The pain in our neck… is digital

Jan 10, 2019 | Blog, Technology | 5 comments

This blogging experiment is a fascinating exercise.

It was inspired by Seth Godin’s podcast called Akimbo. His podcast is transformational (for me). It has changed my entire approach to social media, how to evaluate “success” and where to focus energy in 2019.

The goal is to contribute something everyday. As it turns out, by keeping the content and subject matter unconfined, allows incredible freedom. The next post is whatever works up in the morning walk.

It’s a good way to start the day. Exercise the body with a brisk walk (brisk underlined due to the lazy pace this morning). Exercise the mind.

The pain in our neck

Recently, social media is the focus of more of my conversations. In short, it appears we suffer from digital overload. People tell they are pulling back.

In the end, the tools and platforms that purported to deliver connectivity and engagement, actually divide and create social isolation. As a result of staring down at our devices, we literally have a pain in our neck.

It became clear we needed to change our definition of success during a review of our Facebook video insights. We are being played. Most people do not make it past 3 seconds of our videos. Not just our videos, but everyone’s videos. 3-seconds is the measure of a “view”. Well, if we want everyone to see that we are producing volume, great! But, what about quality? What if we want people to see the content?

There should be no surprise I guess. We have known this about newspapers for a long time. That is why a good headline writer is important. In fact, headlines define the narrative and shape opinion. No matter how wrong or misleading they are! There is no point in fighting a headline. Instead, focus energy on setting up the next one.

I remember back to my time in Applied Communication at Camosun, and Sid Tafler’s instructions to load up the front end of the news story. People don’t read much past the first few paragraphs. (Thank you for making it this far in this post. You are one of the few.)

A cup of coffee and the paper

So, writing this blog, even though it is digital, it is a throwback. It’s a tip of the hat to a time when we sat down with a cup of coffee and read the paper.

And, as you will notice, my main distribution vehicle is Facebook. The very platform people are moving away from. No doubt, these digital platforms are successful because they are useful tools. They will continue to play a role in our communications but how we use them will shift and change. And, how they are using is always changing as well.

So, despite being an early adopter, it has been a freeing experience to decouple “success” from social media metrics. Real human interactions are rewarding, and that is where my energy is flowing in 2019.


  1. Jacob Enns

    I too am going to focus on human interactions. This is why I am focusing on creating Community Dome Conversations. It is time to circle up face to face and go deep in conversations.
    And yes there is an app for that…

  2. Dietmar Dombkowski

    Great blog Adam and I agree as well to your findings. In the end this platforms are just another scam to make money. True Human interaction is suffering, it creates more division, and on the end loneliness of the individual. We need more personal interactions which will bring more understanding and positive results.

  3. John Michael Sinclair

    Well you used the best font for readability based on solid communications research on “readability” vs. “likeability”, as serif. This as per Communications research at MIT to Montreal’s Concordia. And points for the textbook reverse pyramid storytelling as per Journalism studies at Carleton to Hill and Knowlton and Burston basics. Not a Camosum exclusive.

    Now get Greens to follow the rules from Advertising, Communication and Marketing research journals and from lawn signs to graphics. When basics addressed I’ll help with other research and what I was asked to speak about on political marketing at McGill, UBC and SFU. And with working with real experts like Dr. Shapiro and Dr. Morgan who I worked with helping three Prime Ministers. Then we can talk fashion marketing and mistakes made compared to others success?

  4. JohnG in snowy Ottawa this week...

    Adam — That is why creating a value proposition needs a shirt, crisp executive summary because the other stuff will never get seen by the decision taker aka the time driven executive… IMHO

  5. JohnG in snowy Ottawa this week...

    Adam — That is why creating a value proposition needs a short, crisp executive summary because the other stuff will never get seen by the decision taker aka the time driven executive… IMHO


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