Andy on Twitter

  • Publicis prioritizing investment is super smart. Nothing to be gained from investing in Cannes. Way over priced ,
  • Cannes this year is both shallow and disappointing. Some ok content but overly commercial and no CMO agenda ,
  • Shares in Cannes Lions' owner fall as Publicis pulls out and WPP voices doubts ,
  • All marketing arcs lead to membership. @Cannes_Lions,
  • Sharing = currency of communications. The system (social media) carries the currency and enables transactions . @Cannes_Lions,
  • Better never stops @Cannes_Lions,
  • Love the power of great brands + great artists + great institutions being drawn together by the artist ,
  • Yup ,
  • Unification of Unilever marketing org means better control over assets - less duplication/volume and more localization @Cannes_Lions,
  • Keith makes a fair point on reach - is about reaching those you haven't reached. @Cannes_Lions,
  • Creativity is last source of competitive advantage. Maybe... ,
  • Unstereotyped ads perform 25% better. a convenient number? but just the same a powerful point if even 5% better. @keithweed,
  • Brand safety and suitability go hand in hand. Some progress made but way to go. @keithweed,
  • Time to tackle the bots. Rip the ad fraud out. No such thing as cheap media. @Cannes_Lions,
  • Must count 100% of pixels as a view. Not 50% and not less. Need for 3rd party verification @Cannes_Lions,
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Stretched Exponential Relaxation

I always wanted to write a headline like that.

Stretched Exponential Relaxation is similar to the gradual decay of radioactive material – and as used in this Economist piece – is a perfect way of looking at how stories age.  Like radioactive material, they have a half life.  But the stretched bit gets at how much of a role other factors have.

Years ago, we described this as a “story getting legs” – as it jumped the average news cycle with non mainstream media continuing and expanding it.  Today we have the likes of TechMeme and Digg – who not only extend the story’s half-life, they mash-it, expand it and grow its popularity.  Other factors like the time of day a story is posted and the category into which it was posted suddenly become important.

This is where the difference between novelty and popularity – and I would argue, prominence – becomes apparent.  You have a novel story – like the one in The Economist – it doesn’t appear popular, or prominent, until the community takes hold of it and mashes-it-up in their own environment.  It’s judged against a “river of news”, ranked, tagged and categorized.

This has big ramifications for communicators. 

  • Are we delivering news and igniting conversations at a time of day optimized for the community.  I’m wondering, for instance, if this doesn’t cause everyone to rethink the early morning announcement?
  • The social nature of the content and platform onto which information is released suddenly matters.
  • The “cascade of conversation” is more important than the point of conversation.  To break out of an ever shrinking half-life the volume of conversations matters.  As does reader votes.

Bottom-line – the emphasis on storytelling needs to be paired with an emphasis on the mechanics of distribution.

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