Browsing articles in "Future of Media 2010"

Future of Media 2010 wrap-up: Event examines impact of social media, mobile

Sep 10, 2010   //   by admin   //   Future of Media 2010  //  1 Comment
From left to right: DigitalJournal.com Managing Editor, David Silverberg; Anjali Kapoor, Managing Editor, Globe and Mail, Digital; and David Skok, Senior Producer of Online Content for Global News; Elmer Sotto, head of growth for Facebook Canada; social media expert Mark Evans; and Polar Mobile CEO, Kunal Gupta.

From left to right: DigitalJournal.com Managing Editor, David Silverberg; Anjali Kapoor, Managing Editor, Globe and Mail, Digital; and David Skok, Senior Producer of Online Content for Global News; Elmer Sotto, head of growth for Facebook Canada; social media expert Mark Evans; and Polar Mobile CEO, Kunal Gupta.

See also: Video from the Future of Media 2010

On Sept. 8, five panelists shared their vision of the future of news with a packed Toronto audience. Discussion flowed from mobile news on your smartphone, to how geolocation will notify you of stories happening in your area. In addition, panelists talked about how news outlets are leveraging Facebook to become more “social” and why journalists should know about SEO and analytics.

These were some of the discussion topics at the Future of Media 2010 panel discussion held in Toronto’s Drake Hotel, where a standing room-only crowd crammed into the Underground space to hear what panelists had to say about journalism’s prospects. The Future of Media event is hosted by DigitalJournal.com. It’s a regular event intended to bring a variety of experts together to discuss changes in the news industry, emerging trends and their impact on the media business.

The panel was made up of executives from a variety of companies: Elmer Sotto, head of growth at Facebook Canada; David Skok, Senior Producer of Online Content for Global News; digital marketing and social media strategist Mark Evans; Kunal Gupta, CEO of Polar Mobile; and The Globe and Mail’s Managing Editor, Digital, Anjali Kapoor.

A packed crowd filled the Drake Underground at DigitalJournal.com's Future of Media event on Sept 8, 2010. The event is a speaker series that brings together experts from within the media and tech industries to discuss the changing media landscape.

The standing-room only event began with a discussion on the challenges facing mainstream media today. Despite the struggle to retain print readership, the digital era is ushering in a new variety of media consumer, the panelists agreed.

While the conversation focused primarily on social media and its influence on news, Evans stated strongly that content is still king, and many panelists agreed. “Content will still be king, not all the bells and whistles that comes with it”, said Kapoor, with Skok nodding in agreement. “Journalists should be great storytellers, no matter what,” Skok noted.

From left to right: DigitalJournal.com Managing Editor, David Silverberg; Anjali Kapoor, Managing Editor, Globe and Mail, Digital; and David Skok, Senior Producer of Online Content for Global News; Elmer Sotto, head of growth for Facebook Canada; social media expert Mark Evans; and Polar Mobile CEO, Kunal Gupta. Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/297280#ixzz11W8yDDuv

From left to right: DigitalJournal.com Managing Editor, David Silverberg; Anjali Kapoor, Managing Editor, Globe and Mail, Digital; and David Skok, Senior Producer of Online Content for Global News; Elmer Sotto, head of growth for Facebook Canada; social media expert Mark Evans; and Polar Mobile CEO, Kunal Gupta.

But where content is read is changing and will continue to evolve. Gupta from Polar Mobile says reading news on your smartphone should be the norm, if only media outlets invested more in implementing apps. “The growth in mobile users has blind-sided media companies. [Polar Mobile] has gone from one million to six million users,” he said.

From left to right: DigitalJournal.com Managing Editor, David Silverberg; Anjali Kapoor, Managing Editor, Globe and Mail, Digital; and David Skok, Senior Producer of Online Content for Global News.

From left to right: DigitalJournal.com Managing Editor, David Silverberg; Anjali Kapoor, Managing Editor, Globe and Mail, Digital; and David Skok, Senior Producer of Online Content for Global News.

Gupta also cited an intriguing statistic regarding content consumption, saying mobile users consume 100 pages of content per month on Time.com’s smartphone application compared to only 14 pages on Time.com’s website.

Evans countered Gupta’s statement, saying mobile isn’t yet catering to advertisers so its success as a news platform is still up in the air. Gupta responded by saying the mobile ad market is immature in Canada, so all we get now is that tiny banner ad across the screen. “The infrastructure needs to improve,” Gupta said.

