Her message was then that there is no substitution, everything is added: more devices, more channels, more media and nothing is thrown out. What happens is that every media is moving in the background, becoming wallpaper: IM+email are ran in the background, Music IS the background, TV is being viewed in background, Daily newspapers are read in the background.If this is true, it makes the decisions for communicators that much harder, given finite resources. We have to dig deeper to see if any of these "background" media have more impact than the rest, or if we have to be everywhere the audience is. I suspect we must be everywhere, but that's quickly becoming a more time consuming and expensive proposition - especially given the critical importance of relationships in new media communications. Furthermore, the demands for metrics in a more diffused and competitive communications environment will only increase. The company that develops meaningful measurement tools should make a bundle. Given the pace of innovation in communications tools, the chances of developing valuable metrics seem more difficult every day. (Not impossible, just difficult.)
Of course, this isn't new, and other industries have managed to have both quantitative and qualitative criteria for measurement. Last week Liz Gumbinner was at dinner with a group of us in New York (funny how being a prominent blogger makes people forget you're also a bigshot advertising exec) and was challenged by a gentleman from The Conference Board on the metrics of a mention in a blog post. She gave a really great answer - "How do you measure the value of placing a can of Diet Coke in George Clooney's hand?"
Right now, companies have an either-or decision when it comes to investing in social media, particularly at the intersection of social media and issues management. Do you want to be present when people discuss your issues or your brands, or don't you? Measurement will follow, as it always does, but we can't let gaps in metrics justify ignoring the conversations altogether.