The business world is adapting to a new advertising, marketing, and promotion paradigm. It is a spillway of strange, slippery rules and practices that defy logic, experience and what we have always called "Common Sense". We are in a new world where ideation and its propagation is a function of new forces, principles, and practices.
The genesis of this paradigm followed, a year or two behind, the genesis and evolution of social media. Its driving force is speed, and if it had an associated superhero, it would be The Flash. The time-honored marketing tools used in the conventional paradigm are useless, or even counterproductive in this new paradigm of instantaneous media awareness. They would be laughable, except for the tragedy which their uselessness brings with them: - the unraveling of all conventional media empires, properties, and families, which will ignite great turmoil throughout the business world
To illuminate the disparities between the old and new paradigms, let's look at an example in the “news” arena.
Conventional news media (television. newspapers, radio, signage, etc) requires time for the acquisition of content, editing, setup, and prep for broadcast or publishing, etc. This time requirement can stretch into hours, and sometimes, days.
In Social Media, posts are instantly available and nearly everything can be considered news: a fortuitous video of a dramatic event, an announcement by someone that they are getting married or divorced, or a public spat between two or more major influencers. Conventional news outlets have adapted well enough to scour social media trends and major Social Media sources and re-package them. The results of the repackaging, however, have created a sort of caricature of the news which is uncomfortable to watch and chillingly suggestive if its own demise.
For example: the blizzard in the US this past weekend occupied much of the News. A single 10-minute segment on Fox, representative of every outlet, consisted of a homemade video of a traffic accident, a few seconds long. It was of course sourced from social media. Parts of the short video were replayed as many as five times while two different reporters described the contents of the video as if the viewers were blind and could not see for themselves. Because of the time required for setup and broadcast, this tiny video had to stretch itself out to almost ten minutes. This, unfortunately, is the norm in conventional media news. And it can be no other way since conventional news is now largely secondhand news.
Anyone who spends substantial time on social media cannot help being aware of new or newsworthy events as soon as they log on. Notifications, posts from friends, etc. invariably inform the user within seconds about anything of interest. If the user wants to dig deeper it requires only a few clicks or searches to dig in. Contrast this with the TV watcher who is at the mercy if the outlet in terms of what he/she is allowed to peruse. And this is the crux of the matter: who controls the media experience?
Obviously, a subject's media experience is more satisfying and useful if the subject has the ability to choose which threads to follow or which tangents and exits to select. This ability leads to a deeper, more meaningful experience which enlarges the user's knowledge and expands their awareness. Those people not well connected to social media and who must rely on conventional media are largely frustrated by wanting to dig deeper into this or that but are constrained by the whims of conventional media.
There is no way that conventional media can bridge this chasm. Time is the constraint, and speed is on the side of social media.
John McAfee can be found on Twitter @officialmcafee