The Social / Broadcast Matrix
I wrote last week about ‘Broadcasting Social Media‘, and how many conferences are a contradiction in terms when their content is about Social Media, but they have no social interaction or discourse – just speakers broadcasting a social message.
This got me thinking. If you can broadcast social, then that says something about the channel that is used, and the content that is delivered through the channel. Is it the case, then, that you can have social content delivered through a social channel? Or can you have broadcast content delivered through a social channel?
Taking Pine and Gilmore’s Authenticity (affiliate link) and their Real Fake Matrix as inspiration, I’ve thr0wn together a first draft of a Social Broadcast Matrix. Lo and behold:
First, Some Definitions
People seem to be having problems with defining Social Media – which is to be expected in an emergent industry. I think if we see Social Media as a progession of Broadcast Media, then that helps. Consider:
Broadcast is one way. It is static. It does not change according to new information.
Social is multiway. It is dynamic. It changes according to new information.
Broadcast channels and content are therefore one way. They push, and by definition, a broadcast goes from one point out to many points. Social channels and content are multi way. They push and pull, and can adapt according to the pull. As opposed to broadcast, social starts from many points, and goes to many points, whilst changing as each point contributes.
Broadcast channels and social channels are mutually exclusive, as are broadcast content and social content. However the channels and content are not mutually exclusive – in fact, they marry together – meaning we can have a hybrid effect, where by the Channel is Social, but the Content is Broadcast.
Let’s get into some examples as we look at at point of the matrix:
This is what started my post last week. Imagine you are talking about Social Media to a group of people. The content is Social – it is not only about Social Media, but the content itself has been formed through crowd sourced efforts (as all Social Media content is being ultimately created in a share collaboration that spans the whole Social Media sphere.)
When this content is delivered through a keynote address, despite the content being social, it is actually broadcasted. The keynote is a broadcast – one point to many (as I describe in Person-to-People), and the keynote structure does not change according to the audience. It is Broadcast Social.
Or consider Reality TV. The content is social – it is dynamically generated, crowdsourced, and made from many points. But when we watch it on TV, this social content is being broadcasted to us. It’s also the same with Talk Radio.
Even blog posts are social content that is broadcast. But that’s controversial…
Consider a company that wants to take it’s existing broadcast content – press releases, for example – and push them on a social channel. This is Social Broadcast, and it is essentially the misuse of Social Media.
What else falls into this bracket? Facebook Pages that are used by organisations that push out status messages linked to a blog. Twitterfeeds that publish RSS feeds into a Twitter stream. They are both broadcast content delivered through a social channel.
This can also extend to panels at an event. A panel is a social channel (multiway, dynamic, push and pull), however if the panel have decided to broadcast their content, then we have another misuse of Social Media.
TV, magazines, radio, and even brochure websites are broadcast both in channel and content. Nothing new here!
When both the channel and the content are social, we enter this fourth and final realm. Social Networks like Facebook, when used by the average user, are Social Social. The whole site (channel) is continually changing according to the content. Remove the social content, and the social channel doesn’t exist.
Or consider Unconferences. The channel is again continaully changing according to the content. What people want to discuss, gets discussed, and the channel morphs accordingly. Remove the content, and the channel doesn’t exist. This is similar to a 21st century rendering of ‘the medium is the message, but it has now become, in the case of Social Social, that: the channel is the content.
Overlaps and the Divide
Let’s go back to my assertion that blog posts are Broadcast Social. In the model, I then list blog comments as being Social Social. So then where does a blog fit, as a whole, in this model? Or where do events fit in this model, given that I’ve put panels and keynotes in separate quarters?
I believe that this model reveals a few core axioms that help us answer these questions:
- None of these dimensions (Broadcast Social, Social Broadcast, Broadcast Broadcast and Social Social) are wrong or right. They just are.
- Each of the dimensions can assist each other.
- The combined effect of these dimensions renders the media as either Broadcast or Social.
You’ll notice that through the model there is a orange divide the sections half off as Broadcast and half as Social. The combined effect of a media’s dimensions (some of which are Broadcast Social and some Social Broadcast, etc) positions it either as Broadcast or Social.
Let’s take events as an example. Whilst their are keynotes that are Broadcast Social (which as per axiom 1, is not wrong or right), there may also be an unconference element, which is Social Social. This means the event is Social, and not Broadcast. However if you remove the unconference elements, and there is more broadcast activity than social activity, we find we have a Broadcast event.
Blogs can also be looked at in this way. The fact that there is Broadcast Social (the posts) and Social Social (comments) renders the blog as Social.
I’ve got a lot of thoughts about where this could go – but given I’ve already written a little too much – let’s just bullet point them and add to them in the comments:
- What are the benefits to each dimension? (i.e. Broadcast Broadcast grants you direct reach with little room for detractors)
- What are the negatives? (i.e. Social Social requires a lot of leadership can can enter mob rule)
- How can an entity use each of these dimensions to create a multi-dimension event, providing the benefits of each? (like an event)
- How does an entity move from one dimension to the next? (i.e. TV moved into reality TV. Is this a pattern for others?)
Already having typed these, my mind is whirling around with ideas – some around the Nestlé issue and how that is a result of Social Broadcast. Would this of happened if Nestlé had just stayed to Broadcast Broadcast?
If you’ve got this far, then go one step further, and put down some ideas into the comments below so we can form this together.