I went to the Kre8tif Conference and listened to a bunch of talks. Most of them by white dudes who have made it.
One rather old guy, Ralph Simon, is Lady Gaga's mobile and Internet consultant or something like that. He is called 'Father of Ringtones' and is generally considered one of the key people who is responsible for the mobile entertainment business. He has his own Wikipedia entry.
He said some really great stuff, and one of them are these points in one talk:
1. In the US, old media (TV, radio, newspapers) made US$398 billion last year.
2. New media (the Internet across all platforms) made US$386 billion.
3. When you ask old media, 'what is your product'? They will answer, 'content'. You know, articles, TV shows, movies, music, bla bla bla.
4. When you ask new media, 'what is your product'? They will answer, 'users'.
Therefore, ANY new media that wants to make money or be successful or both, MUST have a quantifiable user base. Meaning, they must be able to count and count on their users.
Their customers are the advertisers. Businesses. Their service must be of use to the users or attractive enough to get the users in, and when you have the users, then you will attract advertisers.
Mr Simon, whom I met later, made these very concise points. Points which I wish more people would understand.
For example, I spent hours today trying to explain the concept of social media to someone who does not subscribe to any. I reasoned that if I could explain it to that person, I could explain it to anyone.
Let's just say that I won't be giving talks at new media conferences anytime soon.