June 12, 2015

I don’t want the Medium to be the Message!

BY :     June 12, 2015

social_media_trends_1 Image credit: www.socialmediatoday.com

I love technology. I love innovation. I love communication. But please, can we now stop inventing new iterations of the same thing? Can we please stop making up new ways to share content? We can now send long or short texts, pictures, video and live streams. We can send them to individuals, to groups, to all our friends or to anyone. We can do so with name attached or anonymously. We can do so on mobile or computer or both. We can invite responses or not. We can like,Facebook Heart, share or retweet. We can even say that content should only be available for a short time, for people in the same area or for people with a special key.

Startups have been exploring all the cross-sections of these dimensions and marketing them as Snapchat, Twitter, Meerkat, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, etc. So, let me be a grumpy old man for a minute; but now it has to stop! Seriously. I cannot be expected to track who of my friends is on what channel. I cannot be expected to track my friends’ activities across all these things. I just want ONE interface where I can quickly choose what to send, who to send it to and let the tool figure out what channel to use, how to package it or how to make sure I get the responses I need. I want one interface where I collect friends, contacts and other sources of relevant interactions. Ideally with some prioritization, so I don’t drown in the well-intended tweets of a high-school friend while the message from my boss is urgently awaiting my reply.

Marshall McLuhan already wrote that the medium IS the message, that the channel you choose matters in what the effect of your interaction will be. But please, let’s not overdo it. I also want the message to be the message and most of all: I don’t want to waste time on the medium, if I can spend it on the message.

Oh, and if you have a comment, please share it because I love comments! Feel free to send them on Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, as a comment below this post, Instagram or send me a text, email, Skype IM, Whatsapp or whatever other channel you can find. I promise… I’m there, waiting for your reply!

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  1. Gerard Toonstra · June 18, 2015 Reply

    How about an app that starts with your phone’s “phonebook” and the app just knows which platform to use to send messages and write it on whatever appears. So instead of trying to kill all other messaging platforms out there, it just figures out which platform to send a message to in the first place through some kind of profiling service. This way the platform maintains that info and people can easily switch.

    Per user, the app keeps track (if possible) what other apps are installed or get used, or otherwise keeps track how other users send messages to a specific profile to update the preferred app database. This means no one has to actively update their profile with whatever they’re using.

    Interesting comment on how you want to prioritize messages; apparently that problem hasn’t been solved and all services just deliver directly.

    And the business model that makes this profitable is…. 🙂

*Opinions expressed on this blog reflect the writer’s views and not the position of the Sogeti Group