Published on December 9, 2008
the interwebs OR How I learned to stop worrying about my job by Clay Parker Jones
What are we going to cover? Social Media (Community + Identity) Design for the Web (Reimagining Sites) Good Ideas (Content, Usefulness + Usability)
You already understand social media. Here’s why.
People Communicatin’ Online “Social Media”
People 1. We’re in advertising. That means we should know (and understand) people, right? 2. Identities are formed online, too. People’s choices in the real world help deﬁne their identity, and the same thing goes on the web. 3. A voice on the other end. Don’t forget that technology doesn’t drive the web. People do.
Communicating 1. Staying up. People are using the web primarily to keep in contact with friends (78%, at least) 2. Ambient Connectivity. Stay in contact when you want to be in contact, and never when you don’t ...sounds like a good context for brands, yes? 3. Sharing. It’s more than just talking to each other. It’s about sharing, collaborating, and having fun.
Online 1. Searchable. Google indexes almost everything. 2. Permanent. Or at least damn near it. 3. Real. Especially for digital natives, there’s no distinction between physical and digital lives. 4. Easy. Seriously, it’s easy. My mom is 62 and she does it without much help.
What does a good website look like?
- Eric Burke
Websites are products. We should treat them as such. (Pretty isn’t everything, but it does help.)
Design for connectivity. Don’t rebuild. Reuse. (Someone already built it better)
Okay, so what should we do?
Flickr CNN Which one gets more traffic?
We should probably look into the whole community thing, yes? Daily Reach, % 2.50 1.88 1.25 0.63 August 0 September October November December Flickr CNN.com
There may be a problem with all this fun tech stuff, though. “ Things don’t get socially interesting until they are technologically boring.” - Clay Shirky
Great content wins every time. Heck, people even pay for it. You know ... books, music, movies, etc.
great content: Not that easy to make. Something like 90% of blogs are dead, unused by their creators. Keeping up with demand ain’t easy. Think of it this way: could you write a best-seller? I know I can’t. But the brands we work with have the opportunity to at least come close.
great experiences: A lot easier to create. Build a great experience ﬁrst and then allow people to help you make great content. Youtube is a good example. Wikipedia is an even better one.
community-building: People want to have a relationship with you. This world is based on relationships. And wouldn’t you believe it? People seem to be OK with online relationships with brands. Why? Because on the web, the user controls the relationship.
step 1: Try it. Yes, just go try it. It’s really simple. You’ll get it after a few days, I guarantee it.
step 2: Stop thinking about this as a reach vehicle. We’re working on the reach thing. For now, people don’t look at banners, and we know they don’t click on them. But we can do engagement really, really well. So let’s stick to that.
step 3: Get people to do something. When you write a brief, don’t think about messaging. Think about activity. Think about excitement. When you think about a web experience, don’t think ﬂashy and perfect. Think big, or think little. Think about commitments instead of campaigns.
That’s it. Hope you liked it. Clay Parker Jones exitcreative.net/blog @exitcreative
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