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Form Factor is the Message: How the Devices We Use Shape the Messages and Content We Create43:59 with Ben Huh
In the last century, visionary media theorist Marshall McLuhan predicted the emergence of the Internet and coined the phrase ""the medium is the message,"" to highlight the role of the communication medium itself and its effects on society. The 20th Century was about the dominance of one or two formats per medium (TV for video, radio for audio, etc). Welcome to the new world where everything can do everything, but that doesn't mean everything will be successful for everything. In today's post-mass-media world, Cheezburger CEO, Ben Huh, suggests that The Form Factor is the Messenger. That means the proliferation of connected devices from wearable technology to 4K TV is leading the Cambrian explosion of media formats from Vines to SMS to 360 panoramas. During his session, Huh will dive into his theory on the future of media and technology for creators, consumers, publishers and advertisers. What you will learn: *Impact of Devices: The Format Explosion *What Drives Real-Time Content Demand? *Understanding Native Formats *How do New Formats Change Storytelling? *How to Compete with Content *5 Golden Ingredients of Real-Time Success
[SOUND] All right, so, thank you so much for that. 0:00 I'm having a hard time seeing you guys. 0:03 So, I am the last presenter today before you guys get to the pool party. 0:05 Is everybody excited for the pool party [NOISE]? 0:10 Come on, come on, let's get a little more of that, cuz I'm still 0:13 drinking my coffee right now, so I need a little more energy from you guys. 0:16 So, I can actually get this show on the road. 0:19 All right, one more time. 0:22 Is everybody excited? 0:23 [NOISE]. 0:25 All right. 0:26 Thank you. 0:27 I know [UNKNOWN] is totally excited. 0:28 So, I'll just get the show on the road for you guys. 0:30 So, my name is Ben. 0:34 I run this company called Cheezburger. 0:34 It's kind of ridiculous. 0:36 Let's be honest. 0:37 I post internet memes, funny pictures, cat photos on the internet. 0:38 And that's my business. 0:41 And, that's how I make a living. 0:43 And so, we run sites like Fail Blog, I can 0:45 ask Cheeseburger, Know Your Meme, Meme Base, things like that. 0:48 And our job is to make the world happy for just a few moments every single day. 0:51 And the surprising thing is, I've been doing this for seven years now. 0:56 I've been doing this for a very long time, and when I actually started doing this 0:59 It was 2007 I started the company september 1:04 07 which is basically when the recession started. 1:07 So when the recession started I quit my job to go post cat photos on the internet. 1:13 Had I known there was a recession, I probably would not 1:19 have done that but then it also would not have led to. 1:22 Things like this. 1:25 This is our promo shot from Bravo, the TV 1:26 network for our reality show called LOLWork, LOL work. 1:29 Which chronicle the crazy, you know, quirky mayhem of 1:32 an internet company that posts cat photos on the internet. 1:36 And so, there I am, very well Photoshopped, so 1:39 I'm gonna keep this photo on my slide there forever. 1:42 There were actually no cats present during the filming [LAUGH]. 1:46 Of that picture. 1:48 That's what the power of Photoshop is for. 1:50 And so, what I've learned in the process is that, you know, we've 1:52 been building this business to make people happy for a few moments every day. 1:55 And 100% of our business is advertising driven. 1:58 And so what that led me to 2:01 do is understand deeply the relationship between. 2:02 Media, devices and how human beings consume that content. 2:06 And so, there is an old saying coined by Marshall Mcluhan, a media 2:11 theories from the theorist from the 1960s that says, the medium is the message. 2:15 Okay, what does that really mean? 2:21 The medium is the message is a way of saying that. 2:22 By the nature of the device that you use to 2:26 create or consume content, the nature of the story changes. 2:29 In other words, a T.V. show will tend to behave in a very different way 2:33 than a newspaper article, which will be a very different way then a radio broadcast. 2:39 And so Marshall McLuhan, you know, when you listen to 2:45 him he's kind of a little crazy, but he was right. 2:48 When we had the advent of mass communications in the form 2:50 of television and radio, the type of stories that we told changed. 2:53 And so what happened was that as we adapted from television to the internet 2:58 I believe that instead of the medium being the message, the format is the message. 3:02 And I'll explain this in a little bit. 3:07 The format, is what's inside the computer. 3:08 [LAUGH] None of you need to break your computers open to figure that out. 3:12 But the format, is the content and 3:16 how it is formatted, inside your specific devices. 3:19 Whether that be a tablet, a phone, or laptop, or desktop, or so have you. 3:23 And so what happens is that when we hold a device, or when we use a device, 3:26 we're constantly interacting with specific formats that were invented 3:30 for that device, or adapted from the previous one. 3:35 And I, let's talk about ada, adaptation here, okay. 3:39 Why is your iPhone 5, 16:9 format? 3:41 Why is the screen a specific dimension and ratio? 3:43 It isn't because that is actually the best way, for a phone to be sized. 3:49 It is because, a long time ago, I think 3:53 in the early 90's, a bunch of TV manufacturers 3:56 go together and said, we wanna create a new 3:59 standard called HDTV and we need to pick a ratio. 4:00 Cuz, it used to be, that 4:04 standard definition television was broadcast in 4:3, 4:05 but they wanted a wider screen, and, so they picked a ratio called 16:9. 4:07 And so when the smartphone industry came about, they realized that they wanted to 4:13 use content, they wanted to leverage content 4:17 from an older, format and an older device. 4:19 And so they allowed the phones to be naturally evolved into the 16:9 format. 4:23 And that's why your phone is the shape it is today. 4:28 It didn't have to be that way, but because people were assuming that 4:32 you will use, old formats on new devices, new devices mimic old shapes. 