Jim Long - Digital Media and Culture

“Media Snacking” Theme Echoed at VON Conference in Boston

I’m just on the heels of Jeff Pulver’s Video on the Net conference in Boston, where he and Chris Brogan lined up some very interesting panels looking at the state of the internet video industry. One of the themes that threaded its way through numerous sessions was the notion of “media snacking”. A couple of weeks ago, Jeremiah Owyang of Forrester research reignited the meme that had been the subject of a Wired Magazine article earlier in the year. Owyang posted a video on his blog from a group called “Media Snackers” that is a bit too cool for school for my taste, but it does convey the spirit of how many of us consume, create, and interact with media. I have to thank Connie Reece for passing the torch to me. So here is my “amuse bouche” of media.


Video thumbnail. Click to play
Click To Play

So tell me have I left you hungry for more? My job now is is to propagate this meme further. To that end, I hereby tag the following people: Robert Scoble, Len Edgerly, Toni Lyn, Valeria Maltoni, Kathryn Jones, and Steve Garfield.

  • http://kolbemarket.com BarbaraKB

    Thanks, Jim. I did not like the word “snack” either. I think it trivializes this new way of communicating. Appetizer is better. Much more discussion to come I’m sure! 😉

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  • http://2geosteph.blogspot.com steph

    Jim- you had me a crabcakes 😉 I agree that it takes a thoughtful presentation to engage the multitasking multimedia audience. And I appreciate a media product that is audience focused, not creator focused.

  • http://spaceygreview.blogspot.com/ SpaceyG

    Hmmm… do you have to have that ridiculous-sounding voice used in the video’s VO to be a Media Smacker? I can’t stand the catch phrase Media Smackers, Snackers, whatever. It has these overtones of Muff Diver to me. Then again, I LOATHED the UPS tag line “What Can Brown Do For You? because it reminded me of icky things, turds for instance, but it’s been wildly successful for UPS, but something, had I been in charge over there, I would have killed on the drawing board, so maybe I’m not the best arbiter of these kinda cutesy things.

    All that said, the message is critical: it IS all about the MULTI. And a professional now should think of themselves as a MULTI, as you do. Such as… we’re not just producers or cameraslaves; we’re shooters AND producers and engineers and tech support and the sat. truck dude and the marketing guru and the ad agency and the boss and the person who gets lunch and the intern and the copywriter and the designer and the “talent.” Hell, we’re the whole damn network! I’d better buy SpaceyGraceyNetwork.com right now…

  • http://spaceygreview.blogspot.com/ SpaceyG

    Jim hon… of course I meant the video you linked to in your copy, NOT your video!

  • http://spaceygreview.blogspot.com/ SpaceyG

    Ok, hate to be such a pain in the butt with 3 posts in a row, but I just had a multi-tasking moment to watch your video in its entirety, and you’re mostly asking about content-related issues, eh? Sometimes I gotta wonder if the content isn’t just whatever the f the CREATOR wants it to be. Damn the audience. They’re either going to support it or try to screw it or just ignore it on the interwebs. So maybe it’s just a Just Do It scenario? Just Create It… they will either come or stab you in the back, one or the other! It’s only life… it’s only content.

    Hmmmm… now what song does this sentiment invoke? There’s a good meme for ya. Feelies maybe? Or is that just too obvious?

  • http://radiofreeholly.blogspot.com Holly

    Much applause, and am also in agreement about the concept of a “media appetizer.”

    I would like to see you go a bit further into content– in this world of accessibility to create media, it doesn’t necessarily mean someone should. I am a firm believer in making a contribution to media rather than creating just because someone “can.” Not enough people generate good, new content and I find that frustrating.

    When I was an art director, I would say, “Just because someone has Microsoft Paint doesn’t make them a graphic designer.”

  • http://LenEdgerly.com Len Edgerly

    Fantastic, Jim. And oh, does this show the benefit of old media skills–the lighting, the graphics, every choice you made to create this helped make it a tasty appetizer indeed. When you combine that level of craft with your authentic grasp of what it means to be in conversation instead of “communicating” with an audience, well, I think we’re now at the level of Oysters Rockefeller.

    Another strong contribution to this meme comes from Elizabeth Dunn, who also tagged me. Her post is at http://smalldots.wordpress.com/2007/10/30/snicker-snack/ So I’m going to give this a full course of attention–thanks for including me!

  • http://web-strategist.com/blog Jeremiah Owyang

    Jim it’s so cool to see and hear you. Thanks for respecting!

    I wasn’t aware of the Wired article until people pointed it out a few days ago, good stuff.

  • http://bbluesmangmail.com Mark Forman

    Hi Jim good piece and your key points noted and agreed. One minor technical point-to be shared via FB message.:)

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  • http://kchaynes.blogspot.com Kim Haynes

    Great job, Jim. Easy to understand video that really hits home the fact that we are creating content for folks similar to ourselves and really have to work at making sure that we grab their attention.

  • http://www.conversationagent.com Valeria Maltoni


    You score such huge points for both the presentation here and the pronunciation of my name! Of course, I went ahead and broke the rules on my media snacking post 😉 I have now duly updated the post to include a link to this wonderful appetizer captured for posterity [http://www.tiny.cc/bQSNM ].

  • http://mediasnackers.com DK

    Great continuation of the discussion. Liking the appetizer metaphor as well… people are really getting creative with the core idea of ‘mediasnacking’ and how it applies to their operations and sector – which is fantastic!

    Thanks for the kind words on our video as well – appreciated.

    I have added your name to the list of people who have taken on the meme here:



    MediaSnackers Founder

  • http://www.conversationagent.com Valeria Maltoni

    Funny, I thought I left a comment last night, but it did not take. Thank you for the tag, I have now duly added you to my post http://www.tiny.cc/FSV19 — I like the idea of appetizer! I got more into the culture of media snacking and how companies should begin to respect that, especially in their marketing materials. Advice I am planning to take myself 😉

  • http://joesvideoetc.blogspot.com Joe Cascio

    We always talk about conversation vs talking “at” people, and I think this is key to understanding the short nature of a lot of internet video. When you and I converse, first you say something, then I say something back. Internet video is kind of like that. Each video is one person’s “turn” or “at-bat” in an ongoing conversation with the rest of us. If you try to evaluate these as independent, complete works, like a long-form film, of course they’re going to appear incomplete. But if you see them simply as parts of a conversation, then it makes a lot more sense. So, I might characterize them more as “courses” of a meal rather than appetizers. You have to consider them as a connected pieces of a whole, rather than a complete meal in themselves. Make sense?

  • http://twitter.com/Attitude Brian

    Thank you for your profound respect of people and time. You are every bit as busy as anyone, yet in my experience you always take the time to complete the communication loop – essential to communicating “with” someone.

  • http://stevegarfield.com steve garfield

    Hi Jim,
    It would be cool if your blog comments system supported the embed tag so I could just insert my video response here.

    I posted it over here:

    Response to Jim Long on Myspace

  • http://www.dbnc.com David Beaudouin

    Nice one, Jim! Come to think of it, Clipmarks is the perfect platform for the textual “media appetizer.” Like the poet Charles Olson put it, form is no more than the extension of content. But the big question I have about these conversations concerns not length but frequency. Thoughts?

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  • http://www.AureliusTjin.com Aurelius Tjin

    Thanks Jim, that was cool! :)

  • http://www.GodsMac.com Gabe Taviano

    Enjoyed seeing you share via video – good material as well. Keep up the good work Jim!

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