Is “frictionless sharing” the way of the future? That was one of the questions at the recent Mashable Media Summit, where I was lucky enough to be one of the NYU-SCPS Master of Science in Publishing students invited to volunteer. I’ve personally been a fan of Mashable, the online news site and blog, for years, looking to its editors for the leading tech news, industry rumors, best practices in today’s emerging social media platforms, and tips and tricks for enhancing my own user experience. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to hear a number of the thought leaders and influencers from across the media industry in exchange for helping out at the registration table. Luckily for me and the other volunteers, the bulk of our responsibilities were done by 9:45 a.m., and we were able to sit in on a majority of the day’s sessions at the Times Center in Manhattan. Pete Cashmore (Founder and CEO of Mashable) kicked things off with The Future of Social Media: The Current Landscape and 2012 Trends, giving an insightful rundown of industry innovations of 2011 and predictions for 2012, such as the growth of news aggregation apps, and social music programs like Spotify; the introduction of “frictionless sharing” between Facebook and third-party media sites (where a user’s activity in an app immediately posts to their Facebook wall) and what that means in terms of privacy for consumers; how to market apps and app stores vs. marketing of traditional media; and how to break down the barriers between the online world and the physical world.
One of the most innovative programs for the day was From Tactile to Mobile: The Reinvention of Content Experience and Engagement, a presentation by Josh Koppel (Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer, ScrollMotion). I was impressed by the functionality and interactivity that ScrollMotion brings its clients in its customized book and magazine apps, all based on the same HTML 5 framework that can be adapted for books, magazines, and just about any other content. ScrollMotion has created apps for O, the Oprah Magazine, Glamour, and some of Disney’s brands. However, it seems like ScrollMotion has made some of its biggest strides in the textbook marketplace. Koppel explained that his company is currently testing its enhanced e-textbooks against a sample of traditional print textbooks. Already, they are seeing higher engagement and test scores among the students using their e-textbooks. I feel like we’ve been talking about the great potential for tablet-based interactive textbooks since the announcement of the iPad, and it’s promising to see ScrollMotion making progress in this area.
Robyn Peterson (SVP of Product, Mashable) then led a discussion between Tim Dierks (SVP Engineering, Huffington Post Media Group) and Andy Mitchell (Manager of Strategic Media Partnerships, Facebook) called Who Owns Your Identity? about user privacy issues following the introduction of “frictionless sharing.” The consensus was that with new Facebook apps such as The Washington Post Social Reader quickly gaining in popularity, it is more important than ever to make users aware of the available privacy controls.
After lunch, Michael Lazerow (Chairman and CEO, Buddy Media) shared the statistics that now 30% of ad impressions online and 16% of all time spent on the internet is on Facebook. From there, Lazerow emphasized the importance of re-circulating traffic between Facebook and your own website via built-in “Share” and “Like” buttons on your site. Lazerow also suggested thinking of social media not just as a marketing arm, but as part of everything we do. He also pointed out that it’s a great way to generate incremental revenue. Ticketmaster, he said, earns an additional $5.30 with every “Share” to Facebook from its site.
The day ended with a reception sponsored by Macallan scotch. Throughout the day, we were asked to tweet highlights and quotes from the speakers with the hashtag #MediaSummit. Keeping with that theme, we were encouraged to “Tweet What You Taste” during the reception—a fittingly fun and interactive way to end the day.
by Andrea Jo DeWerd