Thoughts spawned by CloudForce 2011

This post was meant to be a continuously updated summary of Day 2 at CloudForce, London. However, there’s already a suite official material online and I am sure what is not covered by this will be covered by various blog posts and ofcourse the #cloudforce Twitter tag.

Instead I want to share a few thoughts provoked by this very inspiring day.

For example I found it interesting that while Peter Coffee was interviewing a range of interesting guest speakers on stage we were all staring at the video feed from the camera filming him… we weren’t looking at him standing there in flesh and blod, no we were looking not only at a screen projection of him; we were looking at a video feed embedded on a Facebook page projected on the big screen.

I also find it interesting how we experience live events through our cameras. It is like if we don’t capture it digitally it didn’t happen. I remember last year going to MovieCon and having to hand over my iPhone before we could enter to here about all the new movies coming this year. It was an unpleasant experience not being able to share all these great secrets with my online contacts.


JuicyStar07But the single event that stands out in my head happened during the Radian6 breakout session where the presenter wanted to show how Radian6 helps companies filter social comments and identify the ones with the “loudest megaphone”. He proceeded to show a YouTube entry made by a beautiful young woman going by the screen name “JuicyStar07”.

When the presenter said the words “JuicyStar07” there were several semi-naughty grins from the audience who assigned some sexually charged undercurrents to her screen name and the presenter was quick to state that the video was PG.

The presenter continued to play the video in which JuicyStar07 was talking about her Louis Vuitton Speedy 35 bag and he brought to our attention that the video had received a stunning 2,000,000 views significantly more than the audience of most printed publications. Think about that for a second: More views than most newspapers have readers.

Everybody instantly sobered up. No more naughty winks from the audience and we all realised the sheer scale of the reach this single video have. The presenter then posed the question: Shouldn’t Luis Vuitton reach out to JuicyStar07?

It highlights how easy it is to miss the real value of content produced by digital natives simply because of the presumptions we project on to what we see.

Is the name “JuicyStar07” intended to be sexually charged? I don’t know. Maybe it was when she came up with the screen name, who knows?. Fact is: It does not matter. 

What matters is that changing her screen name would be PR suicide and I am convinced she is aware of this. Some of her fans may not recognise her as Blair Fowler but they all know and want JuicyStar07.

These were my thoughts at the time. I’ve since learned she is blogging under her real name as well but it still raises yet another issue with the whole utopian Google+ real name policy which my colleague Rick Mans has covered in another blog post. Sufficient here is to ask: Do Google really want to risk losing somebody like JuicyStar07 and her 2,000,000 views in a crusade to force them to use their real name?

The Burberry Social Enterprise

I want to end this post with a personal note: It was great seeing the project I am User Experience Lead on up on the big screen.

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