Potato-Chip Media. Just Keep Eating

There was a funny article in The Onion a while back, "New Us Quarterly To Explore Celebrity Issues In More Depth", about how Us Weekly's editorial calendar didn't provide the time for real in-depth analysis.

Funny, sure? Sad, maybe? But it tells a real story: the future of media is the triumph of short form content and the birth of emergent forms of storytelling.

Long form content is dying because we like short form content. In fact, the shorter the better: continuous niblets of novelty to stimulate our brain's reward centers. Don't make a video over 45 seconds. Don't make a comment over 140 words. Like! Plus! Digg!

Need more evidence? Every major social media platform allows consumers to post instantly and rewards them constantly. Check in to Foursquare in seconds (don't worry, we'll figure out where you are). Tweet in a moment. "Click," and your sepia-toned snapshot is winging its way on Instagram. Immediate creation and distribution of modestly interesting content creates a cascade of sensations that seem to satisfy more than the work, attention, and, risk entailed in immersive media consumption..

The future of media will belong to those who can coax narratives from these tiny bits of participation. For brands, this will require more than a Facebook fan page and a Twitter feed. They will have to learn how to help social consumers construct new stories from their fragmented and hyper-miniaturized -- but authentic -- shared moments. For publishers and the formal media, this will fundamentally reshape the role of the editor into a air traffic controller for topical themes.

But it is not going back. The message is just a message

Matthew Roche, Co-CEO and Founder, BO.LT

1 comment about "Potato-Chip Media. Just Keep Eating".
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  1. RLB Hartmann from Tierra del Oro, September 30, 2011 at 7:25 p.m.

    Sorry, Matthew, you lost me at Like! Plus! Digg! Too long-winded.

    Just KIDDING! I read it all.

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