Social Drama is the next evolution in the medium of Video Content. Over the last couple of years we have seen some of the fastest technological advancements ever. With these technological advancements come social change. In today’s society, technology grows better and faster everyday and society and culture seem to be in a constant catch up. For video, 2006 was the year of youTube, self broadcasting and, though unaware at the time, it was the first glimpse into the personal brand. Guerrilla minded content creation with individuals creating Terabytes and Terabytes of information on themselves and their friends. Most of this content was terrible, amateur, and sometimes self indulgent time wasting, but a small amount turned out to be good quality interesting insights into something new and original. In essence the learning and the craft were being developed before our eyes – it became such a success that dedicated marketing specialism’s where developed to embrace this platform (the Viral Video was born).
Now we are in 2008 and again as the technology has progressed and so has the content. Better streaming encoding and faster download speeds mean about more ‘stylish’ videos. During the last year the traditional TV world woke up and realised they could embrace this technology, so on-demand websites were created, transposing video from one medium to another became the standard for these companies. But no-one was doing anything different. An example of this is that the separation between BBC 1 and BBC iPlayer was limited to the name and the device you watch it on. Eastenders is Eastenders is Eastenders – why should I get into a stir about whether I watch in on my computer or on a TV screen.
As technology advances society and culture seem to be in a constant state of catch up. Enter the next evolution in video – Social Drama. Use the internet platform, embrace technologies that are web 2.0 and that, at its very heart, embody the ideologies of Social Media. Otherwise it is just the same stuff with a different front cover.
To start to define a Social Drama I have to say what it is not. It is not the same TV shows on a different stage, it is not traditional one way ‘audience’ communication on a different platform as in the case of Kate Modern and Lonely Girl 15 and it is not corporate marketing through clipping videos to enhance pre and post roll advertisements.
I would like to delve a little further into the second thing I said it wasn’t – Kate Modern and Lonely Girl 15. In essence these are the things that came before. My issue with these series being labelled Social Drama is that they come from the mindset of traditional TV show producers who create video for a viewer and for an audience – an audience is, by definition, singularly receptive, there is only one way communication they cannot directly communicate back, they can only receive messages. Creating a Social Drama starts from before the filming, from even before the script is written and the crew is cast. It starts from the mind of the creator; it starts with embedding two way communications before anything else has even been born.
My understanding of a Social Drama is limited at the moment to thought and hyperbole so in the great tradition of people like Rohit Bhargava I have put my thoughts down into a list:
- Embed two way communication at the heart of the mechansim
- Platform specific – a Social Drama has to be available within the standard grasp of all other Social Media’s. Social Drama is limited to manipulating an ‘old’ form of entertainment i.e. video production, filtering it, reforming it and offering it up to a different user-base on the web 2.0 platform
- The line between fake and reality can, and should be blended to a point there they can’t be distinguished
- Engagement of other forms of Social Media should be included for the user’s entertainment
- Offer user’s the tools to Mashup the content to build their own creations
- Guerrilla based concepts aimed at leveraging Social talent to grow product marketing
- Any traditional drama can become a Social Drama as long as it changes to embrace the previous rules – it cannot be the same thing on a different stage