Fast Twitch Media

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No one has done more for the medium that is Twitter than “The Donald.”  Listening to a snippet of the president elect yesterday, it made me feel as do many of his sound bites. I get the sense someone feeds him a disruptive and memorable sound bite (or he comes up with it himself) which he repeats 3 times. Sans evidence or support. Then he moves on. These sound bite are what hit the news. The approach is perfect for this Fast Twitch Media world.

In social media, sound bites can become memes. Memes get passed around as fast as jokes and news. And they can certainly last longer.  I built a consulting business around brand and marketing memes.

Have you ever gone to concert and sung along with the artist, but only able to sing a few of the hook lines? On the web, the memorable lines are the memes, everything else is flah-flah-flah content.

So, the social media tip is: “Know how to build memes.”  Memes that point back to you or your company.  Memes that others will replicate and share. Google reads the web every minute. And you can’t buy off Google.  You can sometimes trick it, but it can’t be bought. Memes create traffic.

If you are good at creating memes, endemic to your brand, if you use them and own them, you will win in social media. Just ask “The.”


PS. For more social media tips, Google “Social Media Guard Rails” (a meme).  



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Twitch Point Planning was born out of today’s fast twitch media world. Twitch point planning attempts to understand, map and manipulate consumers — moving them closer to a transaction via  the various media types we digital agers touch every day.  Though much fast twitch media is technology-based (tablets, smart phones, geolocation, video, etc.) the actions that support it are behavioral. And it is all attention deficit related. So which came first the behavior or the technology?

According to a new study reported by CBS, SpongeBob Square Pants cartoons, with its fast cuts and jumpy story lines, contribute to attention deficit in kids.  The study analyzed a small sample of kids (60) but the results are still predictable.

And if kids are becoming predisposed to media twitching thanks to cartoons, wait until they grow up. Many children are hyper enough — no need to fuel that fire.  Can someone say “quiet time?”   Will these kids be able to sit down for 3 hours and read text books or in later years snuggle up to a good Kindle? 

I’m all for using twitch point planning to make a few bucks, but long term this may be a bigger issue worth studying.  And fixing.  Or the pharmaceutical companies will be investing in the cartoon business pretty soon. Peace.



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Fast Twitch Media is exactly what it sounds like: media that is reactive, quick and available in bite-size chunks.  The problem with Fast Twitch Media (and the opportunity) is with the twitch. A twitch often results in a transfer from one media moment or type to another. When I’m reading an article on All Things D about Shazam, and click on the link in the middle of the article it takes me to a demo on YouTube, drawing me away from the article itself.  A twitch.  As the publisher of All Things D, I may have lost the reader because the YouTube demo might twitch me elsewhere.

A key goal in marketing and advertising is reducing the space between consumer and a transaction. Temporally, spatially, emotionally. Not soft metric stuff, hard metric stuff.  Take the air out of the space between the consumer and the purchase and you win. 

What’s exciting about today is that there are many ways to do this, thanks to mobile and the web.  What’s scary about today is that there are many ways to do this, thanks to mobile and the web.  Enter Twitch Point Planning — the ability to map and manipulate fast twitch media and behavior to your product’s advantage. Many are already doing it, but not by design. 

Shazam, the app that lets your phone listen to an unknown song and identify it for you, is very cool. And useful.  The ability then for Shazam to sell you that song in a click or two is an example of reducing the space between consumer and transaction. A Twitch Point gone right. 

Go forth and Twitch my people.  Peace. 

PS. Thanks to Chris Kramer and Netx for the Shazam article.


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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Fast Twitch Media and twitch point planning, and from the quality of the responses it seems I’m on to something.  Faris Yakob of KBS+P is in the fast twitch neighborhood when he refers to our low latency culture, and others who talk about integrating transmedia solutions are similarly on the trail.   It’s a nascent practice but quite exciting. One key to effectively getting people to twitch from one media type to another, with the goal of taking them closer to a transaction, is to create intrigue. Especially in a low-interest category.  If we are talking Gillette razors, you don’t need to twitch me to a treasure map or man-scape video game, but you do need to get me to think, feel and do – within the context of a brand idea. Go Daddy got this years ago, albeit shamelessly and sans selling idea.

As the mobile online experience improves, and it’s not there yet, a twitch to a website is only a pants pocket away. A twitch to a hastag. A QR code to a video. A geo-check –all within arm’s reach.  Print ads are already becoming short form billboards using a call to twitch. Check out the new Kobo e-reader ad in The New York Times paper/paper today.

The RGAs , Crispin Porter’s and 72 and Sunny’s are thinking twitch point planning — they just don’t call it so. And they are trying to decide who is responsible for it. Media people, creative, geekuses?  The answer is yes. Peace!

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