Do I Respect Media Snackers

mediasnackers.jpgMediaSnackers is an organization based in England that provides insight and consulting in the area of youth media consumption. Last week, Jeremiah Owyang posted a video from MediaSnacker. The video describes “media snackers” as young people, hyperconnected to a wide assortment of digital, on-demand media. They are consumers who are no longer bound to linear media; who “snack whenever, wherever and whatever they like”. Owyang challenged the idea that it’s just youth consuming content in this way and suggested that you must respect snackers if you want to be a part of their lives. With that, he tagged several bloggers to to answer the question: “Do you respect Media Snackers?” and a new meme was born

Several generations later, I was tagged by Geoff Livingston to weigh in. Like many others that have participated in this meme, I’d have to say that in some respects I do respect media snackers, but that I have lots of room to improve.

Here’s what I do to show respect:

  1. I try to offer insights that will be of value.
  2. My posting frequency varies; I don’t blog unless I have something worth sharing (healthy snacks).
  3. I try to keep my post short and too the point (ok, may need some improvement here).
  4. I usually include links to other snacks that relate to my post (are you still hungry?).
  5. I use Twitter for micro-snacks or to link to other snacks.

People blog for many reasons; some more purposeful than others.  I initially started blogging to learn.  Even today, I write about things that I am interested in, but not specifically to create content for others to consume.  Nevertheless, I have developed a regular group of  snackers who consume my content.  So to Jeremiah’s point, here’s what I need to do better:

  1. Get more concise and timely in my messages.
  2. Explore new formats that can deliver content more effectively (video, podcast, microblogging).
  3. Look for new channels that snackers may be using.

To keep the meme going, I tap Steven StreightRick Mahn, Luis Suarez, Ryan Karpeles, and Erin Handy to answer the question.

Even it I didn’t tap you, feel free to weigh in and leave a comment linking to your post.

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15 comments so far

  1. Tim Siedell on

    Just because someone may want a snack doesn’t mean every single food item in the grocery store has to be delivered in small, snack-sized packages.

    I can snack on a regular sized package of chips and come back to it later. The point is, as a consumer I have lots of options and I’m in control. More than ever.

    Create great content. Deliver it in the appropriate way to communicate the message. Let the end-user decide if and how they want to engage it.

    To go old-school here, USA Today designed their paper for this type of consumption. It’s not new. And while USA Today has achieved success, the New York Times is still our nation’s paper of record.

    Media snacking may be something to keep in mind (although I argue that it’s something true marketing and media professionals have been keeping in mind for 20+ years). But the average blogger should simply focus on delivering great content on topics they are passionate and knowledgeable about.

  2. Chris Wilson on

    Tim brings up a great point.

    Great content should be the goal. We hear a lot of talk about what the right frequency is for posting and how long posts should be, but in the end I think the number one concern of readers is the value of the content. And the length and frequency of content can influence a readers opinion as to how valuable it actually is to them.

    I didn’t mention this in my response to the “do you respect media snackers” question, but I one of the reasons that I don’t post as frequent as some bloggers, stems from the fact that I want to provide good relevant content to my readers and not just a mash up a topic that’s made it’s way around the blogosphere already.

    Here’s my take on the Media Snackers if anyone is interested: http://freshpeel.com/2007/10/feeding-the-media-snackers/

  3. Doug Meacham on

    Tim, great point. At the end of the day, content is king. Value not size will drive consumption. I guess the point from mediasnackers.com is that youth don’t tend to consume long, detailed content, so if you are creating for that market, you should keep that in mind. I think their original point has been lost in this meme.

    Chris, I used to be obsessed with posting daily. For me, that was not sustainable. Now, I follow the same rule you do.

    Thanks for the comments

  4. DK on

    Thanks for the reference and taking on the meme. Your commenters make salient points and you’re right – the original point has been a little subverted but it’s all fair game ;-)

    You’re added to the growing list:

    http://tinyurl.com/2hqk8x

    DK
    MediaSnackers Founder

    PS the link to mediasnackers.com is broke?

  5. Drew McLellan on

    Thanks for playing along.

    I think Tim reminds us of a valuable point. This isn’t new, it’s just now become mainstream. Remember when USA Today came out and people renounced it as news lite? Well, guess what? We seem to appreciate that format.

    But, it really does boil down to choice. If we are content providers (and as bloggers we all are) we need to mix things up and recognize that our audience doesn’t want to be boxed into a single box anymore.

    They’ve tasted freedom and aren’t going to go willingly back to a one size fits all consumer.