4:36 So, what's happening since then is that, the explosion of devices that we 4:42 have around us, are now competing, more and more and more of our attention. 4:47 So you go home. 4:51 You sit in front of the TV and you open you laptop. 4:52 And then your phone's next to you. 4:55 All those devices are now competing for attention in a way that 4:57 people who actually invented them had no idea that's how they would occur. 5:00 So if you were of TV manufacturer ten, 20 years ago you 5:04 were saying this is the most important thing in the people's house. 5:08 And so therefore we will have all this fancy 5:11 features on it, and it doesn't need to be interactive. 5:14 It doesn't need all that stuff. 5:16 All of a sudden a smartphone come along and you're like, crap. 5:17 There not watching TV, there doing stuff on their 5:21 phone and kind of watching TV in the background. 5:24 And if you're a content producer who's trying to 5:26 figure out how to capture the attention of an audience. 5:28 You'll do things very differently on a phone than you would do on a TV. 5:31 And so, you need to figure out, as 5:34 a developer or as somebody who creates and works 5:37 with content, how do you create or use 5:40 new formats, to continuously rise above the noise level. 5:42 And part of the, the answer here isn't that there's 5:46 this doom and gloom, a lot of people tend to think 5:50 oh my gosh we can't pay attention anymore, you know, 5:53 we can't figure out how to actually hold a decent conversation. 5:56 Anybody here use Yo? 6:00 [LAUGH] Just see a handful of hands. 6:01 Yo is an app, and for your phone, that allows it to say Yo. 6:04 It's all it does, you press a button to your friend, it just says yo. 6:10 [LAUGH] I'm, I'm not kidding. 6:14 So, if you download Yo the app, there's like 6:16 a million Yos from my friends on my phone. 6:20 Because all you do is press yo, and it says just yo 6:23 on the other side, and then you just say yo them back. 6:25 That's, stuff like that doesn't exist on 6:27 phones, because it's not the nature of phones. 6:30 But it isn't, those apps are not the signal 6:33 of the end of the world, as most people say. 6:35 It's not that the attention pie is shrinking and going away. 6:39 It's that the way we use attention is changing dramatically. 6:43 It is going from this. 6:46 Idea of deep attention to little attention to spreading it out 6:47 across a larger amount of devices and formats, and things like that. 6:52 And so I'll explain that in this talk as well. 6:55 So, let's talk about devices of the past. 6:57 What are these devices? 7:00 Okay. 7:01 So if you wanted to watch a TV, you had a few options. 7:01 You could watch television. 7:04 You could go to a movie theater. 7:05 You could watch a DVD. 7:06 If you wanted to read something, you could pick up a book. 7:07 Each individual activity had a device that allowed 7:10 you to do that kind of activity, okay. 7:15 So it was verticalized. 7:19 If you wanted to listen to music you had radios or CDs. 7:20 And each device was the same thing as a format. 7:23 But today, we've gone to a radically different paradigm. 7:27 Instead of being verticalized. 7:30 Everything can do everything. 7:32 Your laptop can do everything that a book, a radio, 7:35 a newspaper, or movie theater could do, even an ebook. 7:39 I don't know if you guys remember the first or second generation Kindle's 7:42 they could actually read the book out to you in like very robotic voice. 7:45 Like it could actually even read the book out to you. 7:50 As if it were not a book and so 7:53 what's happening is that when devices no longer are 7:56 the same thing as formats, the medium is no 7:59 longer the message, the formats themselves become the message. 8:02 And so what happens when everything can do everything what's the difference? 8:06 Why do you use a laptop versus a tablet? 8:10 Why do you use a tablet versus a phone? 8:13 What is the difference in these devices, because you can do the same thing, right? 8:15 So it comes back to who we are, how 8:20 we interact with the world around us using those devices. 8:25 We use the world, we use the devices, but these formats. 8:27 Is what makes up the network, the connection in between human beings. 8:33 When you go online and you build 8:37 a relationship with someone through the internet, you 8:38 are always using some format of content in 8:40 order to build that relationship with one another. 8:44 Right? 8:47 So when you get on Twitter, you're using 8:47 140 characters, and that is the format of Twitter. 8:49 And every single relationship on the internet is built. 8:51 Using content. 8:55 And that content is subject to the rules 8:57 of the format of that platform that you're using. 8:59 So you ask yourself the question, not that there is a 9:04 single television, but which one of these is your favorite TV? 9:07 If you were born a few years ago and you are a little kid. 9:11 You are given a choice between a tablet iPad mini or phone. 9:15 It's not that each device has a different use, it is that I have a preference. 9:19 I prefer to watch TV on my phone when I'm outside. 9:24 I prefer to watch TV on my iPad, the big one, when I'm on my living room couch. 9:27 So this idea of this verticalized format has gone and 9:32 given way to this idea of more of a bell curve. 9:37 Situational, context relevant, not just what is available to you at that point. 9:40 And what's happening is that media 9:46 consumption, because devices now follow us. 9:48 Because we have a device on us 24/7. 9:51 Media consumption has been going up. 9:54 So if you read this chart,uh, 2020 80% of all media will be digital, duh. 9:55 But you look at that, and you're actually seeing this rapid rise 10:02 of the amount of average hours per week people spend consuming media. 10:05 And also the fragmentation of it. 10:09 And so each one of those fragmentation, in green, and the consumption of 10:11 media hours rising in blue, are both 10:16 opportunities if you're creating content applications websites. 10:19 Because each one of those gives newcomers the ability to actually gain market share. 