested parties to share information and advances in wearable computing. We invite you to attend ISWC 2004 and submit to one or more of the following categories: papers, posters, demonstrations, tutorials, and exhibits.