In the middle of its week-long festival, bringing together thousands of digital designers, developers, and social entrepreneurs, DC WEEK held a core conference at the Artisphere in Rosslyn, VA.
The sessions were broken into several topics of interest: Mobile, Development, Design, and Social Media. Joined by another cohort at Profiles, Marie Gordon, we immersed ourselves in the company of the some of the brightest innovators in the business.
Amidst the rapid-fire tweeting and digital connections, we were left with some great takeaways about maintaining your grasp in this constantly shifting digital landscape to share with our colleagues:
APIs and the Next Evolution of the Web
Michael Reich, from Seabourne Consulting, started the sessions, stating that fundamentally the next generation of APIs will change the future, breaking down the limited technology and the barriers of the Web. User Interfaces that were once static are now much more application-focused. Now, content can be taken from websites and presented in a way that consumers can understand in an “information discovery.”
Social Media & Analytics
The Ballroom was abuzz with the next set of presenters (Danielle Brigida from National Wildlife Federation, Carie Lewis from The Humane Society, and Em Hall from Zipcar). Discussion points included how their organizations were measuring social media by infusing analytics and reporting, which admittedly can be a weakness across many groups. Use of tracking tools, dashboard analysis, and campaign reports were among the many emerging technical initiatives across the panel.
They also stressed the importance of allocating employee resources strategically, by using a company gatekeeper to manage and provide ongoing training in social media best practices. This way, everyone in the organization can be engaged and involved, while still ensuring a filtering process.
Media in a Digital World
Another notable session was held within the Artisphere’s Blackbox theatre. The leading players were: Vijay Ravindran from WaPo Labs, Susan Poultron from National Geographic, Frank Gruber from Tech Cocktail and Angie Goff from NBC Washington. These individuals, coming from traditional media backgrounds, have been forced to push the digital envelope and creatively tackle experimental news projects in order to compete with new emerging technologies.
A reoccurring theme among the panel revolved around the concept of letting the audience become part of the story and drive what you do. Take an active part in a connective dialogue with them, bridge the gap between those consuming news online, and still get them to tune into traditional media, as well as getting them on board with your brand via multiple media platforms with a concentrated online strategy. People want to be associated with brands they believe in: every brand has a voice.
What projections do we have on the future of Digital Media? With the digital landscape shifting every three months, it’s easy to want to throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater. Behaviors will change; people will change, so the media must adapt to the audience’s pace. Consumers will be looking for trusted sources. Industries will be disrupted. We will move closer to “collaborative consumption” by sharing online resources. An avalanche of mobile money will propel new technology. How can your company keep up with this ever-changing landscape? By hiring the right people to support your new business ventures.
But in the end, always stay true to your consumers, be a brand that they trust, and they will follow you.
Author Name – Shannon Benton
Twitter – @SayHi2Shannon