Twitter has not become a major component of my online strategy – yet. I use it and follow it (somewhat), but it hasn’t reached the point of, “I can’t function without it.” I completely believe that using Twitter will boost my present online business, but I just have not had the time to integrate it into the total strategy yet.
Most of what we teach didn’t exist five years ago. Most of what we use daily won’t be relevant in five years. We are professional learners.
— Jonathan Eyler-Werve (@EylerWerve) February 5, 2014
But this brings up an interesting contextual issue about Twitter, its usefulness and relevance, and also about technology.
Twitter, with its low character count, just does not allow for the opportunity of deep contextual thought. And taken at face value, there is a lot wrong with what Jonathan said in this tweet. To begin with, what does he mean by “most?” “Most” of what we teach and use not only did exist five years ago, it will continue to be relevant. But I am making some assumptions because I don’t have the full context in which Jonathan is speaking.
If he is speaking of the technology issues that he teaches about at devbootcamp.com, then yes; I can see how technology learning and relevance moves at a pace that will put many things out of daily use within five years. But he didn’t say “Most of what we teach (and use) at devbootcamp…” He just said “teach” and “use” and left it at that.
So in the context of “we” being not just devbootcamp, but all of us, I cannot agree. Math, art, music, science, and yes; even business and marketing don’t change that much, and they won’t change that much in the future. Certainly, there will be new vehicles created and new spin on old ideas, but generally at the core, the concepts are the same.
Let’s just take building an online business as an example. A lot of the tools you might use and the strategies that you employ may on the surface seem to have not existed five years ago. But is that really true? Essentially, building a successful business has thrived for thousands of years on one core concept – finding the needs of people and fulfilling that need. Likewise marketing, for at least the last one hundred years, has been built on the concept of finding a way to make a consumer desire your product to the point of purchasing it.
In his book “Free: The Future of a Radical Price,” Chris Anderson explores the concept of the 21st Century business model and how it revolves around the concept of free. He delves into the successful business models of the 21st Centry leaders, such as Google, and explores how they utilize and profit from the concept of the “freemium.” And that may seem like a very new concept. But at the beginning of the book Anderson gives a history of the “freemium” model which admittedly goes back at least a hundred years. He gives early examples of how it has been used and expanded upon. In fact, two chapters of the book are devoted to the birth and history of the concept of free.
If you have followed my blog for any period of time, you know that I am a believer in the concept of “Content Marketing” as a driver for converting your online presence into real revenue and real business. In content marketing, context is everything. If your message is out of context or lacks context, what then is the point of the message? It becomes muddled. Further, nothing (in my opinion) about content marketing and doing it successfully in today’s marketplace is really all that different from successful marketing and sales concepts of five, ten, or even twenty years ago. The concepts all come back to simple (and core) ideas of sales cliches like AIDA and USP (Attention, Interest, Decision, Action and Unique Selling Proposition) just to name a few.
Which brings me back to my question about “most” of what we teach, learn, and use; Twitter and the context of content; and new media. Yes, Jonathan is right about one thing – we are professional learners and need to be to succeed in the 21st Century business model. But the core concepts themselves are not new and different. They are just new twists on old(er) ideas.
What are your thoughts?