Verge ’08

In NYC today for the Ogilvy Verge conference — a one-day digital discussion for Ogilvy’s partners and clients.

Highlight was a late afternoon panel of John Battelle from Federated Media, John Bell from Ogilvy’s Digital Influence Project, Nick Denton of Gawker and Owen Van Natta of Facebook. No bon mots spring to mind, but the key insight was delivered by Battelle and confirmed by Denton — essentially, the current digital model of impression based media is not going to survive, that some new media model is required and has been lacking for over a decade, and that in the end the mostly likely place it will be found is in Social Media.

Battelle recounted a Dell campaign run in Facebook — seemed semi-interesting, but not earth shattering. Bell called out the move from 101 SMM to 201 and AP level discourse on the finer points. Indeed, moderator Polly LaBarre basically told the crowd of mostly clients that if they haven’t gotten the “transparent, authentic, marketing-is-a-conversation memo” then they were essentially under a rock.

Bell is working with me on a very cool Olympic play I’ll disclose next week. I don’t feel compelled to rush into Facebook anytime soon, and as for Federated — we shall see.

Planning session tomorrow morning, working lunch, then back to the Cape of Cod where it looks, but doesn’t feel, like spring.

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