Our filters — an update on an old post
This is an update to an older post. But I’m making it new. Partly because of this, but also because there are other examples of people hearing something on Twitter and thinking it’s true.
I’ve long argued on this blog that one of the big changes of the last couple of years is the end of filters. This is what I said almost a year ago:
“The older you are, the more filtered content you’ve consumed (and most likely continue to consume).
Most of the broadcast consumed is filtered. Editors filter print content. A network exec chooses the line-up each night, essentially filtering out shows that they don’t think viewers will like. Radio and TV news filter the topics of the day. The newspapers ‘pick’ the stories to cover, essentially delivering filtered news.”
This isn’t a plot, and I don’t mean right-wing or left wing filters. I literally mean the person who decided to place a story on the front page. This person gives that story more prominence. In essence, telling readers what’s important and what isn’t.
This isn’t about any other agenda but the one to make money. Editors and producers filter in content that will get watched and read. Because readership pays for the ads which pays the salary of the people who create.
Clearly, things are different. The rules have completely changed. A tweet that says “Steve Jobs” has been rushed to the hospital zips around the Twitterspere to the point that Apple‘s stock goes down. We don’t have the ability to filter out the garbage as well.
But on the other end, Brands don’t have the ability to filter out messages from their customers.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people ask me the following:
“What if someone says something nasty?”
The crux of that question is this: We’ve done a really good job of controlling our message in the last 100 years, and we’re not prepared to open up the floor to people to talk shit about our brand.
This image sums it up:
It says: “You must be logged in to leave a comment”.
(Note: there are a lot of reason why people who comment should be asked for a login, but this a post about controlling the message, so bear with me)
The simple fact is, I don’t have to be logged in to comment. I can add it to Digg or Reddit and comment all I want. I can add the story to this blog, and say whatever I want. I can comment outside of the walls of their engine in so many different ways that it’s ridiculous to say that I can’t.
But we’ll see a lot more of this because we’re so used to filters. We’re use to filters, especially in advertising, because they give the semblance of control.