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Mark Burnett with Brian Solis: Convergence

Burnett tells Solis, I pitched 'Joe Lieberman's Connecticut, but nobody bit.

The full title of this session was “Convergence of media and the future of unscripted drama on the web.” Brian Solis (author of Engage and creator of the Conversation Prism infographic you’ve used in at least three slide decks so far this year) interviewed Survivor creator Mark Burnett on how networked communication is challenging, supporting and transforming shows like his.

Cartoon: Jeff Probst tells a contestant 'You've been voted off the island. But on the brighter side, you're trending on Twitter.' It was a fascinating conversation, starting with the essential importance of story to both blogging (something Solis speaks about so eloquently that I wonder if he might have the same kind of spec screenplays buried on his hard drive that I do) and shows like Survivor, where Burnett invoked Joseph Campbell and walked us through the show’s imagery of life, death and  rebirth.

From there, the two looked at the way the online backchannel has transformed water-cooler conversations. Those conversations now start during the show itself, and take place everywhere, Burnett said. “The water cooler is now omni-present.”

Cartoon: two people at a water cooler. One asks: 'So, didja see the liveblogging for Survivor last night?'

The conversation ranged over football legend Jimmy Johnson’s appearance on a rescheduled Survivor to the MTV Movie Awards, before they launched into Burnett’s latest project, Sarah Palin’s Alaska. He described Alaska as “epic”, and we became the first audience to see promotional footage from the upcoming show.

Burnett tells Solis, I pitched 'Joe Lieberman's Connecticut, but nobody bit. Then, at the end, Solis announced a surprise: the footage was being released to the world not through the usual channels, but via Steve Garfield’s YouTube channel. (Burnett acknowledged the plan may have initially caused some agita in the executive suites at TLC.)

TLC exec's head exploding. But tastefully. And educationally. And here, for your viewing pleasure, is that very video:


Chris Garrett’s killer content


Chris Garrett wrapped a bang-up presentation on creating killer content a little while ago, and one of his slides jumped out at me. It was a good slide, even a great slide… but I thought it could use just…a little…extra.

Venn diagram pointing out that few people want to know what you just ate

(My belief that almost nobody cares what you just ate has been magnified for the purposes of this drawing, actually. It all depends on what you’re aiming to do with your blogging.)

Toonblog: Opening Keynote – Scott Stratten and Unmarketing

If you mail one post in, you hurt your blog

It was a wildly energetic start to the morning from Scott Stratten, author of UnMarketing. He’s a terrifically visual speaker – which was mighty appreciated while I was drawing this!

Graphic record of Scott Stratten's opening keynote

(By the way, let me second Scott’s comment about the horrific roaming fees Canadians have to pay when they’re in the U.S. Never mind the casinos – I could lose our house just by switching my iPhone’s data roaming back on.)

Cartoon: In transit


I flew in from Vancouver, BC this afternoon and drew this one on the flight. This being my first time travelling to Las Vegas, my nose was pressed against the window throughout our descent. (Socially awkward, since I had an aisle seat.) Also, since I mainly know Las Vegas through old episodes of CSI, I found myself ascribing some pretty gruesome backstories to what I was seeing. (“Oh, right – that’s the ridge where they found that guy’s mummified knees!”)

At any rate, I made it – pens, iPad, graphic tablet and all. I’ll be toonblogging for the next three days, so keep watching the blog for updates. Mostly non-gruesome ones.

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