When distance does not matter

Few years back, I remember sitting in a room discussing what would the future like. At the time, we were not talking about whether we would have self-driving vehicles or whether shared economy would be the next trend. It’s more to what would be the ground breaker that sets it apart from today.

Amongst the list discussed, one that I remember clearly was about how distance would not be a matter for us when people create or innovate. We thought would be fun to finally be able to beam from one place to another like we see in Star Trek. But again, if hover board and flying cars are possible now, transporting people might just happen quicker than we might imagine.

The concept are already amongst us if you notice. Holding a meeting with a room of people from around the globe, virtually, are nothing impossible. In case you have forgotten, Zuckerberg already has his own Jarvis.

Internet has presented us solutions on distance, making it affordable for everyone. Today, it is possible to connect with anyone from the other side of the globe in instant. Well, it’s not literally internet do all the job but you know what I mean.

Few years back, the telco companies reap fortunes by charging us long distance call. Now, the messengers apps allow us to make call to different part of the globe with only data charged. Could even be free if you use public wifi. Not to mention conference call features.

Conversation through Content

Thanks to social media, the surge of information has become unstoppable. Anyone can create content. From simply generating text post, creating notes, to being able to do live video stream worldwide. This kind of exposure previously was limited to the media packed with their heavy equipment. Now it’s available for everybody to use with only a smartphone and social account. The wider one’s network, the faster the stream spread.

Besides publishers, brands and corporates are began making their effort to be presence online too, to be easily searchable. Some embracing it by creating blogs dedicated to seed content to the world wide web. Trying to be totally available online by creating brand accounts in almost every available social channels. Pouring substantial amount of budget to social ads as investment or engage with influencers to generate maximum exposure.

However, the needs of generating engaging content has created redundancy of content. Finding the same articles, with the same angle being posted as new content at four different channels in a day has become more common. Die of creativity, welcome being practical.

All those efforts are aim to create conversation through content.

Seeding conversation is not an easy task as the problem is not within the topic but how ready are we to manage the differences surrounding the discussed matter. This is where most brands got it wrong and dread the social channels. They’re worried of any negative responses coming from the content they seeded in their social accounts.

Of course they are, considering the amount of investment they have poured in.

Well, they shouldn’t. Once brands decide to jump in to social media, they have to be ready to converse. Maintaining conversation. Creating personality would take the brand to the next level. Take Wendy’s sassy Twitter account for example. Are such investment worth it? I’ll leave discussion about ROI on different topic.

Social channels and messengers app are only few that helps us to eliminate distance. Any conversation, content can be spread easily, worldwide. Others viewing both serve the opposite seems have forgotten that social channels and any other apps available are only tools. It is us, human that create wider distance as we choose to engage more to the tools than to the people around us. So, the choice is ours to make.

What is Impossible?

People are not addicted to content. They are drawn to concept of having platforms where they can interact with others without being visible. How true one can be in describing themselves with their social channels. Do what they post represent themselves in their daily? Most probably not. There’s a lot to question.

Everyday, we are presented a new social channel or new features are introduced to make us engage even more to it. Facebook already spreading buzz about its future plans with AR and AI. And it’s very impressive. The big plan is to replace smartphones by presenting new experience of communicating to the table.

Seeing what they have presented so far, they might nail it. Impossible? I thought that was what people say about flying and computer and internet and phones and light bulb and long list of what we have right now.

Distance does not matter. If currently, you’re thinking of creating something or innovate, the aim is definitely no longer presenting solution mere to the local. Making it affordable to everyone, that’s the biggest challenge.

So what is impossible anyway? Soon, Elon Musk will show us what we can do up there.

Data, the beginning or the end?

There are two things that can boost my mood, they are writing or reading. Either one always help me to see different angle or lead me to a point of whatever happen to me, it’s just a fragment piece of the universe. Most of time, this make me understand more things and be positive. How so? When I write, I like to dig deeper on things that inspire me which lead me to read more. Whereas when I read, it would inspire me to write things from a new angle or simple connect with anything at my surrounding.

So this time a good friend of mine asking me to write something about data. And I found myself laugh at the moment as few weeks back I remember reading an article about data as the new oil. For me, that is half correct. I believe finding ways to map out the data then understand how to use the data forward is what matter most.

I was lucky, my early journey in digital space was all about data research. Digging up hundreds of thousand social media posts since the early age of Facebook and Twitter. The Windows 8 launch was one of few campaigns I remember involved with. For this one, Microsoft has done quite superb effort to gather insights prior to the official launch of the product, during and also after. I can’t remember which APAC countries involved but South East Asia’s countries are a definite list. We map out comments from forums, posts from Twitter, Facebook, blogs up to official news site to draw insights from it.

Our biggest challenge at the time is to present the data as findings and suggest actionable recommendations from it. Again, it was not easy as social media was just a newborn at the time and gathering insights from it was also new. It was not easy for the team to gather additional info to support our findings and turn social media buzz into insights or moreover facts.

Then, should data be the beginning or the end in developing products or brands? From my humble opinion, it could be both as it will be depending on your needs.

Let’s say you’re about to present a new product or brand to a market. Data should be your beginning. Well, thanks to social media, digging insights no longer premium stuff which can be done by big research company. With Google or late Topsy – I’m still waiting what would Apple do to the once the best social media search engine – we can do our own research about the target market, competitors.

Well it’s a free information world after all. Some of us might already aware that we can use Google to dig all you need to know about your target consumers from their preference up to social media activities with one note bear in mind, you know what keywords to use and what to search.

But this is when things getting more interesting, once a product or brand release to the market, you would need data as your closest partner and also your end as a form of review. Why I said it’s an end? Because this is the point where you want to move forward with what you have or end of your campaign and make the data as a new beginning.

For me personally, when I draft a proposal or came up with certain ideas. Data has always been my first pit stop and use it to support my deck. To answer questions, like how can I make it more than a pile of words or pretty images or how can I relate to my audience or my client.

There are lots of analytic tools out there, from free up to super expensive ones. However, what most us fail to see is that, understanding what the data said and how to use to it for the benefit of our works, products or anything across your mind is required one who knows to map it out and translate it into more friendly language. From pile of numbers or charts into words we spoke every day.

In return to her, who inspire me to write on this piece, I’d like to introduce her baby, Ombaq to all of you, who are willing to spare time reading my writing. As much as I’m grateful for your time reading this, I’d be thankful if you visit her site for a minute or two. For brands using social media would find Ombaq very helpful as the tools could help you to do bulk scheduling. What’s a bulk scheduling? Check out the site to find out more 🙂