10:24 Because back in the old days when, you are ha, 10:30 you had to buy a printing press to produce content 10:32 it was very difficult for people like you and me 10:35 to actually capture a share of the imagination of the people. 10:37 The only thing you could do is be a heretic and pin 10:42 you know, your 92 points to a church door and become excommunicated. 10:45 You guys now what I'm talking about. 10:49 The first tweeter, now, somebody called them the 10:53 first tweeter, I thought it was really weird. 10:56 Martin Luther, the guy, not King, the guy who Prot, protestantism separated from 10:59 the Catholic Church, he didn't have a printing press, he almost died for it. 11:05 We don't have to die for the things we write today. 11:09 Because everybody has the power to voice their opinions and 11:12 we feel that it is a human right to do so. 11:15 And what's happening is that as this content consumption 11:18 rises you're kinda seeing where this is headed, right? 11:21 You're seeing that at some point. 11:25 There's 112 hours of waking moments in a day, if you sleep eight hours a day. 11:27 There's 112 of it you can stay awake, and we're approaching the point where you 11:33 will spend every single moment of your waking life looking at some sort of media. 11:37 That's crazy, right? 11:42 Can't really happen. 11:44 Well you're, you're looking at it right now. 11:46 You're looking at PowerPoint. 11:48 What's happening is we are covering more and more 11:49 and more of our visual field with pixels, okay. 11:51 Google glass, yes I have one, is one of those devices that is starting to be. 11:56 Available in one way, shape, or form, that's available to you 24/7. 12:04 You don't even need to take our your phone anymore. 12:07 Interactive displays on billboards, digital media billboards, you 12:10 can see walking down the Las Vegas strip. 12:14 That's again, digital outdoor signage. 12:16 Now what we're seeing is that more and more of what we 12:18 interact with and how we get information is basically following us around. 12:22 And that means that while 100% of our attention isn't paced at media, 12:26 we're also spending a lot of time 12:30 consuming media ambiently, more so than before. 12:32 I'll give you another example. 12:35 How many of you have walked down the street checking your 12:36 email or twitter and listening to music at the same time? 12:39 I have, right? 12:43 And you almost got hit by a car, I bet. 12:44 I broke my phone last night. 12:47 >> Yes, we've also, yes, many people have lost their phones. 12:48 >> [INAUDIBLE]. 12:51 >> And so what happens is that when you 12:51 do that, you're consuming double media at the same time. 12:53 So I don't even know how that's even counted in this graph. 12:56 But according to this graph, at the rate that we're going now, by 2036. 12:59 We're gonna spend 112 hours a week, every single 13:05 moment of our waking day, consuming some sort of media. 13:08 Now that I think about it's not that farfetched. 13:12 So what are we doing to our attention span? 13:14 Okay? 13:18 If I have your attention now it used to be that when you had. 13:18 Box, newsprint, television, and you had to think 13:22 about the media that you're consuming because it 13:25 was passive and you have to actually sit 13:27 there and be active about consuming the content. 13:29 Your intention looked more like a Chicago style deep dish pie, small, 13:32 tall, intense, thick, you have to sit there and actually consume it. 13:37 Today, attention looks more like this. 13:42 It's what I call a thin-crust, attention span. 13:44 It's not that there's tons of attention you need to pay, you're 13:47 always paying some attention, throughout the day, to some form of media. 13:50 If you're on your Twitter right now 13:54 tweeting about this, I'm totally cool with that. 13:55 Because I know that chances are you're tweeting about what I'm 13:58 saying, and I'm using this as a way to market, my speech. 14:00 Right? 14:03 This idea of, I'm listening to something, I'm also 14:04 doing something else, this thin attention span, is actually 14:06 something we can leverage to continue to push our 14:10 business, our entrepreneurship, and our apps down the road. 14:13 Because we're competing at the end of the day against this. 14:16 This is what I call the kitten photo test. 14:19 It is the most abundant content in the universe. 14:21 [LAUGH] Okay, it also goes for puppies. 14:23 If you have a puppy or if you have a kitten 14:26 you've probably got an iPhone full of photos of these animals, okay. 14:28 They're actually quite good from a quality perspective 14:31 photos of puppies and kittens are actually really good. 14:36 Why is that? 14:39 Why are these pieces of content actually quite good. 14:40 We have been spending as a humanity 10,000 years breeding cats and dogs. 14:42 To make them cuter and more adorable. 14:46 So, it comes to me as no surprise that when we see puppy, we're like, 14:49 awe, because we've been manufacturing and breeding a 14:53 weapon of cuteness [LAUGH], for all this time. 14:57 And so when you're on the internet and a kitten photo is just one click 15:00 away, you have to ask yourself, is my content, is my service, is my product. 15:03 Good enough to compete against these damn kittens. 15:08 [LAUGH] This is the minimum valuable viable like 15:12 product for the internet, a photo of a kitten. 15:14 You better be better than that and its hard. 15:17 And so, that's a lot of pressure on us to actually succeed in 15:20 this world were such a high quality content can be just one click away. 15:24 And a lot of it is this idea that we have 15:28 to compete against it, we have to compete against one another. 15:32 And sometimes you feel the pressure, maybe you don't. 15:35 But at the end of the day, more and more people are entering this space. 15:37 And they're being drawn by the idea 15:40 that you could have creative freedom, and they're 15:44 being pushed in here because they realize that 15:46 if they don't do it, somebody else will. 15:48 But at the same time people are kind of risk averse. 