And now that we're into the third month of 2011, it's time to start the prognosticating once again, led by none other than the New York Times. Of course, it's not the platform that's under scrutiny as much as the users, the younger contingent of which are simply too unfocused and undisciplined to be able to focus on long-form content. We recently covered something of this when we discussed the changes in Facebook's messaging system and its lack of subject line.
Another way to look at this is to separate the message from the medium, as Om Malik does on GigaOm. His contention is that it's the content that matters, and the platforms are simply the ways we connect with each other. But Malik won't have us count blogging out - there's still plenty of room left for long-form content.
Julie Roehm parses out the numbers from the Pew Internet and American Life study that were mentioned in the New York Times article, finding that there's a great disparity in how different generations consume content and that the older we get, the more likely we are to spend time on longer form content.
Where will this lead us? Are we doomed to sound bites, tweets and trite self-absorbed updates for the foreseeable future? Do we need to force-fit blogs to become more snack-sized as we Tumblrize the world?
For the marketers among us, we need to be prepared for all eventualities in this scenario. Which means the need to cater to the attention-starved while still supporting more in-depth content that conveys a deeper meaning with more context. For example, this would mean creating catchy headlines and could entice views of blog posts or videos. It would also mean creating shareable and embeddable pieces of content within those other formats - content that can live on its own and effectively convey your message.
The bottom line is that as content creators, we face more choices than ever in how we need to convey our stories. Consumers' preferences are more fickle than ever, so we need to prepare for their changing tastes while unraveling the Gordian Knot of how to engage them more fully.
March 3, 2011
[Editor's note: I originally prepared this post before Charlie Sheen got on Twitter. I guess we don't have to wait any more - the real stuff is heads and shoulders above anything I could have come up with on my own.]
In the spirit of that, I jotted down a few thoughts on the plane back from Europe yesterday, blissfully unaware of the goings-on at the time.
What would @CharlieSheen tweet?
10. I need more roles like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRbzZG_JxYY
9. My publicist must like Apocalypse Now too. I just heard him say "The horror! The horror!"
8. Chuck Norris is such a wuss. #tigerblood
7. You know that virulent bacteria strain at the Playboy Mansion? Guilty.
6. @Gaddafi, you need to more #winning. Follow me for lessons in public image.
5. The only drug I'm on is cocaineporn stars Charlie Sheen.
4. Those aren't porn stars. They're libido management specialists.
3. Hey Dior, I'm available as a spokesperson.
2. @EmilioEstevez You don't have any Mighty Ducks sequels I could appear in, do you?
1. I've been sober since noon.
Sheen's ascent on Twitter has been getting some headlines lately, including a Guinness World Record for "Fastest Time to Reach 1 Million Followers." With his recent barrage of surprise press appearances - which caused his publicist to resign - he is clearly taking the tactic of bringing his message directly to the public.
Is this a dangerous practice for someone whose stability is questionable? What role does or should a public relations effort play with such a volatile client who is annexing social media platforms to get his message out? Are there wider lessons for clients in crisis mode?
And just for fun: what other outrageous statements do you think we'll see from @CharlieSheen? Please leave a comment below.
At Ford, Scott heads up the social media function and holds the title Global Digital &
Multimedia Communications Manager. He is a strategic advisor on all social media activities across the company, from blogger
relations to marketing support, customer service to internal communications and more, as social media is being integrated into many
facets of Ford business.
Prior to joining Ford, Scott served as Consigliere for crayon
and spent a number of years with PJA Advertising + Marketing, a
boutique BtoB agency specializing in health sciences & high tech.
In addition to his professional responsibilities, Scott is an active blogger and podcaster. He writes about the intersection of
advertising, marketing and PR at The Social Media Marketing Blog and
also writes The Baker Street Blog and cohosts I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere, two literary undertakings. Scott
has been featured in hundreds of news and business publications in print and on the web, in nearly dozens of books, and on a variety of
mainstream media, including NBC, NPR, CNN and The Wall Street Journal. Scott is a recognized thought leader in the social media industry and
frequently speaks at industry events.
Scott received his Master's in Medical Science from Boston University's School of Medicine concurrently with his MBA from BU's
Graduate School of Management. He lives in the greater Detroit area with his wife and two young sons, golfs all too infrequently, and
has a hidden talent for voice over work.
Scott speaks on social media at events, seminars and conferences around the world. His topic generally focuses on corporate use of social media, becoming an online spokesperson, and specifically on the progress that Ford has made in the recent past. If you're interested in booking Scott to speak at your event, please click here to submit a speaking request for Ford-related purposes or email me at speaking [AT] this site's URL (if you know what I mean) to send a general email request.. Scott's bio and headshot can be found in the "About Scott" tab above.
I'm Scott. I'm the global head of social media for Ford Motor Company. This is my personal blog, where I share my perspectives on social media - the convergence of marketing, advertising and PR on the Web - for marketers, agencies, the enterprise and the individual. This blog contains my personal views. My bio is available here and my headshots can be found here.