Just plain ‘social’

I saw this referenced in a LinkedIn group:

Study: Amateur User-Generated Video Held Attention Faster and Stronger Than Professional Video commpro.biz

As a ‘pro’, I was alarmed.  I read the earnestly written article and began to feel a bit like Jeff Daniels in those amazing first 15 minutes of News Room.  (OK, I’m not supposed to consider myself Sorkin level, but… how bout a cross between Sorkin and Sederis, taken down a notch?)

I posted the following hastily written comment:

Is it me or is there an overabundance of articles and posts that encourage us to throw out the conventional wisdom that’s been ruling the business world for 10, 20, 30 years and go for the social media equivalent of the lowest common denominator?  You don’t need to talk to someone to actually sell something these days. People will trust you with a tweet. You don’t have to spend money on a professional agency for your video, you can have your friend with his new HD camera that took those cool pictures at Disney help you create the hilarious, next-hit-on-youtube – video that’ll have them reading your blog in no time.

Well, I’m sorry. I’m skeptical. Sure, social media as part of the mix and ‘authenticity’ while shouting in public spaces are important, but at what point do we start to look at just plain ‘social’? And when do we remember that they call it production ‘value’ for a reason? If it looks cheap, it is. Sorry, but I’d like to see the two videos, as well as a multi-video comparison of the kind of videos a pro creative production team has delivered against the user-generated stuff, and then know the intended audiences. I mean, sure, I’d probably buy crayons from a cool teenager if I were five, but…

OK, so I cleaned up the text a little.   It was a rant, sure.

But, this and so many ‘studies’ look suspect to me and point to a cottage industry of ‘do-it-yourself’, self-proclaimed ‘experts’ online.   This so called ‘study’ was questioned by other media professionals as well. In fact, the discussion exposed me to an astute experienced DP in the Tampa area who let me joins his group where these kinds of self-promoting, ‘bogus’ studies are banned.  EFP Video Productions Workshop | LinkedIn

Lesson learned: more than ever, we have to be discerning.   But I’ve had another train of thought:  is there a place for the media-skeptical, socially old-fashioned person in the new mobile-enabled world?  It’s obvious that there needs to be a mix.  Generation We is a fantastic concept and I embrace it:  Rewriting the playbook for “Generation We” – Digital Age of Marketing

But, as alluded to above, let’s not forget the ‘social’.  This generation ‘we’ can’t be inside or plugged in all the time, or then it becomes Generation ‘Those Guys’ Who Stay Inside All Day’  – Generation IAD?

This past weekend, I befriended a boater who was being harassed by a local derelict (that’s a kind word).  I wanted to make sure he was OK and to know that New London really isn’t ‘that way’.  Sure we have our homeless but they’re generally pretty cool and we always have cops on bikes.  ‘I walk my dog here all the time’.  A real ambassador of my city I am.  As it turned out, we had a great chat later and he’s very interested in New London.  Has loved being one of the few boaters coming into New London’s downtown waterfront over the years, and he teaches Urban Studies at Columbia.  He’s sees ‘something happening’ in New London.  He gave me his business card and I told him I’d call him.

We exchanged some email, had lunch a couple days later with a friend I thought he’d appreciate (he did – in fact is talking to him about local real estate investments), and we enjoyed world-class Kareoke that night at my favorite neighborbhood latin place, Mambo.

I believe we’ve established a relationship that will strengthen based on shared appreciation for areas such as ‘aging issues‘, ‘latin music‘ and ‘urban development’.  He’s married to a politically connected woman, lives in a cool Brooklyn neighborhood…  Not just a Facebook friend, a friend friend.  And it was all social.  No media involved – except email and a couple texts – we weren’t that old school.

So that’s the easy argument – the social needs to be a mix of online and ‘real life’.  But now, how do we use the ‘social media’ to make the most of our meeting, and perhaps turn that into some kind of commerce for our businesses to keep the whole philanthropic vibe going?   To help create Smarter Cities?  And ultimately a smarter planet?

Now there’s a question for the interns!