So rumor has it that you, Simon, are working on some sort of stealth social-media launch. Does the world really need another social-media platform?
Yes, it's true, and yes, I do think the world needs another social-media platform -- a different sort of social-media platform. Think about the current niches in social media. For instance, there are places to talk about what's on TV ("social TV" on Twitter); to "like" random stuff (Facebook); to pine after less lame employers or employees (LinkedIn); to share pictures of our cats doing adorable things (Instagram) and home-decor porn (Pinterest) and actual porn (Tumblr). But I want to get back to the core of social: socializing.
Um, OK, that sounds interesting, but how are you going to do that ?
Well, my killer team and I are hard at work tweaking the interface, and we don't want to reveal too much quite yet, but basically SocialSocializing, as we've named our product, will re-revolutionize the social-media revolution in a revolutionary new fashion that re-engages consumer engagement engagingly. And we're dong it by getting back to basics.
What do you mean?
Think back to earlier conduits for human connection. Remember telephones? What did people use telephones for back in the day, other than ordering pizzas? To socialize. We're all so focused on the specific niches of social media that we're forgetting the core utility of social: enabling sociability, or what sociologists call socialitificationizing. We're creating a platform that 's not about talking about "Real Housewives" or liking Starbucks or sharing totally cute decorating ideas for our craft rooms -- because there are obviously already places to do all that stuff, and good for them. We are creating a social platform that 's about socializing -- about the power of human connection in its purest form.
Not to be stubborn, but, again, what do you mean?
Let me explain by comparing our product to the existing social-media landscape. We're going to bring together the visually-driven ease-of -use of Tumblr and Pinterest, but without the copyright infringement. The concision of Twitter, but with more depth. The seriousness of LinkedIn, but without the stuffiness. The scale of Facebook, but without the overbearing ubiquity. Plus the nostalgia of Friendster and MySpace. And the mysticism of Medium.
Medium? You mean that confusing new launch from Twitter founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams?
No, of course not-- nobody knows what the hell that is . I mean Theresa Caputo, the Long Island Medium. SocialSocializing is going to have such a seamless, intuitive interface that you might not even realize you're using it. In fact, you could be using it right now and not even know it.
But you haven't even launched yet.
Or have we?
Well, OK, suppose you've already launched—in stealth mode, or whatever. Do you have revenue yet? How are you going to monetize? Advertising?
The whole concept of "monetizing," particularly with something as Web 1.0 as advertising, is such a pre-social paradigm. SocialSocializing is fueled by advertising that so doesn't feel like advertising that it's reductive and almost insulting to call it "advertising."
Are you talking about so-called native advertising?
Actually, I'm talking about something we think is smarter and more effective than native advertising. We're calling it ambient pre-native advertising. For example, as you're asking me all these questions, are you eating or drinking anything, by any chance?
Um, I'm drinking a Coke Zero. Why?
That's exactly what I'm talking about. Coke Zero, in your case, can be seen as the ambient pre-native sponsor of your SocialSocializing experience. We're going to be working directly with big brand partners so that the brands that people already love, that are already a part of their lives, can seamlessly extend into the SocialSocializing ecosystem with absolutely no intrusiveness. We think brands are going to see phenomenal ROI on SSEI.
Seamless Social Engagement Index, our new proprietary metric for measuring the effectiveness of SocialSocializing. The fact that you're already drinking Coke Zero? I'd have to have my data team crunch the numbers, but I think it's pretty obvious that your SSEI ROI is off the charts.
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.