iMedia: Good point. So what social media channels are you finding most useful, from a marketer's standpoint? Anything you're already so tired of that you're ready for it to go away?
Gleeson: Well, no. There's nothing I wish would go away, other than everybody's overwhelming reliance on Facebook as a platform. I wish the whole operating system landscape would hurry up and shake out, because it's kind of a pain in the a**. The whole question of which do you use, Facebook or MySpace? At the end of the day consumers are going to use them for what they want to use them for. Just because it makes my job harder, doesn't mean I want either of them to go away.
iMedia: In a former life, you were a game developer. Are you still a gamer? Have gaming companies fully taken advantage of marketing opportunities, or is this an area (like Facebook, perhaps) where people are there for a purpose and advertising just becomes intrusive and annoying?
Gleeson: Oh, I'm still a gamer. All platforms are wonderful, but I currently use an Xbox 360. I think Xbox 360 is a social platform. And not just because of the Facebook/Twitter integration, though it enables it even more. Another interesting thing is... at one point, people were looking at Xbox as its own social network, separate from Xbox Live. I think the power of it comes when it inter-operates with multiple social networks and it allows you to express [your identity] as a gamer to other individuals. I think everything is becoming a social net. Xbox 360 is one of them; I think [the category of] mobile devices is another one.
iMedia: We did an interview with you last year, and you predicted that brands were going to need to look for opportunities to reinvent themselves, while not losing sight of what their core business goals were. So, any brands you can think of that followed that advice this year, notably?
Gleeson: Not really. No. Mostly I feel that, as you said before, they're just trying to continue to make money just doing what they have been doing. I haven't seen anyone really reinvent themselves; though, they are starting to do interesting things and figure out ways to play in these [emerging] areas.
iMedia: So before we go, why don't you get on your soapbox for a moment. What's been bothering you about the industry that you want to see change?
Gleeson: I want to see consolidation of the mobile operating landscape because I think mobile is a social and cultural game changer. I'd also like to see which brand will be the first to open a billion-dollar interactively-centered revenue stream.
Jodi Harris is senior editor at iMedia Connection.
On Twitter? Follow Jodi at @Joderama. Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.
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