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Bring value, not pleasure

bring value not pleasure

When it comes to communication and consciousness raising to a wide audience, video seems to be the hype media. Indeed, we are attending to an overwhelming phenomenon which takes youth up by conquering all their attention. Are we returning to a non-littered civilization? Probably not, but we may move back to an ideographic one in which people (especially youngsters) prefer use smileys and pictures to communicate while watching a youtuber speaking at the background. Hopefully, the youngsters will become adult and they may abandon some of these habits. However, one thing that is sure is new generations will definitely communicate differently.

In the face of this shift, many companies tend to chase this audience where it is sometimes by compromising some of their moral codes by denying their existing audience. When it comes to communication, it is important to think long-term and be totally clear about the target you’re addressing your message. There is an added value indeed in posting video on Youtube as a multi-channel communication has some benefits, nonetheless in doing so you may lose your original target by spreading yourself.

Here is an overview of the level of “depth” granted by each of this media:

  • Twitter: ideal to “follow” anybody and to “get to know” him or her better, however the platform is polluted by never-ending arguments since each thought is limited to 280 characters (previously 140).
  • Youtube: great source of universal visual content, nonetheless, after a few viewings, it becomes difficult to remain focused on a non-entertaining subject. People tend to switch a lot from one youtuber to another even if they remain “loyal” to a few.
  • Blogging: old fashion style to communicate online, you can go deeper probably while dealing with a subject since writing is a denser medium, however it remains less “entertaining” than videos or newborn social media.

Dopamine is a key when it comes to attention grabbing. All tech companies, especially the ones dealing with user experiences (UX) have to master this attention leverage. However, the use of this neurological “weakness” is not healthy between the user and the company providing a service. Indeed, being able to foster pleasure while consuming a service, doesn’t make it responsible as fast food industry has illustrated it so far for example. According to this logic, I would say (and it’s not scientifically proven as far as I know) that the level of depth that you can create between and you and your audience is related to the ratio of the engagement compared to the dopamine stimulation. In other words, if you are able to create a connection without using the dopamine “trick” and your audience is still loyal to you, it means that the level of connection you have created is deeper than the one that is dopamine-basedone. The graphic below illustrates the relationship between those two indicators.

At the end of the day, people don’t like to be fooled even for pleasure. They may regret the relationship they kept with you and will eventually consider it as a waste of time.

Nowadays is the era of attention grabbing: each company wants to monetize the time you spend on their website, app etc. But, sooner or later a new more minimalistic era where people will appreciate the “real” value that you bring to their lives so they won’t need to get aroused by flashy colours, dizzying music or being stimulated with dopamine. When this new era emerge, books will get back the power they have lost recently.

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