Blue jeans, black turtle neck. Steve jobs? No. Andy Lark. A great New Zealand accent that's booms loud enough to not require a microphone. His accent makes me thing of the New Zealand rugby team, the All Blacks. OK, I'm focused again...The title of his talk, "The Participatory Communications Revolution." Next, Andy shows the Epic video is scary and funny at the same time with a George Orwell 1984 feel. First great point - that I caught - companies don't decide if blogging will happen - it will happen! Andy worked with Jonathan Schwartz at Sun and explains that while Jonathan created the blog and does the writing, he works with the PR team and employees at Sun to create the content. First thing he found with his blog, it was the most effective way to communicate with his employees. (note: using blogs for employee communications was a big theme at NCF - Neville lead the discussions). Why does Andy blog? - conversations, connections, new connections, learn more - see more things, experiment & ideate, like to write and great archive. Another great point that I truly believe - there are journalists who are bloggers, but not all bloggers are journalists. (Note: I'm sitting next to Neville and he just whipped out his digital camera to take some pics. Doh! Should have brought my digital camera...)
Moving on (snippets from the presentation) - this is a grassroots revolution like Linux (Andy has to pump Linux), chat, search, etc. The internet doesn't forget. Content stays there and this presents an exciting and challenging for PR consultants and online communications. People are less interested in the news source itself and are more interested in the triangulation of the content. That changes the way we think about who is really important to us. There is a deep change in the media dynamic. This isn't new, there has always been a shift away from mass media to more specialized media. "Diversity in media will win out thanks to faster, cheaper and smaller computing power," (from Larry Downes, author, The Strategy Machine). Shift occurring from proprietary media spaces to shared media spaces. Media as business vs. media as a community. Appointment driven news consumption vs. on demand news consumption - we want our news when we want it. Communication teams using RSS in their releases need to send the entire release via RSS, not just the headline - don't expect folks to read the headline only and then click to the website/blog. Great slide - "This Changes Everything (you are naked!)" There is nowhere to hide. The sooner companies get this concept, the sooner they will embrace blogging. PR hacks are dead - to which Andy response, "Horseshit." Why? Community building and advocacy, employee communications, knowledge management, measurement, monitoring, media relations, external communications and marketing. More of your stories will be broken by blogs in the next year than by press releases. How do you create these networks? Advocate! Get involved and help spread the energy and power of blogging. (note: I said Andy is with Sun. Apparently he's still an official employee but he has left (mentally) and will be physically leaving soon). The blogger as pointer - no original content, just points to other content. Blogger as evangelist - great for developer communities - we all have developer communities, the tech industry just figured it our first. Blogger as leader - i.e. the GM blog. Blogger as marketer. Authenticity matters - the blogosphere is purist about this but the reality is they should authentic to the brand and to the content - not necessarily the author. Louis Brandeis, US Supreme Court Justice, "Sunlight is the best disinfectant." Well over 1000 Sun employees have been given space to blog with no restraint on what they can blog about. Think about where you put your individual blog. If it's tied to the company network, it may no go with you if you leave. (Note: Andy is moving fast because we are running out of time; my fingers can't keep up). Audience and community are different. The notion of incompleteness - you will post stuff that isn't perfect. If you edit a blog six times it's not a blog, it's a brochure. We need to rethink our outcomes. The outcome of a blog is a conversation, not a polished piece of collateral. All good blogs have an editorial plan behind them. Track the ecosystem - the power of the community behind the site.
That's it. Great keynote. Thanks, Andy. High energy made for a great presentation. Makes me fired up to be a part of this community.