My Interest in Social Media

Published October 05, 2008   permalink

I was asked recently about my passion in social media by fellow Austinite and author Scott Allen. My quick answer: I wanted my son, now 7, to grow up in a world with less interruption and access to better information with regard to making a smart choices.

My passion and motivation for exploring social media and its use in business came as I was thinking about the primary ways in which we advertise: Typically, through a paid, planned interruption. Whether it occurs on TV, a magazine blow-in card, through a phone call at dinner, or a pop-up demanding my immediate attention (to close it, if nothing else) as marketers we've gotten in the habit of interrupting people as a way to get our message across.

To be clear, there is nothing wrong with an interruption per se, especially in a medium where the interruption is expected. Most of us understand, for example, that TV is free because an advertiser has paid for it. Same with most of the content we consume on the web.

At the same time, however, I started to think about some of the early Forrester and Intelliseek research that suggested viewers were starting to push back hard on interruptive advertising. And as they did, advertisers sought increasingly clever ways--e.g., the pop-under--to ensure that their message got through. It occurred to me that in a protracted battle like this, there'd be no winners. Put simply, If I have to interrupt you, how receptive are you really to my message? As a marketer, that's fatal.

Kids are funny in the way they change you: as a new parent at the time, I started thinking about the world I wanted my kids to grow up in. That's when it hit me: "A world without interruption." As marketers, let's find a new way to participate with customers instead of talking at customers. I started looking at advergames and similar forms of participative advertising, and this led me to what would later be called "social media."

What's your story? How did do you come to be reading this and to be interested in what social media and the larger Social Web can do for you?

Reader's Comments

Thanks so much for sharing this, Dave, and thanks again for the ride and good company last night. I’ll look forward to including this in next week’s issue of Startup Stories. Personally, I’m a big fan of product placement as a better means of marketing. In fact, studies have shown that people are far more tolerant of product placement than marketers tend to think they will be. See, the thing is… we live in a branded world. As I look around my living room, I can readily see half a dozen brands clearly displayed. In fact, the DE-branded environment we so often see on TV shows is abnormal. It’s all a matter of being done in a context-appropriate manner. When you start thinking outside the box with TV, web video, games, etc.—the potential is mind-boggling. Funny thing is, these new marketing methods can actually be cheaper (or at least more cost-effective) than big ad buys in traditional media with campaigns driven by traditional ad agencies. In the current economic climate, companies should be exploring these new channels vigorously. Which means great opportunity for you and me and the other explorers out on the edge. wink

By Scott Allen

Funny story too about “living in a branded world.” When my wife and I visited Lima a few years back, we didn’t want to “look like tourists.” So, we didn’t bring any clothing that had a logo on it. Ironically, we stood out: We were the only ones in the city without logo-ware. wink) Branded world indeed.

By evansdave

As a full-time writer in the ‘90s, I was drawn to the Internet as a way to acquire more information with less time and effort. As the Web became more social, it became a tool not just for acquiring information but sharing it. It is now so much a part of the way I live, not just the way I do business, that it’s tough to recall how different things were just a decade ago. I’m digging into the book and consider myself fortunate to have connected with you through this thing we call social media.

By Connie Reece

Hi Dave. I “happened” upon your blog through a “typical” Social Media thread: I was checking on my daughter’s new Employer, WebAd.vantage (Harford County, Maryland), and reading CEO Hollis Thomases’ latest post on ClickZ talking about their 10 year anniversary party which took place last night. Hollis had another recent post which drove me to check out Clay Shirky’s new book: “Here Comes Everybody”, which then prompted me to send LinkedIn Invitations to connect to Clay and Hollis. Further surfing on ClickZ for new posts on ‘Social Media’ led me to Rebecca Lieb’s post promoting your book and blog! I am now a new subscriber(?) to Movable Type and will be a regular reader of your blog. Thanks for all you are doing to educate and encourage a newbie and Social Media / SEO wannabe geek like me! grin harvey

By harveyclay

Harvey- Your journey is a testament to what social media is all about. Welcome to—let me know if I can answer questions or help you. I am happy to. Have a super weekend. wink D

By evansdave

Thanks for asking about our socmed stories, Dave. I found your blog through @warrenss’s tweet: @evansdave Great article in ClickZ, “Where to Get a Social Media Education” After looking at your twitter profile, etc., I realized that you are the Dave Evans whose book I’m reading. Small world. My socmed story is a few years in the making…I was in DM via a traditional catalog B2C company, moved to online advertising in the early 90’s, loved the pull-vs-push potential for consumers that the internet offered. I’m passionate about 2 way, 1:1 conversation with customers - real conversations, not just buzzing/spouting about socmed tactics for marketing buzzhorn sake because it’s the “now” thing. Because of that passion, socmed is a natural fit for me. I’m on the client-side working at a Fortune 500 in corporate online brand marketing utilizing socmed opportunities. Looking forward to digging into your book and blog more.

By zenaweist