(Sean Murphy, Liz Massingill and I continue our conversation about what DAC ought to change to keep up with the social media-infused times. Part two or three.)
Sean: I would like to come back to Liz’s sense of excitement and what she wants to capture /preserve about Conversation Central (CC).
Liz: Here’s an example of the vastly different philosophies that differentiated CC from the press room. In the press room, they had refreshments. But it was just for the press…..not open to the rest of us, like CC was. CC, by contrast, offered refreshments and snacks to everyone. What was CC’s message? It welcomed everyone who was interested in the social media role.
Sean: So, strength/limits to CC was that it’s a small conversation. One thing that the FGPA summit did last year was to run a dinner event with about a dozen round tables where at each table there was a conversation on a posted topic
Liz: I love that idea.
Sean: What else made CC different that we should build on?
Liz: I just liked having an agenda. There were planned activities that were posted for all to see.
Sean: Having someone who nominally was a facilitator was helpful as well.
Liz: The mini-lectures with discussion afterward were the best. All of us got involved, all of us gave our opinion, from our own points of view. Inclusion is the key to buzz, momentum, value. CC brought that. So knowledgeable participants, facilitation, open access is what CC brought to the DAC formula that was new, and valuable.
Sean: Another question: should other vendors run their own CCs as well? In other words, instead of trying to centralize it, should many vendors offer a similar engagement model
Ed: Not sure I understand. So no central forum like CC was, but parcel out the CC function to vendors CC?
Sean: On the surface, it could get dis-unified at DAC’10, as we try to figure out how/what bloggers will be in the EDA/DAC world.
Ed: Even if different vendors have their own CC, there still ought to be a central CC to discuss trends, issues, roles, the changing nature of EDA, DAC. I don’t think you’d get that in vendor CCs, and even if you did, there’d be no central forum to parcel it out to interested parties like a centralized CC would. Maybe that’s the differentiation. A central CC for industry wide issues. Vendor CCs for their own stuff.
Liz: I think there needs to be a central forum, and probably not hosted by an individual vendor.
Ed: Sean, what’s your two cents on the central CC and vendor CCs?
Sean: I think the Atrenta blogfest was an effort to a do a one-off CC and I think we need more like that next year
Ed: So Sean, we could see vendor CCs in Anaheim? Will Synopsys take on the central CC next year? And will you play as prominent a role as you did this year? Clearly, we all agree that a central CC s needed.
Liz: CC was a rousing success and has an indelible place in DAC. That’s where change seems to be recognized for EDA. That is what DAC exists to encourage, right?
Sean: I think Synopsys will do another CC, but that over the next two or three years it may be captured by their marketing people and become something else, a vendor CC, if you will.
Liz: How will DAC, which run the press room, feel if Synopsys runs a central CC again?
Ed: Well, DAC runs the press room and gives the press room a mandate…or should. So far, for the last 20-plus years or so, the press room’s been that sanctuary for press. Liz, you spoke about how isolated the press room, and press, were from the action.
We’re in a period when the very existence of the press gets called into question. What can or will the EDA press do to stake a claim in the changing EDA landscape?
You’d think that they’d declare their role from the highest mountain top and put in place some sort of program to prove that they are resilient, vital and essential to EDA. But that press room was a morgue, when contrasted with the activity at CC. Granted, there have been so many press layoffs.
What the press room needs to do is – like you say, Liz – become part of the conference, not to seek sanctuary from it. They do need to help educate PR folks, marcoms, startup people who don’t know a thing about what reporters need. They need to enliven their sanctuary, become active, stop being passive. Of course, this is something the press and DAC needs to discuss and decide on. But given its current state, if nothing changes, then the press room will indeed cede its function to a central CC.
Basically, they need to become an educational, conversational forum, just like CC was this year. Actually, it’d help the press room a lot if they welcomed the bloggers and imitated the hugely successful educational program CC put on.
– end of part 2 –