Keeping you updated with what we’ve been up to

Back to News

#RethinkMedia Conference

Keynotes from Rethink Media 2015


‘In media over the last few years, the platforms are winning, because they understand the way the game is going’

  • Ralph Rivera, Director BBC Future Media


I recently attended the 3rd annual Birmingham City University #RethinkMedia conference. The two keynote speakers were Frank Golding, a former Director of Google, and Ralph Rivera, along with panels throughout the day made up of digital media specialists from all generations.


Frank Golding began the day with the interesting prediction that in 30 years time, media will be ingestible. ‘Perhaps you’ll take a pill and in a week you’ll be fluent in Spanish’ he says – what a thought! But concentrating on the media of today, he talked about the four things that matter (and according to Frank, the only four things) in media today: social, mobile, cloud and data. It’s clear that whether you like it or not, the world has become digital, and to survive, businesses need to embrace this, but in their own individual way.



As the second keynote, Ralph Rivera highlighted the importance of engaging ‘with the people formerly known as the audience’. We must care about people and begin with the audience – not simply about the stuff we’ve created, because if the people themselves don’t care, the stuff is superfluous. The new BBC news app launched last month, and within 2 weeks 2 million people had customised it. Personalisation is important, as it encourages your audience to engage, and as more and more large organisations offer this, it’s an important factor to consider. The key is ‘social AND algorithmic AND editorial curation’.


Ralph also tactfully answered the question ‘What if Jeremy Clarkson took his own version of Top Gear and created it in an ‘online only’ format?’ – by reminding us that he is only the engineer, and can fix your iPlayer in a whizz, but is the wrong person to ask. This resulted in a huge round of applause.



For more tweets and interesting thoughts from the day, follow me on Twitter: @millyt93

Previous: A Library Revolution Next: A Sound Idea