Journey To The Information Cul De Sac
I own a MacBook Pro, which is my second Mac. My first Mac was an original desktop bought in 1992 for $6,500 with a 20 megabyte hard drive. The new one costs half that and has a 500 gigabyte hard drive.
In between I've owned about 20 Windows computers, at home and work.
I've owned an iPhone4 for nine months and ordered my iPad2 last Friday. I own a Kindle, second edition. I had an AOL account when all that got you was access via modem to "AOL world." I started an interactive agency in 1994 and put Coca-Cola on the Web before Microsoft launched Windows 95.
Today, my company owns 32 domain names and I oversee five active Web sites, two blogs and a monthly email newsletter with a subscriber count of 6,500.
I have active accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Plaxo, LinkedIn and Flickr. I just joined Quora (don't ask. Wait, wait, I mean do ask ... go to the site and you'll see what I mean).
I have bought and done all of these things under the guise of bettering myself and my business. To enhance my life personally and professionally. I've done much of it because our company had something to share and these new technologies enable our insights to be seen and heard by our prospects and clients.
Yet, today I also find myself at a dead end.
There are simply too many outlets, too many self-publishing options online to share our thoughts and insights. Everyday we track, via Google News Alerts and other tools, all that's being said and reported on Boomers, and marketing to Boomers. The good news is that there is plenty to sift through. The bad news is that the nuggets of useful information are harder to find.
In a world where anyone with a computer can be a publisher, anyone can be a publisher. Content isn't king, it's everything. From everyone.
My kingdom for an editor.
As a publisher of seemingly useful information for those interested in marketing to today's Boomer consumer, we see two obstacles. First, there are many voices with similar platforms. On the surface, all seem equally qualified and talented, but closer examination shows most rely on smoke and mirrors, repurposing insights provided by others, rarely adding to the knowledge base. There's nothing keeping them from cutting and pasting their way to a presence on the Web. Retweet that.
The second problem is there are too many outlets, too many "channels" for distributing content without any barriers. Tweeters tweet. Bloggers bloviate. Everyone has something to say so they say it, and then comment on it. And then someone "likes" it. Like it matters.
Can our company really maintain a meaningful presence on Facebook, Twitter, our blog, YouTube and LinkedIn and still maintain as a business? Ha! The no-upfront-cost aspect of having a presence in social media comes with an extremely high time cost.
We simply cannot be all things to all people by appearing in all social media. Nor can we consume all social media. We're going to pick and choose. We're going to focus our efforts where we can have a presence and share insights for an audience that knows us and appreciates our work. The scattershot approach is not a viable strategy for us.
And it likely isn't the best strategy for those marketers trying to reach Boomers online. Just as you would select a handful of print magazines in which to run your ads, you should select a manageable number of social media sites to build a presence in. Leave the rest to others.
Pick your route on the Information Superhighway, keeping in mind there is always more than one path to success.