Thought I’d share some of the ideas that’s been inspiring me the last couple of days. I’ve added some context to each quote so to show why and/or how I find them valuable and important.
As always, most slides are available under CC-license on flickr.
- Update: Please add your voice to the stream and name your favorite idea/quote, and why, as a comment at the end of the post. Thank you.
1. “The inescapable conclusion is that anyone who thinks advertising is the key to sustainable online businesses in any field other than search should think again” – John Naughton
Context: The business and marketing opportunity online is enormous, but only a small niche of it is related to the traditional advertising currency. We need to unlearn the idea that online is universally a media channel, and start looking for real life currency.
2: “ComScore also concluded that a hard core of 8% of all internet users – christened “Natural Born Clickers” – are responsible for 85% of all banner clicks on the web.” – John Naughton
Context: The current prevailing business model for online media is no longer sustainable. I have previously pointed to both the external and internal challenges to the online display advertising format. None of this is news to media companies struggling to survive 09 and 10. But it only proves that we re running out of time, and that the next business model is not an incremental makeover of the current format, but that we need new ideas through disruptive change.
3: “A customer is a novel and stable pattern of human behavior.” -Marketing, Innovation and the Creation of Customers
Context: People are not demographics, and talking about them as if they are makes communicating with them seem much simpler and different than it is. Slapping on an algorithm online does not make your advertising work. It might incrementally increase the effectiveness of it, but still: The ability of a display advert to communicate with an inherently complex human being at any given time is impossible for an algorithm improve. It comes down to this: Demographics hides the real value and effect of the communication – and our measuring models continues to support this model for the worst for companies and customers
4: “The extension of online computer services to all individual in the form of mass information utilities may radically alter society as we understand it today. (1971) - Mass Information Utilities and Social Excellence by Harold Sackman
Context: We knew this almost 40 years ago, why did we forget it? Why did marketing overly focus on digital as a media channel, rather than a set of opportunities for integrating better experiences with the product?
5: “The next phase of media, I’ve been thinking, will be after the page and after the site. Media can’t expect us to go to it all the time. Media has to come to us. Media must insinuate itself into our streams.” - Jeff Jarvis
Context: The removal of destinations and increased attention to streams are increasing. This point is also enforced by amongst others Boyd and Jenkins. The idea of streams is more related to Shirky’s idea of journalism, rather than Murdoch’s business model approach. I reckon both will succeed, as opportunity for the niches seem to be the mantra of the web (long tail = stop looking for universals).
6: “My mind now expects to take in information the way the net distributes it: in a swift-moving stream of particles.” – “the narrative does not simply transmit information, but invites the reader or listener to witness the unfolding of events.” – Ben Macintyre, The internet is killing storytelling
Context: Both the idea of “stream of particles” and “witness the unfolding events” give a clear notion of the abilities of storytelling on connected and participatory platforms. Finally we are starting to see the potential rather than exploiting the interweb as nothing more than a distribution platform for existing stories built for static and traditional platforms.
7: Transmedia describes a new approach to telling stories given:
- 1. The growth of “participatory” media, like blogs.
2. An explosion of new devices that allow you to both consume and produce media socially.
3. the persistence of “old media”.
Context: Transmedia introduces ideas concerning far more than mere storytelling. It seems to represent the whole notion of how we communicate to each other through connected platforms. In other words: transmedia serves a mirror of our connected lives.
8: “Brands must understand that people have their own personal brands and are not willing to associate with anything lame.” Ajaz Ahmed, co-founder and chairman of AKQA
Context: A wonderful description by Ajaz. We are what we share (as I think Jenkins suggested?). How does your marketing help people tell their friends who they are?
9: “I mean, people spend maybe ten or twenty hours with one of my books. They spend thousands of hours in a gaming universe, and moving through it with a level of awareness and expectation for novelty that people used to approach, say, James Joyce.” – Douglas Rushkoff
Context: Douglas Rushkoff ads yet another voice to the notion that connected and participatory platforms are your best arenas for growing premium participants and customers. As I’ve quoted Kevin Slavin of Area/Code a number of times: “People will watch a tv program once, maybe twice, but you they will play chess a hundred or maybe a thousand times”.
10: “The traffic which comes in from Google brings a consumer who more often than not read one article and then leaves the site. That is the least valuable of traffic to us… the economic impact is not as great as you might think. You can survive without it,” - Rupert Murdoch
Context: I believe that the Internet is the landscape for the niches. And even if News Corp to no extent can be identified as a niche, there is true logic in what Newscorp is doing. The question is not if this will work or not, but rather why it might work. Lets spend our energy exploring this idea, and we will come out less as “free”-idealists, and more as believers in niches.