Mitch Joel — Decoding The Future
Mitch Joel is an entrepreneur with experience in the music industry, publishing, and digital marketing, and the author of two best-selling books. Mitch also created and hosts the longest-running business podcast in the world, Six Pixels of Separation. During our discussion, Mitch reflects on the evolution of digital shopping behaviors accelerated by COVID-19, makes the case for Big Tech to be subject to government regulation, and shares his secret for avoiding “pod fade”.
Adrian Tennant: Coming up in this episode of IN CLEAR FOCUS:
Mitch Joel: Where do you feel your brand can both engage, connect, and have the intestinal fortitude to stick with it and stay at it? Because content building, audience building is not an advertisement. It’s a game of finding an audience and speaking to them in a very intimate, powerful, compelling, and consistent way.
Adrian Tennant: You’re listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS, fresh perspectives on the business of advertising, produced weekly by Bigeye. Hello. I’m your host, Adrian Tennant, VP of Insights at Bigeye. An audience-focused, creative-driven, full-service advertising agency. We’re based in Orlando, Florida, but serve clients across the United States and beyond. Thank you for joining us. Our guest this week is an entrepreneur with experience in the music industry, publishing, and digital marketing and the author of two bestselling business books. Mitch Joel started his career as a freelance journalist and became the publisher and editor of two music magazines. During the height of the.com era, Mitch worked for search engine Mamma.com and then for a mobile content provider Airborne Entertainment. Mitch became President of digital marketing agency Twist Image in 2002 and began a blog the following year called Six Pixels of Separation, which was also the title of his first bestselling book. In 2006, Mitch launched a weekly podcast, which like his writing, focuses on the intersection of brands, consumers, and technology. Mitch’s second book CTRL ALT DELETE published in 2013 was another bestseller. Mitch sold Twist Image to WPP in 2014 and left the company in 2019 to focus on his speaking, writing, investing, and advisory services, helping clients decode the future. Mitch joins us today from his home office in Montreal. Mitch, welcome to IN CLEAR FOCUS!
Mitch Joel: Well, thanks, Adrian. And thank you for that kind introduction. Happy to be here.
Adrian Tennant: You started your podcast, Six Pixels of Separation back in 2006. Today, you’re up to episode number 773. Congratulations! There are millions of podcasts and the medium is definitely mainstream today, but in 2006, I’m guessing things were different. What did your listenership look like back then?
Mitch Joel: I don’t know. And I don’t know what my listenership looks like today. I have no clue. I don’t look at the analytics. I don’t know if anyone’s listening. I care. I hope people are listening, but it’s, uh, probably one of the most selfish platforms I create. I do it because I’m able to read books, articles, musings and think I’d like to know more about that and be able to corner these amazingly thoughtful human beings for a half-hour, an hour of their time and ask them whatever I’m thinking and jamming with them on ideas. And the trick of it all is I record it. I publish it. I never have looked at any of the analytics. I couldn’t tell you how many listeners I have. Couldn’t tell you how many downloads I have. No idea.
Adrian Tennant: Well, recent guests on the Six Pixels of Separation podcast read like a who’s who of best-selling authors: Martin Lindstrom, Tom Peters, Todd Henry, Jeffrey Gitomer, Margaret Heffernan, Seth Godin, Gary Hamel, Jonah Berger, Dan Heath, and Maria Konnikova to name just a few. What is it about interviewing authors that is so appealing to you?
Mitch Joel: Well, one is I’m not interviewing them. I’m just having conversations with them. Who wouldn’t want to take an author of a book that they read or might find impactful or might have a debate with and go and have a coffee with that author and chat about the world as it were? That’s what the show is. So whatever piques my interest, whatever is in the zeitgeists of the world – one of my favorite words – I reach out and some say “no”, some say “yes”, and I just feel very fortunate for the ones that say “yes”, and we’ll spend a little bit of time with me.
Adrian Tennant: Do you think it’s the case that particularly with writers they’ve synthesized many of the thesis and ideas already so that when they talk with you on a topic they’ve really formulated their opinions about things?
