Posts tagged ‘tribes’

October 11th, 2011

Tribes’ problems: destroying Social Media spreading and discoveries

by Laurent François

Many observers are talking about a threat in Social Media: as Mark Schaefer writes on SMT, Twitter would be dying as an information tool, because of the tribes themselves.

Affinity groups, if they have a lot of advantages in real life (solidarity, network effects, business possibilities…), also have a big problem on social web: they tend to only promote themselves.

Mark notifies some negative elements: “auto RT” for instance, propagated by communities of allies, give the feeling of a giant new kind of ad space. Auto RT helps bloggers to appear in a very competitive market; but value added is very low, as it pollutes our attention. It’s a kind of necessary thus pervert leverage, because of Google too, which focuses on live search and dismantles the access to relevant archives…

Communities filter new entrants (arent’t hashtags anoter discriminative barrage?) and also filter external sources (besides important news as a tsunami or a war…). It reduces to a certain extent the quality and quantity of information.

Natalie Rastoin et Camille François summarized the main issue of this hyper-personalization + hyper-tribalization: what I want to get as a consumer is not what is necessary to access as a citizen.

3 main examples today:

  1. the very bad coverage of the new Huffington Post in French: communities of journalists + media-related spheres polluted my timeline, without really informing me
  2. the Mashable article on the new Facebook for iPad has been RT 10 times during the last 5 minutes (I only follow 760+ Twitter users, which is already enormous for a single man…)
  3. no info on Karachi affair

2 conclusions:

  1. curation is now a kind of investigative work; it requires a huge amount of time. I’m wondering if I’m not going to leave mainstream tools like Twitter to focus more on “1 to 1″ lunch with relevant people
  2. because of Twitter becoming mainstream, and linked to its real core business, entertainment, I’m now wondering if I’m not going to dive into more “underground” or hidden netwroks
April 4th, 2011

Storytelling: consumers’ intimacy as the new scope of work?

by Laurent François

Citizens!

For the last months, many brands have dived into storytelling-way-of-life instead of focusing on products’ benefits.

A pressure to build “stories” as digital re-shaped our economy of attention; once you’re done with a coupon, you need to maintain a link with diverse publics. You need to be able to activate them. The “story” would be an asset to keep an interest going, moreoever in a digital journey: you share your daily bread with your relatives, with your buddies, and in the meantime you pick and chose your next holidays. It amplifies our beings, and brands want to interfere within this tree of choices. As a comparison, you never really leave a book after you’ve read the 3 first chapters.

But if the marketing statement is simple at first sight, it’s utterly complicated -and to date disappointing- to implement and orchestrate

A reader as a shareholder of the story’s success

A story is paradoxically based on unsaid. It’s a principle developped by Umberto Eco in 1979 in Lector in Fabula.

In order to make a story work, the reader must be brought to a whole universe (as in an encyclopedia) and to feel like if he had a responsibility in the curse of the story.

générer un texte signifie mettre en oeuvre une stratégie dont font partie les prévisions des mouvements de l’autre – comme dans toute stratégie“.

Interpretative & autonomous mechanism are intrinsic to the story. Non-existing characters become so “existing” in our minds that we can anticipate their next steps or don’t be surprised by an attitude in the following episodes. More interesting: these characters keep living in our brains out of the written text! Digital world increases this statement: the reader is a shareholder or the story’s reputation. If he feels engaged, he’ll talk about it and will recruit, will debate, will bring the story’s universe to new borders.

It’s pretty rare to consider new ads to be great stories. Nike came and said “I have a story” but don’t give any real clue that it’s true (and the amount of RT to an ad on YouTube is just crap to explain it). We’re on a static ad, that’s all.

The reader as an intimate actor of a public creation

When we read a story, we’re alone, even if you live it with other people. That’s the reason why it’s so important to ask to your friends if they’ve liked a movie or a book. We perceive on our own a story.

Brands dare to directly outreach our intimacy, in order to force us to give our feelings. It’s the case with Nivea, in the US, with their “Cupid’s Challenge“; a category at the same level than coupons in the diverse social spaces of  the brand.

Kiss” platform, with the help of 2 US TV middle stars, Nick Lachey & Vanessa Minnillo wants to coach our love life (so telling what is good or bad on this purpose); wants to viralize people’s love (vs money or gifts); wants to promote Nivea massage’s products, which are supposed to endeavour libido.

A tricky mechanism which has some limits: once you’re done with your 3 RT of celebrity, you remember that Nivea is first & foremost a soap. And that Cupid’s Challenge’s chapter 2 is an empty bottle. Because as in real TV, the script is so not real.

Consumer: a hierarchy of values?

So here’s the deal: isn’t there a way between brands which only talk about themselves and brands which only try to reach our intimacies?

Maybe to go back to basics, as New Scientist reminds us:it’s not about manipulation but aspirations and fullfillments. For instance, 20 years ago, Snickers, a brand owned by Mars in France, decided to build some sports playgrounds in under-privileged cities. A means to bring a concrete chapter to the brand’s story. To help buddies who want to practice some sports in the evenings; and for some of them, to be spotted by major basketball temps. It was 20 years ago. It was alreay pervasive creativity.