Walking the walk… from passive to active media design

Since I can no longer give advice that I am not applying directly to my own work, I have installed WordPress and am now proceeding to develop my own DesignWise.net social media consultation Website as an ongoing work-in-progress. Equipping my clients with the capacity to easily communicate is now fundamental to providing an effective and empowering marketing strategy. A recent New York Times article talks about the latest findings in a Forrester Research report…

Nearly a quarter of American adults who use the Internet are “creators,” Forrester says, which means that they “write blogs, upload original audio or video, or post stories online.”

I am recalling @Pistachio at the Montreal Webcom in November 2008, explaining one key value of Twitter to… “Surround you with motivating people” and “Flatten hierarchy.”


Now, it’s all about the rise of Lilliputians and the fall of Gullivers. Don Bartholomew, aka metricsman says, “Numerous studies have shown people don’t trust what they read in the media, they trust each other.  I believe it was Hauser and Katz who coined the term you are what you measure in 1998.”

The Forrester report mentioned above explains that, “half of online adults now belong to social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, a 46 percent growth rate year-over-year.” And explains further that adults 35 and older are now the fastest growing demographic group, “Four of five adults of all ages now use social media, including blogs, social networks and review sites, in some form at least monthly; half visit social networking sites.”

My own integrative design theories have expanded to include the impact of social media and content creation on what was formerly a studio art form – the creation of static HTML Websites. With the shift from passive to active media, I have become less a designer and more a coach, teaching my clients how to enter into the world of inbound advertising. As metricsman agrees, it is no longer effective to measure site traffic and impressions when there is a raging dialogue taking place in locations far too numerous to measure or evaluate. He offers a new model of measurement:

Exposure – to what degree have we created exposure to content and message?

Engagement – who, how and where are people interacting/engaging with our content?

Influence – the degree to which exposure and engagement have influenced perceptions and attitudes

Action – as a result of the PR/social media effort, what actions if any has the target taken?”

As this new “active media” continues define and refine itself, marketing and public relations is no longer about simply having a great Website… it’s about having a large social footprint and an active voice in the ongoing dialogue. It’s also about  listening as well as speaking, tracking what is being said about you, about your products and about your focal points.

In 2006 I started another shift in my own creative strategies, working to become a filmmaker and video journalist. It was apparent to me then and has now proven to be true, that video production is the emerging pathway to new media communications. I just completed the first stages of a client-funded documentary film-making project on Door County’s Midsummer’s Music Festival that is also simultaneously re purposed as social video marketing. You are invited to join in that conversation at my DesignWise Studios, filmmaker and video production Website.

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