The current post drought is due to life and conferences taking over. I am currently in Perth with limited connectivity (in the worlds most remote city) presenting at Small Screen Big Picture. Then flying off to Melbourne to take part in a X-Media Lab and prepare for LAMP which is being held from 4-9 December in Sydney. I would have liked to have attended what looks like a great conference in Sydney at the moment Interactive Entertainment 2005 but was pre-booked into ‘old school’ conference. All in all a busy time but as I started writing this it dawned on me the distinct range of media conferences one finds at the moment.

1 – Traditional industry trying to squeeze the last bit of juice from the old models
2 – Academic research and creatives identifying and creating the emerging models
3 – Technical groups – standards & corporate trying to second guess 1 and 2 by making new ‘broadcast/band’ tools and devices that last less and less time
4 – Old new media groups talking about the even older new media ‘good ole days’

OK no. 4 is not really a main one but they do exist. Sadly there is little cross-over with all of them. I have heard from emerging media folk who wouldn’t be seen dead at a no. 1 and also industry folk who regard no. 2 as irrelevant. The same industry folk avoid listening to presentations about no. 2 even in their own conferences as it ‘really scares’ them. I have been to NAB’s and IBC’s where the new media elements are banished to some far corner of a hall, while Sony, Panasonic and Apple and others flog editing and camera gear to advertising financed traditional film, press and TV producers. At the other end we get trend analysts at emerging media conferences referring to these folk as dinosaurs, already dead, yet jumping at the chance to appear on TV or in the paper and play the game.

There are a lot of double standards and confusion – the conference circuit reinforces the divide that is appearing all over the industry at the moment. A few more posts following that try to encapsulate the sudden upswing in the crashing of these two worlds – happening in the ‘real’ industry while conference goers happily carry on sneering at each other.

Posted by Gary Hayes ©2005