Chris Brogan is a social media marketing smarty-pants.  There are a lot of folks out there (in marketing especially) that bill themselves as "Social Media Experts" because, like, they use Facebook a lot, but Chris, my friends is the real deal.  If you don't read his blog you should and following him on Twitter is great because he interacts with everyone.

His latest post "The Next Media Company" is a must-read for anyone thinking about what social media means for traditional media and communications in general and that mean YOU, dear marketing readers.  In it he outlines a set of characteristics that he believes the next generation of media companies should have. Here are a few points I have picked out that I think are really important for marketers to think about:

  • Stories are points in time, but won’t end at publication. (Edits, updates, extensions are next.)
  • Media cannot stick to one form. Text, photos, video, music, audio, animation, etc are a flow.
  • Everything must be portable and mobile-ready. (Mobile devices need to evolve here, too).
  • Everything must have collaborative opportunities. If I write
    about a restaurant, you should have wikified access to add to the
    article directly.
  • Contributors come in many shapes: onstaff, partner (how pros
    like TechCrunch link to Washington Post), guest (for love and glory
    only), and conversational come right to mind. Who else?
  • Collaboration rules. Why should I pick the next cover? Why should my picture of the car crash be the best?
  • Everything is modular and linkable. Everything is fluid.
    Meaning, if I want the publication to be a business periodical, then I
    don’t want to have to read a piece about sports.

Now go back and think about your company website, your marketing materials, your customer facing information in any form.  How much of that is interactive/collaborative/fluid?  How much of your customer facing communications crosses media types?  How much of it is mobile-ready?  Is all of your customer-facing content being created inside the organization?  Do you make your customers read a bunch of stuff that isn't relevant to them, just to get at the bits that are?  Do you collaborate with your customers?

If you are in marketing, you are in the communications business and the way we are communicating is changing, in my opinion, for the better.  The next great marketing company is going to be thinking a lot about the same things the next media company is thinking about.