15:50 And the, and the risks I hear are that you don't 15:52 want to have a huge visible failure at your company when 15:55 you went out on a limb to say, you know I 15:58 wanna go create an app for Google Glass and it doesn't work. 16:01 Or no one uses it. 16:04 Or that you don't have a lot of constraint, a lot resources so you 16:06 actually can't do much even if you did want to do well, there's a lot 16:09 of risk in that you might be able, you might not be able to 16:12 pull it off, because you don't have the people, or the expertise to do so. 16:15 And so this is the stuff that people kinda way in the back of their heads as they 16:18 think about putting content for this world where there's 16:22 tons of different formats competing on tons of different devices. 16:25 And so going back to the idea of formats, let me tell you how they've evolved. 16:29 So in 2005 this was watching movies on an airplane. 16:34 The guy on the bottom left, he is so 16:37 bored and he doesn't wanna watch that tiny little 16:41 6-inch TV screen, you know, 8 feet away from 16:43 him that he'd rather play a game of chess. 16:46 On his Windows Vista. 16:49 [LAUGH] All right? 16:51 This is 2005 and this was state of the art format for watching movies on an airplane. 16:53 Fast forward 5 years, everybody has their own screens. 17:00 Everybody has their own screens, however, this 17:03 is actually not the equilibrium that people really 17:06 want, because the content's not right, and the 17:09 T, and the screen quality is not right. 17:11 Today, airlines are practically giving up and loaning you iPads, because 17:12 they realize that this is the right format that people want. 17:17 This is the right form factor that people 17:21 want for watching their movies when they fly. 17:24 There's another example here. 17:28 This is a nice room, nice flat screen TV in the middle. 17:31 If you bought a new TV you actually, 17:35 most people don't change the room around it, right? 17:38 You buy a new TV it goes in the same living room, 17:40 so if you look at the resolution difference as being standard, DVD, 17:44 High Def, versus this new thing that's coming out called 4k Ultra 17:47 High Def, that's actually the two 17:50 scale comparison between those different formats. 17:53 DVD has a tiny amount of resolution, compared to 4K ultra. 17:56 And so, if you bought a new TV today, 17:59 and if you bought a, an average American television. 18:02 You're probably buying a 46'' high definition TV, and 18:05 you're sitting about nine feet away from that TV. 18:08 Right? 18:11 If you go home and measure, you're 18:12 probably nine feet, plus or minus three feet. 18:13 Okay? 18:16 So if you're that distance away, let's say this 18:16 is how your 46, 46 inch HDTV looks like. 18:20 If you went to 4K, you have four times the resolution at the same distance. 18:23 Four times the resolution. 18:29 You can be looking at so many more pixels, it's, it'll be beautiful! 18:30 It'll be amazing! 18:33 Except for you to actually tell the quality difference in 18:35 the picture, that TV would have to be 140 inches big. 18:39 I kid you not, you actually cannot see the pixels 18:45 when you're ninne feet away from a high def TV. 18:47 You really can't see the pixels, when you're looking at 18:50 a 4k TV nine feet away, that's 50, 60 inch. 18:53 And so what do you do with, if you have a hundred 18:56 and forty inch TV, what do you do with all that extra space? 18:58 It's like your living room has turned into IMAX. 19:01 What do you do with that extra space? 19:03 Well if you notice, you can actually put more of the picture in there. 19:06 So give us another decade or so and as TV technology 19:10 gets cheaper and cheaper we're gonna buy bigger and bigger TVs. 19:14 Because that's what we want in our living room. 19:17 We wanna cover more of our space with pixels, so we can 19:19 control it and hope that there's new formats of content being created. 19:22 And if I'm creating content for a 140 inch TV, versus a 19:28 46 inch TV, I wanna give you movies that look like this. 19:32 I wanna give you more of the picture. 19:34 But did you notice that something is missing here? 19:36 This is that image, same image with that 46 inch TV that I showed you versus 140. 19:39 That house isn't there any more. 19:45 So, if I'm giving you the same movie but one 19:48 is for regular high def versus one is ultra high def. 19:51 Why does that TV not exist? 19:55 Why did that TV? 19:56 I'm sorry, why does that, why did that house- 19:57 Disappear from the screen. 20:00 It turns out that if you're sitting nine feet from a 20:02 140 inch TV, the corners of your screen are actually peripheral vision. 20:05 You actually do not consume that data. 20:09 You're actually looking at the center of your television, and stuff on 20:11 the outer edge of it is actually being filled by your memory. 20:14 And if you have a plot point during that movie. 20:17 And it's in the periphery. 20:21 And if people miss it, you didn't get the story. 20:22 And so, you now have to think about 20:25 re-editing your movie, so that when a critical thing 20:26 happens, it doesn't happen in the corner of 20:29 your screen, which is totally fine to do today. 20:31 What people have to do is when 20:35 they think about different formats and different devices, 20:36 they have to re-think the environment that 20:39 the people are using to consume that content. 20:41 Here's another example. 20:45 Be, before I go there, does anybody know the biggest trend that's 20:46 been happening to sound and audio and music over the last ten years? 20:49 It's called loudness. 20:54 And the idea is that sound engineers are actually modifying 20:56 music, so that it feels louder, that there's more bass. 20:59 And part of the reason is that most consumption is 21:03 not happening with earphones that cannot produce that kind of sound. 21:05 And so, what happened is that records 21:09 are mastered differently, because they're much more analog. 21:11 And people seem to people spend lots of money 21:14 on speakers and they sit in their living room. 21:16 There's no ambient noise and they're listening music, and it's not as 21:17 loud as the MP3s that you buy, which are engineered very differently. 