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Asia Tech Podcast – Episode 34 – Leigh Kelson – Founder & CEO BeachCity Media – A Really Cool, Interesting Fusion of Education and Media

On this episode of the Asia Tech Podcast, I was joined by Leigh Kelson the Founder and CEO of BeachCity Media.  Leigh was born in Melbourne, Australia.  His father was in the mining business which took the family to Christmas Island, a small island off the coast of Indonesia. Interestingly, there was no television, no media, no nothing there.  The family lived there for 6 years and then moved to Kununurra  in Western Australia…a pretty remote place as well.

This was the beginning of Leigh’s entrepreneurial journey.  There were a little news agency and book store up there which he ended up buying.  With his business fire lit, he started bringing bands up through the Kimberly…and started a motor vehicle dealership as well.

At the dawn of the web in the early ’90s, Leigh started building web sites for others and got into online and web media production…back when nobody else even knew what to do.  Having been involved in almost the entire evolution of web-based media, Leigh can understand not just where the medium is today and how it got here, but also that it will continue to rapidly evolve and change as we move forward.

Leigh notes that originally the media business got built around celebrities creating content and the minions below consuming that media.  Now it is much more peer to peer.  We spoke a bit about Chris Anderson’s long tail…the democratization of production and distribution.  Seeing the democratization of video changed the game for Leigh.  Peer to peer matters at large because it is less about journalists to consumers and more about teasing out shared experiences and learning something from your true peers.

Leigh believes that the entrepreneurial mind is a collision of different spaces of thinking that come together and converge.  The fascination lies with what is the interplay of the five or six biggest trends are and what they mean and portend.

When we talked about how BeachCity Media convinces entrepreneurs to tell their story, Leigh notes that strategically, they just go to where the stories already are…global or regional conferences.  In some cases going 80 to 100 5 minute videos over a three-day conference.  When he is there, he is still amazed at the way these events are covered by mainstream media…with traditional camera crews, lighting, etc.  We can do this with an iPhone or two and some software and it makes for a much better and more authentic experience.  Agile producers can also turn around production much faster…volume and velocity are important in the age of social media.  “Last minute’s content is the next minute’s fish and chip wrapper…”

We continue our conversation talking about curation, quality and how to sift through the all of the noise.  Curation becomes important because of the ease of content creation and the sheer amount of things that get posted every moment of every day.  How does one curate at scale?  Leigh posits that Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are the pillars upon which new media will be built.  Frankly, Leigh and I agree on this wholeheartedly.

We end on True Digital Park…and how buildings are great, but TDPK is much more than just a physical location.  Some of the best ecosystems are borne out the programs and the people that exist inside of and help build those ecosystems.