I snapped this pic with my camera phone this morning, and I thought it to be quite apropos. The writing on the side of that van says “WCCO News 4.” They are a local CBS TV affiliate, and their van has stalled right out in front of their studios. Hoods are up, jumper cables in place. They are trying to jump-start the news [van]. There it sits, on the side of the road, in a tableau fit for the topic at hand today.
Harvard Business School professor John Deighton authored a paper with Canadian entrepreneur Leora Kornfeld titled, “Digital Interactivity: Unanticipated Consequences for Markets, Marketing, and Consumers.” It is an illuminating piece that codifies some of the chatter related to the corporate insertion into the world of social media.
Two things resonated in the paper for me. The first was this, pertaining to the attitude companies must cultivate in order to avoid alienation:
“…If the marketer wants to thrive it has to be by becoming an ally, someone who is welcomed into social or cultural life and is, perhaps, even sought out as someone with cultural capital.”
The second will likely frighten some marketers away:
“…marketing in this paradigm aspires to be an author in the culture of its customers.”
Do yourself a favor and view this quick read: .pdf here.
Todd Mundt, at his blog Converge, points us to an interview with Merlin Mann and America’s Radio Sweetheart & host of “The Sound of Young America” Jesse Thorn. This interview [or segment, one of six] is of interest because Thorn is one of these cats who is young, gets it, and has the faculty to articulate what it means to try to bring technology and content and the users together.
All of this points to the direction we shall point ourselves in: not to be the broken down old media, stalled in front of our office, not to be the media that is still on the road, but to be the media that is traveling in places that people want to see.