Welcome to the year of in-between

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Is it an obligatory New Year’s post?  Perhaps…but I’ll try to be my own man here.  I could reflect on the tribulations of 2010 and discuss how media and marketing will continue its ridiculous pace of change through 2011.  I could tell you how excited I am to be a part of that.  All true, but…eh.  Let’s skip it.

I appreciate the generally optimistic outlook for 2011, and the truth is I’m hoping that this is the year we bust out of what feels more than ever like a stalemate tug of war.  We’re a nation that has made a true art out of being stuck in the middle….a manual transmission grinding between gears.  We are ready to pop the clutch and fire into the fast lane; all we need is the confidence to put our feet down.

Examples?  I thought you’d never ask:

1. I have an internet-ready television, and take no shame in admitting I leapt into the arms of Netflix to access its streaming content.  Yet there I sat, incredulously appalled at the miraculous technology and the embarrassing dearth of valuable content available.  Having done some work around cloud computing and media, I understand the challenges.  But this is a waste of a brilliant system: an empty cavern of possibility.

2. Social media has changed the game without establishing value. We’ve been forced into a cart-before-the-horse existence online, where we literally live on the Internet without a clear grasp of its power.  We skim, we invent, we prod and poke with self-absorbed intensity that cannot possibly turn out well — a fact underscored by the tragic series of teen suicides that seem to be rooted half on the web and half in reality.

In a professional sense, there are guides that seek to provide direction.  But we are no more than 10 percent into the mapping of social media’s undiscovered country, so any direction is little better than random.  This Harvard Business Review blog post is notable for its prompt for readers to choose their digital goals and persona to reflect who they hope to be in the real world.  To wit: “since the persona you create for yourself online inevitably bleeds over to your life offline, creating the best version of yourself online will invariably help you become the person you want to be, online and off. Start bringing that online person to life now.”

My avatar said what??

 

Pardon me while I do a spit-take and run screaming through the halls.  That kind of advice serves as the basis for online catastrophe.  Please…be yourself in the real world first, or we will all continue to suffer the consequences.

[Note: I love social media.  I strongly endorse appropriate doses as part of any public relations effort – and it’s part of EZG’s role to understand issues like these before our clients put their feet in those waters.]

Blog posts should be short (tested social media guideline!), so I’ll hold off on other examples – but they’re out there in droves.  We emerged from WWII as a country built for great achievement, yet today we scratch our heads at China’s current productivity; we maintain incredible networks of knowledge and real-time information, yet we don’t maximize them to help an education system in free fall.

I suppose this all feels negative, but it’s not meant to be…my point is that we are on the precipice of  snapping the stalemate and moving on to better things.  As we hang ourselves in the balance, here’s a 2011 Resolution for you: Simplify it.  Play hard.  Win the daily battle.  And get me more movies on Netflix.

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One Response to “Welcome to the year of in-between”

  1. susan oneil Says:

    I love the way you think.

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