PACA International Conference
Amidst all the glitter, smoke, gambling and Elton John that was Las Vegas this week, picture agencies and archives sat down for a series of three day seminars and meetings hoping that 'what happened in Las Vegas' WOULDN'T stay there and that all contacts made would develop into long term relationships. Our goal was to keep up to date on the industry and to meet with partners announced (Brightqube) and others that you will hear about in the upcoming months. Michael Rogers' keynote speech, Futurist-in-Residence for the New York Times, was the highlight of the conference. Read below to get an inside look at his vision of the future as it impacts images. Meanwhile why isn't Serban in any of these pictures? Aside from the fact that he is zillions of miles away running things, check this out to find out why he and other members of the team are too busy to come to most of these events.
The traditional cocktail party Sunday night kicked off the event. At that gathering, I had a chance to gaze into the future with Doug Dawirs, PACA Webmaster and technology guru, pictured here with me. As I recall, we were talking about Dreamstime's excellent prospects. (Doug is a big fan).
The keynoter, Michael Rogers, is a captivating and entertaining speaker who gave the audience a glimpse into how technology will drive an increasingly huge demand for images. According to Rogers, 'convergence' is not a TV hooked up to a computer but an everything device, integrating the cell phone and laptop and more. It will evolve from the genealogy of today's smaller laptops or from parallel development of devices such as the iPhone. And maybe even the US will catch up with what our friends in Japan and other parts of the world already enjoy. Michael showed a building in Tokyo with a huge bar code on the side. To store rental information and to get linked to the apartment website, an interested party simply photographs the barcode with their cell phone.
Drawbacks to these tiny devices are the size of the screens and keyboards now in prototype: a sugar cubed sized device that projects a full sized workable keyboard on the surface in front of the device. To solve the small screen size on ever-smaller devices, Rogers mentioned another gadget that projects the laptop screen on to a wall.
He also demonstrated a format change that will turn news and features formats on their head and that will explode the use of still images. The New York Times has discovered that still images in an online slide show are more popular than videos. They find that once a 'reader' clicks on the first image in a series, they will continue with the entire slide show. Adding to this, the Times R&D teams are experimenting with what they call 'short' reads. They have found that a series of still images accompanied by a short informational paragraph is more apt to get across the full story to more readers than a 1000 word story in print with only one or two images (a long read). The implication for image creators is obvious, especially in light of the fact that 78% of the population in the US born between 1977-97 feel reading newspapers online is comparable to or better than reading the hard copy.
Note: The lady above in the photo by the PACA sign is Marcia Sato, the sales director of OtherImages/Brazil.
Michael Roger's blog: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7213382/
More about Michael Rogers http://www.iwantmedia.com/people/people62.html
Photo credits: Lightpainter.