Steve Rubel of Edelman, who inroduced himself as someone who “studies the digital landscape and makes sense of the hodge podge,” had an interesting way to introduce Digital Trends. “Here lies mass reach. 1704 to 2004” read a gravestone in one of his slides. The point? We’re in the middle of a massive movement fom mass to micro.
As expected, Rubel’s observations and predictions of where we are headed, makes us cheer and wince at the same time. I say that in a good way as someone who believes we need to be uncomfortable with the tools we use or plan to use, rather than stick within our comfort zone of newsletters and ‘ads.’ The discomfort zone means communicators need to spend more time with data –become ‘quants’ as he puts it — try things like Google trends, and widgets etc.
Alas, we are all control and content freaks, not geeks. We love to have meetings over fonts and color palettes, don’t we? The widgetized way to think of content and branding forces us to think of content in a micro formats.
The point I really liked was his concept of becoming ‘content curators’ –something he has written about before. Digital Curation may be a role we have to play to get our message through. Like museum curators and book editors, content curators would serve a valuable role for our micro audiences in separating the valuable from the junk. Even Brands could play a role in curation. Brand curators? Enough to make digital agencies cheer and slow-to-digital agencies wince.