Small is Big

Okay, if Clear Channel can coin the term "Less is More" -- a ridiculous term at that -- I thought I could try this ridiculous one out -- "Small is Big". I'm not talking about commercials here (just cut them to 8-10 units hourly, raise the prices when able -- we knew that all along, didn't we?). I'm talking about a current trend to gather critical mass -- the exponential building of huge audiences for Internet hotties such as MySpace and YouTube. MySpace is far and away the leader in social networks and marketers are licking their chops at the benefits of viral marketing. Big. Really big. YouTube does about 100 million video clip downloads a day! That's bigger. Facebook, the student social network, has opened its site to everyone -- that's big of them, as well. So I'm thinking -- everything big is a hit with this generation. Well, now I'm not so sure. I'm seeing early signs to the contrary that might interest you. There's a backlash coming with this fickle, connected generation. You see, they love the reach of the Internet and the convenience of mobility but they also love community. That's how social networking got started -- not with the goal to be big at anything -- just a way to help people find other people of like interest online. What's more, now that mega-media conglomerates are on a spending spree to dominate their world -- the world of Gen Y -- Gen Y may have another surprise for these moguls. I'm seeing the seeds of change. Discontent with the bigness of MySpace (and fear of what News Corp may do to monetize it at their expense). They love YouTube but don't like how difficult it is to deal with so much random content daily. They like Internet radio but settle on a handful of niche stations not available to them elsewhere. So for what it's worth I'm watching this generation in the early stages of technological rebellion. I'll go out on a limb and say if media America gets bigger, this big youth market will get smaller. I'm coming to appreciate how sacred community is to this fine young generation and anyone wanting to succeed in interacting with them will have to do more to learn what community really means to them before they can become important to big media and its advertisers. Therefore, small is big. It may be the new paradigm for the interactive, fickle and commuity-minded generation.