A point to ponder, from Brian Clark on copyblogger.com:
Mass media is a historical aberration. For a short 70-odd years of human history, a relatively small group of people told us what to think and what to buy, and we were expected to passively accept it.
That’s not how things worked for thousands of years before, and that’s not how it’s going to work in the future. Clinging to the precepts of a brief period of weirdness may not be the best model to guide us, you think?
Before mass media, people marketed their wares directly to one another in a social context. Some people were considered honest and trustworthy, and some people were considered shills and charlatans. Others were revealed to be criminals and con men.
Same as it ever was.
What do you think?
Clarks hypotesis falls apart in one aincient example. Religion.
It shambled along at camel pace from village to village over thousands of years (think ‘twitter’ for the stone-age, who has the time?).
Until the dawn of the printing press, (mass media) it then went ‘viral’ and there still appear to be no shortage of buyers!
Religions sell hope, nothing more, and they profit unimaginably from it.
I’m not suggesting mass media is the answer to every market, but to claim that the selling model of, quote: “a small number of people telling us what to think and what to buy…”, is a ‘recent’ marketing innovation is to misunderstand the human impulses that make it (and the blight of religion) so successful.
Ironically, Clark could be accused of attempting to do that very thing by virtue of holding forth his oxymoronic ‘mass media is just 70 years old and whats more, its nearly dead’ theory.
Technology has made old-as-the-hills-word-of-mouth ‘social context’ marketing the new ‘mass media’, thats all! People will still continue to herd, and yet paradoxically remain individuals. Thus both marketing models will remain valid. To suggest mass media is or was an abberation of modern times is nonsense.