When I was in college–as I would think most people my age (just north of 40) would admit-I idid my turn behind the bar. Hey, it was OK cash, got me to the parties, and I learned a skill. Now, I never trully mastered the art of mixology, and those rare times someone wanted more than a draft or a bottle, or somethign with more than one two ingredients I gave them the old, "How do you make that again?" line…but it was a great experience.
This is not about being a bartender. At least not in the classic, "Give me a double and keep 'em coming" sense. No, this is about how we need to think about media, consumption, social networking and the hows and whys we should create a solid mix in order to create a meaningful and engaging experience.
As a senior level manager for a big media company I am watching a lot of changes fall across the landscape of my office. Ask the folks at NBC or Gannett, or Papas or Tribune about the climate.
Whether is be a good, bad or indifferent model, at least for now its my job to generate eyeballs. If I generate eyeballs to content, sales has a product to for placement of VIagra, Tums, Cingulair or just about anything else. Call it quid-pro-quo, call it old school–I call it a business model.
So, now the challenge. I have destination content and I want to get people to my destination–but the people I want to reach are on Twitter, Jaiku, You Tube, Plurk, MySpace, Facebook–pretty much anyplace but on CBS News. What's a middle manager to do? The key has to be to get to where the eyeballs are. Its a matter of getting out and generating interest where people are.
There was a great story in today'sNY Times about the impact Twitter had on CNN's announcement last week that it would create a news wire service–similar to the AP, but not in competition with the AP. You can go dig into that and try to piece that together.
So, I Twitter. And I follow some of the folks who apparently were in the room when CNN made the announcement. I thought nothing of the fact that I was learning about this through Twitter. After all, the first hint of the terror attacks in Mumbai I got from Twitter. Same for the riots in Greece. Same for the protest at the airport in Thailand. Its the power of social networks. People are able to connect you to what they are doing and what they are seeing.
If you want to connect with them–then you need to be where they are and engage them not on your terms–but where they are.
Its like a perfect Bloody Mary. Needs pepper, tabasco and a little love.