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The “horseless carriage” phase of social media – Content Nation

I am currently reading Content Nation. I believe this book have to be a must read for all those looking at social PR as a second career of their PR life.

Content Nation does not just focus on the tools and tell you how good these tools are, it also look back at the history of communication to see how social media have evolved to what it is today.

Indeed, as Content Nation suggests, we are in the “horseless carriage” phrase of the social media evolution.

When the first “horseless carriage” was invented, it was designed to look like a carriage.

This implies that because social media on the Internet is still so new, many of us still expect social media to behave like how traditional media.

From a PR perspective, we want social media to have the same credibility as what expect from traditional media before we approach social media.

I find this argument of credibility especially when it is said by advertising or marketing people who argue that traditional media is expected to give them good positive coverage because they put money into the print publication.

We expect social media to all put their names to the medium, as anonymity is a sign of trying to hide from the facts.

However, the advantages of the “horseless carriage” to the consumer only resulted in it transform to the automobiles we have today.

We design roads for the automobiles and laws for which is relevant to the  automobiles. “Horseless carriages” then could only use roads if there were “lamps in front of them”.

Thus the benefits of social media will one day so prevalent to the consumer that we design our expectations around what it is rather than around the expectations of traditional media.

Hence, it is better to get your hands dirty now before social media becomes mainstream and you are left behind.


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