Wednesday, March 17, 2010

We don't pass on messages - we share ideas

I've often discussed why traditional advertising can't succeed in social environments.

It comes down to transmission: In social spaces the only way something gets distributed at all is because it is passed from one person who finds it useful/cool to someone else they think will think it useful/cool, too. (image courtesy furiousgeorge81)

So you have to provide messages that can be adapted. Jokes that can be retold in the form people wish to retell them. Unfinished articles. Messy kitchens.

The message you send out isn't how it'll be passed on. It never was anyway. There is more on that in this deck:

But of course what people pass on isn't a message.
"Hey Joe! Come on over here. I've got this great message to tell you!"
That is advertising. That is broadcast. It lacks the human touch.

No, what we actually do is pass on ideas, not messages.

So, what's the idea you want to share, that others can adapt, embrace, contribute to, share?
"Hey Joe! Come on over here. I've got a great idea I want to share!"
That is human. And being human is a bit of a bonus when you want to communicate with other humans.

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?