Are You An Early Technological Adopter?

Apparently we are doomed and there is nothing that can stop our inevitable decline. It’s all your fault too. You just had to answer your cell phone didn’t you?

It’s completely cliché to hear about how technology touches our lives on a daily basis. It is also equally cliché to hear about how technology lowers our intelligence and is weakening our social fabric. This is still an argument I hear today!

If the latter is in fact true then American’s really are in the midst of downward spiral. That is because according to a recent study conducted by Forrester Research, we are embracing technology faster than ever before. An excerpt:

“According to the study, which surveyed 53,668 households in the United States and Canada by mail, half of all American adults are gamers. Sixty-three percent of American households have a broadband Internet connection. Three-quarters of American households have cellphones and PCs. And nearly 10 million American households, out of nearly 118 million, added an HDTV in the last year, a jump of 27 percent over 2007.”

Sure, landlines and analog televisions are things of the past and the practice of sending letters is steadily going the way of the buffalo…But has that really affected your life? Most likely not, especially when numbers like those above prove that the race to become early technological adopters has indeed gone mainstream.  I think what the study really proves is not our societal decline, but that digital immigrants are becoming relics of a very recent past.

In many ways this is nothing new because our society has always focused on progress and the old guard has always tried to fight it. That is because those who do not understand the future usually fear it. But it looks like the old guard is coming around a bit faster these days…and I say cheers to that!

What do you think?


Social Media and Abuse of Trust?

Tim Otis at Daily Axiom recently spoke about what he labeled “social media @-kissers.” These are individuals who abuse social media trust by using social media in a strategic manner. Here is an excerpt from the article:

“I feel as though we’ve really abused the issue of trust in some ways, and have actually redefined the notion of it by simply kissing up to blog writers via comment, retweeting Twitter posts—and for what? Their approval? Since when is approval even remotely close to trust? Being connected is all about approval, not about trust. Somehow social media has blurred those lines and people are listening to it.”

This is certainly not a new concept. Many folks have recognized this for quite sometime and I commend Tim for speaking out on something he feels strongly about. In many ways, I agree with him.

Reading further, Tim notes what we should all know about social media. It’s about being natural:

“…I’ve found the same thing time and time again: [social media is] about being natural. The minute you’re forcing something to go through to reach your targeted audience, you will fail, because it reeks of being contrived.”

Tim’s post got me thinking about the true effectiveness of social media, especially Twitter, so I shared my thoughts on his blog. I agree with his points regarding abuse of trust issues, seeking SM celebrity approval and agenda-setting, but I do not necessarily think that it derails the effectiveness of the service. That is because in many cases, Twitter is an extension of our real life actions.

I was reminded of the “Twitter is a cocktail party,” comparison. When one goes to a cocktail party or networking event, many work the room with a purpose. Some people act natural and some come off as phony. The phony can obviously be spotted miles away, yet I’ve seen both strategies result in the same successful outcome.

Is this right? Is it wrong? Will we ever truly know?

What I do know is that at the end of the day, you will always be able to find me hanging out with the “natural” crowd.

Oh, What A Campaign!

I recently attended a showing of Jersey Boys at the Shubert Theatre in Boston, MA. I’m not a huge fan of theatre, especially musicals, but Jersey Boys really impressed me. The songs performed in the show were written decades before I existed and I still recognized almost all of them!  My post today is not going to be about Frankie Valli and the boys though; it’s instead going to be about how well the online presence of the show has been managed.

The folks over at Brodeur Blog are just a few of the many who have recently noticed a change in the way major theatre productions do things these days, noting that, “Broadway marketing [has become a] sophisticated machine with many shows rapidly embracing new and social media to entertaining and creative ends.” 

Their assessment couldn’t be closer to the truth.

Take a look at the Jersey Boys Blog. It contains a plethora of information for anyone even remotely interested in the production. It contains interviews with regional cast members, reviews from the original members of The Four Seasons and Broadway box office reports. It comes fully equipped with sharing capabilities and links to social networking sites dedicated to the show. It updates almost daily.

It’s certainly not as technically impressive as the official website, but for a casual theatergoer who enjoyed the show and wants to learn more about The Four Seasons and the folks who brought them to life onstage, it is an excellent source of information.

Content will always be king, and JBB delivers.