Shifting into Gear in Adaptive Media

The catch-all term for these platforms we use is social media. I’ve found that term isn’t something some clients can wrap their heads around. I’ve have better success telling them this new focus is on being social, connected, helpful and accessible using adaptive media tools. That helps them make the mental separation between the nuts and bolts (setting up profiles, learning platforms like Twitter, creating basic web presences and integrating into their existing on or offline spheres) and the actual effective use and forward thinking aspects.

Why adaptive media? Because in the end the platforms and applications are just tools, and they are adaptive. They require the user to adapt to a more inclusive set of societal rules, to get back into a communication mode instead of a sales or quota mode, to relearn how to be human even in promotion or business, more. They also adapt constantly, changing almost daily. Some live in a niche (Twitter), some fall out of fashion (MySpace) or lose funding or close for other reasons (TipJoy), some grow exponentially for a while only to begin to fade away (Friendster), some seem to eat the rest of the tools alive (Google), but in the end – they are only tools.

If you call it what it is and work on changing the midset behind the use of the tools, it’s easier to create an atmosphere where you can ride out the volatile nature of the social web and find growth no matter what happens to the tools you use to do it. The social mindset isn’t going anywhere, but it will become a more connected way of living and doing business that will outlast whatever tools you use to do it. Adapt in this age of adaptive media, and don’t trip yourself up by attaching yourself so firmly to one tool you can’t float if it sinks.

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  • I like it. But it's so hard to get a term to catch on with the “internet masses” – even when it helps us to distinguish tools from processes.
    I certainly will find myself using it at least once! (If not more – let's hope more!)

  • I like it. But it's so hard to get a term to catch on with the “internet masses” – even when it helps us to distinguish tools from processes.
    I certainly will find myself using it at least once! (If not more – let's hope more!)

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  • Leslie

    This is an important distinction: people have been social since long before there were tools, and it’s likely they will continue to be social long after they are but a faded memory. The tools can work as a means to an end; allowing one to develop networks for various reasons, but without giving any forethought as to why people can get focused on the medium rather than the message.

    One could argue that the tools work against us as a society; in some cases creating awkward limitations to some people’s ability to be social in ways that don’t involve the tools. Thanks for all your efforts – pointing up pitfalls and clarifying what has become a bit of a mysterious concept to many.

    Nicely put!

    Don F Perkins
    http://www.mindmulch.wordpress.com

  • Thanks, Don!

    I think using the word social mentally limits how people see themselves using the tools and interacting in the space. It creates a vision of an online toga party, where in reality this is just a nicer looking and more useful front face to a variety of utilities and tools that can do everything from connect friends to help business grow and adapt. Thinking of it that way may help folks become more successful at it, and that will help offset the time spent in bringing it in to the organization or to their life.

  • Leslie,

    Your right. I can see how this could be especially troubling imagery for conservative “by the numbers” business leaders. I suspect there’s also a disconnect culturally between gen x and y that aids to the confusion about how adaptive media has anything to do with capturing more revenue. It ain’t your gramma’s marketing campaign. Nonetheless, more and more companies are gaining ground using adaptive media tools as part of a well-balanced approach to being where their customers are and getting found.

    For us the grand experiment continues, gathering insights from great minds (like yours), learning, adapting and connecting to reduce risk and maximize opportunity for success.

    See you in January!

    Don F Perkins
    http://mindmulch.wordpress.com