Monday, June 21, 2010

New Views, Two Views

I’ve been contemplating some info I learned through one of my volunteer activities. Although said activity has nothing to do with writing, the info itself can be useful to writers, I think. 
I was in Toronto (Hi, CN Tower!) at the Skate Canada annual convention a few weeks ago and attended a workshop titled “New Web Strategies.” You can’t beat sports when it comes to expertise in fans and technology, right? 

The workshop was given by Kevin Albrecht of iSport Media and Management. He went over the current landscape in consumption of sport product and internet usage, and how to make use of this to promote and build a eventually make money of course. 

The community being referred to was the community of skaters or skating clubs and organizations and fans, but presumably the community could be any group of individuals with similar interests. Maybe like, say, followers of certain books or authors.

First, it’s kind of obvious, but we were told the goal of any business is to produce content, distribute the content, and somehow make money from that. Whereas in the past the distribution channels for sport were limited to a couple options (TV mostly and only a couple channels at that) now there are hundreds of options for distributing content. Hey, sound familiar my publishing pals? 

Into this new world of distribution options comes these facts:
  •  Canadians spend more time online and view more content online than any other country in the world 
  •  Canadians spend more time online than in front of the TV 
  •  Internet penetration in Canada is 72%; in the USA it’s 62%
Pretty obvious digital content is becoming very important. Add to this a study that found how people view websites. He said a study of 1.36 million internet users found the eye tracks a website this way: across the top, down the left and across the middle/bottom. You have 2.4 seconds to grab a visitor’s attention.

What does that mean?
    • This dictates where your important information and/or big advertising spots on your website should go 
    • You need new content regularly to give people a reason to come back to your site (so quit taking blog holidays already, sheesh!)
      Some interesting predictions were: 
      • live streaming from just about anywhere will become a reality as people live stream events from their own phones and send that to a website of their choosing
      • apps to a closed community will be worth the most money (so eg. a skating club app with schedule, news, competition results, live streaming of competitions or events, etc) 
      So will we soon see author apps?

      I bet it'll start out with the big guys, those who are big enough to warrant interest in appearances, opinions, news of forthcoming books, etc. Maybe later on it will filter down or come down in price for those of us with a more modest presence.
      Food for thought, no? 

      Sure made me think. It was fun to step outside my regular writing mindset. I was glad I went on a number of levels. Besides, this easily-fascinated-by-forms-of-transportation gal got to enjoy this view from my hotel room. Airplanes took off from the runway, and there are sailboats, ferry boats, and a water taxi. Yes, this view was pretty easy to take.

      But at the banquet I kinda wish I'd never had this view. Who wants a big ole castor canadensis looming over an otherwise stellar dinner? 

      (Yeah, it's standing on the floor and that's the ballroom CEILING and part of one of those gargantuan projection screens on the right.) Apparently they'll make a big inflatable anything these days.

      No comments: