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The 12 Principles of New Media

The 12 Principles of New Media

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Published by david_spark
Twelve issues you need to take into consideration when running a new media campaign. Article includes video interviews with industry experts on each of the principles.
Twelve issues you need to take into consideration when running a new media campaign. Article includes video interviews with industry experts on each of the principles.

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Published by: david_spark on Aug 11, 2009
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09/23/2010

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be the voice
The 12 Principles of New Media
By David Spark, Founder of Spark Media Solutions, LLC2/25/07
 “I didn’t get the memo.” 
 Ever since you started using email, you’ve heardor said that phrase only with heavy sarcasm.Whenever something happens without you realizingit, you may be tempted to utter that phrase as afeeble excuse.When new media tools began there was nothing toannounce. Blogging, podcasting, mobile content,online video, and social networking were alllaunched in stealth mode as bottom-up, not top-down, forms of communication.New media empowers consumers, offeringimproved media consumption choice and theopportunity to create content (a.k.a. “consumer-generated media” or “consumer created content”)with distribution potentially equal to majorpublishers.Thanks to new media, we’ve collectively chosen towalk away from communal
xed-time media. Nolonger must we schedule our time around mediaand information in order to consume it. New toolsallow us to easily produce, consume, and shareinformation on our own timetable. Instead of someone we don’t know, like a newspaper editoror TV executive, directing our media consumptionpatterns, we have promoted ourselves to the titleof Self-Directed Network Executive. Each one of usgets to determine for ourselves what we want toconsume and when.What continues in the next pages is my dissectedview of the 12 principles of new media. This ismy view today, early in 2007. It may change in ayear. But for now, these principles are necessaryelements you need to consider when embarkingupon publishing in the new media space.Accompanying each principle is a conversationvideo at sparkmediasolutions.com with expertsoffering their divergent opinions on each of these12 theories. I’ll be releasing a new video everyweek until all 12 are posted. To watch, listen, orread the transcripts of these videos, please head tothe Opinions section of sparkmediasolutions.com.Those interviewees include:Brian Powley - iCrossingChris Heuer - Social Media ClubChris Peterson - Chautauqua CommunicationsChris Shipley - Guidewire GroupColette Vogele - Vogele LawGary Bolles - MicrocastGreg Sterling - Sterling Market IntelligenceSamantha Muchmore - DRAFTFCBWhile all the opinions you’ll hear and read areexcellent, they’re not from the only experts. This isan open discussion for all. I’m eager to know howyou, too, are developing and consuming new media.
Please read, watch, and respond.
David Spark, Founder, Spark Media Solutions, LLCdavid@sparkmediasolutions.com
© 2007, Spark Media Solutions, LLC.
 
The 12 Principles of New Media© 2007, Spark Media Solutions, LLC.
Page 2
Principle #1: The economics of your time
There is one thing you, Bill Gates, and I have anequal amount of, and that’s time. We each liveand operate within the constraints of a 24-hourday. How we choose to portion that out in terms of sleep, work, and play is how we manage our lives.Prior to VCRs, the Internet, iPods, and DVRs, we letexecutives decide when we would consume videoand audio programming. We would orchestrate ourlives around television shows. When I was a kid,I could rattle off the prime time lineup of all threemajor networks for every single day of the week.Six years ago I got TiVo and I have no idea what’son any network at any given time on any givennight. Network scheduling no longer has any valueor relevance to me. What’s on my TiVo does.The number of hours in the day hasn’t changed.What’s changed is we are no longer beholden toanyone else’s schedule. The on-demand culture of new media has allowed us to reclaim our individualtime by allowing us to completely program oursleep, work, and play as we choose. No needto make it home for the six o’clock news; CNNHeadline News is on 24 hours a day plus they havean archive of hundreds of stories online. Just turnit on when you’re ready to watch. Except for liveevents like sports, there’s truly no need to knowwhen anything is on anymore. Welcome to theworld of time shifting.Appointment programming is dwindling. Instead of rearranging our schedule to get home for Seinfeldat 8pm, we’re putting in the time, money, andeffort upfront by purchasing a DVR (digital videorecorder) like TiVo. We take the time to install it,con
gure it, plus learn the device’s interface andthe remote. Once we’ve done all that, we programthe show(s) we want to watch. It’s worth it to usbecause we see its value in managing the time ittakes to consume TV-based media.To take advantage of the bene
ts of any newmedia, we have to spend some time upfrontlearning the tools. Every day more of us are willingto expend that effort to take back more control of our 24 hours in the day.People’s willingness to expend the energy necessaryto purchase a new device and/or learn a newinterface is often proportional to the time savedcompared with a previously used alternative means.For example, prior to podcasts and iPods therewas still a way to listen to audio programming ona portable device like a CD player. But the processof going to a website, navigating the site to
nda program, downloading the program to yourcomputer, burning it to a CD, labeling the CD,putting it in your CD player, and then managing allthat physical media was far too time consuming.And as a result, very few people took advantage of this kind of portable on-demand audio. Given thatthere was such a limited audience for this type of audio content, very little was produced.
Some things just can’t be improved
To this day I still keep a paper “to-do” listbecause I’m so overwhelmed that I need to lookdown at a piece of paper to tell me what to donext. Yet, I’m such a massive geek that I didspend time looking into the multitude of onlineto-do list programs like Ta-da List(www.tadalist.com).And after spending hours playing with all of these tools I realized that no program couldbeat the convenience of that notepad. It’salways there. There’s no instruction manual.And I don’t have to boot up my computer orhave an Internet connection to use it.The introduction of podcasts eliminated many of these manual layers once necessary to consumeportable on-demand audio. The reason podcastingtook off is because users saw the “effort tocontrolling your time” ratio improving in their favor.
 
