The adventures of an analog engineer and digital storyteller who studies emerging networks and their impact on the great game of business.

This past Friday, my friend Mike asked if I wanted to burn off some Thanksgiving calories on the basketball court. I jumped at the opportunity.

In between our games of one-on-one (Mike beat me two out of three games, BTW) we discussed my recent decision to expand the focus of RonAmok! beyond “social media for marketing and PR” to include new advances in hardware, software, and networking technologies that allow individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and governments to accomplish things that couldn’t have been conceived of just few short years ago. In between dribbles, we discussed the ramifications of crowd-sourcing, machine-to-machine communication, and the Internet of Things.

That’s when Mike, stopped, held the ball for a moment and asked, “But, what’s the link between social media and your new direction?”

“They are one in the same,” I answered, realizing that at first blush, the statement sounded crazy.

All communications require three things: a message, a recipient, and a method to connect the two. A medium carries messages to intended recipients. It doesn’t matter if that medium comes in the form of a traditional broadcast, the press, the Internet, a social networking site, drums or even smoke signals. The ramifications of easily digitized content delivered through cheap distribution networks has blurred the media lines. Therefore, rather than caring about how the message is delivered (the medium), communicators should care more about accomplishing a specific goal by matching medium with message.

The economies of scale resulting from our ability to cheaply digitize, distribute and present messages to the right audiences have opened exciting new possibilities. However, in order to take advantage of this scale, we must determine the optimum connection between medium, message, and purpose.

Communications decisions must be driven by purpose first, followed by message and medium. Ask not what Facebook, Twitter, or crowd-sourcing can do for you. Ask how they can help fulfill your company’s purpose.

Filed under: Social Media


It was John Kennedy who said we would put a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s.  It was a vision just like his ask not comment so artfully adapted here.   This is a slam dunk approach Ron…metaphorically.

Russell Bell
November 29, 2011

What did you expect from a Catholic boy who grew up in Massachusetts? 🙂

November 29, 2011

Wow.  Who woulda thought working off a few pounds of turkey would result in a post featuring me?

I agree with you that there is a big picture that is somehow missing.  As we’ve discussed, our communications technology has evolved faster than we have been able to leverage its possibilities.  It’s kind of like having miles of train track laid down in the 1800s before someone invented the steam engine.

It’s my fervent belief that there’s just no end to the innovation that can result from these new communications efficiencies — in all facets of society.  Despite the terrible economic situation,  there is more technological innovation happening today than there was during the dot boom.  Most of it is just now bubbling to the surface of popular consciousness.

It will be an interesting ride.  Looking forward to hearing more of your perspectives.

Mike Kilroy
November 30, 2011

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.