Media Future: Join the dialog

The away teams are still hard at work. Here’s a summary, from our perspective, of what happened last month in Newport Beach. It boils down to this: Technology is driving or enabling profound changes in how individuals access, assess and respond to information. These changes, and emerging technologies that will propel them further, are visible now.

We see the mobile lifestyle becoming dominant in Asia and Northern Europe; and around the world we see online news, social networks, blogs and other forms of participatory journalism challenging newspapers, television and all forms of traditional media – both for revenue and for audience time and influence on consumer purchasing decisions.

Meanwhile, new data emerging from the U.S. on how people use different media types at the same time suggests that even traditional measures of audience “eyeballs” don’t accurately reflect who’s paying attention to what at any one time.

With these forces in mind, last month we initiated a cross-sector conversation intended to lead to new thinking and new approaches to the media enterprise of the future. The conversation began with an executive retreat in Newport Beach, California, called MediaMorphosis.

The program attracted 110 participants, which was a record for a Media Center event. Media Center seminars typically involve no more than 30 participants in a confidential, off-the-record setting.

MediaMorphosis was different – bigger, on the-record, and designed to kick off a new kind of conversation involving leaders, executives and innovators from media, technology, mobile communications, business and research.

The conference itself drew mixed responses from participants – some found the format and future-focused objectives unproductive and too removed from their day-to-day needs; participant/noted technology watcher Robert Enderle called it a historic conference and the best of its kind that he had ever attended.

Various links to what others thought of MediaMorphosis are in this blog. Howard Finberg’s coverage for are quite detailed: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Meanwhile, an archive of a March 24 webcast reviewing the away team progress and SIMM research, along with a full list of MediaMorphosis participants and other coverage and feedback, is available online at upcoming seminars. Our findings will also be discussed in more detail in a presentation at the 11th World Editors Forum meeting in Istanbul, May 30- June 2.

We wanted more than a pile of ideas or hints at where we might go next: we wanted to mine those ideas and extract from them some real opportunities for action. So now we’re mining. The away teams are digging deeper into the MediaMorphosis brainshare, and we want to open this conversation to as many informed contributors as we can manage.

If you would like to participate in future activities, or explore formal network participation for your company, please send us a note:

You can also contact me directly:, or call 703-715-3318.

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