21:20 Because they assume that you're in a mobile environment where 21:24 there is earphones and lots of stuff are going on. 21:28 So this is already happening today that people are rethinking about 21:31 content to fit the world that we live in, and so 21:33 hypothetically speaking, if you're a football fan, you can actually fit 21:36 four high def broadcasts into one 4K ultra high def TV. 21:41 But the problem of that is that, while 21:46 we can consume lots of visual field information 21:48 at the same time, we can't listen to 21:50 different streams of audio at the same time. 21:53 We can parallel task vision, but we can only single task audio. 21:55 So let's say you have a Kinect, like I have an Xbox One, it is 22:00 actually an amazing entertainment device, you can 22:04 actually talk to it and say things like. 22:05 Xbox, I wanna watch The Walking Dead, and it'll figure it all out. 22:07 And what it can do is, it recognizes me versus my wife. 22:12 And so when I sit down and actually look up it 22:15 knows that I'm looking at a certain corner of the screen. 22:17 And so you can live in an environment where you can watch four games at 22:19 the same time, and merely by the tilt of your head, the audio social will change. 22:22 Pretty amazing, huh? 22:29 This is just the beginning of how our environment will change. 22:30 How the devices around us as we cover more and 22:35 more of our world with pixels will continue to evolve. 22:37 And if you're an advertiser and you're advertising on TV, you are 22:40 screwed, because the moment your ad comes on, what do you do? 22:44 [LAUGH] So let's talk about formats in real life. 22:47 This is me adopting this theory that I'm talking to you about to the world of news. 22:54 So when I co-founded Circa with Matt and, and Arsenio the idea was that 22:59 the way you, you, you read news, it's been the same since the 19th century. 23:04 Somebody writes an article, somebody edits it and they publish it 23:09 either on digital or on print, and it's delivered to you. 23:13 And then they repeat the cycle over and over again. 23:16 And the idea was that on mobile devices, we can really get out of that paradigm and 23:19 find ways to structure news in a way that's 23:23 much more easy to read and it's noise free. 23:25 And so, we built a company around that and it's going pretty darn well. 23:29 And so, if I"m embracing a new format, let's talk about old formats. 23:33 So you can see on the top corner of 23:39 these screens you see paperback, ebooks, and things like that. 23:41 But if you keep going down the family tree of 23:43 different formats, you see the word that's highlighted, it says scroll. 23:46 How many of you have used the scroll in the last 30 days? 23:50 You guys are all a bunch of liars, you know that? 23:53 This is a receipt. 23:58 A receipt is rolled off of a scroll and 24:00 they tear a corner and they give it to you. 24:03 We've all used scrolls in probably tha last 24 hours. 24:06 What happens to old formats that have been 24:10 successful is not that they go and disappear. 24:11 They become extremely specialized. 24:15 So for example, records. 24:17 Record sales have been going up, in triple digits year 24:19 over year, because for some reason, people have refound the 24:23 joy of actually listening to a full album in an 24:28 environment, where you do nothing else other than listen to music. 24:32 Cuz if you think about the amount of time 24:36 you listen to music, you're not listening to music. 24:37 You're doing work. 24:39 Right. 24:40 And what's happening is that old formats don't die, they just find 24:40 a different niche, and so newspapers are not going to go away. 24:44 They are just going to become something different. 24:47 So what happens to new formats? 24:51 alright so here's the future devices that are definitely coming smart watches 24:52 apple TV's, Xbox, Google Glass, Facebook, HiDef TV, 3D printing. 24:58 3D printing's on there, because it turns out that, okay here's Facebook. 25:04 So, if you are looking at Facebook, and you've got 3D vision. 25:09 For those of you, wondering why I am 25:12 calling this Facebook it's because Facebook bought Oculus Rift. 25:13 Okay. 25:16 If you don't know that. 25:16 I'm so sorry. 25:17 You need to get on the Internet a little bit more often. 25:18 But, right now, we think of Oculus Rift as a way to play games. 25:20 And the only reason we think that is because, the only mass medium 25:25 that is available to us, that is a fully 3D environment, is gaming. 25:28 There really isn't much else. 25:32 But it turns out that once this format of gaming in Oculus Rift, gaming as 25:34 a last-generation format being adapted to a new-generation 25:39 device, other things will start to come up. 25:42 Other things like training, right? 25:45 Other things like therapy. 25:48 So I just met a guy who was working on fixing people's visual 25:51 I forgot what it was called, but it's a, it's a, people can't see straight. 25:57 It's not cross eyed, but basically they have muscle de, degeneration in one 26:02 eye and he was using Oculus Rift to help people actually correct that. 26:05 Right? 26:10 This is just the beginning of new formats and new frontiers. 26:10 Because a brand new device has allowed us to put human beings in a new context. 26:14 And even going back to analog printing, like physical devices. 26:19 How many of you have actually seen that commercial, late night? 26:24 Where you like, you can cook bacon, but on a microwave. 26:27 Oh yeah, you know what I'm talking about, right. 26:31 So, you buy this little plastic device which looks like 26:33 a little tree, you hang pieces of bacon in it, and 26:35 you put it in the microwave, and like 60 seconds later 26:37 all the fat drips out, and you get the bacon out. 26:40 Okay. 26:42 You just spent 20 bucks, and 30 26:43 minutes watching a infomercial about a plastic tree. 26:45 Hey, that's all it is, it's just a piece of plastic. 26:49 Instead of doing that, what you could do is in a world 26:52 where objects, and printed objects can be transmitted over the inter tubes. 26:56 Instead of actually asking somebody to make it somewhere 27:01 else and ship it to your house for $20. 27:04 You could actually have like Oscar Mayer Bacon sponsor of the design. 27:06 And you download it, for free. 27:10 But when it's printed at your house, it says Oscar Mayer on it. 27:12 You just purchased some advertising, in lieu of purchasing a physical product. 