xPotomac: 7 Tech Trends Changing Media

BlogPotomac, my old social media conference, returns on February 25, 2013 under the new name xPotomac.

The opening salvo in the xPotomac series features seven new media technologies impacting businesses and marketers now and in the immediate future, hand-picked by myself and conference partner Patrick Ashamalla. We’ve already got our keynotes and emcee lined up, too!

To distinguish xPotomac, the event will feature a “gladiator” presentation format with conversations only and no powerpoints.

Speakers will present in a tight setting with the stage centered in the round or in a horseshoe formation. Each session speaker has 15 minutes dedicated to their topic, followed by 30 minutes of question and answer from the audience.

More on the revised conference after the raison d’être for the post, the seven must watch media trends for the first xPotomac:

Keynote Sessions

Keynotes Vanessa Fox and Andrew Keen, and Emcee Shana Glickfield

1) Voice Search

Given how much of the current web — social and content marketing included — revolves around search, voice search represents a game changer, especially given mobile use with Siri and Google Voice Search.

Voice search will have a big impact on businesses who already spend a majority of their online advertising budget on search. Will user generated content factor as strongly when only one or two results may be served via voice?

Author of Marketing in the Age of Google and founder of search agency Nine by Blue Vanessa Fox will open xPotomac with this session (see my interview with Vanessa).

2) Big Data

Updates, emails, webinars, meetings all provide small insights into our customers lives. Together, they provide a composite picture that allows us to target market and nurture leads through automation technologies.

Yet as companies move to automate the sales funnel and better harness leads throughout the process, consumer privacy concerns loom. Further, in an automated algorithmic world will we become homogenized as a species?

Andrew Keen, author of Digital Vertigo and Cult of the Amateur and known as the Antichrist of Silicon Valley, continues to offer some of the sector’s greatest criticism and insights. He will examine how big data challenges society, businesses and individuals alike in this closing keynote.

Just like its predecessor conferences, xPotomac will feature an emcee who will guide us through the day, Beekeeper Group Partner Shana Glickfield. With over 15 years of experience, Shana was one of five women named “up and comers in technology” by the Washington Post and made Washington Life magazine’s list of the most creative people in new media. This event will be fun and lively with Shana at the helm.

Regular Sessions:

2010 07 23 - 4574 - Washington DC - WIT
Image by thisisbossi

Speakers to be determined…

3) Google Glass

Augmented reality — the ability to view real world surroundings with extra data and information provided by applications — continues to evolve. At the forefront is Google’s Project Glass, an augmented reality head-mounted display (HMD).

Project Glass products would provide hands free displays of information currently available to most smartphone users, and allowing for interaction with the Internet via natural language voice commands. Welcome to the Minority Report!

How will Glass change the face of local storefront businesses and tourism?

4) Face Ads

Facial recognition-based marketing uses cameras in stores and kiosks to stake an impression of your face. It then estimates your gender and age, and serves you ads that are most likely to appeal to your demographic.

What does this mean for local stores, billboard advertising, consumer privacy and more?

5) Multiscreen Use

Perhaps the most immediate issue facing interactive design right now, the mobile revolution forces every marketer to consider multiscreen environments. Consider the five screens that someone may use to access content: Smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop PC and finally Internet-empowered widescreen TVs.

How will people use multiple screens simultaneously, including social TV and work?

6) Social Scoring

In today’s online world social scoring systems like the Klout and Kred matter. For example, some jobs are tied to scores now. Scoring systems encourage businesses and marketers to build wide networks to foster reach and create the perception of influence.

But does this kind of influence actually deliver results?

7) Digital Ubiquity

Digital ubiquity is a farsighted concept that ties together many threads throughout the featured technologies.

Says author Adam Greenfield on the topic, “It’s really the emergence of a computing without computers, where information processing is almost imperceptible, but everywhere around us; smart buildings, smart furniture, smart clothing, and even smart bathtubs. Networked street signs and self-describing soda cans. Gestural interfaces like those seen in Minority Report. The RFID tags now embedded in everything from credit cards to the family pet.”

What will this surreal computing environment be like? How can we prepare businesses for it?

xPotomac Details

Tickets for xPotomac are on sale today. Included in the pricing are sponsorship packages (or contact me directly).

xPotomac seeks to leapfrog the current social media dialogue and stimulate a new marketing conversation around the very real emerging media technologies that face all businesses.

I retired BlogPotomac because I felt there was nothing significantly new to talk about when it came to blogging, Twitter and Facebook best practices, a decision I feel is still on par. The x naming convention distances the conference from any one type of media, and allows it to always provide content about where the future of digital media meets business.

Like BlogPotomac, the event will be held in a theatre setting, this time at the Source Theatre on the 14th Street Corridor in Washington, DC. In addition, xPotomac will continue the legacy of a smaller intimate conference with limited attendees (this time only 110).

The event will be filmed in its entirety and re-presented online at a later date.

As with BlogPotomac, I will be donating my portion of any profits to DC Central Kitchen.

So what do you think of xPotomac and its seven topics?