Screw your bandwagon

When you want to make a difference to things, you don’t follow the bandwagon. You see the risks and opportunities elsewhere and avoid, avoid, avoid.

How much of your life are you spending following what other people do, or what other people tell you to do? If you’re a business owner, chances are, it’s a fuckload more than you’re admitting to yourself.

Dear reader, if you are a regular here, you’ll have seen previous writings about why social media sucks, and why groupthink is something to be feared and not followed. So how is this one different?

More importantly, how do I reconcile my individual persona with my business persona? That’s a real kicker, one that I haven’t resolved yet.

This image reads, "I've read too many books to believe what I am told."
Props to Book World for tweeting this at the perfect time – social media comment above nothwithstanding 😛 (@book_world)


In giving control of a web design to someone else recently, I was reminded of my position as a non-conformist, and it occurred as sharply as a silhouette thrown onto a shadow puppet’s curtain. The fact is, video, and new methods of websites were being pushed and pushed and pushed. And honestly, fuck your video.

Now, I know that video is everywhere. I am also aware of the fifty thousand million articles about why people love video (written by marketers, justifying their jobs). And of the fifty thousand million business owners who have discovered video and are evangelising it as a new medium (written by people justifying their foray into this apparently new medium). And I have read the fifty thousand million articles about engagement, and social media, and viral marketing, and…


Show me the data that says that unequivocally video is more engaging than fantastic (and fantastically relevant) content. Show me the data that says that everyone, regardless of location and ability, can see, use, and act on your video. Show me the data that says that learning by video lecture is faster than having it as an option and not the only channel.

As far as I have read, it doesn’t exist.

Video not only poses a massive accessibility risk for you (and a huge hole if you disregard people with disabilities or limitations of any kind), but it requires fast internet, considerations of risk of hosting (and who you give your rights to if you post it somewhere like YouTube). And it also requires you to have a good screen presence, good lighting, good sound, good scripting (so you still have to write it, you see), and good editing.

Sounds like text, huh.

Video is flashy, and everyone is doing it, because it’s the fashion right now.

For me, as a company owner, I see the bandwagon. I see the direction. I see the risk. And I see every man and his dog piling on top of everyone else, shouting louder than everyone else, and I am running the other way. Fast. As fast my little legs will carry me.

Great things never happen by following trends. Great things happen by making trends.

My instinct tells me to avoid this fashion, and so I am resisting it with every ounce of what I’m doing. There’s enough noise out there in the first world clamour for attention, and I for one will not be part of it.

Stay tuned to see what I make of the social media noise. Very quickly I am seeing opportunities that don’t require me to be online. Now that would break the mold, wouldn’t it?

2 thoughts on “Screw your bandwagon

  1. At the risk of going all onion-belty here, I remember the first time I ever had the argument with a web design client about whether or not to make the Quicktime Movie “autoplay=false”. They were so goddam proud of that video (which I believe was a couple of workers vacuum-drilling a hole in asphalt) that they insisted it start playing the moment people got on the website.

    After making several compelling (and admittedly much-too-technical) arguments, I invited them into our “QA Area” consisting of a coffee-ringed school desk and an ancient 486SX computer with dial-up. I pulled up their site, watched their horrified faces as the video jackfucked the entire experience, and then smiled as they told me “Yes… yes, autoplay=false.”

    I STILL feel that way. Don’t shove your fucking video down my throat. If it’s that goddam important, WRITE to me about the things in it that you simply can’t accurately capture in words. Otherwise, consider it skipped.

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