Friday, November 2

Tagging Snackers: Conversation Agent

When Jeremiah Owyang, senior analyst for Forrester Research, presented Media Snackers, I didn’t give it much thought. I don’t believe it’s new. Like much of social media, it’s an old concept, repackaged under the premise that new media has changed everything.

Social media has changed the world; communication, not so much.

The general concept of MediaSnackers is sound, except as Owyang pointed out, it's not just young people — everyone is consuming, creating, and sharing media differently because they can access whatever, whenever, and wherever. Or, as I’ve said, passive viewers have become active consumers.

Six things that social media is changing:

• Speed of delivery
• Locality of contact
• Size of audience
• Depth of content
• Number of voices
• Degree of engagement

Six things that social media isn’t changing:

• Cognitive thinking
• Appeal of authenticity
• Varied behavioral styles
• Emotion-driven decisions
• Justifying decisions with logic
• Tendency toward organization

Social media is neither an opportunity nor a threat; it's both.

Valeria Maltoni, Conversation Agent, who tagged me with this topic task, used the movie Sliding Doors as a great analogy, noting that most companies size up social media as an opportunity or a thread. (That’s funny.)

It’s neither and both. That’s the beauty of social media. Much like life, you will find what you seek out. And much like life, you ignore it at your own peril.

Do I change my communication to cater to media snackers?

I don’t. Not really. I don’t believe effective communication begins with a medium. It begins with a deep appreciation of communication, which starts by recognizing that varied people have varied behaviors and respond to communication differently. The best communication makes sense to anyone even if it changes no one.

Social media has not changed this. However, for meme purposes, here are few tactics that media snackers might appreciate (no order):

• Employing Twitter, networks, and aggregates like snack shelves
• Finding key information from multiple sources and noting patterns
• Bolding critical information, points, quotes, or adding subheads
• Allowing readers to determine their own depth of interest
• Engaging people in comments, allowing them to share input
• Mixing and matching styles, stories, and analogies for fun
• Hiding full-course meals in many of these daily media snacks
• Serving up honesty and authenticity, even if it means telling people I like that they have mustard on their chins (and asking people to do the same for me)

So what do I think about social media snackers? I think that they are yummy. But then again, I like everybody, which is while I’ll tag: John Sumser, Jeremy Pepper, Doug Meacham, Lee Odden, and Steven Silvers for their take on social media snacks.

(Thanks to Kami Huyse, who published a list of contributors today.)



Rich on 11/2/07, 4:48 PM said...

More words:

"I have come across quite a lot of blogs that drive me away from them. Having said so, I mean, things in the blog that distract me to the extent, that I at times leave the blog without reading or not staying at it more than 5 seconds." — Meghamathur, who started an interesting conversation at BlogCatalog about what bloggers do not like.

Valeria Maltoni on 11/2/07, 4:52 PM said...

Bravo, Rich. In the spirit of a true communicator, you separate the tool from the intent. I wish more people considered that social media or new media is really based on solid communications principles that are in turn based upon how people relate to each other using verbal communication.

The more I read here, the more I learn. Thank you!

Geoff_Livingston on 11/2/07, 6:51 PM said...

Mmmm, tasty.

Sweet Tea on 11/2/07, 8:38 PM said...

Excellent post. Thanks. I learn something new every day here.

DK on 11/3/07, 3:49 AM said...

Thanks for adding your take on the MediaSnackers meme... just added you to the growing list:


MediaSnackers Meme

Rich on 11/3/07, 3:17 PM said...

Thanks Valeria,

That is some compliment. I can easily say the same of yours. And for me, that is the best part of social media.

Geoff, Jane, and DK ... thank you. And keep up the good work DK. I was surprised by the value.

All my best,


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