October 26, 2006
Digital Hollywood Energy
I’m at Digital Hollywood in Santa Monica this week, where as an entrepreneurial CEO friend put it to two guys sitting at the Loews Hotel bar who asked “what is this event about?” -- "It is a venue where a bunch of F-D up guys in Hollywood resistant to changing the way things have always been and are trying to figure it all out, meet the technology folks who are and have figured it out and are moving full speed head. Conversation happens and hopefully ‘some’ progress is made until the next event like it.” (in so many words). I had to laugh. I’m not quite sure our new non-industry friends at the bar understood, but in many ways, it was irrelevant.
Like many events of this kind, half the attendees were speakers, friends or partners of speakers or people who wanted to partner with them. Client eSnips CEO Yael Elish is on a panel tomorrow on of all things: viral marketing and creative ways to extend online brands. Not quite related to their business and yet, with nearly a million users and still in beta, viral and organic is happening for them big time.
Interactive TV, digital video and social networks are the talk of the day and night, a mobile component continues to be relevant and important and the crowd is a mishmash of digital content heads at the Yahoos of the world (our dinner on Santa Monica’s trendy but commercial Third Street for example) and raw start-ups looking for funding, partners and the right business model to follow post YouTube success.
There’s a superficial air, not unlike the energy I often feel when I’m in LA. Combine that with inflated Web 2.0 buzz on the heals of a recent $1.65 billion and you’ll get the flavor. We were having after dinner drinks at the trendy Viceroy when one new business development guy pulled out his stash of cards from the day.
His industry colleague looked at them with a sense of envy, awe and aggressiveness, the way eyes covet something they ‘must have,’ regardless of what meaning the something really holds. It was amazing to watch his eyes scan every name in the deck as he flipped through the stack, as if disappointed with his thinner stack that perhaps wouldn’t yield as much business or whatever it was he thought a fatter stack would do for him. Did I also mention that there's weirdness in the air?
I missed the digital video panel today – there’s clearly more than one this year. On a panel of six or so people, YouTube’s Kevin Donahue barely said a word. Do they need to? Or even show up? There were lots of general panel and hallway discussions on video, TV convergence, mobile, user generated media, RSS and aggregating markets and monetization. Ahhhhh the inflated buzz continues and continues and continues and ………….
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