We can predict with over a third chance, whether two people are going to be in a relationship a week from now – Mark Zuckerberg, TheFacebook, 2005
Way back in 2005 Mark Zuckerberg revealed that his new social network, TheFacebook, could predict with over 33% accuracy whether two site members were going to start dating within 7 days.
Remarkably, Mark had surfaced a digital proxy of a real world thing – in this case an intangible, relational human quality we know as chemistry.
This was achieved by using data – page views, time on page, frequency of visits etc. The issue with using data, however, is that once these numbers are known they can be gamed – which appears to be the focus of much of online marketing education these days.
As digital continues to advance, the distance between the digital proxy and the real world equivalent is approaching zero. The smaller this distance, the less there is that can be ‘gamed’.
Consider the difference between following the same influencer on Twitter vs Periscope.
Tweets can still very much be gamed – because fans don’t necessarily see the ‘real’ you here, they may be happy to accept what you publish.
But on Periscope you are who you are – you can only ‘game’ Periscope as good as the mask you can put on in real life. If fans keep following you here, its because they actually like not just what you say, but who you are (just like how we choose our friends in real life).
The role of marketers therefore, has now changed from being an ‘expert’ in communications and influence (ie. masters of gaming the system) to being the most passionate, outspoken, arduent lover of both the product/service you’re offering and the genuine difference this makes to fans.
Joining the dots, the web is inevitably becoming a voting machine powered by the most human of emotions… love.