I’ve gone on several rants lately on WeatherBrains about putting our content on Facebook and Twitter. My comments can easily be misunderstood to mean that I don’t think we should be on those platforms. Actually, in a way I don’t, but that is where the people are and if we want their attention we need to be where they are.
My biggest complaint, however, is how our industry, one of the most influential and powerful in the world, has let the current situation evolve without any input. Twitter launched in 2006, Facebook in 2004. The idea of serving users certainly pre-dates these services. But, stations sat, and watched, until, for the early adopters, some sort of perceived critical mass was reached, or, everyone else was doing it.
Read the latest essay from Terry Heaton. He writes about social media and the developing “second screen” experiences. One of the most interesting quotes is…
“I’m an even bigger supporter of local media companies playing offense in this changing and chaotic world.”
The key word is “offense”.
Most of the essay is about social media and the developing “second screen” experience. Take particular note of his discussion of the “attention” of the users. He makes a compelling argument that these experiences, while popular at the moment, are really taking the attention of the user away from the one paying the bills, the advertiser.
I’ve started a few small businesses over the years and one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that you can provide the best service or product in the world, but if the guy your are invoicing isn’t interested in paying, you’re dead.
So, what is the point? The “new media” pundits I listen to call for “leaders” not “managers”. Managers tack things on to other people’s products (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, second screens) and hope for the best. Leaders create those things that managers tack on to. The best way to forecast the future? Create it.