The third presentation at X|Media|Lab 2011 was from John Tarnoff, a former executive at Dreamworks and now the founder of Hollywood-based Newspeak Consulting Group. His presentation focused on people, talking about 21st Century citizenship and the emergence of a seamless industry of platforms and streams. Everyone is a participant in content creation these days, with content shaped by interaction between content and fans. The language created by Hollywood has gone global, and it will lose share of voice as a result, while individuals are self-organising into communities, rather than remaining in static audiences.
“An audience is a group that will stand by and watch you fail – a community is a group that will jump in and help you succeed.”
His presentation talked about the massive changes that he has witnessed in the content creation industry, and how these changes much be embraced. There is a demand for transparency that is a breath of fresh air, not a threat to traditional models. The new skills for the 21st Century citizen include being able to better brand and identify ourselves to make ourselves be appreciated – we are building personal brands, and if we are not, we need to get busy. New skills needed include critical thinking, time management, and many more – we need to learn them and teach them to our children. While we have lost face-t0-face communication, we need to get involved in deeper levels of engagement both on and off the screen.
He also talked about the emergence of curation as an empowerment and community building tool. All of us who use social media are performing a selection and filtering process that is a form of leadership that can rally support aroound an idea. He said that we must strive to demolish silos, and we must invite their builders out to play, to build communities instead. He also recommended the book The Starfish and the Spider.