Internet Week is all about Personalization

by Sharp | May 23, 2014

internetweek-300x225Right on the heels of the big art and design fairs in New York City this month came Internet Week. The seven-day festival, now in its seventh year, was created to celebrate the entrepreneurship of the technology industry, and the widespread impact it has had on business, entertainment and culture. Sharp headed down to Internet Week headquarters in Chelsea on Monday to scope it out.

Key figures from every facet of the media industry were on hand, speaking on topics ranging from the importance of media content vs. distribution channel to how professional athletes’ increasing online presence is affecting their public personas. As a whole though, it was the growing importance of personalization that was the most striking takeaway from the day. As the Internet grows larger and more complicated by the second, it becomes harder to capture the attention of a reader/viewer/shopper. Being able to strike a chord with each unique personality is the Holy Grail.

Neil Hunt, the Chief Product Officer of Netflix, was very straightforward in saying that personalization is where the streaming-service and burgeoning network was putting its money. Using a combination of a meticulous tagging system for each film on the site and data stockpiled from user viewing habits, they aim to discover exactly what viewers want to watch and putting it front and center for them. The lengths that Netflix has gone to achieve this goal certainly haven’t gone unnoticed by the Internet community, as evidenced by the plethora of ridicule for the personalized sub-genres they use to categorize content. The Atlantic even made its own “Netflix-Genre Generator.”

The journalism community was just as vocal about personalization. Buzzfeed Founder Jonah Peretti talked at length about how targeting is the bread and butter of his site while Patrick Yee, an Executive VP at Refinery 29, asserted his opinion that finding and creating a voice is the future of media. In this day in age, media outlets are not our go-to for breaking news. Why click reload on the New York Times website, when you can find a surplus of details, photos, and opinions instantly on Twitter? The media has had to adjust by focusing on elucidating and elaborating on the news rather than just delivering the clear-cut facts.

The trends seen at Internet Week provided a bevy of insights crucial to the work that we do here at Sharp. From a Social Media standpoint, joining the conversation and engaging with other users on Social Media is vital. Not only is it an important way to interact directly with consumers, but it is also a great way to put key client news in front of editors whose Social Media presence is increasing every day. From a media relations perspective, publications’ increasing need to elaborate on news provides increased opportunities for pitching and showcasing the thought-leaders that we represent.

For more information on Internet Week and the activities that took place across the city this past week head over to internetweekny.com.

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