The problem? Choice. Too much choice. And too much communication.
So, we’re in the Communication Age, the era ushered on by globalisation and the onslaught of digital technology. Where once only the privileged had a voice, now everyone has the ability to reach out to an audience. Not just locally, but globally. And with seven billion people on this planet and counting, the competition to get heard is endless.
Now don’t misunderstand me. Choice is a good thing. The fact there are now seven or eight news-style websites alone serving Ho Chi Minh City in English — I dread to add up how many are providing the same service in Vietnamese — with four websites doing the same work for Hanoi, is good. It’s good for you, the consumer, the user or reader.
But it makes it just that much harder to get heard. And to get heard, you have to communicate, communicate and communicate. Social media. You need to get it out there.
Bill Gates's saying once seemed to hold the media industry in good stead — “Content is king.” Now, as the co-founder of Vice points out, “Content is king and the audience is king.” No matter how good your content is, if you can’t reach out to your audience, the content is useless. To do this you must communicate.
Part of me yearns for those days when everything was simple, when the internet was purely a means to help you do your job. Now it feels like a hindrance. Social media has rampaged up the technology highway and just by its very presence, requires everyone to be involved.
Yet as with everyone else out there, I must and do embrace it. Uploading photos to Instagram, checking out what’s going on on Facebook, going through my Twitter account, keeping an eye on LinkedIn, setting up tweets and posts and all things else that are deemed vital. It adds extra hours to an already long day.
For hundreds of years humans have campaigned for this, for greater freedoms and for choice. Now we have it there’s too much of it around. In the online forum, if we really want to get heard, forget choosing one social media over another. Choose everything.