Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
June 29, 200910:30 PM

Giving Something A Fighting Chance

Blogging is dead. Twitter is dead. MySpace is dead. Podcasting is dead. Dead is dead.

Let's trot out the "fill-in-the-blank is dead" horse and beat it one last time, shall we? Whether we're dumping MySpace for Facebook, Twitter for FriendFeed, Habbo Hotel for Club Penguin, or everything for Lifestreaming, we should all be able to step-away from and recognize that the mass population does not have a fighting chance anymore. We're taking it away from them. Our constant and consistent infatuation with the latest (and greatest) shiny object in a world where these objects are being created and popularized on the fly is going to cause so much confusion that we may start seeing people recoil simply because they can't keep pace and they are (rightfully) confused.

Is this Digital Darwinism at its finest?

Some might rightfully argue that the speed of change and rapid developments in technology are only going to increase and those that can't keep up (or keep ahead) are going to be left behind. It's fair to say that when you're on the bleeding edge, but there is a more practical and rational opportunity here. Marketers might be best served in helping their clients and partners understand that it's not about which platform is the newest, but rather which platforms will drive the overall business strategy furthest.

For some, the latest and greatest does this.

But, for most, it doesn't. Yes, we now have the ability to lifestream brands out to the world. From short and long copy to images, audio and video, everything is easy to produce, quick to publish and simple to maintain, but it's not for everybody. Don't believe me? Check out the article, Forget Twitter; Your Best Marketing Tool Is the Humble Product Review, from Ad Age today:

"…marketers are learning to listen. And for all the ink spilled on the importance of Twitter and Facebook as feedback and customer-service channels, there's another social-media tool marketers are increasingly finding useful, not just as an online-shopping tool but as an internal, culturally changing consumer-criticism channel: the humble product review. The feedback is altering not just how the marketing department works but also how companies design their products and work with suppliers. And it's not limited to small, nimble players; companies using product reviews range from niche retailers such as Oriental Trading Co. to big, broad-based behemoths such as Walmart."

While the main crux of the article focuses on the power of peer reviews (a topic near and dear to my heart), it forces Marketers to realize that sometimes, it is the simple things that can take you furthest (asking for, publishing and responding to real people's feedback) and sometimes those things may not be the media darlings du jour.

To really take advantage of all of the new platforms and channels to communicate, we're going to have to get better at understanding what they truly are (and what they represent to our consumers) before jumping ship to whatever next just showed up in our Web browser. To do that, we have to let these platforms mature over time and prove themselves.

Are we there yet?

Maybe we need to give things more of a fighting chance?

By Mitch Joel