…the poster is amazing, but we’re not actually Shit From Hell anymore. We’re SFH. We decided to make ourselves an interactive geriatric punk combo, and let our millions of fans decide what to call us: Stigma Fetish Hesitation! Spontaneous Fire Harvest! Societal Foam Hunk! Sudden Felony Horse! Have fun! Mix and match!
There has always been fierce competition for control of the public agenda. Governments, unions, NGOs and companies all want your attention so that they can sell you something – an idea, a thing, whatever.
But the problem, of course, is that it has become a lot harder to do that. Folks have become savvier consumers of information; they are a lot more skeptical about what they see and hear. Along with that, Joe and Jane Frontporch are bombarded with hundreds of thousands of words and images every single day – what American writer David Shenk calls “data smog” – so they just tune it all out. It becomes noise, to them.
So, if you have a message to communicate, how do you overcome all of that? How do you break through the noise?
• New Media, No Money? I spoke to a Globe reporter about this issue yesterday – and said that, while the New Media (aggregators, Facebookians, Twitterers, blogistes) are clearly a threat to the Old Media, can they actually capitalize on it? Can they make a buck doing what they do? Personally – and I speak from personal experience – I don’t really think so. Google AdSense revenue won’t keep the New Media lights on, much less pay for someone to hire a reporter or two. Until someone figures out how to do it differently, the likes of Huffington and the Daily Kos will remain the exception, not the rule. • The Rogue Proroger: If nothing else, it is my fervent hope that the Reform-Conservatives’ prorogation-induced (and rapid) 15-point-drop in popularity will banish, forever, the punditocracy’s claim that Harper is a Master Strategist. He’s not. He never will be. Unrelated point: the two issues that have most inflamed voters in the past couple years – and which have been preceded by an online populist uprising – both relate to democracy: the coalition stuff, and now the prorogation stuff. As I told a fellow at our Haiti fundraiser on Saturday night, I don’t understand how (on the one hand) voter participation rates continue to slump, while (on the other hand) “pure democracy” issues like coalition and prorogation spur massive interest/anger/emotion. Anyone got a theory? • The Dangerous Streets:Fourteen people killed on Toronto streets in a month – and the tragic deaths have not been caused by guns or knives. Why is this happening? Listening to media “streeters” over the past few days, you’ll note that pedestrians are tending to blame drivers, and drivers are tending to blame pedestrians. Being both, I’d venture a guess that both are, to some extent, to blame. Both, therefore, need to (a) be more watchful and (b) obey the law. Sounds axiomatic, but – in Toronto this year, at least – maybe not. • Women and Pay Equity: Overlooked and important. Women continue to deserve much, much better in the workplace. Politicians, of all stripes, will have their rhetoric measured against their deeds, in this regard. And they should be – there’s no standing pat on this one.