Thursday, September 6, 2012

"I'm sorry this is so long. I'd have written a shorter blog post but I didn't have time."

Or so I paraphrase what many have said before (some in fewer words) - and what is one of the most telling bits on writing ever written, IMHO.

Which brings me to Twitter, Reddit, and the all-too-human tendency to search for a more complicated answer when a perfectly good - if unbelievably simple - answer is sitting right there, in plain sight. SMH.

In a weak moment, I waded in to the silly media stories of the day to find out if Twitter has The Magic Formula for social media success and What Newspapers Can Learn from Reddit and was disappointed in both. The Twitter article disappointed me more, because it points out how myopic many (most?) advertising industry pundits are. It's possible people read/like Twitter because it's short and easy to read, right? No, that's too easy. Let's search instead for a new, improved, 2012 answer because it's no longer fashionable to use the 2010 answer. It's also possible people respond to Twitter's ads because there's a higher proportion of good ads and/or they're targeted and/or timed better and/or they're not lost among quite so many distractions as Facebook, where you can plan your family reunion, have a virtual high school reunion, lose your job, and run your own business? Augh. Sometimes a cigar is a cigar. And when it's not a cigar, it shouldn't take a semester's worth of discussion to figure out what it really is.

The second article, about newspapers and their impending doom (not) ticked me off because the headline is a sell-out for an article that's quite worth a read.

Here's my crazy, all-too-simple answer for the industry watchers: news outlets that offer news - aka important information that has nothing to do with what Snooki named her baby or how Nicki Minaj will vote - will have an audience. Advertising that's good, and seen, will work. In the newspaper, on the evidently nearly dead Facebook, or on today's SM darling.

If your ads are good, in front of the right people, when they're not too terribly distracted, they'll work.

I repeated it because that ups the odds that you'll get the message.

Which is something that was once taught in advertising 101, before distractions were born, right after Al Gore invented the internet.

Hey I read it online. It's gotta be true. Source? I don't need no stinkin' source. It was on ABC News, and they got it straight from Twitter.

So back to ads on Twitter, or anywhere.  Here's a tip: No matter how good your ads are, they won't return well this month/quarter for folks interested in the DNA ENCODE reports or cool photos of Mars. Those are called distractions. Both of which are undoubtedly better and probably more important than one election on a planet that supports more than one country.

Thanks for reading and by all means keep thinking out there. I'll edit this down to 140 characters when I get a round tuit.

~ the links, in case you want them ~

The short of the DNA ENCODE story:

The long of it:

And the medium but digestible for the liberal arts crowd version:

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