Gupta also discussed how payment systems need to be simpler in the future in order for any kind of micropayment process to work effectively. He’s unsure when this will occur, but Gupta said he is certain news outlets would benefit from a more mature smartphone market.

The discussion then turned to what Google CEO Eric Schmidt recently said to the Atlantic Monthly: Newspapers will survive the digital revolution but expect news to be delivered on anything but paper.

Kapoor from the Globe & Mail responded by saying she sees print newspapers still appealing to news junkies; compelling content will continue to attract readers, it’s just a matter of complementing print stories with online add-ons, she said. Evans agreed, saying the growth of free dailies should demonstrate there is still demand for print.

From left to right: Elmer Sotto, head of growth for Facebook Canada; Mark Evans, a social media expert.

When the talk turned to Facebook’s role in the media industry, Facebook Canada’s Sotto and Evans argued about the issue of the social network being a “walled garden.” Evans felt Facebook doesn’t offer a variety of ideas since people tend to read within an echo chamber. Sotto replied by saying you never know what you’ll find in your Facebook News Feed. He recalled clicking on links from a friend about country news in his feed, even though he never liked the music, “but I felt compelled to learn more about it.”

Kapoor noted the Globe & Mail enjoyed partnering with Facebook recently to bolster the Globe’s viewership. Sotto said the Globe saw an 81 percent increase in Facebook referral traffic when it implemented the Facebook “Like” button on the site.

Kapoor also said media outlets should get away from the idea of “we need to build everything ourselves.” She added, “The challenge is that news organizations shouldn’t be developing everything, they should be partnering. The online environment is a very different environment, and those skills aren’t always translated to traditional newsrooms.”

Kunal Gupta, CEO of Polar Mobile, talks at the Future of Media event Sept 8, 2010.

Kunal Gupta, CEO of Polar Mobile, talks at the Future of Media event Sept 8, 2010.

The panel also touched upon the issue of moderating comments. They wondered if online comments should be moderated in-house or outsourced. Evans believed this service should be outsourced because of cost, but some of the other panelists disagreed.

The panel was then asked about Twitter’s potential as a breaking-news source. Look at how the hostage crisis at the Discovery Channel building heaped praise on the micro-blogging service with headlines such as “Twitter breaks hostage story.” What happened to news outlets getting those scoops?

“Twitter is not a content creator,” Evans said. “It allows people to have conversations, to say what they want, but it’s not a news outlet. We have to remember that.”

Evans went on to say the difference between journalists and the public tweeting news they come across is storytelling. Laying out the facts and uncovering verifiable sources are skills media organizations still covet.

Anjali Kapoor, Managing Editor of the Globe and Mail, Digital, listens to the panel at the Future of Media in Toronto.

Anjali Kapoor, Managing Editor of the Globe and Mail, Digital, listens to the panel at the Future of Media in Toronto.

Speaking of skills, what talents should the next generation of journalists perfect in order to be attractive to news outlets? Kapoor said the Globe looks for journalists who can tell a good story and report effectively. She also said today’s journalists should also know more about SEO, analytics and knowing who the audience is, as well as social media and multimedia journalism.

“Be bold, experiment, that’s what we want to see,” Kapoor said.

Skok echoed her statement but stressed he would still like to see journalists hone the age-old skills of producing quality content. That said, Skok also supports using technology to tell stories in new ways. For example, Skok said his company gave every Global National reporter across Canada a new iPhone 4 with which to shoot video reports in addition to standard coverage.

When it comes to working at Facebook, Sotto likes to see risk-takers try new things. Some of their best ideas, such as photo tagging, came from all-night programming sessions when staff wanted to play around with brainstormed ideas, he said. Sotto also praised the University of Waterloo, where he said Facebook has discovered some of the best interns who went on to become employees.

After the panel discussion, the event moved to a Q&A where panelists took questions from the audience. One self-professed techie asked the panel what it thought about the future of radio and podcasts. Evans admitted he doesn’t listen to radio much, saying “podcasts are like the ugly orphan in the corner.”

Skok, on the other hand, thinks audio reports could be part of media’s future; during the G20 protests in Toronto, a Global reporter complemented her editorial with a voicemail add-on to a liveblog during a car fire. “She was terrified and you could hear it in her voice. It was the most compelling thing I have heard in years,” he said.

On Twitter, Digital Journal got a question via @annejoyce, who asked about social media’s popularity creating positions such as community managers at news outlets. Will these types of job openings continue to flourish or is it a passing fad?

Kapoor said the Globe isn’t consistent in how it handles this newly created position, considering how hazy the ROI has become in implementing a social media manager. It can also be difficult in measuring the success of someone involved in social media. “Do you base the qualification on traffic or Twitter mentions or something else?” she asked.

