The right message to the right audience at the right time. Right = Transparent. Accurate. True. A marketing credo. Isn't it?
Technology and the social web are moving and evolving faster than most of us can consistently process. We're connecting with people worldwide who would be strangers on the street but are trusted collaborators online. Our personal data is being collected in ways, in volumes, and for purposes, that we don't yet understand. Companies with no assets and no revenue are being bought and sold for billions.
There's a lot to understand. And to translate. But as marketers and communicators, we've got to be able to stand by the integrity of those translations. Yes, we want to help people understand. To engage. To get involved and to make impact. But that doesn't give us carte blanche to tell part of the story or to create misleading perceptions about how the social web works. Not to clients. Not to partners. Not to traditional media outlets. As practitioners, we ought to know better and have to act better.
We need to tell the full story. Or say we don't know. Or just zip it. That's an ethical responsibility that goes far beyond company brands or personal brands or the bottom line of our agencies. Or there will be consequences industry-wide. Ask yourself: how much do I like to be misled? (This might help if you're a chronic offender.)
Talking 'transparency' is quickly becoming cliché. (It's the new "innovation".) Tragic, because online privacy and trust need her now more than ever. The very existence of privacy and trust online will be altered by the stories we tell, the words we use, the truths (and fictions) we craft.
Technology revolutions aside, great content will be at the centre of the marketing universe, online and offline, for the forseeable future.
The Internet at its best is us at our best.
The next revolution will be tweeted (though it's pretty presumptuous to disagree with Malcom G.)
The sharing of information and ideas 'through space' was once the stuff of science fiction. But not anymore. Let's write the "right" next chapter.