NPR and Tina Brown talking about this piece got me thinking.. What are we going to do when 90 seconds is all we get to communicate our messages?
According to Michael Kinsley in The Atlantic
One reason seekers of news are abandoning print newspapers for the Internet has nothing directly to do with technology. It’s that newspaper articles are too long. On the Internet, news articles get to the point. Newspaper writing, by contrast, is encrusted with conventions that don’t add to your understanding of the news. Newspaper writers are not to blame. These conventions are traditional, even mandatory.
The piece goes on to explain why the traditional newspaper style that I was taught by my parents and mentors back in the 1970s, doesn't work any more. Ya Think?
I did a mini survey on Twitter this week to ask people how long a video they would watch. The average answer was 90 seconds.
And how many of us have sat in meetings hammering out messages and strategies that require a 10 page document to explain?
I tell my audiences all the time that if they can't fit their messages into 140 characters they can't get them across. But what does this mean for measurement?
- The importance of a "visibility" metric is more important than ever. For years we've urged clients not to put much weight in a mention that appears at the end of a long article or posting. This is more true than ever before.
- This makes human coding more important, since most automated systems don't have ways to figure out where or how prominent a mention is. Who cares if your mentions are trending positive, if no one will ever see them?
- It makes short impactful videos more valuable and memorable than long ones. So does that minor mention at the end of 5 minute video matter at all? I"d argue not at all.
Much of the arguement around the Weighted Media Cost metric isthat when you factor in the part of the article that is "owned" by the company being mentioned, it affects the correlations to outcomes. Based on Kinsley and my mini-video survey I have no doubt that this is true. In fact I think one might argue that that is WHY the correlations are better with WMC -- not because of the actual media costs themselves but because this research took into account what I call the prominence/dominance factor.
The lingering question is, should we even include in any of our measurement, those endless articles that only get to the point in paragraph 6 and only mention your brand in paragraph 12? Probably not.