Thursday, January 08, 2009

reliving fond memories of a LOLpresentation and hoping i'll get invited to speak again

Dreams really do come true. I gave my first presentation entirely with LOLcat photos along with three other guys who probably spend too much time on the Internet. The conference was the Magazine Publisher's Association's 4th Digital Conference held in New York last February and I haven't had a PowerPoint experience quite like it since. The MPA audience was quite receptive to the silly cat photos with pidgin English captions.

Not only did they laugh, they apparently took away quite a bit, and even produced this recap that I hadn't noticed until just now. Bonus points for including my B-more Sun shoutout.

Alexis Ohanian described reddit as a site that allows users to rate what stories are worth keeping around and what stories should be sent to the lower parts of the list. Ohanian stressed that online, “great, fresh content is king.” It’s a world where a story from the Baltimore Sun could be the more important story to read than the one in The New York Times.

Readers are fickle,” he said, which can be a bad thing since users are only one click away from leaving a site. But it can also be a good thing if the site is providing good, fresh content—people won’t leave right away and a connection could be born. “Once it gets online, brand is less important. It’s still important but content is king.”

Ohanian encouraged magazine publishers to build up their online content in order to take advantage of those readers who are fanatics about the publication. They can read the print edition every day for the month and net the publisher nothing, or they can visit the site every day and net the publisher some gain.

He also encouraged publishers to get involved with user-generated content. “They’ll do a lot of work for you and for free,” he said. One example he used was an editor posting a question and readers posting their thoughts alongside other content. “It feeds itself for relatively little work,” he noted. Letting that kind of conversation occur will help build a loyal community.