Paper vs Digital

Who’s not ditching paper?

When I read that Newsweek was leaving the print industry and going straight digital, it brought me back to my Junior High School days.

During the last year of Junior High, I earned the privilege to be in an honor class that focused on History and Social Studies.  One of the benefits of this class was that every student received a free copy of Newsweek.  Since then, I’ve always had a special place in my heart for the publication.

With the increased use of iPads and other tablets, it’s only a matter of time before other well known publications decide to drop paper publication and provide an electronic only option.

The magazine industry isn’t the only business moving closer to digital.  Banks and credit unions have taken steps to cut paper out of their business process.

  • Direct Deposit: Though this isn’t a new concept, having a paycheck deposited directly into a checking account has increased dramatically in the past few years.  With an increase in technology, many banks are offering this to customers and offering it as a service to business customers.
  • ACH: Direct Deposit is just one example of the Automated Clearing House (ACH) process.  In addition paying employees, customers can use this system to pay vendors and other bills.
  • Electronic Statements: More and more individuals are opting to receive their statements via online.  In addition to reducing their carbon footprint, people are also learning that electronic statements can be delivered in a more secure way than traditional paper statements.

All the digital improvements that are occurring in our day to day life are great, but there is one area where I still prefer paper over digital: business books.  I enjoy using multi-color highlighters and making notes with a pen on paper.  I know these are thing that can be “digitally done” with the iPad and other tablets…it is just taking time to adjust to it.

Now that I think about it, make it two areas where I prefer paper.  This too reminds me of my Junior High days.  Sorry in advance for the profanity.

Social Media Bodyslam

Growing up in Appalachia, I was naturally a big wrestling fan.  My weekends were filled with matches of Macho Man Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan and the Road Warriors (aka Legion of Doom).  Even in college, my roommates and I would watch WWF’s (now WWE’s) Monday Night Raw and laugh at the antics of The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin.  Shoot, I’ll even swing by a bar and watch a Wrestlemania pay-per-view every once in a while.

So when I saw that Monday Night Raw was celebrating its 1,000 episode, I tuned in to the historic event.  While watching the show, I was amazed to see how professional wrestling has embraced social media.

But was it too much?

  • Twitter: Though out the night, little graphics would run across the screen that read, “#TheRock trending worldwide”
  • Tout: The ring announcers would keep referring to tout, while encouraging fans to “tout about RAW.”  During the show, clips were shown of fans “touting” what they thought of the show.  To be honest, I had never heard of tout until that Monday night.
  • Social Media Ambassador: Charlie Sheen was given the title of “Social Media Ambassador,” which essential meant that Charlie popped in from time to time via Skype

By no means is this the first time the WWE has relied on internet interaction for publicity and ratings.  In fact it can be debated that the company helped pioneer online social interaction.

In 2004, the WWE introduced Taboo Tuesday, an event where fans could vote on stipulations for every match.  Fans could vote via text messaging and online polls.  Since then, the organization has invested time and money into boosting their brand online.

But back to the original point, is the WWE’s current tactics over the top?  It depends on who you ask.

Even though I may find it over bearing, it doesn’t matter what I think.

The company’s current customer focus is children and teens; not early thirty somethings. By utilizing social media in their televised live events, the WWE is creating a bond with their target market by using a communication tool they use on a regular basis.  Through testing the waters and branching out to various social media tools, the WWE will be able to find out what works best and capitalize on their “trial & error” research.

Who knows, it may only be a matter of time before Brother Love has his own podcast.

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