Blogs. Tweets. Posts. Pins. The Internet has proven to be about ideas. And like ideas, the very essence of the Internet is contradictory. It is simultaneously ephemeral and permanent. It connects people and divides them. It spawns disorderly and creative ideas. And researchers suggest that we’re losing our ability to focus and concentrate because of our digital behaviors; goldfish have us beat in terms of attention spans.
I had a collision of creative ideas recently while hop-scotching between four articles. One was a Facebook post with an Alan Rickman quote about the power and need for storytelling. The second was a peek inside Facebook’s little red book for employees. The third and fourth were thought-provoking articles about the power of disorder for the upcoming presidential race and the current battle for customers. The four have nothing in common. But the serendipity of encountering them within the same hour is an excellent example of the digital world’s ability to spark creative ideas. Hey, I got a blog post out of it!
Change or Die
Think about how business has changed. Major companies (Alibaba, Uber and Airbnb) succeed by not owning what they deliver. Successful brands (Red Bull, Coca-Cola and Marriott Hotels & Resorts) understand it’s not about pushing sales but telling a story to engage us as brand loyalists. Countries are being redefined from first-, second- and third-world status to one of order versus disorder in terms of how they respond to and address their economies, social differences and environmental concerns. Everything is continually changing. The challenge is to adapt it. Facebook knows this and isn’t afraid to accept that challenge. Their little red book states, “If we don’t create the thing that kills Facebook, someone else will.”
In the face of this, how do you adapt and reinvent yourself, your business, your world? In a meeting with a client recently, it occurred to me that the proposed design for the mobile platform looked like it was covering all bases with its mockups for smartphones and tablets. But then I thought of the new Apple Watch. What will our client’s new website look like on a screen that measures 1.52 inches by 1.31 inches? How will having the Internet on your wrist change the way you use it?
More Questions than Answers
I know this to be true: The pace of life and new ideas is speeding up, and our 8.25-second attention span is apt to keep getting shorter. I know that telling stories is the most powerful tool in the universe. Which leads me to believe that visual storytelling is going to become even more important.
How will we tell those stories on a tiny screen? Will tiny screens be the death of text and the birth of a universal language of images? How will brands respond? What will you do to keep abreast of these significant changes in how we communicate? If all you have is a website built in 2014, a handful of YouTube videos and nicely written copy, will your brand be relevant in 2016 and beyond? I don’t know, but it will be fascinating to see what happens.
Enjoyed this post? Read other articles by Kathleen.
Kathleen Gossman—Project Manager