"From sort of a functional content platform to a real content platform."

I saved the best from the PGA Tour Communications Summit for last...here's some hip dude named Paul Johnson, who is definitely in tune with my former demo, the 18-34 year olds... 

We'll cover the key trends.  Some of them are what I would call core key trends, some of them are a little bit on the newer side and a lot of the buzz words that you guys are hearing.  So we'll try to talk through that, and I'll do my best to do it in English in a language that everybody can understand.  If I use the buzz words, stop me and tell me to go back and explain.

Be careful what you wish for Paul! But hey, at least someone down there acknowledges these are buzz words.

I think the key thing is starting with the answer, or starting with a context for the answer of where are we going, where is this going, and the way we think about it or have started thinking about it is the future of at least the visual media is moving towards a threescreen world.  This is where it's going to go.

A threescreen world? I feel like I'm looking at three screens just reading this stuff!

When you look across at the additive platforms, the internet platform and the mobile platform, you see users, tremendous depth of content there obviously, almost unlimited, and you see users spending a lot of time on those platforms.  If there's a key message in the way we think about it and look out there is the consumers expect to be able to consume off of these three platforms, consumer content.

Additive platforms? I do love to consume off of those. These guys are good!

I'll just spend a couple minutes on internet trends and mobile trends because those are sort of the core pieces.  The most important trend on the internet is the penetration of broadband, and I will put that into English.

If you think about internet, the blue line on that slide, if you think about internet, it's relatively fully penetrated in the U.S.  It's 80, 90 million homes.  So you're not going to see a lot of growth with new internet connections.  But what you are seeing is people switching over and adopting broadband.

Now, what that means.  Broadband, what does that mean?  Broadband, simply put, is a fast connection to the internet.

No, it's a series of tubes!

So that said, that translates into I'm having a better experience and I'm going to spend more time doing this.  So the broadband trend is really the trend that's driving two key things; one, people spending more time online.

The second part is more on the economics side, a little more subtle, we also have economics that we think about, so from an advertising perspective, broadband also allows advertisers to deliver their brand name message. 

Oh joy!

For us, this is where mobile changes really from sort of a functional content platform to a real content platform.

And for us, this is where the doublespeak goes from sort of silly to really sort of silly.

Trend number three that I'm sure people in this room have heard a great deal about, blogging.  In the promise of not using terminology that doesn't make sense, it actually comes from the term web log and was shortened to blog.  It's a stylistic thing  it can take many styles, but it's more of a journal style.  It's not necessarily the formal structured 1,500word article or 900word article.  It's much more free form than that.  It's much more almost top of mind than that in some cases.

In some cases.

When I say that, I need to be careful.  I'm not saying that means it's not good.  A lot of stuff on the blogs is very interesting.  It's very insightful.  It can be edgy; it's very opinionated.  It's obviously very popular with readers.

Thanks Paul. Oh, you weren't talking about me?  Well, what you've pointed out is precisely why the golf publications don't have blogs. Well, I forgot about Bip and Glop over at Golf Digest.com...

An interesting one that Steve will talk a little bit more about is trust.  Interestingly enough, people  to me one of the issues with blog would be does this person really have that ability?  Do they really know what they're talking about?  It doesn't really seem to matter.  People trust what they read and they trust volume to some extent, and I'll let Steve talk more about it.  But it helps make blogs work because people trust what they're reading to some extent.

This is where it gets scary!

I would say if I put it under a brand, put it under the PGA TOUR brand, for example, I think the trust level is much higher.

Oh yeah! Trust that you are getting a full censored and whitewashed blog.

I would say in general, our strategy is to evaluate the new trends, to experiment and then to roll out.  Sounds a little conservative, but we are careful to make sure that since we're a corporate voice in those worlds, and those worlds really aren't about a corporate voice, that we want to make sure that we do that the right way, and we'll do that through experimentation because we won't get it right the first time.

A corporate voice? Huh, and here I was thinking they were non-profit.

And there is some brand risk in some of these environments where you just don't want to have your brand in the wrong spot at the wrong time.  But we'll keep experimenting and we'll keep pushing.

I've always said, make sure your brand isn't in the wrong spot at the wrong time.

I think that's it.  I think if there's a takeaway, the main takeaway, whatever you think about the trends, is consumer behavior is changing.  There is explosive growth on these new platforms, and that's what our fans do today and they are going to consume content.  It is very strategic and very important to connect with them on these platforms, and we think as we do that, we think that helps elevate the entire sport.  If we are consuming more online they are more likely to watch the telecasts.
Thank you.


(Cries for an encore!)