29 Feb 2008

Instant gratification

The answering machine is dead. I know - big deal - but after decades of being the ubiquitous means for leaving messages, the death of this device (the function lives on for now) symbolizes an important shift in how we communicate.

We are in an age of instantaneous communication; we no longer wait for to leave or receive a message - we don’t have the patience. We don’t wait to talk to each other, we don’t wait for information and we certainly don’t want to wait to buy stuff. This is why we IM on our mobile phones, have our news delivered by an RSS feeder and consume content (sometimes illegally from Pirate Bay) before it is ever even released. It’s all about instant gratification these days.

So what does all this instantaneousness mean for us media folk? Firstly, it means you have to talk directly to your audience and on a close, personal level. The rise of the corporate blog and the commercial social network are two examples of this. If you are not having an immediate and personal conversation with your audience, than someone else is. It also means you need to make your content instantaneously accessible. If it isn’t search optimized and linked back to an infinite number of commentator’s then you are probably just writing for yourself.

Our audiences are much more impatient these days and they certainly are not going to wait for a proverbial beep to leave you a message.


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