Mitch Joel: Well, it’s not always authors. I like to speak with people who think ideas and then broadcast them or publish them. Books happen to be a really amazing media, still to this day where you can spend multiple hours really trying to understand, at length, why anybody would spend an inordinate amount of time on one particular topic and toil with the words and figure it out until it’s in this pristine condition versus the random tweet you might throw out or appearance you might have on a podcast or article you might write and submit somewhere else. So I do believe that there’s a depth that comes when somebody spends time with content. And I tend to formulate my own opinions about it. I tend to, because I am a business professional and work actively, have my own perspectives on it, which may or may not differ from the author or the creator of the content. And, I like it when people show their work. I like when I have to show my work, I like having conversations like this, ’cause I’m forced to think about things I may not have thought of before. It’s not a format where I’m trying to create a “gotcha” scenario or catch them, or make them look foolish or silly or dumb. But it’s an intellectual conversation about not only their work, but the state of affairs, there’s a lot going on in the world. And it’s not just the content within the book. It’s the way in which the book is brought into the world and the world in which this book has been brought. And that creates a lot of times, I wouldn’t say tension, but friction with what the idea is meant to do and where the world is at or where the world should be at.
Adrian Tennant: How have you avoided the dreaded “pod fade”, and made it up to 700 plus episodes and counting?
Mitch Joel: There’s more smart people than there are days in the week. And I just never stopped. So, I can claim that it’s probably the longest-running business podcast in the history of podcasts. I could probably claim that – I believe it’s accurate – but that doesn’t mean it’s the best. It doesn’t mean it’s the largest. It doesn’t mean it reaches the most people. People who “pod fade” or who have “pod faded” have either ran out of content or ran out of enthusiasm for the platform – I happen to really enjoy long-form conversation. I happen to enjoy live audio. I happen to enjoy prerecorded audio. I’ve always liked it from the early days of radio and pirate radio and creating mixtapes and the DJ scene and the music scene. So, you know, it’s kind of like saying, “how come that radio station is still on the air?” Well, there’s stuff to talk about. I think there’s always stuff to talk about. And the job of the content creator is to mine for the gold. And you’re constantly panning for that gold and hoping that the conversation you have is unique, it’s compelling to you, and it’s different from maybe other conversations that the guest has had. So I’ve spent a fair chunk of my life collecting these conversations and having conversations with a myriad of people from across many different industries and verticals and creativity. And I get excited to hear their story and I get excited to help them tell their story in a different way.
Adrian Tennant: Mitch, you started your career as a freelance music journalist, can you tell us how music led you to a career in digital marketing?
Mitch Joel: I have a passion for the music industry because I grew up in it. And right before doing twist image in the early 2000s, I had a record label that I started, that I sold back to my business partner at the time who then went on to have some of these artists achieve phenomenal success. One, in particular, is still just a huge artist. You know, when people ask me, like, how did you, because people do know me from back in the late 80s and 90s, when I was a music journalist, and then they see my world down there, like, how did that happen? And it seems, I don’t know, more obvious to me than it seems to others. If you think about what I was doing, I was a music writer. I was a publisher of magazines at the time I was putting those magazines on the internet – very early days in the early nineties, 92, 93 – of what was a very early new web browser-based, internet. And I was selling advertising, and so if you asked me what industry were you in? I was really in the media and communications industry. I just happened to be born in a country of parents with a tremendous amount of privilege that gave me access to technology and gave me the ability to be right there when the internet started to crystallize and have the ability to really like it and think it was going to be something very, very profound and earth changing, which knock on wood, and thankfully it has become. So when I think about my career, I don’t go, “well, there was this rock music guy, and then this digital marketing guy.” I look at my world and go, “I was always fascinated by media communications, brands, thought leaders, audiences, anything that can develop a sense of fandom.” All of that stuff has been intrinsically woven through every stage of my career. And music for me has just always been the soundtrack. It’s always been an important part. I’ve always been interested in the creative process and what makes people like things and not like others. You can have bands that are extremely famous, that a lot of people hate. You can have bands that no one’s ever heard of and you can’t believe that no one’s ever heard of it. And it’s the same thing, if you transpose that into the world of marketing, brands, advertising, communications, it’s, it’s the same, it’s an emotion and it’s how each individual feels about it. And then how a collective looks at it.
