This brilliant video has been doing the rounds, and I’m sure I’m not the only blog posting about it, but the accuracy of the language used in it really is outstanding.
The media world does seem to constantly invent terminology for things that, until fairly recently, seemed blindingly obvious (e.g. the ‘sharability’ and ‘zero lag’ of a printed book in the above video). There are dozens of examples across the industry at the moment, but I’ve always thought radio never got enough credit for it’s real-time, interactive mechanics that could share user-generated content with other listeners (i.e. the oft-neglected radio phone-in).
All of this is peripheral, of course, to the most meaningless term in media: ‘native advertising’.
But I’ll save that for another post.
There is something inherently temporary about digital media. It’s just 1’s and 0’s organised in a particular way for a particular moment, and it’s all too easy to press Delete, wipe the slate clean, and start all over again. So it’s nice to see something that emphasises the permanent and physical nature of communications –the printing of actual ink onto actual paper by an individual with a creaky wooden printing press. Which is just what a group of design students at Goldsmiths College have done on the above video.
They take it a step further, and their project ‘Out of Print’ is not just about the beauty of ink on paper, but I think it’s also saying something about the impermanence of news headlines and the way the news washes over us, becoming almost meaningless. They describe project as an answer to media ‘saturation’:
With the growth of digital media we are faced with unprecedented levels of data. We now find ourselves at a saturation point. By attempting to consume ever more, we end up understanding less.
In this context, news and media are becoming redefined to fit our shortened attention spans. How do we make sense of all the information we consume and not get lost in the process?
What do you think? I can definitely identify with the feeling of information overload, and to see it so lovingly reproduced in ink-and-paper somehow draws our attention to it more than a busy webpage ever could. Either way, it’s a lovely video, and a project worth checking out.
Robert Cialdini literally wrote the book on sales techniques. And while that’s not a section of the bookshop short of titles, his classic ‘Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion’ differed primarily in the fact that it was all based on Cialdini actually leaving his desk and going out selling. Not abstractly theorising, or only considering sales in terms of big brand marketing campaigns, but the sharp end of sales – he took a job as a used car salesman, he went door-to-door selling double-glazing… not glamorous, but absolutely fascinating nonetheless.
The results of all this research are highlighted in this video (and in his excellent book, if you’d like more detail…).
The really fascinating thing here is that it is not really a book about sales. It’s a book about persuading others. And everyone in the communications or media industry is in the business of persuading others. In fact, everyone in life is in the business of persuading others, whether in their working lives or their personal life (there are plenty of examples in the book of negotiating with small children, which will make parents realise just how true this is).
Cialdini’s examples are concrete and easily applicable to daily life, and once you’ve learned them you’ll be amazed at how often you see them being used. It may also make you a bit less susceptible when it comes to buying your next car…