The thousands attending June’s Blog World–New Media Expo left the Javits Convention Center in New York after three days of intense networking and strategy sessions.
By-the-way, BlogWorld is shortening its name to New Media Expo, or NMX but by the judging attendance at the web video and internet TV sessions, maybe the old name should remain.
For those not attending, BlogWorld (few add the New Media Expo part) is by far the best social media conference in the United States. I’ve attended other conferences addressing social media and there is no comparison. No one beats BlogWorld for intensity, creativity and just pure learning fun. It was exhilarating. I love BlogWorld.
But as someone who creates video and audio (for twenty years–15 on the internet) I was really looking forward to spending a greater amount of my BlogWorld time with podcasters, video creators and web TV people.
Attendance was spotty for video and web television. Why?
I could not have picked a better conference because I got a ton of face time with presenters due to the fact that many of the video sessions were poorly or lightly attended.
Kelly Mena from B&H (possibly the world’s best source of advice and prices for all things electronic) provided a session on picking a video camera; there were three people in attendance. Needless to say, we got individual attention. She invited me to the store located about six blocks from the conference center and I spent two hours talking to some of the most knowledgeable people about video and audio podcasting. See http://www.bhphotovideo.com/
Chris from Blip TV (http://blip.tv/) presented on internet television, one of the hottest topics for new video audiences and got the same turnout.
Internet television creative’s from “Sweaty Ghost” (http://www.youtube.com/user/SweatyGhost) and “I Want my Lauren” (http://www.youtube.com/user/iwantmylauren) and others regaled larger (20-30) but underwhelming numbers of participants.
In summary, you had motivated and extremely creative web video experts who were more than willing to provide business cards, time and expertise. These are people who have tried everything and succeeded and were there to give their lessons and expressed a willingness to provide more via e-mail and possible future allegiances.
For those of us who want to take our video and audio enterprises to the next level, these were the people we needed to know. Why the turnout was disappointing or why the sessions weren’t filled to the brim in this day and age of exploding video is puzzling.
The Video Explosion:
In a 2011 report from Pew Internet, 71% of online adults use sites such as YouTube and Vimeo. On any given day, 28% of internet users go to such sites.
These figures come from a new national survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and they both are notable increases from 2010. The previous survey found that 66% of online Americans had ever used video sharing sites and that on a typical day 23% of internet users were visiting them.
So what happened at BlogWorld New York?
I’ve been to Blog World Las Vegas and Los Angeles multiple times and I wanted to give the New York show a try. I found differences between east and west coast shows with the New York crowd mostly focused on business and the west coast attendees representing every creative venue possible.
But it’s also possible that we are simply over estimating the impact of video in our digital lives. Creating good video is a matter of talent, money and creativity. From a technical point of view, doing good audio is simple; doing good video is much harder.
You can easily transmit MP3 audio files to any devise using any internet connection. Even heavily compressed video is difficult to transmit and often requires hard-wired connections for great results (except for Roku and similar boxes which run fine on DSL).
Thus the BlogWorld crowd in New York seemed mostly fixated on (you guessed it) blogs and other forms of social media requiring a keypad. Another hint was the almost total lack of Wi-Fi at the conference. If you can’t get good wireless at BlogWorld, then that says something about the drain on coverage taken up by video packets flying through the air. The Wi-Fi at the Javits Center made dial-up look good.
Is Video Creation Really an Option?
The great majority of what we call internet video involves commercially made movies or television or sophomoric offerings of teenage boys or cute cat videos. Many are trying to change that (i.e., YouTube Channels) and others recognize that the true potential for replacing cable and satellite lies with better original offerings on web video.
But it’s really a statement when east coast social media sticks their noises in the air when it comes to web video. If you can’t get the BlogWorld crowd to embrace the “future of the internet,” then what does that say about the future of video?
I’ve been preaching that quality video creation isn’t that difficult and more of us should try it. Am I wrong?
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Link for BlogWorld: http://www.blogworldexpo.com/2012-nyc/