27:15 You're giving your time and attention to having something in your house, that you 27:20 can look at and say, okay, I get it, there's a sponsorship on it. 27:24 But instead of paying 20 bucks to have a plastic thing 27:27 sent to my house, I'll just print it instead, for free. 27:29 We've now started to turn physical objects into digital media. 27:33 And so, what is happening is, in the first 27:39 generation of like maker bots and, and, 3D printing. 27:41 You're seeing a lot of stuff used for education, and just for shits and giggles. 27:45 I went to a friend's house, friend's office in Chicago. 27:49 They've had a replicator for a long time, and I asked them of all 27:51 the stuff in this room, give me one thing that is actually practically useful. 27:54 And they spent like 20 minutes looking for something, and they couldn't find one. 27:58 Right. 28:01 It's for fun, and that's great. 28:02 People experimenting. 28:03 But as the second generation of 3D printing comes along. 28:05 We're gonna start actually finding real uses for, and again each 28:08 generation of new devices are creating new opportunities for formats to 28:11 evolve and they evolve in a way that is not expected, 28:16 Okay, you didn't expect cats to go from saber tooth tigers. 28:21 To pictures with captions, but that's what happened, 28:27 because we, shaped the world around us into 28:29 the most pleasurable thing we could find and 28:32 what is happening is that these stages of 28:36 innovation and evolution has been repeating itself over 28:38 a long time, and so what happens is, 28:40 when a new device comes along, what we do is, we adapt old format into new device. 28:42 And then a handful of creative people, creative people decide that 28:47 they want to embrace this concept and actually create something new. 28:50 And, then, when those leaders have actually 28:53 come up with some few things that all 28:55 of us, it captures our imagination, now we say, you know what, we can go mainstream. 28:57 We can actually start releasing products and platforms that embrace this idea. 29:03 So, is there a such thing as bad format? 29:07 You guys have seen, yes, somebody said yes. 29:12 Okay, lets talk about this. 29:13 Alright, you have an iPhone and you want to take a video. 29:15 You're that guy. 29:19 Right? 29:20 You've seen that video? 29:20 You all hate that video. 29:22 Right? 29:23 It's terrible. 29:24 It's like this guys. 29:24 So there's even a PSA that's got almost five million views 29:26 on on YouTube that tells you about the vertical video syndrome. 29:29 I'd argue that actually there's no bad format, 29:32 this is like old formats not really dying. 29:35 There isn't that there's a bad format, it's just that we 29:37 haven't created the products that leverage that format and those uses. 29:40 And you can, and this is the case in 29:44 Vennio who actually supports 9 by 16 vertical video formats, 29:46 but you can actually make beautiful products, beautiful images by 29:50 rethinking what was given to us by the last generation. 29:54 What we're trying to create is different formats for different environments. 30:00 And so, let's take real time content for an example. 30:03 What are the different formats on a real-time, audience? 30:07 So you have, one to viral which is 30:10 like me, media stunts, PR stunts, things like that. 30:12 And on the bottom you have like one to 30:16 one, interpersonal which is like Tweeting somebody at customer service. 30:17 Like different formats of content, different formats 30:21 of interaction depending on the audience size. 30:24 And in this real time audience pyramid as the amount of audience scales up on one 30:27 side, going from one to one, to one to few, one to many, one to viral. 30:31 on the other side the amount of content actually decreases 30:35 as you go up or increases as you go down. 30:38 As though each format has a different use. 30:41 It has a different audience. 30:43 The scale of audience is different depending on how it 30:44 is being created and how difficult it is to create. 30:48 And so when you are thinking about creating content, 30:50 you have to think about if I do this 30:52 how many people does it reach and what type 30:54 of interaction am I going to have with them? 30:56 And so in the future. 30:58 There's a lot of constraints. 31:01 There's so much fragmentation. 31:02 We feel frustrated by all the work we have to do with a 31:03 little bit of resources that we have and the little bit of time. 31:06 For me, when a Cheeseburger, when we work with constraints, we talk about creativity 31:09 not coming from the lack of constraint, we talk about creativity as a way. 31:14 That frees us from the constraint. 31:19 That we can use to actually create something new that didn't exist prior 31:21 that is capturing the imagination for at least a brief moment of time. 31:26 The Yo app that I was actually talking about, it seems like such a stupid idea. 31:29 Press somebody's name and it just says Yo, that's all you can do. 31:33 Yet at the same time millions of people are starting to 31:35 use it, they just raised a million dollars of venture capital. 31:38 That's a whole other story. 31:41 Maybe that is the end of the universe. 31:43 But, if you are do not take those risks, if you do not figure out how 31:44 to leverage these new devices to create formats 31:51 that work for that environment, somebody else will. 31:53 For example, 6-Second Stories. 31:57 Who knew that we would be able to actually use 31:59 six seconds worth of time to tell entire stories online. 32:02 Or even fifteen seconds on Instagram, or what have you. 32:06 Small amounts of times, which we thought were barriers to telling 32:09 stories, are no longer barriers to how we tell stories today. 32:12 Because, it used to be that when your grandpa told you a story. 32:16 Ended up beginning, a middle, and end of it, right? 32:19 It feels like like let me tell you about the time 32:22 when I was a kid, like halfway through, maybe like halfway through 32:24 the intro you're like, is it,is it rude to take out my 32:26 phone and check my email, cuz I know where this is going. 