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@Howie Goldfarb@goonthHowie, nice of you to mention me ;) I'll keep my normally obtuse writing to a minimum here, and say that I don't think this is really about 'long-form' or 'short-form' content but about raising the bar on storytelling, getting a lot smarter and more exploratory with the nature of information, and looking at data and stories as one and the same. It's pretty tough to game search engines if the bar on quality is significantly raised, and if we can change the proxies for measurement.

7 months, 1 week ago on Long-Form Content: It’s Time We Take it Seriously

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Hi Jason -- I hadn't seen my graphic used in a while, so thanks for sharing this out ;) 

Regarding the whole transmedia thing, I think a lot of us practitioners sort of gave up on providing concrete examples and refining term definitions simply because these types of initiatives cover such a wide swath of disciplines and industries, and because it blends more normative marketing with longer-form storytelling. That said, I don't believe that a lot of the entertainment examples people use (like Bravo's reality TV shows) are actually transmedia initiatives, but rather really smart integrated marketing. I also don't think it's so much about platform agnosticism per se, but about how stories and archetypes are uniquely shaped and adopted by participatory audiences (take Lance Weiler's "Pandemic" for example, or Thomas Dolby's "Time Capsule Tour", or the "Avatar"-inspired protests in Billin, Palestine, or participatory theatre shows in which audiences show up to play certain characters). In this way, the narratives actually transcend the mediums they use -- hence the word "trans" -- and they often leverage a live event as a means to build on a narrative.

I think this is one of the biggest sticking points for folks who are transmedia creators: Where does marketing or stunt-work stop, and real storytelling begin and continue on? What guidelines or rules are at play? (These questions are ever-evolving). That said, the best definition of transmedia I've heard came from Lance: It's a constant mode of experimentation delivered through storytelling.

In terms of active discipline, Lance has an open curriculum called "Building Storyworlds" that he is running through his masters class at Columbia, and something I will be participating in this month:

http://buildingstoryworlds.tumblr.com/http://buildingstoryworlds.tumblr.com/

If you're in LA next week, we will also be running a panel discussion on data & storytelling at Storyworld:

http://www.storyworldconference.com/ehome/33551/schedule/?&

Best,

Gunther

1 year, 10 months ago on Transmedia: Platform Agnostic Storytelling

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@APPLoutsider couldn't agree more. And unfortunately, I'm not sure @trevoragilbert was even alive in the late 90s when we saw these shifts go down in the music industry. But back on topic, and to the question of what Internet models are available or viable. I'd say it's clear as day: 200M downloads and counting!

 

Trevor is right about one thing -- the piracy issue is entirely a misread here, but he's citing all the wrong reasons, most of which have nothing to do, and should have nothing to do, with corporate structure. This is about consumers, you know, fans, who are making it known in spades that they want access to premium content. It's not that they won't pay for it (there are plenty of "freemium to premium" models that work), it's that they want ACCESS to it. Big difference. And the solution set doesn't fall into the "either/or" or "all or nothing" category.

 

There's plenty of research to support it, by the way. Look at the numbers supplied by any number of sources -- from Ooyala, to Tremor, to Nielsen Buzzmetrics -- that have all shown definitive studies that reveal, for example, how video views in social media channels lead to stronger first- and second-screen viewing. My own work with some leading players in the space has also pointed to how this affects time-shift viewing and longer engagements with show content.

 

What does this mean? It means that if you give people, fans, different types of freemium to premium content, they'll engage with traditional show content more often and at longer intervals. It means that if you give them freemium content, they'll share it amongst their peers and do all the marketing for you as a content producer, a network, or both. It means that if you keep feeding them more and more salacious rinds of that content (read: different types, levels of exclusivity, etc.), they'll not only keep coming back for more, but they'll be willing to purchase more of it and in different ways, provided that the terms are mutually beneficial (meaning that, for example, you don't leave them hanging from season to season).

 

It astounds me that articles like this not only don't read between the lines, but they don't even mine the right information to delineate what the lines actually are. "Cord cutting"? Are you kidding me? This is hardly the economic argument (which Kessler completely misses on)!

2 years, 3 months ago on HBO Is Doing Exactly What It Should Be Doing

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@edwardboches Well, to clarify, the triplet is actually mine, i just borrowed the thinking from Alex ;) Here's the actual reference to a series he did at Best Buy on the topic, one that i incorporated into a piece called "The Socialization of Products and Services":

http://goonth.posterous.com/the-socialization-of-products-services-prospe

Regarding challenges of scale and measurement, totally agreed. I assume you are covering off on some of this in your next piece, but it seems that the "lean start-up" approach (ongoing experimentation) must permeate not only across agency disciplines, but those within clients and vendor partners. To some of the other points and comments here, I look at examples such as WPP's Rockfish Ventures and Ty Montague's Co as those in which emerging disciplines are creating new, hybridized, experimental models for growth. Specifically in the case of Common, it seems that the intention is to reform product and communications innovation from the inside out, meaning that the focus is more on improved client/brand processes as considerations are made about what to produce and how to go to market.

2 years, 11 months ago on Great questions for the advertising industry: part one

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Edward: this post nails it in so many ways I'm not even sure where to begin -- thank you.

I think strong interdisciplinary, entrepreneurial thinking - what amounts to ways in which agencies can actually scale and become less and less commoditized through their service offerings - is driven by an acute knowledge of the marketplace, and more specifically, through proactive uses of data. And by data, I don't mean just analytics that are used to qualify the creative decisions that have been made. The Uniqlo, Burberry, Garmin and Timberland scenarios you provide are perfect examples of how data is used to leverage market opportunity: understanding consumer behavior and human need from the "bottom up" and to the extent that brand value - in the form of utility or something else - can not only change behavior, but sustain it by creating consumer-to-consumer and brand-to-consumer relationships that are potentially everlasting. You might liken it to this (something I borrowed a while back from Alex Bogusky's notion of "the connected world"):

Human needs are the markets.

Utilities are the solutions.

Co-created values are the competitive sets.

The other thing you allude to in this piece is real business context; if I, as a brand, am relevant because I provide my customers with products and services that fulfill on real needs, then I can manage my supply chain, co-create new products with those consumer groups, and make my communications an active part of the product development process. As an agency, I can take these behavioral and market learnings and develop IP that fills the white spaces I see emerging as behaviors shift or markets collate.

Ultimately, I also think what you point to is a future, right around the corner, where agencies literally become "agents of change", meaning that they won't wait to respond to RFPs, or have to defend their AOR statuses per se, they'll use the tools and knowledge they have at their disposal to constantly serve up solutions to complex problems that affect their brand partners. Even more so, they'll create new market opportunities that spawn more of their own brands (to your point about IP).

Best,

Gunther

@goonth

2 years, 11 months ago on Great questions for the advertising industry: part one

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@JayBaer Thank you for taking the time to write this! Heardable can be found here: http://heardable.com

Also, here is a post I wrote a couple months back on how the platform provides business context (note: we've added a host of new features since then). We'd be thrilled to discuss this with you more at length ;)

http://goonth.posterous.com/embracing-context-in-a-world-of-complexity-ma

Talk soon...

2 years, 11 months ago on Why Critics of Klout Are Missing the Big Picture

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@JayBaer -- you raise some very solid points (truisms really) about the analytics landscape in general, which is to say that standardization is a moving target. Fact is, Klout isn't really an analytics company, it's an event promotion company that uses social media activity as a basis to engage and activate consumer participation for things like live events and broadcast media. This is a smart play (it seems), but it does not make Klout a de facto player, for example, in how brands can actually make better business decisions... at least not operationally.

The key paragraph in this piece for me is this:

"The smart money in the next five years in social media is not in the provision of information but rather in the interpretation of it. When every company of consequence has a free and open API, data becomes a commodity. Insights are never commoditized."

Totally agree on the first part (the platform I co-Founded, Heardable, is based on this precept), the second part not so much. A big part of the Big Data debate is over the accumulation of good data, so that the data market itself can improve and the companies playing within it can procure better data, and therefore, get to better insight around that data (and understand things like customer behavior far better). In other words, data and insight become commodities when we don't collectively establish their value, or understand the business context. Cases in point: Twitter, Facebook, Zynga and a host of others started to make revenue when third parties could leverage their data in ways that demonstrated clear business value -- enriched insights around sharing, eCommerce and game behavior.

The boon in all of this seems to be how companies can define their own proxies for growth by watching what the data market does, then adapt and contribute perspectives to those market dynamics that are unique. This is what Klout seems to be doing right, and perhaps now it can improve its offering by making the data it interprets better, using the platforms (live events, media) it works on.

2 years, 11 months ago on Why Critics of Klout Are Missing the Big Picture

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