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DC week- the future of media trends

Andrea Alarcon's picture

Remember that video of a band in a Brooklyn metro ride using iPhones as their instruments? Some people said Apple staged it. The company never denied it. Regardless of whether it was genuine or a publicity stunt, the video is so great that it quickly went viral and people ate it up like candy.

"Branding doesn’t matter. If the content is good, people will share it,” said AOL’s David Shing, or @Shingy, in his keynote speech during DCWeek’s tech conference on Thursday. The conference took place in the Artisphere in Arlington, Virginia, and packed a full house of web developers, online marketing professionals and web entrepreneurs.

@creative commons photos

Shingy was speaking of the future of media trends in an odd but cozy black-box theatre. He managed to say a lot of perfectly tweetable phrases of < 140 characters such as:

"Campaigns are out, conversations are in”

"Curating is the future: Good content will come back to trump massive noise.”

"'Like’ and ‘follow’ are being completely diluted. We're not listening anymore,” and therefore prophesized: “Unfriending will become a trend.”

And my favorite:

"Stop focusing on how many followers your page has. We are not 11 years old; this is not a popularity contest.”

It all came back to the same thing: It’s about quality, not quantity. Whether it’s targeting the influencers and not the masses, or producing great content instead of noise. A big one that resonated with me was the need to make apps only if they have an immediate practical purpose; a piece of advice that our institution does not seem to be following.

There were four streams that the conference focused on. An entire room was geared toward the use of the Internet for social good. A panel on Internet tools for this purpose discussed the usefulness of riding on a profit-making brand to create social projects, since they have the funds for it.

Dan Morrison, from Citizen Effect, emphasized the importance of the human element, since it’s people who make the real connections after all. Some of the projects and free tools mentioned includedNetwork for good, Cause capitalism, highrise, civicrm etc.

The World Bank was highlighted in the Data panel, where Development Seed, the firm which built data.worldbank.org, used it as an example of the great significance and the reasoning behind the institution’s decision to open our data.

As for the technical topics, HTML5 was probably the most attended lecture, in which browser developers spoke of the adoption of new web standards.

Jen Simmons, a web designer with a podcast on future web trends, The Web Ahead, said: “When to do the switch? You should not be thinking this way… more like what elements of HTML5 should I be incorporating into my site?”

For those of us not so familiar with HTML5, it’s normal, since developers have not finished defining it nor do they think they will. The current 10-year lull with the current standards will not occur again; therefore it’s more a matter of starting to integrate HTML5 components into our web sites rather than thinking of a rash conversion. It will be changing continually anyways.

Simmons finished by saying that: “Part of what it means to be a web developer is to continue learning. If you think that you already know everything you need to know, I don’t know where you work!”

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