32:29 And your grandpa grew up in a world where 32:33 formats of content were suppose to be narrative arts. 32:35 They were suppose to have a beginning, middle and end. 32:38 And so grandpa, that's all he knew. 32:40 But today, we have storytelling that assumes the context that we all know it. 32:43 So, for example, still a better love story than Twilight. 32:52 >> [LAUGH] >> From the movie Castaway. 32:54 So if you laugh at this joke. 32:58 I know that you and I know at least three things in common, right? 33:00 That there's a movie called Castaway where Tom Hanks 33:04 has a love affair with a volley ball, okay? 33:06 [LAUGH] Second, there's a movie called Twilight. 33:08 And, three, everybody loves to hate on Twilight. 33:11 I told you this, in this single image 33:14 microformat, because I knew that you would know that. 33:16 What we were doing is we're adapting this 33:19 type of story telling based on our history. 33:22 Mass media has allowed us to understand that we have very, very shared narratives. 33:24 People who are born in the early days of mass media do 33:30 not make the assumption that you know the same things that they do. 33:33 And so their story telling is different. 33:36 So I'll give you another example, this is, this is a, 33:39 a format of content adapted from a long long time ago, OK. 33:41 I know it doesn't look like it. 33:46 Father? 33:48 Yes my son? 33:49 I myth you. 33:53 [LAUGH] OK. 33:53 Simple Mythbusters. 33:54 Joke that's been said for many many years. 33:57 This is not format it actually originated in. 34:00 It looks like this, an image with three different, 34:02 a single image with three different sub-images in it, okay? 34:06 This is called a triptych, this is also a triptych from 1415, right? 34:09 But it's gone, it goes from left to right. 34:15 And so top to bottom, why is it that 34:17 triptychs of the modern age go top to bottom? 34:19 Because we've all learned how to scroll. 34:22 It's the same format except new generations used new styles 34:25 and new device contexts to create new uses for them. 34:30 So what we're saying is by telling these 34:34 jokes, by telling these, context rich jokes that. 34:36 If i tell you must know all the concepts around it, if you understand 34:40 this, you understand me, you get this, you get who I am as well. 34:43 And some final words before I actually get to Q & A, if you want to 34:48 create a new content format, you have to pick the device that it's gonna live on. 34:52 Right? 34:57 And we all kinda start with mobile, but that doesn't actually have to be the case. 34:57 Whether it be 3D printing or Oculus Rift or, 35:00 tablets or phones, you have to start thinking about the 35:05 world that is actually going to come before us, 35:07 cuz it will take you some time to build it. 35:10 But if you want to create a new way, a new format, you have to build product. 35:12 You have to build a product that allows people to understand what it's 35:16 for, how to create it, how to share it and how to consume it. 35:20 And this new, new product will teach 35:24 people the joy and the amazingness of actually 35:27 using that format just as Vine and Makerbot 35:30 did with six second videos and 3D printing. 35:33 And so if you're doing new devices creating new formats. 35:36 You've gotta use environments. 35:41 You have to understand the environment that the product is being used. 35:44 If at some day we actually can actually created 3D 35:47 printers that are mobile I guarantee the things we create 35:50 on a mobile printing 3D printing device is gonna be 35:53 very different than the stuff that we use at home. 35:56 And so these environments matter. 35:58 And you can't just take an old format and apply it to new. 36:01 You have to rethink how it's used just as that 600 year 36:03 old triptik was sideways, who had decided that triptiks are now vertical. 36:07 And then you have to actually create 36:11 answers because you have to solve people's problems. 36:13 You don't just create formats for the hell of it. 36:16 Every format that is successful actually solves 36:19 a problem when it comes to content consumption. 36:21 Thank you very much and I'll take your questions, and- 36:24 >> [APPLAUSE] >> Yeah. 36:28 >> So who's got a question for Ben? 36:34 Come on, somebody. 36:38 Alight, here we are. 36:39 >> I can't see. 36:40 So I noticed you equated, size with resolution, but that's not always true. 36:43 So why did you go there? 36:48 >> I'm sorry, equate size with resolution>> yeah 36:50 >> yeah, so, you can like I said, buy a 4k tv that is 46 inches big. 36:52 However you won't see a difference, right, cuz it's so far 36:58 away from you on average, cuz you're sitting 6 to 12 ft. 37:00 away. 37:03 And so the nature of television, is that bigger is better. 37:03 And the moment you start to have a reason to buy a 37:07 bigger TV, because it's cheaper, it has a better resolution, you will. 37:09 So eventually we're gonna end up in a world that you have 140 inch. 37:12 TV screen. 37:15 >> To, to appreciate it. 37:16 >> That's right. 37:18 >> All right. 37:18 Thank You. 37:19 >> And so when you have a 140 inch. 37:19 TV. 37:20 Since you're sitting nine feet away you can't see the edges very well. 37:20 So as a content creator we have to start thinking about that. 37:23 Crap, this is a new problem that didn't exist before. 37:26 >> Go, good question. 37:29 Thank you. 37:30 >> Anybody else? 37:31 I've got one. 37:34 >> Mm-hm. 37:34 >> Ben, you've got a Google Glass. 37:34 What combination of audio visual context is gonna lead 37:36 the to the, to a new format for Google Glass? 37:42 >> For Google Glass, so what, what's really interesting about Google Glass is 37:44 that, because they released it to consumers 37:48 we started thinking about it like consumers. 37:52 So right now, Google Glass is actually, that's why 37:54 the whole glass whole thing was kind of funny because. 37:56 You've got all these people running around with cameras 37:59 on their heads and they don't really realize what's happening. 38:00 They started actually releasing Google Glass to industries, specific industries. 38:03 I met this guy at a different conference. 38:06 He was a doctor at six different expeditions to climb Mount Everest. 38:10 And he was there when one of the biggest storms happened. 38:16 And he, you know, helped to save a lot of people's lives. 