Riding the Hashtag is a persuasion strategy for discovering the Buzz among Other Guys before they realize they are Buzzing. Clever vampires track key words and their patterns in social media to discover the Buzz, then develop persuasion Box ‘n Plays cut to fit. Other Guys in the Buzz then find the Box ‘n Play that exactly expresses what they’ve been Buzzing about, but have already forgotten, and get to Buzz again, just like the first time! Now, the SM2.0 Big Data with Big Analytics trick comes to television.
MSNBC has struck a partnership with Vocativ, a digital news start-up, to provide the new program — “Ronan Farrow Daily” — with up to three taped video segments a week. Vocativ mines the Internet for exclusive news and other content with data-collection software traditionally used by governments and corporations.
Lots of persuasion in that paragraph.
First, and obviously, is Riding the Hashtag. MSNBC will do what UpWorthy is already doing, (very successfully thank-you!) and apply that model to a new cable TV show. You see the generality of the tactic.
(Generality Sidebar: Good grief, professors could do this to create timely examples for their lectures! Ride your students’ Hashtags, discover the Buzz, and build examples into today’s content on Quadratic Equations or Eli Whitney and the Cotton Gin or the Poetry of Maya Angelou or, jeepers, the mind reels at the possibilities. Think what that could do for your student evaluations! Think what that could do for your attendance patterns! And, if you actually know how to teach, think how you could Ding-Dong with Riding the Hashtag! Man. The kids might actually learn something! Or you could Ride the Hashtag to protect your incompetence as a professor! Hip, but inept, is more likely to make tenure than inept alone! End of Generality Sidebar!)
Second, see the desperation at NBC. That media group is getting killed about every way a media group can die. Good grief, Other Guys are now hating on the beloved Matt Lauer. Gooder grief, Other Guys don’t care when the NBC-owned Weather Channel gets dropped from their cable lineup. Goodest grief, what happened to Chelsea Clinton? And, we haven’t even gotten to Alex Baldwin! Necessity is the mother of invention, but it also the father of stupidity. Why would people tune in to Ride the Hashtag on TV when they can do it on an iGizmo? Ronan Farrow?
Third, Ronan Farrow. Remember all that buzz about Woody Allen and Mia Farrow and child molestation and who is Ronan’s father? And, now Ronan Farrow, a human rights lawyer and advocate, is doing a pop culture cable TV show for MSNBC. That relationship between Ronan and MSNBC had to predate all the buzz about Woody and Mia and Frank. Maybe an act to create Buzz?
Professor Nietzsche teaches us that persuasion is beyond good and evil and we are certainly past the perimeter here. And it goes beyond that beyond.
Yet Vocativ’s technique of plumbing the so-called deep web for information has raised questions about whether it is improperly snooping on unsuspecting citizens. Company executives said that they delve only into the publicly accessible parts of the web, but acknowledged that they occasionally enter open chat rooms and do not present themselves as reporters.
Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst in the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, says that users of social media must realize that what might seem like an intimate discussion among friends is really a public performance.
Whew. Everyone was worried about the NSA snooping on you through Big Data and Big Analytics. You can rest easy. The journalists at NBC are taking over! And they think they are protected by the First Amendment. It’s constitutionally guarenteed that they can violate your privacy for their free speech . . . and advertising sales.
Let’s get out of here.
Riding the Hashtag may be the single most valuable persuasion element to arise from SM2.0. While it is neither a Box nor a Play, it is an effective way to understand Other Guys and target them. No prior technology provided anything like this.
But all applications are not equal. Again, it works supremely well on the Internet with those networked iGizmos. But with TV? TV brings nothing to the tactic and the tactic doesn’t do anything new for TV. Ronan Farrow with Riding the Hashtag will be as successful as Ronan Farrow without the Hashtag. One will not make the other.
And, we see the variations in the Fame Cue with NBC. They keep trying to leverage famous people into persuasive journalists when they are all and only famous. You’d think that people well known for being well known, to quote someone else, would be good at attracting eyes and ears, but they are not. Even with low WATT media consumers, you’ve got to use a Cue correctly.