The simplest and most important insight I can offer to those interested in understanding the current "social media revolution" is that it is NOT a revolution in advertising, marketing or media. It is a SOCIAL revolution enabled by technology. This is a subtle difference in framing but it is an important one.
In my 2006 series of posts on social media I stressed the importance of putting people and bahavioral insight at the center of any framework that seeks to understand what is happening in these areas. In What Are We Talking About? I discouraged the use of the terms "Consumer Generated Content" and "Consumer Generated Media". The use of these terms by people in marketing and advertising to describe technologically enabled human interactions is assumptive and stupid. Most social media interactions don't involve marketers and are not monetized. If no money is exchanging hands who the hell are they calling consumer? They talk as if they have a place in this world. They don't, and this is precisely the dilemma that these industries face.
Starwberryfrog's Scott Goodson on CNN recently said "The advertising industry is going through a huge revolution right now and the internet is behind it". This reveals the same flawed framing and assumptiveness.
Are the energy and transportation industries going through a revolution? No, they are in crisis, as is advertising, marketing and media. The use of the word "revolution" makes a claim to the glory that belongs to and is in the hands of "the people".
Scott, along with everyone else in those industries have thus far been locked out of the revolution. "The people" are partying their revolutionary asses off on the other side of the wall those industries are facing, completely oblivious to the crisis on the other side.
Guess what else? Your client's brands are in there with them and so far, it's looking like you can't do a damn thing about it.
In the next post in this series I will provide up a proper and accurate way to frame the technological and social disruptions that are taking place. After that I will give up some ideas on getting invited to the party and over the wall. Right now, I'm gonna go running in Central Park. After that I might go eat some hot dogs, not sure yet, but it's a beautiful day out there.
Viva La Revolución!!!!