How Twitter Changed TV - Jenn Deering Davis - Union Metrics Social media has had a dramatic effect on the way we watch TV and Twitter has ...

SXSW Day 2 - Spider goats, space travel and data(ing)


How Twitter Changed TV - Jenn Deering Davis - Union Metrics

Social media has had a dramatic effect on the way we watch TV and Twitter has been integral to this revolution. Social TV is now a major factor in the screening of shows like The Grammys, The Super Bowl and X Factor, and the producers are actively adjusting their output to take this into account. Jenn gave an insightful talk into the different strategies that shows are using including building interest - Raising Hope embedded Tweets on Twitter before it even aired, discovery - 3/10 people said they watched House of Cards due to Twitter, fan engagement - actors often tweet during the show, and real time participation - Hawaii 5-0 let fans decide on the outcome of the show, they even ran 2 different endings on the West and East Coast !

Data and Dating - Amy Webb

Amy gave a hilarious talk based on her book where she equated the challenges of online dating and finding her perfect man with the benefits of data analysis. She ran through a series of correlations that used to hone the list and exclude certain variations including drinkers, phone checkers, religious golfers and Bon Jovi fans! She found that much of the data was flawed due to people answering aspirationally rather than honestly, so she used 72 data points to create 10 archetypes and then sell herself as a product with a meaningful engagement strategy. Did it work? Well, the story ended happily and she brought her husband on stage so it seems data really can be useful everywhere.

Microsoft and SoDa - exchanging Big Ideas

On top of hundreds of talks, panels and keynotes SXSW also has daily events running in every bar, cafe and car park in the city where you can get free lunch, drinks and bump into some fascinating people. SoDA and Microsoft teamed up at one of these events to present a series of panels and discussions around digital innovation. I attended the panel on Getting Physical: How Physical is the New Digital, where the panel used a huge variety of examples from Nike, The Metropole Orchestra and a mosque in Doha to show how they have used light projections, RFID and mass tweeting to create real World experiences from digital interactions. The highlight was the Orchestra that played pieces based on people's tweets.

Elon Musk - Founder of Paypal, Tesla and Space X

Next up was the first big keynote of the festival - Elon Musk. The queue stretched around the centre with over 10k of the 30k attendees waiting to squeeze in a 5k capacity theatre - they ran a simulcast to ensure everyone could listen. At 41 Elon has covered a lot of ground and now his latest venture, SpaceX, could finally get humans to Mars. For most of his hour-long conversation with moderator former Wired editor-in-chief Chris Anderson, Musk fielded questions about business and physics, at one point showing a never before seen video of a SpaceX test of a reusable rocket. Interestingly at the very end, just as he had the audience eating out of his hand, he blew it all by claiming that he loved his five kids but didn't see them very often and that he would even work and do his emails whilst he was with them - you could hear the audible gasp in the room!

Al Gore - The Future

I saw Al Gore last year at SXSW so wasnt sure whether to spend the time hearing the same points however this year the title 'The Future' intrigued me - he didnt le't us down. As ever, he talked passionately about the six drivers of Global change that included the emergence of the Global mind driven by the internet of everything, the reinvention of life and death which included a story about spider goats (seriously look it up), outgrowth of the World's economy and inevitably the climate question where he berated us for using the world as an open sewer. So some relevant points for interactive but mostly a "real world" conversation.

The rest of the day was spent listening to the hilariously outspoken Baratunde Thurston talking about humour and innovation that included 4 universal learnings - know your audience, data doesn't replace insight, develop your own point of view and don't expect everyone to get it!

The evening was spent at a number of parties and events including the launch of FEED an interactive exhibit showcasing Twitter's advertising and technology partners located at Austin Museum of Art and Hackney House, an international travelling ‘capsule’ edition of 2012’s stunning and successful urban pop-up space, set up in Hackney's Shoreditch district during last year’s Olympic Games. Created by Hackney Council to act as a hub for new investment to Hackney, it succeeded in showcasing this cluster of culturally relevant creative businesses currently making their global mark.

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