I used to love newspapers. I subscribed and read. Not cover to cover, but pretty extensively. Several papers. Now I don’t read any. I cancelled the WSJ over a year ago. I let my weekend subscription to the NYTimes lapse over 6 months ago. I plan not to renew with The Economist when my subscription’s up.
There is something about the physical bulk of printed papers and mags that grosses me out. In the information age, info is ubiquitous ─ why would I want such a huge portion, assembled by someone whose taste and interests don’t necessarily mirror mine ─ hoisted on me each day or each week? I am a smart person who quite enjoys creating my own survey of the day’s stories. I pull stories off the web. I make my own media.
What’s interesting to me is how quickly this turn came. In the span of a year, newspapers became relics to me. When I see people holding and reading them I think, “how old-fashioned.” I also get a kick out of television schedules. There are almost no shows that I watch during their original broadcast times. Almost everything’s on my DVR. Lately, I wonder if I even need my super expensive cable subscription considering the fact that I can get the DVDs from Netflix and watch shows online. Also, I almost never go to the movies anymore since I have a sweet HDTV.
These changes have been coming for a while now. I remember talking about them and studying them when i was in grad school 10 years ago. Now i see them up close every day. TV ratings are going down down down. People are actually watching more television, but there are way more choices so the audiences are breaking up. The live in-person factor is becoming more interesting and important, in my estimation. People want to go in person to stuff and feel a part of something. For example, I belong to this organization called Gen Art that hosts exhibits and events. A pal and I went to see a Be Kind Rewind screening a few months ago. Our decision to attend was not just about the film … it was about seeing the film with other interesting people and then having an event to mix at afterwards (it was so crowded we left in under half an hour, but the intent was there …).
communications today – things that matter a lot (think obama)
1) public speaking … gotta get out there and engage. gotta show people you know what you’re talking about. have to connect with people. leave that ivory tower. you tube videos make your message mobile and omnipresent. the living breathing connection is important as hell.
2) good web sites …that cater to audience, make it easy. give them what they want. puts them in control.
3) 360 experience ─ give people a way to participate in person. whether it’s a concert, a fair or tool. being there, being a meaningful part of the process is important. it’s how we feel connected.
communications today – 2 things that matter a lot less (think hillary)
1) getting hits in mass media … the power of each medium is declining so the value of those individual hits is declining too. you’re better off targeting the exact people who may want to hear from you. you may be able to do that by combining platforms. it’s hard, but not impossible.
2) The declining importance of protocol. internet and digital democratizes everything … you can, and should, go as direct to your audience as possible. Forget the intermediaries. But understand that it’s a two-way street. they are telling you as much as you are telling them.