I headed down to Austin for SXSW recently with client eSnips, where we took in some of the interactive and music sessions. At one session where the panel mostly comprised of people from my tribe (i.e., Technorati, August Capital, CD Baby and Eventful), members of the audience wanted suggestions for dealing with new media strategies for large companies versus start-ups: online versus offline.
For The Discovery Channel for example, the key is not to spend all efforts online but to listen to what customers want and track where they are going and doing.
Larger scale efforts like the USA Today.com revamp sent a strong message to the industry and people have been observing people’s reactions. Communities are not new; eBay was doing communities years ago, but it is a lot easier and more profilic today than it was back then. All these companies are providing new layers now.
Says someone from the audience, “If USA Today is doing it, it is sending a message to others, that ‘we can do that too.'” People question whether USA Today.com can embrace these new model efforts in the same way. For example, USA Today.com readers are not DIGG followers.
Someone from Girlwonder.com asks a question about outsourcing and wants the panel to comment about what outsourcing will look like and the impact it will have in ten years. “Now,” she says, “people discuss this in an abstract manner, i.e., we’ll just send it overseas, to China and India. Ten years out, these inoculous outsourcing to creative folks overseas means that the U.S. will be left far behind in the future. What does that creative scene looks like in another decade?”
Says Hornik, “this is really a communications question. We have a portfolio company who has the same engineering group in India as they do in the United States. The communication is really good and it can be really efficient. The U.S. has leaned on the notion that we’re the creative engine of the world and historically it has pretty much been the case. The question is ‘will that change over time?’ I think that over time, there will be increased pressure on India and China.”