The Future of Media: Channeling Passion, Culture and Relevance

Pictured above, some of the passionate creators at SAY Media’s Create conference this year:

1. Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn of Pomplamoose perform
2. Susan Lyne, Chairman of Gilt Groupe discusses ecommerce combined with editorial content
3. Jaron Lanier, author of You Are Not A Gadget, muses how advanced media technologies could deeply affect advertising experiences
4. "Meet the Editors" panel with Ted Rheingold: Dogster, Jane Pratt, Ed Levine: Serious Eats

Recently, I participated in SAY Media’s Create conference with an inspiring group of passionate people who are all creating amazing content and building culture around the things they love.

The event got me thinking about the future of media — and how brands can best position themselves alongside “passionate” content to foster more meaningful connections with their customers.

Media creation and consumption continues to fracture and expand into every conceivable space. What once were a few trusted sources has become an ever-expanding universe of niche players. Never before has there been more content available in more places. However, consumers and creators are often overwhelmed, finding it difficult to know what’s relevant, and to connect with others who care about the same things they do.

For brand marketers, this landscape has become frightfully convoluted, proving to be a difficult ground to find reliable tactics for consistent success — particularly when it comes to connecting meaningfully with their target audiences.

So, how are people discovering media today? What draws them in? What inspires them to engage and what compels them to come back for more?

One thing is clear; people aren’t waiting for it to be delivered to them from the same old mass media channels.

Consumers are actively, sometimes feverishly, seeking out content about their passions. They’re on the lookout for fresh thinking from people who share their interests and demonstrate like-minded views. Generally these passionate creators also foster a persistent exchange with their audiences — catalyzing communities that generate even more content for, and about their passions.

Their voices are authentic. Their platforms are open. And, in aggregate, they’re drawing profound, even massive audiences.

New jack media networks like SAY, are capitalizing on this phenomenon by aggregating and connecting the best independent content creators and their communities to provide simple ways for brands to engage with passionate audiences, at scale.

This new wave of media networks continue to experiment with opportunities for brands to get closer to the content and provide meaningful ways to engage with audiences.

It was in this vein that Odopod helped develop the Master of All Skills promotional contest for DonQ Rum earlier this year. A highly bespoke program that positioned their brand at the center of deeply engaging custom content from publishers with passionate interests, including Cool Hunting, Instructables and Good Magazine.

What’s more, it seems the individual creators don’t mind working with the brands either. In fact, when a brand shares their interests, they welcome collaboration, even earnest co-creation.

For example, during their presentation at Create, Jack Conte, of the musical duo Pomplamosse, discussed their collaboration with Samsung to develop one of their inventive YouTube video-songs in order to generate buzz an upcoming product launch.

And, that’s the kind of relationship can propel a brand out of the cluttered margins, and smack dab in the center of passionate conversations and cultural relevance.


  • Lou Alvarez says:
    Posted: 10.16.11

    Brands has always depend on their audience, but now. brands are the result of their audience interactions, between like minded people and like minded consumers. Brands now, more than ever, should be platforms for their audience to interact between them, because at the end, it's all about to gather and create meaningful communities, meaningful content. Of course communities can foster the brands content but specially they can make it useful. And of course, thank you so much for this post...

  • Guthrie Dolin says:
    Posted: 10.18.11

    Thanks for your feedback Lou. I absolutely agree with our perspective. Creating meaningful interactions and delivering value is a much higher benchmark then brand advertising as been held to in the past, but I firmly believe is going to be required as the landscape continues to develops.

  • Lou Alvarez says:
    Posted: 11.02.11

    Yeah, totally agree. Thanks a lot for your reply.

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Director of Brand and Strategy




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