Stories are taking over, as a media format

I loved when Snapchat introduced the Stories format. It suited the platform perfectly and became a sort of passive social channel that I used to enjoy when social media was new. But I haven't given much thought to what the rise of Stories means, both as a platform, and as a media format.

Thankfully, better people have:

Stories is not a technology, nor is it a feature. It is a media format, or even a genre, in the way that a magazine or a murder mystery or a 30-minute television program is.

Tracking, the flawed belief in statistics

Tracking is the basis for everything online these days. We track what content gets the most clicks to make sure we create better content. We track the ads we run to make sure our ads are targeted to the right people and that they convert well. We use tracking in all aspects of our lives to make better decisions and take the right action. But it's not working, is it. No matter how long you stare at those numbers they don't give you a golden bullet. So what's wrong with this theory? Everything.

While tracking makes our decisions gradually better, tracking does not make any new connections. Do you think RedBull is tracking any direct ROI on sponsoring Felix Baumgartner's record breaking sky dive from the edge of space? No. But I think few people would argue that they didn't get more than their share of media coverage. Very few marketing schemes get that kind of eye-ball-action, but the important thing is that tracking would never lead you to invest in such a venture.

Neither would tracking lead you to think that a generous return policy could generate profits. Yet every single report tell us that it does.

In the 50's a young designer made a nondescript electronics company a house hold name by creating memorable and user friendly designs for their products. The company was Braun, and the designer was Dieter Rams. Rams, who've since been credited as an inspiration for designers behind cars and even Apple, didn't do it by tracking.

There is nothing wrong with tracking. In fact, without tracking it's extremely hard to reach a goal, once it's set. But tracking is quite probably holding you back. If tracking is the basis for your strategy, you're probably not seeing the full market. That light at the end of the tunnel might turn out to be a train.

Strategy is taking the broad view of a business and aiming your organization. Tactics are how we get there. Tactics make great use of tracking and statistics. Strategy does not. Depending on strategy will keep you constantly running to catch up with the world, because the numbers can only really show you what used to happen. And only in a very specific situation at that. It's harder to argue without numbers. Which is why most people eventually stop trying. Next time you are in a meeting and someone offers a contrary view of a situation you might want to think about it a few minutes. Don't throw out your innovation because of the result of a skewed question asked by bored data miners.

How fast do you want your data?

Media is becoming snippets of entertainment. Don't believe me? Check out a few Ted talks or simply watch something good on youtube. The reason I can say this is because the Internet is letting people choose their entertainment on demand. They watch, read and play what they want when they want it.

But since there is a lot more media available then you can ever consume in a lifetime people are choosing to experience what they want now. We see short funny clips, but we might spend hours watching such clips. We also watch high quality TV-series or a new blockbuster movie but not nearly as much as we check blogs or mail.

The point is, media is getting smaller, quicker, more effectively made for individuals. We can either use that knowledge to create content that will appeal to the new customer behaviour or we can fight it and say that the people using content this way are just tech freak pirates anyway.

The early adopters are not copies of the next generation of media consumers, but they do show the trend. It has been that way for the past hundred years with Radio, Cinema and TV. Why would this trend be different?

Play - the new medium

Here is a short thought that you might want to consider expressing next time someone near you doesn't understand just how significant games are as a medium. Please think about how the people near you consume media. They watch movies, read books and so on and then share their experience with others. Possibly as humor or as tips for others to try, but essentially media is a connective experience.

Media connects people.

Games are interactive media. Not all interactive media are games, but all games are interactive media. And games are in majority multiplayer.

Games will therefore make the normal use of media more effective and/or easier.

Because of this, I believe that games will become not a mainstream medium. But quite possibly the mainstream media.

Please feel free to disagree, but I'm not all wrong am I?