Adrian Tennant: You started a blog at Twist Image called Six Pixels of Separation in 2003 that inspired not only your podcast but also your first bestselling book of the same name, published in 2010. In that book, you made the case for integrating digital marketing, social media, personal branding, and entrepreneurship. In what ways, if any, have some of the tactics and tools you wrote about in Six Pixels evolved in the decade or so that’s followed?
Mitch Joel: It was just validated. I was right, but I wasn’t alone. There were many of us who were looking at this digital age as a profound shift in the broadcasting model of a monolith of a handful of organizations to a group of people. The force-feeding of culture into a place of self-selection, into a place of co-creation, into a place of digitization, into a socialized world. So you know, I think it’s nice of you Adrian to say that, thank you. But it wasn’t me. There were thousands of us, maybe hundreds at the time, but definitely more than one and we didn’t get it all right. I mean, if you think about really what I was speaking about, it was this ability for there to be real interactions between real human beings, which is a checkmark, I believe that that did happen and it continues to happen to this day. But I really did believe that it was going to be this “a million seeds and a million flowers blossoming” when in reality, we seem to be in a world right now where it is very monopoly driven and it’s as monopolistic as it was in traditional media. Maybe even worse. Less than a handful of companies own the vast majority of the lion’s share of advertising revenue. So while I got a lot of things, right in terms of where I thought the world was going, I got a lot of things wrong. But that’s the beauty of starting off on a blog and having a podcast I can create and shift and think about what’s next as it evolves. So the books act as moments in time, much in the same way, an episode would of a podcast or a keynote at a particular moment in time, or an article or blog post. And I think what makes media really interesting versus the quote-unquote “old days” pre-internet, is that you’re not hanging on to these books as permanent records. And it would be hard to see it as a permanent record because anybody who’s following my work in the early 2000s, when I started talking about this intersection of brands, consumers, and technology, knows that even while the books were being written and published tangentially every single day, there was an article, blog post, or some sort of appearance of me with some ideas somewhere. And it’s organic versus being inorganic. This is it. This is what we said. And to a certain degree, I think that you have books that can be perennial. They are evergreen. The thoughts and insights are forever. And then there are books that are of the time, and I’d argue that Six Pixels of Separation and CTRL ALT DELETE are books of the time that have some themes that have been proven to be somewhat perennial.
Adrian Tennant: You know, your second book CTRL ALT DELETE was published in 2013. In that book, you characterize the times that we were living in then, and disparities really in understanding and consumer adoption of digital services as Purgatory. Mitch, why Purgatory?
Mitch Joel: The idea of Purgatory was we weren’t in this place of heaven where all of these insights and knowledge about digital had come to fruition. Meaning all brands and businesses were fully digitized and had web and mobile and had social and had really embraced this idea, but they knew it was real. They weren’t doubting it. So they weren’t in Hell, where you just have your head in the sand and you don’t believe in it. But they weren’t in Heaven, because they hadn’t truly made it happen. And so I called that moment Purgatory, where you’re stuck in the middle. you know this is the path, you know this is the way, you see it happening all around you, but you’re not fully optimized to capitalize on it. Those things still fluctuate to this day. There are many brands currently, and in particular, we’re recording this while the global pandemic still ensues. We’re seeing some lights at the end of this very long tunnel, but what we saw during the pandemic was clearly the full move of digitization. We had everybody from our youngest of young children to our eldest of the elderly, suddenly forced digitally. We had everybody from small and medium-sized businesses on both B2B and B2C sides suddenly either optimized to service in a world that was shut down or really scrummaging really quickly to get the chops up to speed. Now we’ll see, as we come out of this, or hopefully when we come out of this, that either they maintain this full digitization, or they go back to old habits, different habits in a world where we’ve seen the consumer behavior truly become digital. There’s no doubt now that we understand the capacity of which people can use digital channels, use them to buy, use them to engage with brands, have customer service dealt with. We learnt very well how to manage in a contactless in this world and how to live in a digital world. So this idea of purgatory still exists because you still have many businesses recognizing during the pandemic that they haven’t fully optimized it, or they’re not digital-first. But with that, you see a nice transference of more and more businesses recognizing what opportunity might look like. So we have to hope as we experience this K-shaped recovery, K-shape being some people did phenomenally well – look at some of the big tech companies – to a lot of people who’ve really, really suffered. Lost jobs, lost family members. This is a global travesty that again, we’re still dealing with it in many, many parts of the world. I’d argue almost it in every part of the world to some degree. And with that, we’re seeing the haves and the have-nots. And we’re seeing what happened to the people who adopted digital or have the ability or privilege to get digital-first.