    Which, I think, makes it a lot more fun for us too!

    Drew

  6. Doug Meacham on

    DK, Thanks for the comment. Even before Jeremiah wrote his post, I stumbled on your video and it really struck home for me considering that I have a teenage media snacker living under my roof. Thanks for starting the conversation.

    Drew, As we have learned from The Long Tail, there is an audience for just about anything. You are absolutely right, mixing it up is the way to feed that hunger for that variety.

  7. Geoff Livingston on

    I would have written you a short letter, but I didn’t have the time… Mark Twain was so right. Anyway, great post Doug, and thanks for playing.

  8. Cathleen Rittereiser on

    Glad to see your point of view and to see that Tim Seidell and others share my mine. Here’s a link to my post “Media Snacker R-E-S-P-E-C-T”. http://urltea.com/1wyj

  9. vaspers aka steven e. streight on

    I began as a manic comment poster on a Christian blog, that is now deleted, and on the Baptist Board. Due to my radical ideas, I was banned from both eventually.

    So blogging to me started as posting comments, i.e. blogocombat.

    Then I started my own blog Vaspers the Grate, primarily to discuss web usability analysis and techniques. So my blog was supposed to attract clients, showcase my expertise, and engage in conversations with others who shared my interests.

    What I discovered was that my own thinking, research, debate, and writing skills improved at an astonishing rate.

    Now, after almost 5 years of blogging and posting tons of comments on other relevant blogs, I can whip out articles and posts, with links and self-made art, in no time at all.

    I look to Seth Godin as the premiere blogger, whose pithy style and controversial topics keep me inspired and enlightened.

    As far as snacking, that is entirely legitimate usage of the new digital media that includes blogs, Twitter, podcasts, games, and video.

    In fact, I am a strong believer in brevity.

    Most podcasts and videos should be as short as possible, including films. Snacking is a mode that is more and more dominant, as we get more and more choices in the New Media.

    http://twitter.com/vaspers

  10. vaspers aka steven e. streight on

    Content is not king. That is a stupid myth. Presentation is king. No matter how “good” or relevant your content is, if it’s presented in a boring, prolix, time-consuming, difficult, or unprofessional manner, it won’t succeed.

    Presentation beats content every day, in every way.

    Content that is too long, that tries to cover too much, and is presented in dense blocks of text, or in white type on a black background, will fail.

    Podcasts that contain long introductions and the same information available in a more quickly obtainable format (like text) will fail.

    You should pay close attention to format and length of content, not just the alleged value of the content.

  11. Doug Meacham on

    Vaspers, Thanks for the comments. First, it’s great to learn about about the backgrounds of all the people I’ve met on Twitter and I have particularly enjoyed your writing.

    Regarding your second comment, perhaps “content is king” is a myth, but I don’t agree that “presentation beats content every day, in every way”. Content is essential. It’s what’s being communicated.

    I do agree that its important to pay close attention to format and length of content. Presentation is critical to effectively communicating content to a target audience. Still, the best presentation in the world won’t make bad content succeed. To look at it another way, a movie may have innovative directing, beautiful cinematography and great acting, but if there is no plot, those presentation elements can’t make it a great movie.

    Thanks, for engaging in the conversation!

  12. [...] Kami Huyse, Jane Quigley, Sarah Wurrey, Beth Kanter, Ike Piggott, Jason Falls, Rob La Gesse, Doug Meacham, Chris Wilson, Meg Tsiamis, Elizabeth Dunn, Colin McKay, Tamar Weinberg, Martin Koser, Mark Goren, [...]

  13. Rick Mahn on

    Doug, thank-you for tapping me for the meme. Sorry I didn’t get a post together yet, that’ll happen tonight.

    I also have a tendency to snack lightly from time to time. :)

    Regards,
    Rick

  14. [...] Kyle Flaherty, Gaurav Mishra, Drew McLellan, Beth Kanter, Ike Piggott, Jason Falls, Rob La Gesse, Doug Meacham, Chris Wilson, Meg Tsiamis, Elizabeth Dunn, Colin McKay, Tamar Weinberg, Martin Koser, Mark Goren, [...]

  15. [...] Kyle Flaherty, Gaurav Mishra, Drew McLellan, Beth Kanter, Ike Piggott, Jason Falls, Rob La Gesse, Doug Meacham, Chris Wilson, Meg Tsiamis, Elizabeth Dunn, Colin McKay, Tamar Weinberg, Martin Koser, Mark Goren, [...]


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