Presenting My Little Pony at the Dot Conf

Last month, I travelled up to Dublin to present a talk called “If You Build It, They Won’t Come” at the Dot Conf. Except in the days before the conference, I became obsessed with a meme I first encountered on MetaFilter. So, in a last minute change to the lineup, I spent 25 minutes at an industry conference for web and marketing professionals talking about My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

Presentation starts at 2:22 because I didn’t edit this video — here’s a direct link:

This presentation is subtitled “The evolving relationship between brands and consumers” and whips through candy bars, Harry Potter, and Jedis before diving into the unexpected online fan base the new My Little Pony franchise found on 4Chan.

As per usual, while I am always happy to share my slides, they’re pretty much useless as I don’t read off them and they contain virtually no text to provide stand-alone narrative. But all of the links for all of the sources and stories for these slides are listed in the first comment there, so feel free to peruse at your leisure.

This presentation went over really well with the 300-strong audience, who were great – responsive and fun – and who made #pony trend on Twitter in Ireland. (Which pretty much made my day, so thanks for that!) Many thanks to Emma Henderson and NCI, who hosted this event in excellent style and were happy to roll with it when I changed what I wanted to speak about at the very last minute.

Although I am neither an 8 year old girl nor a 22 year old straight white male, I am a genuine My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fan. All 26 episodes are available as full-length uploads on YouTube, and I’ve watched them all. If you just want to dive in, I would suggest Ep 16, Sonic Rainboom.

Due to time constraints, the Dot Conf audience was spared from the planned sing-a-long, but you should feel free to rock out at home to the Equestria Girls video that premiered on Equestria Daily:


And as a special bonus round for all you secret MLP FIM fans: Equestria Girls Over-Extended 1 Hour Loop!

Update: This post was linked by Equestria Daily, generating a ton of traffic and a ton of comments over there. Thanks to the MLP community for being gracious and kind about this presentation and my errors.