6 tips for making the most from a conference speaking slot

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Speaking at a conference is a great opportunity for either an individual or a business. Whether it is 15 or 50 minutes long, the opportunity to speak at length on a topic of interest to people who appreciate what you’re talking about should be fantastic.

Too often though, the opportunity is wasted. Whether it’s due to understandable nerves or a less understandable attempt to shoe horn a sales pitch into a speech, there are too many times when a s speaking slot doesn’t achieve its full potential.

So, on the basis of attending dozens of conferences and organising a fair few in the past year, I thought I’d take a bit of time out to give you my tips on making the most from a conference speaking slot.

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Why Apple Music’s editorial approach hasn’t worked (and what it should do differently)

Or not quite, in Apple Music's case

Or not quite, in Apple Music’s case

After three months, the time has come to turn off my Apple Music access. Following much hype, much excitement and just a little pretentiousness, Apple’s iTunes replacement has not managed to hit the mark and keep me as a customer.

Why is that the case though? How has Apple, a company credited with saving the music industry and capable of getting Taylor Swift on board, produced a music streaming service so uninspiring that the only use I had for it was to listen to In Rainbows by Radiohead?

The answer comes down to one thing in my book. And that is the failure to actually deliver on their promise of editorialised recommendations that really were better than those of an algorithm.

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Living on a prayer: why the consumer games show is a quasi-religious experience

E3 Expo (Electronic Entertainment Exposition) at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California on June 17, 2015

E3 Expo- one of the biggest churches in the religion of gaming

Our Father, who are into gaming. Halo be thy name. Thy Taken King come, by Just Cause 3 done. In Deus Ex, as it is in Hitman…

It might seem strange to start an article about consumer games show with a broadly blasphemous gaming themed version of the Lord’s prayer. But having attended Eurogamer Expo (EGX) and Gamescom this year, it’s pretty clear that the consumer game show isn’t about experiencing games anymore.

Instead, it’s changed into something bigger and different. And rather than being a circus or a festival, consumer games shows are now a quasi-religious experience for gaming fans where the faithful come to worship. It is something which events organisers need to foster and exhibitors need to adapt to if they’re to make the most of games shows in the coming years.

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Patreon: How Freemium Is Working For Games Journalists

Games journalism in a more traditional form has reached something of a financial crisis point. The collapse of web advertising revenues, inflationary pressures in the wider economy and the continued circumvention of the major sites in favour of powerful new channels (Youtube almost literally being one of those channels), has had a serious effect on the industry.

In the past year alone, dozens of journalists have traded the insecurity of games journalism for the security of work within gaming related industries. Long serving publications such as Computer and Video Games have closed, while newer digital sites like Joystiq have felt the fall of the executioner’s axe in the past 12 months.

Yet as we say that, the past year has seen the rise of a service that seems to offer a lifeline for writers. Crowdfunding subscription service Patreon has grown significantly over the past two years and, importantly for the industry, has helped a number of journalists sustainably fund seemingly unsustainable niche projects continuously and successfully.

And the reason why it has done so well is that it has offered journalists their first real opportunity to intelligently make money from a free service. Patreon works well for games journalists because it opens them up to a world of money making freedom that many game developers, particularly in mobile, have entered in the past few years. The evidence I’ve gathered below hopefully sheds light on how it has worked for them and why it might be worth more content creators considering it.

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