New media gives us the tools. It’s up to us todetermine if it’s worth the effort to learn to programit. We’re constantly weighing the
nancial and timecosts to determine whether it’s in our best interestto adopt a new tool. It is for this reason everyeasy-to-use and cost-ef 
cient innovation that shiftscontrol to the user becomes successful (e.g., iPodsand podcasts, RSS technology, TiVo).We have stopped focusing on just the eight-hourwork day. New media causes us to think about all24 hours in the day. It’s blurred the line betweenwork and play. I watch funny YouTube videos inthe of 
ce (don’t tell anyone; they already know). Ilisten to informative podcasts during my commute.I play games on my mobile phone while sitting on
The 12 Principles of New Media© 2007, Spark Media Solutions, LLC.
Page 3the john (I confess). I troll for news stories andwrite emails while people are late for meetings.We not only have more choice of content, but wehave more choice in terms of how and when we canconsume and share information.Our time is equally valuable. With the rash of newtools designed to
lter information, consumers tryto choose their content wisely. In turn, producersmust do so as well. When people do choose toconsume your content, be appreciative of it. Theychose to give you their time and attention—twovery valuable commodities. Thank them by givingthem a reason to come back.
Principle #2: We don’t need more choice.We need more TV Guides.
Walk into a room of 1,000 people in which youknow no one but know that there are some keypeople out there, somewhere. Where do you start?How do you start? Do you talk to anyone? With acrowd that large you may become so overwhelmedtrying to locate the right folks that you’d leavetalking to no one. Conversely, walk into a roomof two people—it’s a lot less threatening, easierto choose, and far easier to engage. In fact, nomatter what type of person you are (extrovertedor introverted), you’d probably have no problemintroducing yourself to those two people andengaging in a conversation.We live in a world with plenty of options; lack of options is not the issue. The problem is we don’tknow where to begin, what to look at, or who totalk to. We all need some guidance.Now those two people in the room you just metmay not be your ideal match. But if you talk tothem for a while, they may know someone (or knowsomeone who knows someone) who can better takeyou to the information you need. We’ve all heard the line “Content is king.” Well,what we’re all watching is content. Creating moreof it is not the issue. There’s plenty of great contentout there. We just haven’t had a chance to discoverit. And for that, we need some help.Much of the discovery has been focused throughdeveloping recommendation tools like thosesupplied by Net
ix or Amazon. It’s the holy grail of personalized technology. Who can
nd the perfectcomputer-based algorithm that can facilitateaccurate recommendations for the multitude of different customers and their varied tastes?That solution can work, but people often becomeattached to personalities, real people who offerrecommendations. This relationship worksin reverse where the masses get to know anindividual. You can never create an algorithm strongenough to match the in
uential power of an Oprahbook recommendation. Oprah doesn’t know aboutall her viewers’ intrinsic likes and dislikes, but herviewers know Oprah and they want to hear heropinions.

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