The May redpepper Facebook cover photo was a result of an experiment involving:
The May redpepper Facebook cover photo was a result of an experiment involving:
Way back when — in September — the threat to unfriend on Facebook was reserved for your “extremist” friends. You know, the ones that aligned themselves with the opposing political party via their latest status update.
That was September. But this is October.
Now the threat to unfriend isn’t just limited to political posts on Facebook anymore. I found this out when I woke up this morning to a polite, yet stern status warning from one of my own friends. His new concern addresses Facebook’s latest paid advertising unit, the promoted post. But the promoted post he is concerned with (as are many people) is the personal version of what pages have been able to do for a while now. People can now pay to advertise their personal updates.
At redpepper we are always pushing planned growth and looking for more creative ways of doing everything. So, it’s no surprise that our latest task… a new redpepper facebook cover photo for the month of October turned into a creative passion project for everyone on the team.
For well-over half a century our nation’s best communicators have been fighting over theories regarding the influence of media in our society. Never has this question of the media’s influence been more pertinent than it is right now. It’s a time when Google serves search results incorporating input from your social circle, and Facebook optimizes your news feed based on what you ‘like’. So I ask, are we more affected by the message we absorb or by the media that portrays that message?
If you’ve studied the history of mass media in America, chances are that you’ve heard of Marshall McLuhan’s prophesies and watched them come true, even the prediction of his “global village” (the world wide web) during the 1960s. Marshall McLuhan, a very influential media theory pioneer, made famous the idea that “the medium is the message.”
But in a recent New York Times documentary called Page One, media columnist David Carr stated, “the messages are the media now.” His argument is that the same message can be found across various media, but it’s the actual original message that shapes us, not the medium in which we interact with it.
McLuhan originally taught that we, as consumers, focus so intently on the messages or content within the media, that we often overlook the actual effect that the media has directly on us. And over time, we as people adapt the structure of our affairs due to the media’s influence. McLuhan went so far as to describe the “content” of a medium as ‘a juicy piece of meat carried by the burglar to distract the watchdog of the mind.’
His was an interesting theory indeed, one that could certainly be found true when he wrote those words and before social media.
Carr, on the other hand, argues that we can read books, we can read books online, we can talk to friends, and we can tweet with friends. But what we’re reading and talking about is the same, therefore so is the takeaway afterwards. The media itself has less power than before. Carr says the message actually chooses the medium based on its need.
So which is it?
Well, I’d go so far as to say that the medium is the message is the medium. In essence, they both are right. Both the medium and the message play an integral in shaping the other as well as holding each side accountable.
Yes, if we think about the way that we interact with media, we understand that the same message conveyed through different channels can create vastly different results. If I watch a movie trailer in the theater, I can have a very different opinion than if I watch it on a friend’s Facebook wall directly next to their opinionated caption about that same movie.
At the same time, Julian Assange (WikiLeaks) was bound to create monumental impact on our society with or without the help of a certain medium. He used both traditional news outlets as well as social media in separate instances to leak classified information, and each case has seen rapid success in breaking news.
Perhaps message and medium will always have a symbiotic relationship, because one cannot exist without the other. Some messages will always be more effective than others; just as some media will be, too. But the infinite combinations of messages with media are bound to make this space exciting and experimental into the distant future.
How do you see the power shifting in favor of message or medium?
Photo Credit: Tinou Bao via Flickr.
We’re proud to see Ryan has a new article on All Facebook. He writes about the new freedom developers have to customize Facebook’s Like button so they can create buttons that actually make sense to click in context – because who really wants to Like an article about a disaster? Wouldn’t you rather just Read it? And wouldn’t it be nice to express the difference in likes between products you Own and ones you Want?
Knowing Ryan, he’ll be making buttons that say Whoa and Busted until we physically detain him.
Check out the article here:
Keep the old with the new. With Facebook and other social sites acting as online shopping platforms, maximizing retail profits and really understanding customers online can be tricky. Learn from partner, Tim McMullen on how to increase your market share online without resorting solely to the latest social media platform for all the answers.
Facebook is all about making connections. Think about how many friend requests you get a day or how frequent your friends are updating you on what they ate last night to whatever cool adventurous trip they’re on. While users are constantly making connections and sending messages about themselves, how can you do the same for your brand? Learn from redpepper’s Matt Reed the three ways to connect your message and share your brand with people on Facebook.
With 600 million members as potential shoppers, Facebook is on its way to becoming the largest online retail hub ever with brands like Delta and Coca-Cola already on-board. Read about the fast-approaching age of F-commerce, or Facebook-based retailing, from redpepper partner Tim McMullen on Forbes.com.
Of all the four letter words in the world, few are more potent than the notorious “F” word. It can turn people on and it can turn people off. And among all the words that begin with the letter “F,” this one is, perhaps, the most widely misused and over-used of them all.
Never mind that people spend 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook. That’s no reason to ignore other means of interacting with consumers online (or off-line for that matter). But make no mistake, there’s a time and a place for everything, even when it comes to social media.
Think “like” buttons are only to show your love on Facebook? Think again. Check out AllFacebook.com’s newest guest writer, our own Matt Reed, and his take on the tracking technology behind the thumbs-up icon.
You know those classic cartoons of a snowball rolling down a mountain, gaining size and speed by the second?
That’s a great metaphor for the way a brand grows. We call it a Katamari, which is Japanese for “clump.”
Once a Katamari starts rolling, it picks up whatever it touches. Good and bad, true and false, planned and unplanned.
The Concept & Strategy
Two and a half months ago, a small creative team started our concept and strategy session for Kirkland’s Q1 Facebook Promo. The goal of the promo was to generate 200,000 new fans in 28 days for Kirkland’s Facebook fan page. If you can imagine, more than seven people in a room yelling out ideas on top of each other back-to-back. One-after-one, we sliced and diced ideas that were too crazy and ideas that weren’t crazy enough. At redpepper, we like to be as edgy as our clients allow and test the demographics of our client’s consumer base as much as possible.
Most Viral Video Ever, more than Beiber. Best song ever written. Must watch!
On to the awesome…