The event was on Tuesday, 28 May 2012 at the Playden, Arts House @ The Old Parliament House. It was the fifth session of the Asian Children’s Media Summit of the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) 2012.

AFCC 2012 seemed to have a heavy emphasis on technological engagement for the development and business of Children’s Content. Such a focus was most explicit in this session of the Media Summit, exploring the new ways of establishing business online in the context of Children’s Content, even applicable to other age groups.

The panel was an interesting combination of a Children’s Content developer, author Adeline Foo of The Diary of Amos Lee acclaim, an ex-Media Development Authority (MDA) personnel-turned-technology-entrepreneur cum marketer Aaron Chua, as well as Producer and Content Developer Daryl John Ho.

Sharing by Chua

Chua began the session with advice using Google to identify potential markets for Children Content Developers’ Intellectual Property. Compact but comprehensive, Chua’s presentation provided much general insights into the world of digital marketing.

Underlying the building of online distribution channels, understanding Google and search engine optimization, and the equation of trust, is the building of a brand name. Building online distribution channels was “the most important thing” in today’s context, he emphasized.

Quoting Judith Jones, Chua definitely helped to redefine the audience’s understanding of the power of Google, “You follow your instincts, the things that you love. If you feel strongly about a book, the rationalization is that there must be others like you who want it.” Experience and gut feel might not beat Google’s algorithms in these digital days!

Apart from the technical marketing know-hows, heart-ware remained an emphasis. Summed up in a magical equation, T = R + D, the concept of trust was built upon the foundations of “Reliability” and “Delight” by Chua. Not only should one seek to fulfill promises made, but also strive to bring value-added happiness to customers.

Constantly using the example of his wife’s interest in setting up a “cake pop” business, Chua provided an accessible case study to contextualize the theoretical frameworks he presented.

In contrast, the multiple examples brought up by Ho, the next speaker, caught me losing track of them, but helped to greatly widen the scope of discussion in the context of Children’s Content.

Sharing by Ho

Focusing on the business of expanding the profits of Intellectual Property, Ho interestingly framed this as “selling your by-product”. Keywords that flew about and that were expounded upon included “transmedia”, “gamify”, “innovation” and “inter-connectedness”.

In short, Ho’s presentation served to highlight the potential of Intellectual Property being profit-maximised through their transformation into different mediums (whereby “transmedia” and “inter-connectedness” is relevant), be they books adapted into films and games.

Expanding the range of appeal of the Intellectual Property material through engaging various demographic groups is a form of innovation, of which “gamify-ing” the experience is a method.

By acknowledging the difficulties of “enriching content” in the first place, as well as finding the balance between “telling the medium’s… and [one’s] own story”, Ho increased the dimensions of digital marketing of Children’s Content today.

Sharing by Foo

Digital Marketing was further contextualised to Children’s Content with Foo’s presentation, “Making a Brand beyond Books”. Chronicling her journey through publishing The Diary of Amos Lee to her current partnership with Mediacorp for the publishing of her latest e-book, Thomas Titans, Foo shared the struggles she faced in the balance between establishing her content and authorship reputation.

Physical representation seemed the best way for Foo to achieve branding for both her works and her professional content development repute. School visits and participation in festivals both local and overseas, as well as media interviews were examples Foo highlighted.

For the digital aspect, Foo presented her decisions as inclining to place the spotlight on her Children’s Content. Whether choosing a web domain taking on the namesake of her lead character, Amos Lee, or choosing the persona of Amos Lee again in her paid blogging stint, Foo made her deliberation of these decisions as a branding measure apparent to the audience.

As for her newest book, Thomas Titan, Foo shared her aspirations of increasing her personal share of revenue through the e-books way to publishing. The traditional publishing processes in Singapore has long remained a closed-door affair; the rise of technology-based alternatives certainly holds much promise to provide other streams of revenue for Children’s Content developers, such as Foo.

The technology fever is sure a trend to stay. Children’s Content and technology… What a potent mix!

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