While I would suspect that the findings of a MediaPost Research Brief come as no surprise I do think there are some questions that may be considered as a result. To get the gist of these findings the following quote sums it up:
Preliminary findings about these Millenial Generation journalists, shared by the Society for New Communications Research Symposium, showed that 100% of Millennial respondents (i.e., 18-29 year-olds) believe new media and communications tools are enhancing journalism, versus 40% in the 50-64 demographic.
Now it gets interesting. Since I fall somewhere in between these two groups (and please feel free to play ‘Guess Frank’s age’ in your comments) I need to understand this a little better. First, where is the voice of that ‘in between’ group, those of us between 30-49? Would there be a higher adoption rate than the older group but a lower one than the Millenials and wouldn’t it be interesting to know how slight or severe that difference is (or would that make the findings less ‘intense’ which is part of my next point).
Ok, so here’s where I go get to the point that will probably burn some of you up. There are all kinds of fun statistics in this research about adoption rates and how wonderful the Millenial group is because they are the up and coming journalists that have embraced social media blah, blah, blah. What is never addressed, however, is quality of coverage. I suspect you come to Marketing Pilgrim because you get a good feel for the news of the day in the internet marketing space and there is little fluff or sensationalism. Opinions are one thing….this is a blog after all. That’s when this type of communication is good. Well, many of the younger set are drinking up everything that is said and then repackaging it as the truth because they simply may not know better. Worse yet, they may want to just to something ‘spectacular’ to make their mark. Here is a comic for you from this past Sunday from a personal favorite, “Get Fuzzy”. This has readily been swiped from the Comics.com site which you should visit regularly for a good laugh. I will let the author, Darby Conley, make his point (which his strip does often):
My fear is that we start to replace the truth with information. That can easily be done especially in the sensationalistic world we live in. As responsible internet marketers and business people we have to sift through this with great intentionality and discernment to make sure that what we are reading and making decisions on is actually true. If the data is in fact the product of an over zealous person who thinks they are getting some nugget of wisdom from another blogger whose intention is to make a name for his/herself , truth be damned, it can be dangerous. At some point, when people catch on that much of social media is noise they will back away and make it less effective. Look at MySpace. Once its market was pretty wide open but now it is pigeon-holed for the very young and spammers because it became noise. It lost it’s appeal to many and opened the door for Facebook, LinkedIn etc. . Same holds true for this dependence on sources that really have no basis in anything other than the author getting ahead. Let the reader beware!
Agree? Disagree? Weigh in.