Pervasive Media And The Now Generation

UbiquitousAvailabilityAs much as we think we’re approaching maturity in our ability to create multi-platform content we are still a long way from fully understanding the true potential. Back in the 50’s I Love Lucy was a groundbreaking television show. Among many other firsts, it was the first show to be shot in front of a live audience using three 35mm cameras simultaneously. Flash forward 60 years to Sharknado 2 which not only drew a record number of jaded viewers to watch a made-for-TV movie, but it was estimated that it produced over 1 billion Twitter impressions and become perhaps the most social TV movie, ever. At the same time, I was at Campus Technology 2014 this week in Boston and Steve Swartz of Fitchburg State University on a panel on mobility on campus gave me my new favorite term: ubiquitous availability. What he means is we have to constantly consider the implications of mobile technology and ubiquitous access to information. It affects how we build out infrastructure and it affects how we develop content.

I was watching The Millers today (don’t judge me) and when the commercial break came I immediately pulled out my iPhone. As I scanned some emails I heard a voice on one of the commercials that caught my attention. Since I was watching live on my DVR I hit the go-back-30-seconds button to replay the commercial. It was an Applebee’s commercial and the actor looked like that guy who dated Penny on the Big Bang Theory (I couldn’t remember his name). 10 years ago this would tickle the back of my mind for the next hour, I would be mildly frustrated that I couldn’t figure it out and I would move on. Today? I go back to my phone and type in this search:

“appleby’s Big Bang theory”

Yes, I misspelled Applebee’s, but it didn’t matter. The first result was a link to a clip of the Applebee’s commercial with the snippet “He played Penny’s boyfriend, Zach, on The Big Bang Theory.” Exactly what I was looking for.

What do I learn from this?

  1. Someone has already searched for and documented pretty much anything I would ever want to search for.
  2. Spelling is irrelevant (sorry, Dad).
  3. If you’re not creating content that caters to this stream of consumption you’re behind the game.

Have you had a similar experience?

I wrote a few years ago about pervasive communications being “chaotic, hyper-connected, ubiquitous and non-liner.” Well, experiences like I just had are not unique. Customer experience is a term that is popular today. It’s intent is to encompass more than just sales, marketing and customerservice, but a broader, connected experience and relationship with a brand. Pervasive communications and ubiquitous availability have to be at the center of this strategy. The content producers who can leverage this trend will be the most successful.


This post was brought to you by IBM for Midsize Business and opinions are my own. To read more on this topic, visit  IBM’s Midsize Insider. Dedicated to providing businesses with expertise, solutions and tools that are specific to small and midsized companies, the Midsize Business program provides businesses with the materials and knowledge they need to become engines of a smarter planet.