My impression of the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Annual Conference (Part 2)

3.) Everyone was worried about money. This was more than the simple worrying about operating expenses, it seemed that the focus was on the economy and how this added to the uncertainty of the overall business. All of the keynote lectures that I attended seem to fixate on this vital point. In addition, the economy was pointed to as the main reason that attendance was down clear across the board for all of the 11 conferences that make up the 10 days of the NAB Annual Conference.

4.) The future will be push the level of simulacra. The examples that comes from the conference and the exhibitor hall were the increase in vendors focusing on 3-D broadcasting, holographic television and virtual sets. The uncanny valley seems to be closing up. I especially looked at the virtual sets as a way of create good digital programming at the fraction of the cost of traditional broadcast models.

5.) There are no real future tellers in the field of digital media. The final point that was a consistent theme at the conference is that the future of communication is wide-open. Some felt that there were certain trends that would continue in the future (an increase in user-generated content, a stronger focus in narrowcasting, broadcasters speaking to a smaller segment of the entire public). If there is one lesson to learn over the past decade, it is that technology and public interest can change these trends very quickly. Therefore, it is best to curb your bets as much as possible.

My impression of the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Annual Conference (Part 1)

This is the first time that I've attend NAB/BEA, as oppose to the BEA (Broadcast Education Association) by itself. So, that means I'll been here in Las Vegas for ten days when I finally leave on Sunday. During my time here, I did manage to gather some really helpful hints. Most of them were posted on Twitter, however I figured that I could try to summarize and provide context to the conference.

1.) Broadcasters are storytellers with really cool tools and toys. It seems that the first couple of days that the sessions were focused on breaking down the key elements of the story and how the story should be framed in camera and enhanced with natural sounds and good B-roll. Broadcasters and other producers of content must also get their subject(s) to tell their stories so those stories are compelling to others.

2.) Everyone is dealing with the issues regarding new & social media. The majority of my third day at the conference dealt with strategies in the field of new & social media. Some where focusing social media as a way of finding new business leads. Some where focusing of repurposing old information to new media streams. I got to believe that these approaches will have problems. I'm still reminded of the lessons I'm learning from the "Clue Train Manifesto" (which is a great book). If we approach the audience as nothing more than revenue stream, your business will not survive. There must be a great effort in attempting to speak to an audience with a very human voice.

Well, that's a brief analysis of everything that I got out of NAB this year. However, there's no rest for me. Tomorrow starts BEA. So, good night everyone.

An academic among the trade and culture of the CES

I've wanted to go to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) for quite some time. Since the show is the first part of the year, it has difficult to travel to Las Vegas. I'm normally at the National Association of Broadcasters annual show in April and my travel budget really doesn't cover going to Vegas twice in one year. I was really thankful to see several people cover CES from the inside out. For example, Stacie Krajchir described how a group of UNLV students from several different fields were given a tour of the floor and were made deputy reporters covering the show. As somebody who has tried to cover a conference as a reporter and a novice to the field, I can tell you it's tough. I would be very curious to see what would happen if the students were all graduate students, as opposed to undergrad, and see how the reporting would be different. My best guess would deal less with the actual tech and hardware and more about the culture behind the show. The tech reported from many of these shows seem to be nothing more than glorified press releases and instructional video talking about the product. I would be more interested in seeing more of the personalities and how those people interact with these new products.