In a packed London 2012 conference hall at the Battersea Evolution, all eyes were focused on stage, as Arianna Huffington arrived in the afternoon to share with all of us her views and ideas about our lives online today. After a day of conferences, workshops and one-one-one interviews, it was refreshing to see the Greek-born American tycoon hop on stage and start talking to the 1000+ attendees just like we were sat around a table having a cup of tea.
Arianna began to talk about the Huffington Post, and its desire to capture the millions of incredible conversations going on around the world. As a distribution platform, the Huffington Post wants to bring together these offline conversations and give them meaning online. With 66 different sites dealing with topics ranging from cooking to divorces, the Huffington Post gives readers the opportunity to educate themselves, as well as share opinions with their friends.
A keyword that came up several times throughout this Adobe Digital Marketing Summit was DNA and Arianna insisted on the importance of protecting it : “We need to be very clear about what our DNA is. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all these social media tools and lose our DNA”. In other words we must focus on staying true to what we are and what we want to give, and the same applies for businesses. For instance the Huffington Post’s DNA is about :
1 : Telling stories of our time, stories behind the numbers e.g. : unemployment (“we have the data but what’s the story behind it ?”).
2 : Helping readers live the life they want
3 : Helping to make a difference
In her speech, Arianna focused on the importance of looking ahead, quoting ice-skating legend Wayne Gretzky, who once said “skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been”. She encourages us to look forward and never stand on one’s laurels as inertia, in the constantly changing business world we live in, ultimately leads to oblivion. We, as human beings and companies, must therefore foster our drive to move forward in everything we do.
And in order to achieve our goals, we need to… sleep ! Indeed, Arianna insisted on the fact that sleeping and resting is often overlooked and we need to get rid of our dirty habit of having our smartphones or any other kind of OS’s on our bedside table, as it prevents us from fully recharging our batteries… And for all of those who argue that their phones are only there to help them get out of bed in the morning, Arianna answers : “Go buy an alarm clock !”.
This almost motherly intervention ended with Arianna briefly announcing that the Huffington Post would soon be launching a mobile application to help us take better care of our bodies : the GPS for the Soul. This app will enable you to control your heart rate and blood pressure amongst other things, and will help you to find peace of mind. The application should be available in June, but until then, you can start by sleeping more, and taking a break from your phone ! Sent from my Galaxy Ace Orange…