Macworld 2009: Leo Laporte-Note Non-Live Blog (Now Up!)

Leo Laporte of TWiT fame's Macworld 2009 Keynote. Be sure to check out our photo gallery as well. All the highlights after the break!

  • Leo is on stage, using Keynote 09 and the iPhone Keynote remote app!
  • Slide 1: End of the world as we know it, but he didn't mean Macworld!
  • Best thing about Macworld is meeting like-minded people, has to keep going but may be different
  • Media is changing anyway, so maybe this is a good time.
  • Not end of Macworld but end of mainstream mass media.
  • Already his iPhone is asleep, hope that's not a sign - may be to bleeding edge even for him
  • Showing young Leo on slide show, using pseudonym Dan Hayes.
  • Wants to explain he knows old way of doing things.
  • He's seen the light, and wants to explain how great things will be.
  • He gives this speech to old media guys, but he has to lie to them say they can find a way to make it work..
  • Started with Dvorak, Ziff Davis called, and when Microsoft made MSNBC, they wanted to compete with a show called The Site.
  • Too depressing, doesn't want to show us, but has clip of Dvorak demo'ing 286 PC. Pathetic.
  • ZDTV and TechTv gave chance for non-mainstream - different
  • Throw out old model, assume audience is intelligent, enthusiastic.
  • Was Chinese history major in college, likes history, wants to give us some
  • Mass media was coined in 1920 but has always been some. People like to share back to cave paintings back in stone ages.
  • Theater was first mass media, 250,000 people could be seated in Rome, great accustics.
  • Travelling minstrels could reach people.
  • Moveable type/printing press helped but economics were tough, hugely expensive
  • Guttenberg is example of kind of shift we're seeing now
  • TV didn't replace radio, but Leo thinks we now have a greater shift
  • In the beginning, they only printed bibles, just faster, but a generation it took to start doing interesting things - The Price, novels, Luthor's reformation, scientific revolution.
  • Newspapers went broader still, country. Movies go international. True mass media as we know it.
  • TV reaches huge audiences - 2.5 billion watched World Cup
  • Internet blows this all up. Global Audience
  • Mass media = monopoly, only richest could afford to publish/distribute
  • Because it was expensive, you needed a mass-audience
  • If you wanted to broadcast, had to beg someone who owned tower.
  • Early days, anyone could paint on cave wall, play a guitar
  • 1920s, only a few could decide who got voice -- but now the monopoly is shattering
  • High cost meant diversity of voices was mall (last 100 years, not normal)
  • Brains are tribal, understand small groups and communities, talking to each other. We prefer conversation
  • Monopoly disolving, anyone can publish now.
  • On YouTube, anyone does!
  • 1 Billion now have distrobution, voice, chance to put content out
  • Not like 3 anchors of traditional TV who controlled agenda.
  • When Cronkite gave up on Vietnam war, was powerful enough to effect country
  • Cost of content also dropping. Before, to be rock star, had to borrow from studio but never got profit back. TV, radio, same.
  • Big media can't control content or creators now, but could control editorial
  • Doesn't think they'll do a good job, but have to give them something
  • Ultimately, will have to become one of us
  • Diversity changes, narrow band dissolves, we can all create
  • Now we can talk back. Media hates that!
  • Leo did well because he was from Talk Radio where people always talked back.
  • Generally most try to control too much, hang up, control. Play you as instrument. People who call in are fodder
  • But it was closest thing.
  • Audience is turning into communiity, monolog is turning into conversation
  • Back to early days when audience talked back -- most important thing
  • Mac lovers really get this: digital content/Mac empowers creating and distributing
  • A thousand flowers bloom
  • Let's talk about Money -- someone has to pay you
  • One engaged community member is suddenly worth a lot of less-engaged, passive listeners and advertisers are beginning to notice.
  • TWiT can succeed because relatively cheap to make, and advertisers prefer intelligent audience they're engaging.
  • People listening to mass media are very loosely engaged, skip ads, TiVo.
  • Advertisers want people to pay attention. Can't go to audience as pitchman, have to come as member of audience.
  • Markets are conversations, not pitching, not tricking to create need where none exists
