Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
January 24, 2012 4:38 PM

Does This Blog Make Me Look Fat?

Is it just a question of getting the facts straight when it comes to our media?

What Blogging brought forth is the notion that opinion lies neatly next to news (and that it is sometimes very difficult to tell the difference between the two). In fact, it's worth arguing that opinion is the new news. Without looking at the political sphere for examples (you get more than enough of that here on The Huffington Post and on other websites, news outlets and Blogs),what does it take create great media?

The heart of the matter.

Emotion is key to driving interest. Human beings are creatures of habits. We like being able to see the actual people who are creating our media and being able to shake their hand. In digital terms, the handshake happens by following them on Twitter and Facebook, or by checking out their LinkedIn profile and seeing if there's any videos of them on YouTube. These online social networking channels not only provide a way to connect more directly with the people who are creating the media, but they also provide a level of social proofing. While these things can be gamed, what we're seeing is a new media landscape that is less driven by facts and realities and much more driven by following those whose opinions are either like yours or share in a similar value system. Imagine that, with all of these new media channels, perhaps our perspectives are becoming that much more narrower.

Does this Blog make me look fat?

It also come from the presentation. This goes well beyond proper grammar and spelling and spills into everything from the way the text, images, audio and video stream from the screen. It has to "look good" (and yes, looking good is about as arbitrary as anything these days). Face it, you've fallen for a Blog post here or there that wasn't exactly Pulitzer material simply because it not only looked good, but was presented in a way that way pleasing to the eye. Don't believe me? The ascent in popularity of infographics has given rise to a lot of attention being doled out to some very minor players. The contents of the infographic is almost as questionable as some of the business practices being put out into the world by the business that are funding these graphic. But, they get the attention because, "hey... infographics are cool and this one has a pleasing color scheme with a lot of statistics on it!" (well-founded or otherwise).

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. 

In the end, the discourse will set you free. It's increasingly harder to lie, cheat and steal in a world where anyone and everyone has a platform to publish an opinion. So, while your view of what quantifies as honesty may be different from mine, the newer media channels that are experiencing both growth and profitability trend towards the ones that are being honest and not filling their publishing white space with too much hyperbole, marketing pap and industry jargon. Blogs should still amaze you - each and every day - simply because the best ones (no matter how mis-guided some of the content may be) are written from a very open, honest and transparent place (and if they are not, you will know about it by the comments that follow the blog post). With over a decade of Blogging under our global belts, it's still a new and developing form of communications and media that has yet to fully mature and find it's permanent place in the media landscape. It's unique in that the discourse that takes place within the Blog comments - or as the content streams into other channels through sharing - creates new layers that require more in-depth analysis and critique... something that most casual readers don't either the time or interest in.

So, which new media wins?

If your company is looking to publish content and own your own media channels, the content should be emotional (written from your heart), presented well (and this means both from a visual design and user interface perspective), it should be honest and - ultimately - it needs to reflect both the culture and value of the brand (and the person creating the content). It's a tall order, and (probably) the main reason why so few brands have mastered it.

As big as this all is, It's still an open opportunity, and one that most businesses still haven't formally committed to. Sadly.

The above posting is my twice-monthly column for The Huffington Post called, Media Hacker. I cross-post it here with all the links and tags for your reading pleasure, but you can check out the original version online here:

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Jon Loomer
    Mitch Joel

    "...the content should be emotional (written from your heart), presented well (and this means both from a visual design and user interface perspective), it should be honest and - ultimately - it needs to reflect both the culture and value of the brand (and the person creating the content)."

    Yep. [Nods head.]

    By the way, your blog doesn't make you look fat. It's pretty freaking awesome. This is the first time I've been here, and my immediate reaction was that it looks like nothing I've seen before, but in a good way.

    Well done.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Jon... I think many brands/individuals forget how much design matters. I (and everyone at Twist Image) takes pride in this Blog with full knowledge that many people who are thinking of working with us will be talking a look at it. I'm glad you picked up on that.

      Reply
  • This will be the year that companies willing to speak from their heart and core value system will see a positive response from their communities. The CEO needs to lead this initiative. The time is now to start your channel and create content. Practice, practice, practice. But be real and genuine. It's time CEO's start to earn their salaries and connect with customers, shareholders and their brand. Get out of the ivory towers from the past and get their hands dirty. YouTube is waiting for you to setup your message/channel. The opportunity is in front of you. Who has the guts to step forward and lead? Great post Mitch. Keep leading!

    Reply
    • There's a gap in your thinking and execution: it also needs to be genuine in terms of the person and the type of content they are publishing. Forcing a CEO to write a Blog will never lead to a great outcome. The people creating the content must have a true passion for not only the content but the platform on which it is being created.

      Reply
      • My point that may not have been clear is that the leaders of companies should be able to share their vulnerabilities and imperfections in a way that makes them more human and approachable. Social media has allowed for more knowledge to be shared creating a new depth and engagement on many levels and I think that makes for a better place. This does not mean they should be the appointed blogger for the company. Make it a great day!

        Reply
        • Agree (in some instances). I think it depends on the brand and the type of leader and how they communicate and interact. My point is that all of this stuff is just a platform and anything can be published within it. We should not default to a standpoint where because some people use it in a certain way that everybody else should simply follow suit.

          Reply
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