38:19 And, the, and, NASA contacted him and said we'd like 38:21 to figure out how to actually do surgery and do medical, 38:25 treatments for people on Mars. 38:31 Right? 38:34 So imagine Mars. 38:35 You have eight minutes of delay for any amount of communication. 38:36 How does a astronaut who's not a doctor perform surgery, right? 38:39 And so, he was actually looking at Google Glass and trying 38:45 to figure out, like, how do I instruct people and how do 38:47 I make instruction relevent to the context of the surgery because what 38:51 it you open up somebody and find something that you didn't expect? 38:55 Can the Google glasses actually recognize different body parts. 38:58 And different scenarios that should do that. 39:01 And so, we're trying to figure out, like. 39:03 Google created a hammer, and we're all trying 39:05 to kind of look for a nail right now. 39:08 And so, and that's the environment we live in with Google glass. 39:09 Is that, it's a tool without a function at this point. 39:12 >> Yeah. 39:16 Excellent. 39:16 Anybody else? 39:17 Everyone, oh, there is one over there, so everyone will have 39:20 to wait before the free booze at the pool, no pressure. 39:23 >> Yeah, I guess a couple of questions are all 39:34 of your websites still running WordPress, this is my first one. 39:36 Let me answer that >> Sure. 39:40 >> We moved off of WordPress about three years ago. 39:42 We were one of the world's largest 39:45 customers of WordPr, WordPress, but we weren't blogging. 39:47 So we had this kind of problem between the format 39:50 that WordPress was pushing, which is kind of longer form, more context rich, versus 39:55 smaller, Kind of device agnostic that we were headed, it was actually 40:00 really, really expensive to get off word press, I'll 40:05 be honest, we probably ended up spending twice the 40:07 money that we thought we were gonna spend with 40:10 WordPress, and so WordPress is a fantastic product for 40:11 content management systems, for rich content management systems. 40:15 We were trying to design something different so we moved off of it. 40:18 Where are you, on square space now? 40:21 Or, something else? 40:22 >> no. 40:23 We actually built our own. 40:23 >> Okay. 40:24 >> Yeah. 40:25 So, I think at one point, we were, 20% of all wordpress.com traffic. 40:25 Yeah, that was a lot. 40:31 >> Alright, so my second question is, can you explain some hurdles that you had 40:33 in trying to develop a business model that 40:37 was, And just developed around 100% ad revenue. 40:39 >> Yeah, so, the business model was really interesting because in the early 40:44 days of the company the only mission was to live to fight another day. 40:47 Like, I wanted to come to work and actually have 40:51 enough money to keep working and so, we did like everything. 40:53 Like ad networks, we sold t-shirts, we 40:56 sold stickers, like we sold fridge magnets with. 40:59 Low speak on it, and, and then what 41:02 we found was that despite we sold virtual currency. 41:05 Like, it was crazy. 41:08 We tried everything. 41:10 And, what, one of the things that we found was 41:11 that, advertising kept on growing, even though we've neglected it. 41:13 Like, we would do everything in our power to view 41:16 everything else, and then ads, ad dollars kept on growing. 41:17 And, and one of the reason was, was that because we 41:20 were coming out of a recession, that ad dollars would naturally grow. 41:22 And so we ended up actually folding almost everything that we 41:25 did, including the book business just to focus, to concentrate on advertising. 41:28 Which temporarily lowered our revenues but that was kind of the intent. 41:33 Yeah. 41:37 Any other questions? 41:39 And advertising by the way, keep thinking of questions but, advertising 41:41 is actually an area that is incredibly slow to adapt new formats. 41:44 If you look at the state of the art on mobile 41:48 phones right now and mobile advertising it is terrible because what they 41:49 did is they took punch the monkey from the banner ads and 41:52 put it on your phone where you can't even see the monkey. 41:55 How can you punch it? 41:58 [LAUGH] So that's how we usually start a 41:59 new generation of devices but, we're starting to see 42:03 mobile adds kind of come up and, and, and 42:06 be more innovative about the environment that it's in. 42:09 Such as having knowing it's location, right? 42:11 But we're just barely getting started there. 42:14 >> Here 42:16 we go, one in the middle. 42:19 >> So you said that you know the attention 42:26 span is turning into the thin crust or whatever, 42:28 >> Yeah,. 42:31 Who is that You know I guess effecting society as 42:32 one of the people that promotes this sort of behavior. 42:35 Come on man I'm just doing what people want. 42:39 So it's true I actually one of the challenges that 42:43 we have about this dialogue of what's happened with the world. 42:47 Is that we tend to look at it from like old timers' perspective. 42:50 Like, let's face it, we're all getting older, none of us are getting younger. 42:53 And the world that we're actually leave, leaving for 42:56 the people who come after us, is a world where 42:58 you have 112 hours a, a week of media, Where 43:01 they are surrounded by devices and communication all the time. 43:05 And they're actually being asked to create product and. 43:08 And business and services during that time, and so while we sit there 43:11 and go boy in the old days I could actually read a book 43:15 without interruption, we're leaving them a world where they have to deal with 43:18 distractions all the time and live to learn in a thin crust world. 43:22 And that's okay. 43:27 Like, I actually think it's going to be alright. 43:28 So while it was beneficial for our generation 43:30 to know how to deal with attention spans. 43:33 In a, in a 90 percent of the attention span 43:35 was deep maybe it's gonna be the other way around. 43:37 Where it's really helpful to have 90 percent of our 43:40 attention span be thin and only 10 percent be deep so. 43:42 >> Any others? 43:46 OK well then please let's put our hands 43:51 together for Ben Hunt that was really, really interesting. 43:53 [APPLAUSE] 43:57
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