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Eight is Enough: Take-aways from Mesh 2007

This year, I was pleased to attend Mesh – both as a speaker as well as an enthusiastic participant and note-scribbler.  Now, I learned a long time ago that detailed live-blogging isn’t my thing; I’m more of a "spark" kind of gal.  So here are "Kate’s Eight Great Take-aways from Mesh 2007".

  1. "(As a blogger), if you’re first to a story, you don’t have to be intelligent, witty or insightful.  If you’re second, you have to be at least one of those." From Mike Arrington, commenting on why being first is important to him and TechCrunch.  I found this useful as I try to define and hone both my blog’s voice as well as the voice of One Degree.  What is important?  What sets me apart?
  2. "The next big thing – virtual reality environments and mobile."  Also courtesy of Mike Arrington.   To me, this is a clarion call to creativity.  Virtual reality environments require a new way of imagining community, and marketing’s relationship to community.  Mobile .. well, mobile has a whole different set of requirements as well. Marketers need to push ourselves if we are going to continue to be relevant and successful.
  3. "If charities are going to blog, they shouldn’t blog with their own voice.  Rather they should blog with the voice of the people who are passionate about their cause."  From the Tom Williams/Austin Hill keynote.  Again .. speaks to me about the importance of unique voice, but passionate voice as well.  This can also be applied to business.  Who is passionate about what you do?  Are YOU passionate about what you do, what you sell, what you market?  Are you passionate about your community?  If you can’t find that point of passion, your communications will likely not resonate with your audience.
  4. "The Internet is not a little TV.  It is a different medium.  People like watching other people." From Loren Feldman at the "Should Old Media Be Afraid of New Media" panel.  More creativity.  More big picture paradigm shifting.  There is a requirement to reinvent the way we market, the way we communicate, the way we relate.  Evolve or die.
  5. Meaning.  There was a lot of talk of creating meaning.  That we are using the internet to find ways to create and communicate meaning with each other.  As a marketer, I likely have no place in a discussion of such a soul-laden topic.  But then there are brands who can inspire meaning in people’s lives: Nike, (RED), The Body Shop.  Can my brand inspire meaning?
  6. There are as many different ways to monetize content as there are content providers.  Inspired by McLean Mashingaidze-Greaves.  Again speaks to the creativity required from our business.  Think outside the traditional binary pair of advertising-supported or transaction-based revenue models.  What are some other models I can develop, particularly for digital content?
  7. "When does the audience become part of the value chain?  If I am recommending an artist to my friend and I share the file, why shouldn’t I be compensated instead of going to jail?"  This was an audience question during the "People Formerly Known as the Audience" panel.  I love this.  How can I reward my audience, my customers for sharing my product?
  8. "Don’t orient to control.  Orient to experimentation."  Richard Edelman gave an awesome keynote conversation.  I want to paste this on every boardroom wall in the country.  Change your philosophy; change your perspective.  Control is an illusion.  Instead, get people to come along with you as you experiment.  Fail, learn, fail again.  Be transparent, and a little humble.

So these were the big thought-starters for me.  I know there were a number of One Degree-ers (One Degree-onians?) at Mesh.  What did you take away?  What were your insight moments?