Tagged: social media revolution

It’s nice to be appreciated

A couple of weeks ago I did a workshop for my fellow members of the EACA School faculty, since blogged about by the much esteemed Steve Henry (the 2nd H in HHCL – which will mean something for anyone who knows anything about the UK advertising industry) in Brand Republic. Steve gives a very succinct (and flattering) summary but what is also interesting are the comments.

The workshop was great fun – especially the opportunity to be present at the moment when a group of people who have a huge amount of experience invested in what I call Gutenberg media suddenly ‘get it’ in terms of understanding that social media is not about Facebook, blogs and Twitter.  And also when they start to realise how their expertise can be re-purposed to work in the new space.

There are a lot of Cs in social media

What is it with social media and Cs.  Conversation, Collaboration, Community, Content, Context, Collective, Connection, Cooperation, Crowd-sourced.   Also Consultant – lots of them.  The prevailing climate (Climate) of opinion however seems to suggest that there should only ever be four Cs in social media (see this article by Michael Brenner and the links within it).

I, however, always prefer the number three.  Two is never enough and four is always too much.  So I say there are three Cs in social media and this is how I arrive at this conclusion.

There are actually four spaces in social media (broken the rule already):

  1. the space where people are agreeing with you
  2. the space where people are disagreeing with you
  3. the space where people are asking the question to which you are the answer
  4. the space where people are prepared to help you do it (better)

The way you Do social media is to first of all identify these four spaces.  You then have to address them.

Spaces 1 and 2 you address through participation in Conversation.

Space 3 you address by producing Content (the role of content in social media being almost exclusively about answering specific questions, remembering, as I am always fond of saying, that an ad is an answer to a question that no-one ever asked)

Space 4 you address through the creation of a Community where you can get these people together.

That’s it.  There is no-more to social media than these four spaces and these three Cs.

Actually, that is not quite true.  You need a Story.  A story allows you work out what you need to say, in your conversations, in your content and in your community.  Four spaces, three Cs and a story.  I can almost feel a movie coming on.

Its not about citizens becoming journalists – but journalists becoming citizens

Today The Times launched its new online edition, which it will effectively be closing again late June when it starts to ask people to pay for it.  Times editor, James Harding, was interviewed this morning on the Today programme desperately trying to justify how initiatives such as this represented the salvation of journalism and reporting.

Laying aside the nature of the journalism and reporting that such an initiative is expected to preserve and also the arrogance in many of the assertions that Harding made that essentially implied that news just can’t happen unless some bloke with a notebook is there to ‘make sense of it’, there is a huge flaw in the thinking that upon which the whole paid-for content approach is based.  This flaw is the unquestioned assumption that journalism and journalist are one and the same.  Or to put it another way, the only way that journalism can be achieved is through the institutional structures of one-to-many mass media. Continue reading

Journalists: the big winners from the social media revolution

The assertion that journalists have a bright future might seem rather strange  given the somewhat disparaging things I have tended to say in this blog about the institutions and processes of journalism (many of which are contained in the posts here).  However, if we separate out the skills of a journalist, from the institutions of journalism we can see that those who are able to make this separation are presented with many opportunities.  Here’s why. Continue reading

My presentation at in-cosmetics Paris

For those at my presentation yesterday, who wanted a copy of the presentation, I have put it on Slideshare.  Or you can see it embeded below.

If you were not at my session in Paris, the presentation won’t necessarily make a huge amount of sense because it is a presentation designed to illustrate a talk, rather than be viewed.

Books, iPads and chickens

@obionyeaso recently asked me for a view on this by David Gelles and Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson in the FT – essentially will the iPad / Kindle shatter the book publishing business in the way the iPod and iTunes shattered the music business.

My short answer would be no – it won’t.  The short reason for this is that the form of content that is a book is very well adapted to the form of distribution that is printed and bound bits of paper.  This is unlike news, which is not necessarily well adapted to the form of distribution that is newspaper, or the music track which we have discovered is very poorly adapted to the form of distribution that is an album or CD.  At the same time a book is an important cultural feature in the way that a CD, album or even a newspaper is not. Continue reading

2010 – the year of building

2009 was a unique year in the fledgling history of social media, in that it was a year that contained no new “Big Thing”.  The year obviously belonged to Twitter, but Twitter itself really broke into the mainstream at the end of 2008.  There were a number of things launched that received a lot of attention amongst the digerati which may very well go on to become “Big Things” – Google Wave for example – but nothing that created the sort of mainstream attention that Facebook, or Twitter, or even Second Life did when they first broke. Continue reading

Embrace the noise – its where the influence is

A parting post for 2009.

I was recently sent this by  Influencer50, an organisation in the business of influencer marketing.  It makes some interesting points about failures in on-line influencer measurement and the many organisations claiming to have offerings in this area.  However, this report itself fails because it falls into the same trap as many of those approaches it is also criticising – namely the belief that influence is all about “screening out the noise” and finding the “needles in the haystack”.

That was the way influence was organised.  What the social media revolution is doing is shifting influence away from institutions and individuals even, into the processes of connection that are generated within a crowd of individuals.  Far from being screened out, the noise is what we should be looking at because it is where influence is moving towards.   Expertise will no longer remain the preserve of experts – as James Surowieki has shown in his book “The Wisdom of the Crowds” (a book that is not explicitly about social media, but is essential reading if you want to understand social media).

Bad news for Influencer50, obviously, because its business is set-up around identifying a small number of influential individuals and connecting with them off-line.  It’s why, in a recent blog post, one of the report’s authors states that, “Frankly, I think there’s a lot of tosh and assertion on the importance of social media in influence”.  A sutiable epitaph for this organisation’s tombstone I feel, for this is not an organisation that will be around in five or 10 years time.  Of course, social media doesn’t excert influence when you have determined in advance the rules through which influence must be excerted (i.e. through individuals and institutions).  But when you realise that the rules of influence are changing, and when you look at influence as a process not a person, and when you realise that this is being driven by the social media revolution – then the picture starts to look very different.

So an exhortation for 2010 – embrace the noise, celebrate the “Pointlesss Babble”, revel in the “endless narcisism of the blogosphere”.  It’s where the future is.

Einstein’s Twitter stream: quality content or pointless babble?

In the old world content had to live within a particular means of distribution – a newspaper, a book, a website.  In effect, content had to find its proper place.  Short form written news information could only really live within a newspaper.  Stories tended to gravitate towards books.  Video could only live on the television.

When we talked about content we therefore talked about newspapers, books, the TV etc.  We made the assumption that each type of media (means of distribution) was a type of content because what it was and how it was published, were locked together.

This assumption breaks down when you look at social media – especially Twitter.  Continue reading

Beware the web1.5 beast

There is a dangerous beast preying on unsuspecting organisations who want to get into social media.  This beast is the web1.5 agency or campaign.  This is a campaign that purports to be a social media campaign, because it uses the tools of social media, but in reality is an old-fashioned, conventional one-to-many mass message approach.

How do you spot these beasts?

First – if it comes from a traditional ad agency, it will almost certainly be a 1.5 approach.  Continue reading