Wednesday, August 05, 2009

"It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem." G.K. Chesterton

"By definition, risk-takers often fail. So do morons. In practice it's difficult to sort them out." Scott Adams

"Competitive strategy is about being different. It means deliberately choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of values." Michael Porter

Today's image: To Miss You by michelleBlack. Beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.

Today, more lessons learned from the ongoing development, presentation, discussion and refinement of my social media brief.

"If the news is that important, it will find me."

Those are the oft quoted words of an unknown college student. The student threw out that insightful gem while participating in a focus group conducted by researcher Jane Buckingham. The quotation itself became widely known thanks, in large measure, to an article by Timesman Brian Stelter (Finding Political News Online, the Young Pass It On, NYT 3/27/08)

The attitude, the expectation, inherent in that quotation signals a significant shift in relationships and responsibilities. What is really at work here represents a profound sea change in media behaviors. The definitions, patterns and rule sets of consumption are in various stages of transition or disruption as some have suggested.

As a practical matter, consumption (the economic activity of purchase) is being redefined. My sense is we are moving from generations of media built on businesses premised on attraction (i.e., importing readers, listeners and viewers) to a wholly new generation of media, a nascent mediascape, in which business models are fundamentally different. Success is a moving target predicated on issues of multi-channel distribution (exporting). A world of one-to-many is adding another layer or two, new constructs, many-to-one and many-to-many and all the while one-to-one connecting is experiencing nothing less than a renaissance. Thank you, Facebook.

Import + Export

It is still important but no longer good enough for a successful media company to simply attract readers, listeners and viewers to a single specific newspaper, radio/TV station, cable channel or web site. The concept of reach, critical to the measured media enterprise, is moving beyond a single definition, it's embracing multiple interpretations. It's a new and different game; like going from the 2D chess we know and understand to that 3D chess of Star Trek. From readers, listeners and viewers reaching for our content to an audience also being reached by our content. Continuing to invite and direct attention to our place while also working to become a part of their places. Now in play...a new sense of place. Moreover, recent anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that while consumers are continuing to elect one or more traditional channels (soliloquies) they are adding to their media mix, they are participating (if only by observation) in one or more related conversations.

The entire notion of how consumer media transactions are conducted is changing. Dan Gillmor first referred to consumers as, "the people formerly known as the audience." Increasingly, these folks are in the game. What makes this difficult for some to grok is the so-called old media are not just going away. The new media, the emerging forms, are additive and sometimes appear to be the old media in the throes of some evolutionary process. Print = text, radio = audio, TV = video. The biggest issue for media managers is one of legacy, it's a matter of an accepted tradition of control. Jeff Jarvis, a former dead tree exec turned digital evangelist, has proffered a law, to wit: "Give the people control of media, they will use it. The corollary: Don’t give the people control of media, and you will lose. Whenever citizens can exercise control, they will." (Read more: The People Formerly Known as the Audience by Jay Rosen. June 2006)

For decades research was tasked with measuring media (s)elections, preferences of consumption after the fact. What ad did you notice? What station did you listen to? What program did you watch? As we move deeper into the new reality, the brave new world of hyper-connected real-time, the heads-up display, the dashboard, trumps looking in the rear view mirror.

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."
R. Buckminster Fuller

Going forward, the significant matters that deserve the considered attention of media management include mobile (the new black) and ensuring that all assets are...



Ready to share

Next time: Why Tribune made a very smart move in changing their SEO's supervisor from the CTO to the COO. Plus, my thesis of Ready to share benefits from a practical illustration in the Hugh MacLeod concept of Sociality.

Bonus: Quotetrain #1 The new normal is that we expect businesses to listen to us. The companies that don’t are now perceived as Dinosaurs. - David Weinberger.

Spinning in the Grave. The three biggest reasons music magazines are dying. Jonah Weiner writes all about it in Slate, here.

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