Adrian Tennant: Let’s take a short break. We’ll be right back after these messages.
Sandra Marshall: I’m Sandra Marshall, VP of Client Services at Bigeye. Every week, IN CLEAR FOCUS addresses topics that impact our work as advertising professionals. At Bigeye, we always put audiences first. For every engagement, we’re committed not just to understanding our clients’ business challenges but also learning about their prospects and customers’ attitudes, behaviors, and motivations. These insights inform our strategy and collectively inspire the account, creative, media, and analytics teams working on our clients’ projects. If you’d like to put Bigeye’s audience-focused consumer insights to work for your brand, please contact us. Email email@example.com. Bigeye. Reaching the Right People, in the Right Place, at the Right Time.
Adrian Tennant: How do you identify?
Voices: Female, male, genderfluid, cisgender, genderqueer, nonbinary, transfeminine.
Adrian Tennant: Society is constantly changing and evolving. To understand how Americans feel about gender identity and expression, Bigeye undertook a national study involving over 2000 adult consumers. Over half of those aged 18 to 39 believe that traditional binary labels of male and female are outdated and instead see gender as a spectrum. Our exclusive report, Gender: Beyond The Binary reveals how beliefs across different generations influence the purchase of toys, clothes, and consumer packaged goods. To download the full report, go to bigeye.agency/gender.
Voices: Nonconforming, transgender, two-spirit, transmasculine, genderfluid.
Adrian Tennant: Gender: Beyond The Binary.
Adrian Tennant: Welcome back. I’m talking with Mitch Joel, bestselling author, entrepreneur, and digital marketing pioneer. Well, as you mentioned, the COVID-19 pandemic certainly accelerated the adoption of e-commerce for categories that previously lagged behind others, particularly grocery shopping. Order online and pick up in-store or curbside delivery are now pretty common. We’ve seen Amazon’s prototype stores without checkout registers and Kroger recently announced a trial of drone-based delivery of its customers’ orders. So Mitch, if you were advising a major supermarket chain looking to differentiate their e-commerce offering, what would you suggest they focus on?
Mitch Joel: Well, you know, I’ve gotta be very thankful that I sold my business to WPP seven years ago, and that I haven’t been inside an agency or consulting business for over three years that I don’t have to answer that question. I believe – and I believed this from day one – that we should never because of what digital provides speak in generalities. What makes digital really mesmerizing to me is how personalized you can make it against your business model, catering to your needs, and what consumer benefits and behaviors you can adopt. So to generalize and say, “well, here’s all this technology that you should be doing” would be absurd from my perspective, without knowing what the business plan is, who they’re trying to speak to, who their customer is, how they’re trying to move forward, what type of operation it is. And so I get, you know, I get pretty itchy when it comes to these conversations about “what should this do?” The answer is you can now do everything. What do you want to do? What capabilities do you have? So let’s talk about content of, should we be on TikTok? Should we be looking at Clubhouse now? Do we need a Discord server? What should we do? The answer to me isn’t which one you should do. The answer to me is “let’s talk about where your needs and desires live.” You can now create content in text, images, audio, and video – long-form, short-form, live, and or prerecorded. What can you serve? What can you do well? maybe you’re really good at taking pictures and can communicate it in a more visual way. Great. Maybe you’ve got a team or the ability to be very entertaining and engaging. Fantastic. Maybe you just want to tweet. Maybe you do want to do audio in one format. So I don’t like the generalities of any question and I avoid them like the plague, because that is the antithesis of what digital provides.
