Streaming Content Is Not An Innovation


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Just because it’s new, means nothing. Ideas can fail. Innovation solves problems. It doesn’t create them.

If you care about the jobs people do, like flying planes, driving buses full of people, driving your family to church or operating heavy equipment, you would have to agree that streamed real-time data is worthless, if not dangerous. OK, so lets talk about front office workers, instead. Is it any less dangerous for you as a business owner to allow your employees – that were doing a job for you – to spend all day with one eyeball glued to a content stream, with half the required eyeballs -  and none of the brain – focused on their job?

Knowledge at our finger tips does not mean it has to be created in real-time – and that’s what streaming is. Information on-demand is more appropriate.  So all of you innovators out there may have forgotten something very important. The jobs people do. You’ve added work, not solved real business problems. There is nothing about a social customer that requires streams unless you believe everyone’s job is to sit at a computer or 3G device and wait for a social customer to ask a question.

I’m a social customer and even I don’t expect that. after all, I taught myself how to use Google

Because many of you simply won’t believe me because you’ve been sipping the endless stream of Kool-Aid, let me give you some homework. I’ve devised this poorly thought out challenge to demonstrate how difficult it is to retrieve data from your favorite stream platforms when you haven’t been able to sit in front of the data in real-time.

Wait a minute – all of you with 6 figure per month social media monitoring tools don’t get to play this time…

Facebook Challenge:

  • Find the last time your friend John Doe talked about football
  • Find everything John Doe ever said about football
  • How about what John Doe said about your favorite football team, What date(s) did he mention them and what did he say?

Twitter Challenge:

  • Find all references to the hashtag #scrm between January 14th, 2009 and June 4th, 2009.
  • Now, how many of those were by me?
  • How many of those by me were in response to Esteban Kolsky?

You have two minutes…

Are you finished? Isn’t it obvious that streaming is simply not ideal for business cases? How the heck could anyone recommend Facebook or Twitter as a functional solution for a business? SERIOUSLY! Twitter?  Sure, there are social media monitoring tools out there that would break the bank of any third world country, so is there really a return on investment for the average ABC Pipe & Supply available today, or in the near future? I’m really afraid (not really) the answer is no. And the reason is because the platform can’t force us to invest in such tools for long – and survive. Especially when they are so disconnected from the ongoing jobs we do. New jobs? OK. Justify it in real hard numbers for us – and try not to making anything up this time ;)

Don’t ask me why is this happening, I don’t know. In the personal world I guess Facebook is OK – but it lost it’s novelty on me awhile ago. I mean, I can do a quick check on old friends, but I can’t really research them. And as far as Twitter goes, anyone who suggests that it, or it’s users, have any influence is living in a dream world – but more likely a coming nightmare.

The companies that put geek squads on the their Twitter monitoring platforms aren’t giving these customers influence. Influence comes from a persons ability to affect the behaviors of other like people. News flash! The average person is not watching the Twitter stream all day for comments on your brand. Only you are. Thus, the consumer has no influence just because they have a Twitter account.

Don’t get me wrong. Consumers are definitely searching for information online. All I’m suggested is that they are not all wasting their lives in front of streams. I have a site that proves it. People come there in droves looking for information. Some of it is there, some of it won’t be created for awhile. Some of it is created by my visitors. If it’s been created, they find it.

In the Twitter world, references to BBQ are passing, like “I’m going to my neighborhood BBQ”. The serious Tweets are all from bloggers and competitors. These are the Pros, the businesses, not the consumers.  My @GrillReview hashtag is just one of the many littering the Universe with references to BBQ.

People actually using Twitter are doing nothing but BROADCASTING ALL DAY LONG. Much of it with Twitterfeed and and other such devices. I won’t even get into Yahoo Pipes and how easy it is to fake retweets. “Oh, I’m so interested in what you have to say that I’m staying up 24 hours a day and re-tweeting your automated tweets.” Yea, right.  Before you know it, everything will be automated and we will have created a multi-dimensional version of robotic spam. Many to many spamming. I love it, if only because of the silliness of it all.

I’m the same kind of consumer that you are. I hang up on telemarketers, I throw away snail mail offers, I use Google to find information and I look for the best price online. That’s my job as a consumer. Tell me how a stream fulfills the needs of the job I do as a consumer?

I’m looking for something truly innovative. Something that lets me work they way I want, when I want. If I feel like surfing the stream for a few minutes – and it will only be a few minutes – then I want that. But, I also want to find information when I’m inspired to do so and in any way I feel like doing it. I don’t want to be an expert in the SQL language (even though I am) and I don’t want to use a whole folder full of tools (even though I do). I want everything to be in the palm of my hand when I demand it. What will it look like and when will it be here?

Cuz it ain’t here. But, I know it’s coming…

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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