Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
January 16, 2011 2:33 PM

The True Histories Of Social Media

Episode #236 of Six Pixels of Separation - The Twist Image Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.

There are few global branding strategist who are like Jonathan Salem Baskin. He's had one of those careers that any Marketer would be jealous of. Having spent close to three decades in the branding and advertising world, Jonathan's resume is a who's who of the top brands in the world. Along with that, he is a prolific writer and thinker. We first connected in 2008 when his book, Branding Only Works On Cattle, came out because we share the same editor and publisher (Grand Central Publishing - Hachette Book Group). He then went on to write the book, Bright Lights & Dim Bulbs. Most recently, he has published a fascinating new book titled, Histories Of Social Media (which is a must-read). Along with that, Jonathan is a Blogger over at Dim Bulb and a bi-weekly columnist for Advertising Age. His opinions on Marketing, Social Media and the new world of branding will get you thinking. Enjoy the conversation...

You can grab the latest episode of Six Pixels of Separation here (or feel free to subscribe via iTunes): Six Pixels of Separation - The Twist Image Podcast #236.

By Mitch Joel


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  • Posted by Lanie Evans
    Mitch Joel

    I've listened to about half of this post, Mitch. It's amazing to me that this is the first time I've heard this concept--not that I'm that well attuned to the universe of podcasts or bloggers, although I do believe I'm fairly well informed and have an ear to the ground.

    There you go: 'I have an ear to the ground.' Wow, its about time that someone from the upper echelon of social media said AhHa!

    I'm very fortunate to have been raised (metaphorically speaking) at daddy's 2 service stations. One was on the interstate, where people came and went like many folks in today's Social Networks. These people simply were in a hurry to move on to their next destination, and only concerned with the commercial aspects of what we could provide them.

    The other one (the one I worked at until I was 18) was in the middle of a town with around 3,000 population. It was situated across the street from the volunteer fire department and Town Hall. Working your way north up the sidewalk from the VFD, you would pass in order: the Cave Theatre, NAPA auto parts, the Delhi Dispatch, and other small business. Across the corner from us was Bill's Dollar Store and on the opposite side was the local First Baptist Church. Talk about being wired in--OMG, this was social networking ground zero.

    Take it back a bit further: one of my Grandmothers was the wet nurse at the local hospital. She is the one that swaddled that screaming mound of blue to pink flesh (and other shades of humanity) that every young couple optimistically called 'ours'. Her sister was THE LOCAL SWITCHBOARD OPERATOR for South Central Bell Telephone. These two could tell you about divorces before the preacher.

    It is genuinely funny, and poetically ironic, how we believe that because we own an iPhone and can check in at Foursquare, or as a Realtor, that I can take a video, then post from my phone the video and a short blog post to Posterous about a listing, that we are somehow so much more effectively connected than the following ignorant and primitive people:
    ~my great-great granddad, while he watched, read, and shared a smoke signal across 40 to 50 miles of west Texas prairie with the village of Apache cousins 50 miles south of his
    ~my grandmother while she listened in on the PARTY LINE as neighbor ladies discussed the local preacher's dalliance with the organ player
    ~my grandmother's sister while she connected the phone calls at the switchboard
    ~all those men who hung out at my dad's station and drank coffee and talked about the weather, high school football, the upcoming sheriff's race, and yes, which businesses were going to fail this year because they weren't going to buy the latest technology
    ~the bellies rubbing the ice cream counter at the drug store around the corner

    Further Back:
    ~the social networking that happened as the farmers' families rode into town once a week, went to church on Sunday morning, and then ate at the afternoon 'covered dish' lunch
    ~shepherds at the oasis in the desert in 5,000BC
    ~dockworkers and merchants at the ports of Spain and England in the 1600's

    My gosh, I could go on and on with this narrative.

    Mankind has always shared the story of: what we are passionate about; what is dangerous to us; what makes us money; and, most irreverently, what we simply have to tell that we shouldn't tell, just because we are the 'special knowledge broker' of that juicy tidbit of information (called gossip by my grandmother).

    Great Podcast so far--I'll listen to the rest today.

    LE

    Reply
    • Posted by Lanie Evans
      Mitch Joel

      Okay, so I just listened to the rest of the podcast while cleaning out the flotsam and jetsam from my inbox.

      I guess my first impression of the 'big picture' of Jonathan's theme was an incorrect impression of the content.

      His statements are spot on, though. Too often, consumers believe they can hold businesses hostage and extort goods without a fair exchange of currency. Businesses contribute to this by creating an extremely vague statement about their deliverables, or worse, they lie about their product, then become offended when the customer cries, "FOUL!".

      I referenced my Daddy's service stations in the previous post. He laughs himself silly when listening to some of the services businesses are willing to give away, just because they failed at the point of initial service. I've heard him say a couple of things that echo your conversation:
      1) Well, they should have done it right the first time--those folks will never bring in a friend, or the friend is going to rape the business when they walk in the door;
      2) Well, they should include that as their service anyway--that person would become a client and gladly tell a friend they can't believe they weren't charged more.

      Mitch, your line should be the Gold Standard (maybe it inherently is): have it do what you say its gonna do.

      Create an expectation and deliver--simple.

      Reply
  • Hi Mitch and Jonathan,

    I’m reading your book and just listened to this podcast and it was interesting what you were mentioning about how companies have to go back to true values and you, as marketers, have to be the keepers of truth. I know a futurist, Andy Hines, and you might want to interview him. He was kind enough to write an article on his blog that mentioned me, but the reason why I think about him is that he has written on the fact that values shifts are part of future trends. Consumers are changing their values and are more and more buying according to values!

    Reply
  • Posted by fran
    Mitch Joel

    Hi, could U transcript the audio of your podcast into text?...sometimes is very usefull if u are not native english...thanx mr Joeel

    Reply
  • Posted by Charles Baratta
    Mitch Joel

    Great post as usual. Thanks for this. It made me think for a while and realize some things during the conversation.

    Keep it going.

    Reply
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