Adrian Tennant: Faced with what feels like a never-ending evolution of channels and new platforms, what’s a marketer to do? I know you mentioned you’ve not been in an agency for three years, but if you were, how would you suggest brand marketers evaluate the fit of a new platform and determine whether to be an early adopter or to sit it out?
Mitch Joel: See my last answer. Where do you feel your brand can both engage, connect and have the intestinal fortitude to stick with it and stay at it? Because content building, audience building is not an advertisement. It’s not a paid-for-reach, paying to provide information in front of others’ eyeballs. It’s a game of finding an audience and speaking to them in a very intimate, powerful, compelling, and consistent way. So there’s no way to evaluate a platform so much as there is to evaluate the brand’s capabilities to deliver against that platform. I can tell you that I think Clubhouse is the greatest thing since sliced bread or the Twitter Spaces is whatever it might be. But if you don’t have anybody within the organization who has the competency to understand what it means to do, live broadcast audio, and moderation, it doesn’t really matter how important a platform is. And every single day, you’re seeing new content creators come out across different platforms, creating different types of work that may not be this social darling of where the investors or the venture capitalists in Silicon Valley are dumping their billions. So I don’t really have, again, much of an appetite for “which platform?” I have a much larger appetite for evaluating within the organization where competencies lies and areas of excellence and ways to develop true thought leadership.
Adrian Tennant: Although CTRL ALT DELETE does reflect the time that it was written, many of the things that you spoke about in the book have, in fact, become commonplace today. So most notably, I guess, the rise of online-based, direct-to-consumer brands like Glossier, Warby Parker, Casper Mattresses, and Blue Apron, among many, many others. Some of those brands have since formed partnerships with big retailers, while others have chosen to open their own physical outlets. So I’m curious, do you think that going forwards, all retail will need to be some combination of social and omnichannel?
Mitch Joel: Retail is a very challenging beast to figure out because again, it’s not an all-encompassing industry. You’ve got small mom-and-pop shops. You’ve got regional, you’ve got national, you’ve got international, you’ve got big box stores. And if I’ve learned anything during the pandemic, it’s that the physical-ness of shopping also is a social action and digital, we’re looking at a world where the Amazon user experience or UI user interface is, you know, almost, or maybe more than 20 year-old image with the little texting and what have you, and all nine it’s a very transactional experience. So what did the COVID-19 pandemic show us? It showed us that the physical stores had to figure out how to become more transactional. They had to figure out how to really be contactless. Think about an Apple Store, which was all about touching the products, and suddenly it was hermetically sealed. Including having your temperature taken and having the masks and don’t touch anything don’t wander. So it became very transactional. And I believe what happened is these online channels were experiencing this massive surge in new users coming on and the users spending more. It became very apparent to them that they have to figure out how to do shopping better online. And so you have a world where, and I’m generalizing online was more transactional and the physical was more shopping, social, and it, it flipped a little bit. And so what you have now is a retail environment where the physical stores are really trying to understand how to make the transactions more seamless and more agreeable in a world where things probably have changed forever. If not for a long time and the digital channels, they’re trying to go from transactions to making them more shopping and more experiential. And I believe the lever that equalizes the two and brings them together in that true omnichannel way is service. Both service and how the brand services the customer, but both service in terms of the new layers of service that are added onto these retailers to create a better consumer experience. So a quick example of that would be during the pandemic. We saw this massive surge and families wanting to have things like puppies and kittens, going to get a dog, and to get a cat while they were going to Walmart and buying things like crates and leashes and bones and dog food and toys and things like that. And Walmart has announced that they should, that they may or will, or are entering into the patent. Sure. We’re in space. There’s a service. I like retailers who think that way, who think in ways that go beyond the four walls and that go beyond the little square picture and a three by three, uh, quadrant. So. When I think about retail and omnichannel or what should be done. I think it’s about making the physical spaces as transactional, experiential, and service-driven as possible, and then online making the transactional spaces as engaging and making wanting to people to come back and see something more than just a little picture in some reviews.
