Facebook is BBC 1, Unthink is E4.

2 Nov

Another week, another hastily scripted note advising on the merits of being onboard the latest social media bug.

A rather large media organisation has sent us an email  extolling the virtues of “Unthink”  or the “anti-Facebook” as heralded by The Huffington Post and Techcrunch. Now we’d attempted here at JJ HQ to “login” a while back to the new site and, well the Unthinkable happened. It crashed.

Fantastic news! They’re probably shouting from the bustling hives of Unthink HQ, as no doubt that means their servers are straining at the pressure of the rush-hour traffic driven from the likes of the HP and TC fanbase.

So should we be on the latest , newest, biggest, biggy thing? Undoubtably.

As a content provider we have to jump on everything right? Don’t and you risk missing out.

We’ll never forget just over three years ago when in a meeting with a new “Social Media enterprise” we were told “Twitter is but a passing phase..” Several hundreds of millions of users later, we too wish we were that self same passing phase.

And there’s the fear. The clamour to avoid missing out, the tagline in associating yourself as an “early adopter” means we jump like frenzied beasts on the “next big thing” but in doing so do we risk where we started? Do we lose the content by spreading ourselves too thinly?

Myspace, under the auspices and association with Justin Timberlake returns, rebranded, re-thought, do we roll back over there and dip our toes in? Youtube takes on TV promising new experiences and ultimate happenings, do we up our provision there, opening a channel, taking on conventions of broadcast?

We think the answer is found in the content, and is an undeniable yes, the challenge, to find the best delivery platform for what you are trying to say, for your conversation.

Facebook, Twitter, Unthink, Tout, Audioboo, Foursquare, Myspace, they are to social media what in broadcast terms ITV was to BBC 1, what E4 was to Channel4 and what Sky was to Terrestrial TV. They are platforms to target a different audience, to evolve with technology to embrace that same audience in a different way.

Yes we need to be aware of them, as a digital content company we need to be engaging and using them, but like the advertisers and programmers of the TV world we need to decide where it is best for our content to sit.

As end users we will also decide where we plant our contact time. Are we Facebookers, Tweeters, Unthinkers? Or Gazellers (we made that last one up).

How content is delivered and how it’s consumed will thankfully be an ever changing banquet, a feast we will all continue to gorge on, what matters is that conversation. It’s as old as the grunts between hairy men in a cave, soldiers on the Western Front, Man relaying he’d landed on the moon.  It’s the handshake that matters, how we get there in another 10 years is anyone’s guess.

Check out some of our handshakes this week: The Cabcast , Richard & Judy’s Bookclub Podcast and The BBC Non League Show

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