My Media World: Barry Bridges

Barry Bridges, agenda21 head of social media, left law for the media world and has managed to crash You Tube and create the world's first performance in Second Life for Jimmy Carr.

My Media World: Barry Bridges
My Media World: Barry Bridges

I have worked in the media since...
2005. I originally studied law, but quickly realised social media is more interesting than covenants and criminality.

I was attracted to this particular role because…
Social media needs to grow up and become more of a science than voodoo magic. Agenda21 has a similar perspective and has a huge focus on accountability, which I love.

Not many people know that…
I produced the world’s first comedy performance in Second Life, for Jimmy Carr. It was a disaster on the night (technically), which only made it funnier overall, so a success in the grand scheme of things.

My worst experience in the media was…
Being shredded by a tech blogger after accidentally causing YouTube to delete his account and his entire career’s worth of videos.I learnt that if you want your business to survive, you need to realise that the customer isn’t always right.

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in the media industry it’s…
In social media there’s nothing wrong with being young. Age gives you experience, but youth gives you a bit more freedom to be daring. Good social teams combine the two.

The one thing I can’t stand in media is…
The overuse of meaningless buzzwords. The biggest issue within social media is not so much doing a good job, but persuading clients to trust you to do a good job. Jargon and waffle gives everyone a bad name.

Outside of work I spend my time…
Playing golf, running and generally trying to be as antisocial as possible. A virtual pint doesn’t taste half as good as the real thing.

 If I could do it all over again I would…
Have gone straight into work without studying at university. It would have been cheaper and got me further in my career by now.

The next 12 months will be…
The tipping point for privacy, but in the opposite way to which most people think. I believe that rather than an increase in concern for privacy, people’s walls will come down and the appetite for transparency across media will open up new ways of sharing content and personalisation – which will give all brands a real headache.

If I ruled the media world I would…
Do my best to increase the transparency of brands engaging with consumers on social networking sites. Brands need to start taking these conversations seriously and act on the feedback that their audience gives them, rather than view them as an outbound marketing channel all the time.

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