Adrian Tennant: Well, for all the things that we love about the internet, you have mentioned that there may be some things we don’t totally love about the internet. Twitter has bought Scroll, which is a subscription product that removes visual and computing ad clutter from news sites while sending on a slice of the subscription price to the participating website. And the firm explains that it aims to solve one of the most frustrating parts about reading content online, namely cumbersome display ads that slow down the experience for readers. What’s your take on this? Is this just another move towards adblocking the consumers seem to have been adopting for quite a while now?
Mitch Joel: Well, there’s adblocking, and then there’s paying for content. I mean, Netflix, you pay a small monthly fee to have access to an entire library and you know, their Q1 2021 revenue was a bit higher only by bit to YouTube’s advertising revenue. And I’ll be, we have to be clear that YouTube does have a premium service that is also by the month, which allows you to not see ads and save videos and download things and stuff like that. I believe media companies are trying to assess what is more valuable. Free content as supportive or enabling people to pay, to not have ads. I’m fairly certain these are sophisticated enough business models where the publishers have a keen understanding that they’re charging Adrian $15 a month. That’s worth more to them than what advertising revenue they can get out of Adrian if they would just pump his pages full of ads. So I’m gonna, I’m gonna assume that. And if, if we assume that what we have are multiple media models, we have freemium models. There’s multiple models that are accessible. The reason is one of the many reasons we’re here is because in digital, the scarcity of advertising went away. There was a lot for platforms and a lot of placement and a lot of videos which are running against different timeframe, fragments. And we used to have a half-hour sitcom or an hour-long TV show drama. The news, what have you live and live sports, into a place of abundance where there’s so many channels and so many videos that are different sizes and shapes and formats that, you know, you didn’t have to be on at 8:00 PM on a Thursday evening to hit an assignable audience. You could do it across multiple channels and multiple formats now. And because of that, we’ve seen this lack of patience, we’ll call it, for ads in general. And so there have been adblocking and ad-skipping on DVR’d and traditional TVs for again, what, 20 years of not longer at this point. So I don’t see it as, as necessarily the digital fault. I see it as consumer behavior is changing. Publishers are hopefully adapting to that and trying to figure out which models work better for them. And that creates more choices for the consumer. So, you know, un-bundling cable being able to purchase this stuff digitally, all a part of that process. It’s I think a great time to be a consumer of entertainment and content.
Adrian Tennant: In CTRL ALT DELETE, you described meeting MIT professor Sherry Turkle, whose 2012 book, Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology And Less From Each Other was one of the first to examine how our reliance on digital could lead to unhealthy and antisocial behaviors. Reflecting on your own experiences of digital media and tech, you wrote, quote, “I flip flop between marveling at this amazing new world and how it’s changed business forever, and at the same time, watching so many people use technology in a way that is without question enslaving them”, end-quote. So Mitch, since you wrote that, we’ve had the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the dissemination of misinformation through social media by foreign actors, and several high-profile documentaries examining the role that tech plays in our lives. Mitch, how do you feel now?
Mitch Joel: I feel now that there are truisms to this and I don’t want to come off as sounding like a tech apologist, cause I’m not. But I also believe that the traditional media companies have a vested interest in watching these new media companies fail. And they have a vested interest in constantly broadcasting and banging the drum that they’re these terrible evil entities because the people who benefit from their failure is that these actual entities that are critics sizing them for their actions. I also believe that there is. Governmental push because it’s an easy target. You have these trillion-dollar companies that if you want to look good as a politician, you can poke the eye of these giants and make it look like you’re creating some form of, of regulation or some form of betterment for the rest of the society because you’re finger pointing at. These, these employers who employ more than most military, uh, organizations throughout the world. Now with that, there’s a lot of problems in tech and social media. There is no doubt, and there’s a lot of things that absolutely need to be fixed, but I don’t believe it is a sentiment that we’re seeing across the greater population. A case in point would be, if you look at the quarterly earnings of some of these companies, again, we’re coming off of the Q1 2021 earnings and Facebook is about to hit a trillion-dollar valuation. And this is after what – a decade, maybe more? – people complaining about the corrosive poisonous nature of it. It doesn’t seem like there’s any lead-up. It doesn’t seem like consumers want less than less Facebook. It doesn’t seem to be a pushback. It seems like there are issues. All big corporations have issues. And again, I’m not trying to be a tech apologist here, but the way it’s consumed and the way it’s portrayed to the general public doesn’t jive with interest ad revenue, et cetera. I mean, we had an era. What was it? March or April of 2020, where all the brands were brand safety – “We’re going to remove our advertising.” We’re going to add record quarters here. We’re talking about record quarters. There was no signal. That there was a drop in any form of revenue that would have caused any sort of, sort of impediment to the growth of these social platforms. So we either, as a society have to agree on what we’re angry about and fix it. Or we have to be very careful about the stories that we’re reading as a social or, or confirmation bias that everyone thinks this way. They’ve everybody thought this way, these platforms would simply not exist.
