Home > diary, growth, management, marketing, media misogyny, patriarchy, web > Ooh, look, shiny Twitter!

Ooh, look, shiny Twitter!


I was reading this post the other day and realized I’ve grown up, finally. My old boss at the fuddy-duddy-but-hugely-successful-global-CPG firm would heave a sigh of relief….

A few years ago, when I was there, all I could think of was ‘new media’, ‘interactive’, ‘internet’, ‘360 degree’. I was so caught up in the buzzwords – each time I heard of a new way to sell things, I was hooked. Excuses of top management didn’t make any sense to me – of low penetration, of mainstream moms not caring for high-technology, of low costs & high reach of TV, of lack of measurement tools, even of medium unsuitability (“oh, people don’t go to the Internet to buy detergent or paper towels” – WTF? they don’t watch Lost or 24 for paper towels either!). It took a lot of my ideas being shot down for me to start realizing I wasn’t going to succeed by putting those in front of management.So I stopped – but I never stopped following them myself, or caring for them. I even got my Twitter account back when they had ~5000 users. Oh, those days.

Half of my early excitement for new media was that this seemed like something I could ‘own’ within the firm as my specialization, and I couldn’t own say, rural sales because being a girl those things came with safety hazards and hoops for me to jump through. Second, the Internet, in its early days was completely gender-indifferent and seemed like a place I could finally forget what was between my legs and focus only on what was between my ears – and have everyone else focus there too (this was, of course, disproved pretty badly last year, with the uber-geeks and Internet gods being the worst sexist offenders every.single.day, and threw Hillary Clinton and Palin supporters out of mainstream online discourse and left us cowering in the deep dark ‘safe spaces’ that we could create for ourselves). Finally, it made me think I would help empower all those millions of Indian moms by giving them an easy way to network, connect, communicate and make their own Girls Clubs so that they would no longer fall for our silly, tall, often-asterisked claims.

But these last two years, I’ve grown up. I believe as strongly as any Proctiod that traditional marketing, – measurable, reliable, boring, designable – works. For consumers, and for us – marketers and advertisers, who, frankly, don’t know yet how to really use these new powerful tools. The people who seem to be winning in the new media are exactly the same people who won in the old media. People with power and money and clout in the bricks and mortar world are using their heft to succeed in the new world, too. The offline bullies are the online bullies, only now they don’t even use deodorants. A NYT reference gets your average political blogger-boy very happy indeed, because it means newspaper gigs for him, and maybe leading to a book deal. Most of the time now, new media is just an amplifier (see Anne’s predictions on what will be in the news tomorrow). The paradigm hasn’t changed, the patriarchy hasn’t been dismantled, and the paths haven’t shifted.

No wonder I’m disillusioned. So much so, that I can’t be bothered that my company blocks Twitter and FB and all of these new media. So much so, that I can only smile at Critical Mass’s Riot excitement and shake my head. I don’t mean that it won’t work – I mean I don’t care that/if it does because there’s nothing in it for me.

And seriously, who buys toilet paper on Twitter, anyway?

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