  • Advertisers need to come as equal and offer what you might like, ask you to try it
  • Advertisiers are having hard time with this, haven't caught up, only sharp people
  • LONG TAIL! Go Dieter!
  • Right hand side is best sellers who make a LOT of money. The rest make less. The Thin part can be as much as the best sellers. Amazon knows this, can capitalize on it. Same with Google Ads.
  • Is shifting, however. Problem for content creater. Tiny slice is Leo!
  • Aggregators make money, put it togther: Podango, Meevio, put a lot of shows together to get long tail. Didn't work.
  • Isn't what community wants, is disperate communities now. Lots of us now with thin slices.
  • Growing, aggregating by community.
  • TWiT downloads 2-3 million shows per month. Group is growing but not by diversity, but by community of common interest.
  • TechTV didn't understand this, wanted to broaden to get Long Tail, people who don't like technology
  • Leo: are you crazy? Like ESPN doing show for people who hate sports.
  • Should use laser focus!
  • Old media guys can't get head around it, think there's no money in it.
  • TechTV said "Brand is the refuge of the Ignorant", mantra of TechTV.
  • Didn't want smart viewers, who choose on quality not tricks.
  • Old school might be right, new way is wrong. Now assume you are intelligent, interested.
  • NBC boss once came in with 3-piece suit and cowboy boots with Henchmen. Leo and Ziff Davis had 90-page treatment for site.
  • Boss said he really liked it, then cancelled as soon as they could. (Same studio as TechTV).
  • They believe viewers are cattle, afraid of intelligence. TechTV was to avoid word "educational"
  • Leo didn't want to talk to stupid people, doesn't care if audience of 5
  • TWiT was without apology, Geeky as can be.
  • Steve Gibson -- nerdiest fellow he ever met
  • Quinty Venty Latte - 5 shot latte before every show.
  • So enthusiastic, loves getting down to details. Writes everything in Assembler.
  • Leo likes that, kind of guy he wants to put on the air.
  • Doesn't want broad, dumb network.
  • For many people who run tech, it's foreign language, don't want something on air they themselves don't understand.
  • Now he turns down advertisers -- they want engaged audience.
  • Doesn't want ads that tick people because audience is too smart.
  • Radio now changing -- still doesn't understand but knows he's selling out ads.
  • TechTV never got it. Not bitter, but SO many stories.
  • TechTV did create this, Kevin Rose/Rev3, Patrick Norton. Unfortunately, runners were still old media, wanted tall part of tail.
  • TechTV wanted Apple, Microsoft of Screen Savers. NO! Not vendor spots. Okay, how about Cleavage?! Maybe if you have cleavage, more people will watch.
  • TV people listen with sound off, not about content, only looks. Million dollars on Tech Live studio (what put them out of business).
  • Kenny Rogers talking about iPod was when it jumped the shark for Leo.
  • All of a sudden it became cheap, bandwidth, Skype, 30% audience outside US, 60 counties.
  • Bad for advertisers, don't understand multi-national. But are slowly getting it.
  • TWiT and similar audiences are now growing and "best sellers" are shrinking.
  • Now FAT SHOE
  • Getting fatter and fatter, but have to know how to work it and what it means.
  • Starts with bloggers, always leeast expensive form. Now music, which is template for mass music.
  • Jonathan Coulton is example. Sells out venue. Discovered new way of doing it.
  • Builds community, doesn't sell ads, makes money of concerts.
  • Promotors now ask for mailing list, website, community, band has to show they can fill seats.
  • Pointy part of tail shrinks, less platinum artists, more Jonathan Colton.
  • Makes a living, and soon will have platinum artists without record labels.
  • Big blogs like HuffPo doing very well aggregating.
  • Need large community but not too large -- need that niche.
  • Conferences are changes. Now un-conference are most exciting. Everyone can contribute.
  • Can be commenter (not Troll, though they unite commenters in defense/anti-body)
  • Podcasting is kind of in trouble, reached largest number of listeners, not growing, most don't make money.
  • Leo says don't care about money, podcast what you care about, build audince, let chips fall where they may.
  • May not make living but time is coming where you can.
  • Being on Twitter is creating content -- compelled to participate. Facebook the same, don't just read pages.
  • Chat room is a way Leo tries to increase participation, wants to give people as many ways of communicating as possible.
