By Becca Jaye Sharples on 25th November 2017

What We Learnt At
Web Summit 2017
(Part 1)

Hello Viddyozers!


We just DID NOT STOP it was jam packed and espresso fuelled, returning to the UK feeling networked out and still high on the Portuguese caffeine.

If you haven’t already seen it, get to the vlog on our Youtube! You can watch it HERE – and don’t forget to subscribe!

Personal highlight was the team finally sitting down to eat one evening and using a Spanish not Portuguese translator on iPhone, and ordering ‘snake cheese’ and ‘chicken of the cage’ wondering what we’d end up with.

Pizza. We got pizza.

So what you really want to know is WHAT SOUVENIRS WE BROUGHT HOME! Well beside some questionable fridge magnets and a glass shaped like a small chicken we brought you…


So here it is, in two parts we’ll be revealing the 4 THINGS WE LEARNT AT WEB SUMMIT starting today with the first two looking at platforms and the importance of comedy in your content.



The fine line of comedy – trying to be on the side of funny ‘haha’ not funny ‘weird’.

“Oh that video we saw was… funny.” Could go either way you see?

Comedian & producer of That Lot’s David Schneider talked at Web Summit about the value of humour in social media and content making – from video to  print.

He says that comedy is “in the surprise” of twists to our everyday and generally mundane lives. Without comedy, we just plod along to the next life event in the series of normal life moments. So how can we use this to make our content better?

Schneider uses this example from one of his team that leads you down a path of an everyday story before WHAM hitting you with the punchline in the last line:

“The same with video… it’s all about the surprise” – and David uses the following example:

One duck, mildly annoying toy you’d only buy for children of parents you dislike.

200 ducks – hilarous.

Aside from presenting your twist at the end of your video, David presses the note of success as short and sweet content.

He describes ‘brevity’ as the art of keeping your comedy short – the importance of this in social media marketing and video is huge.

With character counts on Twitter and a 3 second opening in your video to grab your viewer, you have very little time to capture attention and impress someone online so you need to be punchy.

Schneider says the best way to plan your comedy is to strip way everything you don’t need in your joke.


Adding in the padding makes the joke no longer funny and stops it in it’s tracks totally – the flow is ruined and the comedy is lost.

To translate this to video structure – do not lose your message by fluffing out video length with unnecessary frames, additional but not needed text, or repeat animations such as several intros.

Choosing the best opening you can is also a very key take away from David’s talk. Hooking an audience is difficult online, especially in video. So aim to write your first frame as a showstopper.

For both video and text based comedy, his big tip is to utilize HEADLINES.

(For those not in the know, Tim Peake was a British astronaut we’d set off into the sky)

Using a strong opening like a headline, the writer pulled people in with the hook we mentioned.

Capturing conversation of everyday life makes your content relatable and shareable. David uses ‘Evidence Boards’ which he says are like ‘joining up all the different ideas that might connect’.

Full video here

Similar to ‘mind mapping’, an idea or topic is placed in the middle, here the example of changing a king sized duvet is used. This everyday task is then related to different ideas or emotions we have towards the event.

Stemming off as examples there are things like ‘king’ leading to Game of Thrones references, wrestling as you struggle with the sheets, and the idea of getting lost in the fabric so forests and woods.

This will lead you to create scenarios where you compare experiences of everyday, with the more crazy things it FEELS like you’re doing.

You can use this in video advertising to ask the user “Does _____ make you feel like you’re _____?!” and then providing an answer to this struggle with your product or service.

As well as everyday ideas, how about tapping into what’s topical or trending in the news.

Keeping an eye on Twitter trends for that day or week is great if you can create content quickly – some creating video may not have this time luxury and so will need to focus on longer term or more general topics such as seasons or longer length news stories.

This though will mean your content, no matter the main message, will be relevant and more likely to be watched and shared.


Platforms for people who buy and sell dog clothes, to meet drummers who need a band, those who want advice on growing their online following… we saw quite an eclectic mix!

Between the Alpha, Beta and Start stands we couldn’t believe the volume of social media platforms blooming up globally. Still in 2017 we’re building, growing and selling platforms despite the landscape seemingly feeling saturated.


Although they’re popping up everywhere at this years Web Summit, I can’t honestly tell you that I’m 100% backing any particular one.

We have so so many platforms and apps on our phones and laptops these days – and the core selection have it covered if you ask me. And if they don’t, you can bet your bottom dollar they will do soon.

I’ve seen a number of platforms try to rival the big boys like Facebook over recent years and fallen on their face – the problem being that we tend to not like change.

What we hate more than change, is having to uproot everything we’ve planted into a platform. So much so, that if Facebook edits its layout, messenger settings, status function or other key element and we don’t like it – we still don’t jump ship we just adapt.

So why would we move all our details, friendships, images and fan pages… to somewhere only fractionally populated?

So here enters the realm of niche platforms.

Not trying to rival the core platforms, niche platforms focus on adding functions to our lives that are pretty specific. And being specific they could be more likely to appear in google searches (if we’re thinking yay SEO!).


Let’s picture the scene. You own a little stall, selling home made lemonade. Yum! And home made?! Everyone’s favourite!

You’re making great money, locals have heard about your lemonade they’re happy to invest in walking to your far away stand and even spend a little more than they would on standard supermarket lemonade. Success.

The local supermarket rep gets wind of your snowballing success, and they love homemade lemonade too! So they swing by. Why aren’t we doing this they say, if it’s so successful?

PING. Supermarket rep takes their current lemonade, whacks a homemade looking label on and pops it right at the front of the much more convenient and closer store. And it’s pretty cheap in comparison to your stall, in fact it’s included in a deal!

Sadly for little niche platforms, as soon as they become popular Facebook or the other big boys will use their bottomless cash buckets and endless developers to add in extra functions to accommodate this new popular market that has popped up. And you won’t even need a new app to clutter your phone or to sign up anywhere new!

But can we have a breakthrough this year or next…? After all, Snapchat hasn’t died off since Facebook and Instagram Stories were implemented! (there’s hope for us all then).


Next time in Part 2 of our Web Summit blog, we’re covering innovation, and the everyday journalist. Fancy a look at what’s emerging? Or see yourself as the next indie reporter? Tune in next time!

The end