It's Not All Changing, But Nothing Is Going To Be The Same

For over four years now I have been writing every week on the impact of shifting media, and things have never been more exciting. The way people consume, interact with and communicate through media is impacting everything from the entertainment industry to national revolutions. But while we have new tools, it does not mean everything is changing. It is important that among all the change we balance our perspectives to appreciate that much of the key to how things will be, can be learned from the lessons of how they have always been. The problem is seems to be that people think that those that are saying the world is changing means that everything is changing.

A recent misguided critique of an OMMA panel description posted by Doug Garnett, Squirrel! Advertising Agencies Chase Utopian Theories," is a good example. Garnet and I read the description of the OMMA panel very differently. While Doug reads into the "self-loathing" of an industry, I see a challenge and an opportunity. I also totally miss where the panel description says anything bad about selling, or that sales are not the goal of advertising. I am also not sure what the percentages of online retailing has to do with anything, but that would be another post.



What I do see is an obvious truth that given new media formats and changing consumer behavior, things can't stay the same. No one is saying that the principles of advertising don't hold. By all means, deliver a message of value position to a consumer to try to make a sale -- but the tactics for getting that consumer's attention in the first place are undeniably changing. From the recent New York Times piece by Brian Stelter on how the  "TV Industry Taps Social Media to Keep Viewers' Attention" to all of the conversations about the role of new media in the Egyptian revolution, information pathways are changing the world.

I am going to be taking a break from writing for a couple months as I look to put my money where my mouth is with a new challenge, because I agree with Mr. Garnett that advertising is important work. If there is anything I have learned after four years of weekly columns, it is the winning combination: balancing knowledge of how things have been done with new technology and changes in consumer behavior. Everything may not be changing, but nothing is going to be the same.

As always, I'll be live tweeting the attempt to figure it all out at

1 comment about "It's Not All Changing, But Nothing Is Going To Be The Same".
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  1. Rich Ullman from Outbrain, Inc., February 23, 2011 at 9:09 a.m.

    Love the headline. It speaks exactly to what has happened in Web 1.0 and 2.0. Much of what has been enabled by technology has been absorbed into other, "more traditional" (sic 'old') media. All of that same media (old and new) is now being socialized.

    The rest of the details can be argued ad nauseam. Good luck on your sabbatical, if it can be called that. :)

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