Dutch Web Editor’s conference #webred11

The company that I work for, Entopic, recently organized the Web editor’s conference (Dutch: Congres Webredactie). It was the first conference in Holland (and the world?) for web editors. Dutch posts about the conference can be found here. The tweet stream can be found here (#webred11) and all the presentations here. I’ll share some highlights from the conference with you here.

The Future of Content
The conference started out with a talk by futurist Gerd Leonhard about the future of content. He gave an interesting talk about the past, present and future of content. He started in the broadcasting era and move to what he calls the broadband era; the time we are experiencing now. He stressed this is happening now and if we or institutions don’t get on board we/they will be disrupted.

I liked they way he pointed to the increasing influence of technology on our lives, but also stressed the extreme importance of human ingenuity.

Of course, Leonard also addressed the post pc statements and its implications for content (publishing and curation). The value of content will be in adding meaning and context (location, real-time, platform) to content, not in the publishing of it. This will also ask for a complete different business model.

Customer Journey
There were also several breakouts. I went to two of them. One was about Customer Journeys. How can you lead people through their tour along websites, email newsletters and social media in an optimal way? Interestingly the speaker said the audience should not use persona’s to define these journeys, while persona’s were promoted in another breakout.

Writing a book using social media
The other breakout was done by Erwin Blom. Hij wrote the Community Handbook (in Dutch). He told a fascinating story about how he used social media to write, promote and improve his book. He sees the process of writing the book as the product. And advises all to publish raw material. Make sure the product or service you want to deliver is alive before it’s there.

Another interesting thing he said is by sharing early you also claim the idea. I agree. This is a weird paradox of social media. Some wonder if we should be so open about our lives and ideas. An important question. But if you have an idea sharing it on social media gives you the exact time and date (permalink) on which you shared it. Comparing dates could help solve the problem who had the idea first.

Web editor’s and social media
Erwin Blom also closed the day with a keynote. He stressed the blessing that social media is for web editor’s.

Erwin studied journalism and became journalist. The internet fascinated him. He wondered how he could tell more stories over the web. How do you share more with your audience? Your audience often knows more than you can know by yourself.

Social media is great for telling (more) stories. Social media brings people together around their passion, a problem or goal they have. Blom showed the audience all kinds of ways to use social media to find interesting people and information, to interact with the world, etc. He challenged the audience to start with one of the example or just start blogging.

Some endnotes
- Social media is about passion. So if you use social media, you have to do it with passion.
- Facilitate the communication of the community. Even when it’s negative feedback. Respond to the feedback and learn from it.
- Blom was asked what new web app he liked? He pointed to Instagram. Not many in the audience had heard of it or were using it.
- And two video's from the conference. The first is the intro to the conference and the second is a summary of the day.

I'm curious if you know of a comparable conference in other parts of the world?

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