Images like this make me laugh. Basically, this is explaining how information flows through social media sites, and it accidentally highlights what I think are two core problems that come up time and again when talking to “Social Media Gurus”:
A lack of understanding of the changing nature of the landscape. 2 years ago, this chart would have included MySpace (at least if it was drawn in the UK). 18 months ago you might have seen Reddit rather than StumbledUpon. The internet changes so rapidly that any explanation of how information is passed on that relies on specific sites will be out of date before it can be of any use.
A failure to document or include the creative process. Point one is pretty inconsequential next to this. That little box at the top that says “Content Created” simply has two arrows that point down to Twitter and Digg, as if any content anyone creates simply immediately hits the Digg homepage, or immediately gets thousands of retweets. Only content that is genuinely interesting will see this effect happening. It’s hard creating content like this. But then it always has been.
What this diagram does is try to explain the virtual water cooler, but the trick has always been to create content that people want to talk about round the water cooler to begin with. The requirement for a brilliant creative idea hasn’t changed.
It seems to me that some people think that “social media” removes the need for creative ideas; like somehow the sheer modernity of the internet will turn whatever content you produce into something that everyone will look at.
The truth is that because people now have so many things that they can spend their attention on, the need for brilliant creative ideas is more important than ever. This is what will create the content that people will talk about, whether they’re online OR offline.
I think I might like these spam comments more than real ones. All of these are totally unedited (except to remove the links that they point to. That would be silly).
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So, for a couple of odd reasons, I ended up watching a repeat on ITV about the Brit Awards, and their vote for the favourite guest act of all time. Imagine my surprise when they got onto Jacko’s Earth Song. This was, if you recall, the song where a drunk Jarvis Cocker proved he was more than just a beanpole singer with a regional accent by climbing onstage and mooning the crowd, to mock the sheer pomposity of Jackson’s performance (which you may remember seemed to portray Jacko, every child’s favourite sleep-over guest, as a little bit too much like Jesus for most people’s tastes).
Now, I know this because I watched it on TV. I wasn’t there. I wasn’t in the crowd. I was home, watching it on TV. How surprising then when Mel B announced that Cocker’s stage invasion would have to remain the preserve of the people who were there to see it, as no footage existed of the alleged incident. Eh? I know the footage exists, I’ve seen it.
So, is this some sort of conspiracy by ITV to hide the shameful past of the Brits? They seemed quite happy to feature Brandon Block. Perhaps 30 Rock is right, and The Black Crusaders are pressurising ITV into editing out history. Who knows, but Cocker’s stage invasion would have been my number one moment of Brits history, if only it existed.
So in its place, I have to nominate The KLF for best performance at The Brits. Surely a no-brainer: in 1992,The KLF take to the stage to perform 3am Eternal with their friends Extreme Noise Terror. What resulted is, to me, a classic Brits performance and far better than the saccharine bullshit of Take That’s Beatles Medley. In fact, if you look closely you can see Bill Drummond fire a machine gun into the crowd (about 2.30 in). Awesome.