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Top Five Takeaways from NewTeeVee Live

Well my friends, the time has come

To raise the roof and have some fun

Throw away the work to be done

Let the music play on

(play on, play on)

— Lionel Richie, All Night Long

Following the wall-to-wall liveblogging of yesterday’s sold-out NewTeeVee Live conference, it’s time to take a bit of a breather. But before the memories of the show get drowned in an alcohol-induced celebratory haze, here are a few of the highlights.

New media can’t be bothered with old media
If you could hear through the rat-a-tat-tat stats of verbal machine gun Quincy Smith, president of CBS Interactive, you might have picked up what I felt was the money quote for the entire conference:

“Old media executives have made more of an effort to learn new media than new media has bothered to learn old media.”

There is so much hubris in our small corner of the technology world. Breaking the traditional media rules and democratizing content is great, just don’t write off old teevee because it’s old (or probably more accurately, because you couldn’t get the traditional networks to notice you). Learn from it and make it better. Otherwise the old media execs will be running the show once again (and you’ll be ignored once again).

I want my HD
We kicked off a discussion a few weeks back about whether HD mattered when it comes to online content. Looks like that discussion is far from over, as HD was brought up on at least seven occasions yesterday:

  • AT&T wants HD content for its IPTV service
  • MediaMelon allows HD content through the browser
  • Microsoft wants you to use Silverlight to create and deliver HD content
  • Maven Networks says HD on a PC doesn’t matter
  • Steve Chen says video ubiquity is more important than quality
  • Revision 3 is building an HD studio
  • Quincy Smith reaffirmed that content needs to work before you make it pretty

YouTube’s Global Ambitions
Despite the significant hurdles YouTube has yet to overcome — including a billion-dollar lawsuit, a new copyright protection system, and the question of how to monetize its massive amount of content — co-founder Steve Chen’s focus was on the international market.

During his talk, he kept reiterating YouTube’s global plans. So far, they’re in 19 countries, and internationalizing the service will be a big focus going forward. As noted above, for YouTube, it’s not about the quality of the video (right now), it’s about making sure everyone in the world can watch the video.

In talking about the company’s international plans, Chen was downright passionate, especially when he was discussing what it means to localize content. Even an unrelated question about Hollywood combing through YouTube prompted him to recall how Tony Blair sent a video congratulations to newly-elected French President Sarkozy in English and French.

The Ecosystem Buzz
We’ve moved on from next-generation being the buzzphrase du jour to everyone touting their “ecosystems.” Great.

I have a newfound respect for liveblogging. Keeping up with people, especially multiple people on a panel ain’t easy. I’d make a lousy stenographer.

Thanks again for coming out to the show; we’ll see you again next year. And now it’s time to party, karamu, fiesta, forever come on and sing along, all night long (all night) (dancing my troubles away, not included).

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