  • Knows it's working because when show ends, chat room keeps going.
  • Evangelists have roll as well.
  • Need to build that fat shoe.
  • Content creators need to understand that they're also consumers.
  • Consumers whant content where, when, and how they want it.
  • TiVo changed TV, podcasts changed when you listent. Play when you want, pause when you want.
  • What's missing is immediacy of community.
  • Real time web is important.
  • Beetles on Ed Sullivan. Everyone could talk about it next day. Lost via asynchronus on-demand consumption.
  • But we want it all. That's what makes real-time web exciting.
  • That's why Leo streams video, wants you to be real time.
  • Bottom line, consumers want content.
  • People spending more than ever before. Plenty of connsumption.
  • Great news for content creators.
  • Economy will make it harder to make money right now, but "good thing" is that it's hastening the end of old media.
  • No print versions any more. If you want it -- you'll print it out.
  • Forcing capital-intesive media to find new ways.
  • Huge talent pools. CNN sorta gets this.
  • What will happen for CNN is two things left: aggregate "our" content and editorialize
  • Doesn't give CNN monopoly any more.
  • You could do knitting or hard drive network -- more narrow is better.
  • Deeper the niche the better.
  • Problem is, when CNN was created, it was cheap compared to mass media, but now expensive compared to new media. Costs much more.
  • Audience sizes for new media are now comparable, but better audience.
  • THE TREND IS NOT THE TOOL
  • People think its all about twitter, facebook, etc. but the tools will change.
  • Friendster failed. Podcasting or blogging may not do well, but those are just tools.
  • The way is towards active, highly engaged participants.
  • Isn't that what we want?
  • When socienty is disrupted, people withdraw. When industrialized, people turned to alcohol. Now mass media caused people to retreat to sitcoms -- same as Gin in London. Can't handle it. Too much.
  • But we're now emerging and learning to deal with wash of info, love participating.
  • Era of Mass Media was Mass Delusion. Crazy, money and economics of content. 100 years.
  • Like JR in shower, just a dream. Now we're waking up.
  • Burdon now is to participate. Will be tough times, but not a bad thing. Hasten death of old media, rise of new media.
  • What's your role?
  • Finding community of common interest is extrenely satisfying.
  • Why watch Gilligan when you can create.
  • Apple gave us great tools. Feels bad for Windows people but they went to CES...
  • Windows people have to beat their head against wall to make 1 movie
  • Mac users lucky, can easily express themselves.
  • Won't make a million dollars selling out to Yahoo!
  • Find personal thing, what expresses you? World is waiting.
  • Exciting time!
  • So much more fun on Live-Cast and chat room.
  • Leo invites us to do this.
  • We're now all a part of it.
  • On behalf of old media, Leo gives up. Hopes we enjoy new media.
  • END.

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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There are 6 comments. Add yours.

everythingsablur says:

Wow, that was heavy (and not easy to read in its current state). It has a sprinkling of Marshall McLuhan for the 21st century. I'd love to see a full video of the Leo-note so I can get a greater sense of how much passion he's speaking with. Good job though! That couldn't have been easy to keep up with. :p

icebike says:

Nothing iPhone related in there that I can see. Why clog up this site with such fluff?

videodred says:

I also would like to see this entire talk. New media and old media are definitely changing, as are the people who need to monitor it, and report to their clients...

Reloveution says:

I already bookmark this post, I might get back and will read your new post... bye for now

Mindy Deras says:

There are some mobile applications that I have seen recently but there has been one in particular that has really caught my eye. It is called CSI globalVCard. It allows my business to make mobile payments on the go by generating one time use MasterCard numbers. It has really helped my business on the go and the best part is that you can start using it now- no need to wait for NFC!

[amazon.com.uk] says:

Its like you read my mind! You seem to grasp a lot approximately this, like you wrote the e-book in it or something. I believe that you can do with some % to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is great blog. A great read. I will certainly be back.