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Len:

Monetization is important (bear with me here). We have an obligation to the businesses we serve to generate revenue. I am working on two projects that will put some flesh on ROI of social media, as I've written about it a little here.

Comfort levels and vested interest have a lot to do with slow adoption, as does the fact that the current model is feeding too many mouths. Change is uncomfortable, but irrelevancy is even worse. This is the perfect environment for something great to happen and shift a whole industry.

Your first number 2 couldn't be more right. It's an interesting cycle because brands are absolutely not ready to invest themselves in the conversation before a clear form of monetization is present. But in many ways the current form of advertising, ESPECIALLY offline is no more trackable than social media. Sure we can look at TRPs, CPMs, and in SOME cases direct response, but you can create all sorts of metrics for social media that will make you just as comfortable. It comes down to switching dollars a new playing field that may be just, if not more (I hope) effective.

@Simon - glad this post caught your attention, given the focus of your work. Your note on definition makes me think about casting the net and catching as much fish as possible... I do wonder about the meaning of mass reach today. My content consumption shifted radically in the last several years, as has that of many colleagues and friends. Something's gotta give - we have only so much time and attention to spend. Which brings me to the comment Gavin adds to this conversation:

@Gavin - indeed as audiences, we are in slightly or radically different places than we used to be. I am a believer of multichannel and multi-touch strategies, especially in light of the scarce time + attention. Historical buys are dangerous, as they do not recognize changes in preference and the broader market conversation.

@Lynnelle - "traditional broadcast advertising will be the new/old niche marketing; narrowly focused on those who don't fast forward or silence the commercials." That may very well become the case. I do not think agencies are anywhere near telling their clients the truth about their products. They are not even in the running for telling clients their strategies need help.

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