Evans answered Anne’s question bluntly. “Today, would you rather be a social media manager or a journalist? I’d go with social media, without a doubt.”

The Future of Media event was hosted by DigitalJournal.com and was sponsored by Suite 66, Queensway Audi and CNW Group. Prize sponsors included Rogers Wireless, Palm, Flip Video and Dell.

See also: Video from the Future of Media 2010

Bio: Elmer Sotto

Sep 1, 2010   //   by admin   //   Future of Media 2010, Speaker Bios  //  2 Comments

Elmer Sotto, head of growth for Facebook CanadaElmer Sotto is the head of growth for Facebook in Canada, where he is responsible for setting the strategy to further grow and engage Facebook’s Canadian user base. He also helps key strategic partners understand and leverage the Facebook Platform.

Prior to Facebook, Elmer was the Vice President of Product and Operations for JumpTV, a global internet television provider.

Before JumpTV, Elmer spent more than five years at eBay, where he was a member of the management team responsible for ongoing development of eBay in Canada. While at eBay, Elmer also spent time in Shanghai to help establish the newly-formed eBay China business.

Elmer has worked with UNICEF and Free the Children to develop and execute social marketing strategies.

Elmer Sotto was a speaker at Future of Media 2010. Watch the video from Future of Media 2010 to see Elmer speak.

Bio: Anjali Kapoor

Sep 1, 2010   //   by admin   //   Future of Media 2010, Speaker Bios  //  1 Comment

Anjali Kapoor, Managing Editor, Globe and Mail, DigitalAnjali Kapoor is the Managing Editor, Digital at The Globe and Mail newspaper where she oversees the editorial digital strategy for Globe and Mail sites.

Previously, Anjali held the position of Director, Product & Editorial at Yahoo! Canada where she was responsible for overseeing the product strategy and business goals of the Media Group.

With a background in journalism, Anjali’s main focus for the past ten years has been within the digital industry in Canada. Her main areas of expertise are user/audience experience, content development and product strategy. She has worked for Microsoft Canada, Transcontinental Media, Sun Media (Canoe) and Rogers.

Anjali has also taught the Intro to Online Writing course for Centennial College’s postgraduate Online Writing and Information Design program. As well she has conducted corporate workshops for Centennial’s Part-time and Continuing Education program.

Anjali Kapoor was a speaker at Future of Media 2010. Watch the video from Future of Media 2010 to see Anjali speak.

Bio: Kunal Gupta

Sep 1, 2010   //   by admin   //   Future of Media 2010, Speaker Bios  //  1 Comment

Kunal Gupta, CEO, Polar MobileKunal Gupta is the CEO of Polar Mobile, a leading mobile content solutions enabler for large media companies. He leads a fast-growing team in building a next generation mobile software platform so businesses can quickly and efficiently bring to market intuitive and engaging mobile products and services that grow audiences, open new revenue streams and extend brands to the mobile marketplace.

A frequent speaker at industry events on the topics of bringing to market innovative products and services for the mobile consumer, Kunal is regarded as a rising young visionary in the mobile industry.

As founder of the Impact Entrepreneurship Group, the largest youth entrepreneurship non-profit organization in Canada for which he also serves as Chair of the Board, Kunal has been recognized for his efforts in promoting entrepreneurship to youth. He was recognized as Alumnus of the Year by Shad Valley and as a Global Citizen by the United Nations.

Kunal holds an Honours Bachelor of Software Engineering from the University of Waterloo.

Kunal Gupta was a speaker at Future of Media 2010. Watch the video from Future of Media 2010 to see Kunal speak.

Bio: David Skok

Sep 1, 2010   //   by admin   //   Future of Media 2010, Speaker Bios  //  1 Comment

David Skok, Senior Producer of Online Content for Global NewsDavid Skok oversees the local and national digital properties under the GlobalNews.ca network. His career spans both the online and on-air worlds of news, and he’s pioneered many of Global News’ online and cross-platform efforts.

David worked for six years at Global Toronto prior to joining Globalnews.ca, where he helped create and produce several of Global Toronto’s news programs before becoming the station’s first ever online producer.

He has worked with ABC News in Washington on its iconic Nightline program, and with CHUM Radio in Toronto. David is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario and Ryerson’s Journalism program where he was awarded the Joe Perlove scholarship as best graduating student.

David Skok was a speaker at Future of Media 2010. Watch the video from Future of Media 2010 to see David speak.

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