Social media is science fiction

By if-admin | April 13, 2011

As this is the immediate future blog, rather than my own, I obviously steer away from anything too personal (apart from my various press trips of course). But if you’ll indulge me, I’d like to share a little anecdote with you.

I listen to the @wittertainment podcast every week; I like the movie reviews and also the slightly high brow general banter.

Last week, Mark Kermode reviewed Source Code (which I enjoyed), and made the point that good science fiction movies (like Source Code) take complicated ideas and explain them to audiences in a digestible fashion.

This idea struck a chord with me.

Not only because I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment, but also because I was thinking that this is exactly what agencies like immediate future do with social media.

Social media is in many ways its own universe; different planets, worlds, ecosystems you never knew existed because you’d never thought to look. To the uninitiated, how alien must a site like look on first visit? Lolcats, lolspeak, lolbuilder – it’s no more or less weird than anything in Star Trek. It doesn’t take much getting into though.

We take ideas that, from the outside looking in, seem bizarre and alien to many client audiences, and bring them to life, showing our audience the new world of possibilities that opens up to them as a result of engaging in social media. Foursquare is a great example. Mention geo-location tools, and people blanche. Give them examples of how it has been used and how it could be used further by brands, and it becomes much more clear real and believable for clients.

Science fiction is constantly evolving too, and so is social media. New platforms spring up, new ideas take shape, new audiences start engaging – it’s a tremendously exciting space to be in. Occasionally frustrating, sometimes baffling, but still filled with endless possibilities.

So all we need to do now is to continue down the road of making the world of social media more open and accessible to those people who are sceptical about it, mainly because it is seemingly filled with geeks who talk in an alien language. We need to open people’s eyes. It’s an open church. Everyone likes Star Wars, right? So everyone should love social media.


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