The Internet Is Devolving
Ugh. This article wasn’t supposed to be demeaning. But the more I wrote, the more I feel a loss for humanity. And I really start pondering… “Are we fucked as a human race?”
After you read this, you might think so.
I just wanted to write about post about trends…
And it morphed into this.
So, if you can stomach the bleak reality that this is what the internet is devolving into… well, then you might find a couple strategies to leverage in your business.
The internet is changing. Big time.
If you run a business online, pay attention. Because the rules of the game, they are a changin’.
Remember Celebrity Deathmatch in the 90s?
Christina vs Britney
Now, instead of cartoon characters fighting to the death… you have internet ‘celebrities’ boxing for bragging rights.
Before I explain, let me just say (again), I think this is fucking ridiculous.
It is the epitome of what is wrong with the delusional, self obsessed, adolescent culture that we have in America.
It’s like watching two hormone raging, self conscious, insecure 16 year old meatheads talk trash to each other and then go fight in the playground.
Except… instead of their classmates watching and chanting “fight, fight, fight” … they have 38,000,000 subscribers on Youtube tuning in and leaving stupid comments.
Seeing this new form of entertainment emerge, something dies inside me a little. Like, I start to believe that we are all screwed as a species.
But here I am writing about it.
I suppose we have reality TV to blame. That’s where it all started.
Specifically, with Snookie.
That was the first taste of people becoming famous for no reason.
Now… we have Youtube.
And Youtube celebrities are popping up left and right.
This guy, for example, has 64 MILLION subscribers.
Every time he posts a video, millions of teenagers go crazy in their parents basement.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, we have (queue Bruce Buffer’s announcer voice) “The Youtubeeeee Boxxxxxxxing Chaaaaaaaampionships.”
The short backstory: A Youtuber (KSI) fought another Youtuber. Won. And proclaimed himself the Youtube Boxing Champion.
And now he challenged another Youtuber (Logan Paul) and they’ve spent 6 months promoting this fight like you would see in the UFC.
Dramatic press tour with ridiculous suits… and of course, more trash talking.
It’s like they’re copying how Conor Mcgregor promotes his fights.
They even have Dana White from the UFC starstruck by their ability to promote a fight to fans.
The crazy part?
Over 1,000,000 people streamed the last fight.
They expect this one to be much, much bigger.
Amateur celebrities with amateur fighting skills. Streamed to millions of people.
But… before my cynicism taints this post, notice what’s interesting about this…
There is one skill these two are great at.
And that is this: Entertaining.
That is easy to overlook.
To get 20,000,000 people to subscribe to your YouTube channel… well, there is genius in there… somewhere.
It’s kind of like watching Trump with the presidency. So painful. Yet, intriguing…
(Like, is he really, really, REALLY smart and using the media against us? Or is he just an idiot?)
What This Means For Your Business
So the most obvious takeaway from this is…
If you want to grow your business, go find your number one competitor and challenge them to a boxing match. Then stream it to all your customers so they can watch and cheer you on.
Err… maybe not.
I’ve spent more hours than I care to admit watching these videos, wondering… what are these guys doing that’s so appealing to the next generation of humans?
The fact is, core principles of marketing strategy rarely change…
Stories always sell.
Influencers always boost sales.
Consistency and hard work always trumps shortcuts and hacks.
But a few things ARE changing, which you should know about.
1) We have less patience for BORING content. People complain that attention spans are decreasing.
The truth is, people will pay attention to a video for a long time… if the content is relevant, engaging and emotionally interesting.
For example – Logan Paul’s videos are, on average 10-20 minutes each. That’s half an episode of your favorite TV show. With no commercials. Produced by one small crew.
And he’s producing videos a least once a week. Sometimes multiple per week.
Pretty damn impressive, right?
His content is intriguing because it’s short, fast paced and takes you on an emotional roller coaster.
No matter what you think about his content, it’s not boring. It’s captivating to the next generation. And a hell of a lot more interesting than watching season 72 of “The Bachelor.”
2) Stories Sell. Especially your personal story… in real time as it’s happening.
Gary Vee talks about the idea of “documenting” versus “creating.”
It’s one thing to tell a story after it has happened. It’s another be in the story as it’s unfolding… in real time.
Reality TV was the first evolution into this. Seeing ‘reality’ as it’s happening.
(Notice how “reality” is in quotes.)
Now, you can take this to a new level and share your hero’s journey as it’s happening.
Here’s a great example… “Dre The New Me Is Coming” is a guy who is over 500 pounds.
Three months ago, he started a journey to create a “new me” and lose all the weight.
So he started posting videos of his journey as it’s happening.
He isn’t waiting to share. He’s doing it in real time. As it happens. Enrolling people in his journey along the way.
All these videos by KSI and Logan are happening in real time. Not after the fact.
3) Influence Is No Longer Limited To Hollywood.
20 years ago, the only way to become famous was through music or movies. Become an actor. Or a musician.
Now that has all changed.
Anyone with a camera, some hard work and a lot of creativity can create their own show… and create their own fame.
Influence is becoming democratized with social media. It’s no longer limited to hollywood.
You can create your tribe, your community, your crew, your family… small or large.
You can become a celebrity in your town, in your own city, your own state. Or your own online community.
The opportunity to lead a group of people has never been as open or possible as it is today. The question is… are you leveraging that?
The Truth About The Devolving Internet
Here’s the thing… While it seems like the internet is devolving into some chaotic fucking cesspool of self indulgence.
The truth is… your customers aren’t getting dumber. They’re getting smarter.
They’re getting less patient. And less tolerant of marketing bullshit.
When a market evolves, what worked in the past no longer works anymore because the consumer become more aware. Your customers see through your antics.
With the sheer, vast amount of content that is being produced, the quality is getting better and better and it’s becoming harder to stand out.
Your positioning and messaging needs to evolve.
You need to become better…
More engaging. More entertaining. And continue building a product that can’t be replicated.
Your options are… evolve with the market, or watch the next generation of entrepreneurs pass you by.
The choice is yours.