Adrian Tennant: At the time we’re recording this, Facebook’s oversight board has decided that former US President Donald Trump can be kept off the platform, but gave Facebook six months to clarify whether and why Trump should be permanently banned. Mitch, do you think that it’s now inevitable that we’ll see national governments around the world intervening to regulate digital content?
Mitch Joel: t feels like, again, when we’re recording this and when this is coming out, that everybody is punting this football. Everybody. From the platforms to these independent committees, to government, it just feels like everybody keeps punting it further and further away because it’s not about regulating content or social media. It’s about speaking or regulating what we would call free speech and what that might look like. And we also are pointing our fingers to lay the blame of who will be responsible for this. And so if we go down this path of, well, somebody said something, that was hateful on Facebook. Is it Facebook we punish? Or is it the individual who wrote or created that content? And if we’re going to go down the road that says, “well, clearly it’s the platform”, Everybody has to be on board with that, including newspapers, and radio programs when somebody calls in. And on and on and on. And I, again, my sentiment is I don’t understand if there truly is this desire for regulation. I think there should be. Why it’s not clear, why it’s not done already, and why it’s not against all formats where broadcasting or publishing can emerge. So something is happening there and I don’t have any purview into what that is. That is either holding it up, delaying it, pushing it forward. We’re literally coming off of this moment where this independent audit committee is pushing it back to Facebook again. It’s ultimately what’s happening after months and months of waiting. The answer is, “Oh, let’s Facebook lets Facebook decide.”
Adrian Tennant: Do you think another book is something you see in your future, or do you feel that all these other channels have kind of taken the place of a book?
Mitch Joel: I would say that there’s for sure, going to be more than one book coming from me, I would hope as long as health withstands over time, for sure. I mean, I would hope – I would hope, I like to do it.
Adrian Tennant: Mitch, if IN CLEAR FOCUS listeners would like to learn more about you, your books, speaking opportunities, or advisory services, where can they find you?
Mitch Joel: You can reach out to me at sixpixels.com where there’s all of my information. And if you’re holding an event and potentially need a keynote speaker, I might be good for that. If you want to listen to my podcast or find out more about my writing or my immediate appearances, it’s all there at sixpixels.com.
Adrian Tennant: Mitch, thank you very much for being our guest this week on IN CLEAR FOCUS.
Mitch Joel: My pleasure. Great to meet you, Adrian. Thank you for your time.
Adrian Tennant: Next time on IN CLEAR FOCUS:
Christine Bailey: We are in the intelligent era, you know, deep customer insight needs to inform every move. The world is constantly changing and what customers thought yesterday might not be what they thought today, let alone last year.
Adrian Tennant: That’s an interview with Dr. Christine Bailey, author of the new book, Customer Insight Strategies: How To Understand Your Audience And Create Remarkable Marketing. That’s next week on IN CLEAR FOCUS. Thanks to my guest this week, Mitch Joel. You’ll also find a transcript of our conversation on the IN CLEAR FOCUS page at bigeyeagency.com under “Insights.” Just click on the button marked “Podcast.” And if you’d like to ask about something you heard, have suggestions for a guest, or a topic you’d like us to cover, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you. And if you enjoyed this episode, please consider following us wherever you listen to podcasts. Thank you for listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS produced by Bigeye. I’ve been your host, Adrian Tennant. Until next week, goodbye.Back to Articles