A sea of media professionals, many with laptops are sitting in the Storer Auditorium of the School of Business for the opening session of WeMedia.
The co-founders showed a humorous presentation about the power outage yesterday, with “Thriller” playing along with it.
The co-founders discussed the power outage and several in the audience weighed in on the issue. Rick Hirsch, managing editor for multimedia at The Miami Herald, spoke about how Web traffic spiked. A few current and former telecom professionals discussed the mobile aspect of communication in emergency, i.e. cell phone use.
A woman from Consumer Reports flew in on JetBlue and watched the coverage on CNN.
Another audience member mentioned how he learned about other outages via Twitter.
Dale Peskin, one of the iFocos co-founders (which sponsors WeMedia), noted that some people think the digital race is over, but he believes it’s just beginning.
Discussing the conference, he said they won’t be having discussions about whether bloggers are journalists, which drew applause.
Andrew Nachison, the other co-founder, said they had three predictions:
- All information is or will be digital. From that an infinite number of products can be created.
- The power of the individual. Individuals has taken on a different sense; not simply people, but individual entities.
- The notion of trust, it’s shifting nature.
This were predicted and now are de facto components of the business and cultural landscape, Nachison said.
Peskin continued the topic by talking about:
- Access and connectivity, citing how one-third of the world is connected with cell phones
- Knowing and discovering
- Transacting, with examples from the personal level to advertising expanding online
John Zogby, who could not attend, conducted a WeMedia poll that said:
- Two-thirds of Americans think journalism is out of touch.
- 70 percent think journalism is important to the quality of life in their communities. (This demonstrates there is a desire, Nachison said, and should provide hope for those in attendance.)
- 48 percent said the Internet is now their principal source of news and information.
- 86 percent said Web sites were important sources.