I have a frontal lobe? Or two?!

Here is a description of what your frontal lobes do:

The frontal lobes are involved in motor function, problem solving, spontaneity, memory, language, initiation, judgement, impulse control, and social and sexual behavior. (This was copied from here)

The most important roles of the frontal lobes for me as a communicator are:

  • their ability to exercise judgement
  • initiation
  • problem solving

Many of you have mentioned the fact that you have one (or two :)) – presumably triggered by a throwaway comment on one of my other posts. We do have them, they have taken many millenia to develop and adapt, so we do not need to have our information mashed and nuked in order for our brain to digest it.

What we do need is for the information to be targeted enough and delivered to us in the format we are most comfortable with. (Without any data mining or any of that rubbish).

So, rather than spending time and energy looking at all the hundreds of possibilities for ‘engaging with target audiences’, we should employ experts to deliver those once that has been identified as a valid route. (der)

We need to go back to the drawing board and understand what people need to know and how they would prefer to get that information. This is not new, people have been creating great businesses gleaning customer insight/intelligence – my very favourite company who were always brilliant have now gone out of business… hmmm (they had the best contracts and consistently performed well, the market has moved on). This leads me to the conclusion that the value of social media might be in looking at customer behaviour and finding out where they would prefer to receive information – or how they interact with an organisation – without sticking them in front of a computer and watching them through a two-way mirror whilst they complete a set of tasks, or shoving an annoying pop-up box on a website when it is visited.

I have no idea how you would do this without echoing the voice in the pub I spoke about in my last post – I am not trying to solve that here, I am just suggesting that someone does.

Let me know when you do 🙂

5 responses

  1. Tying this in with your previous post, the ultimate future goal would be when we pull the information we want, from the places we want, when we want. As soon as others start delivering it, we start relying on their frontal lobes not ours.

  2. Social Media apps do some of this … some people have a madcap idea (maybe from a lobe sometimes!), go off and write something and present it as a a website that everyone goes WOW at … most seem to start with the letters T W I …. at the moment!

    We play with these, but are they delivering any quality information to give us freedom from the dross?

    Its back to my old chestnut … companies, governments and my baby the third sector need Dumbo sized ears to listen to what people want – not mouths the size of the Channel Tunnel!

  3. This leads me to the conclusion that the value of social media might be in looking at customer behaviour and finding out where they would prefer to receive information…

    Social media can only tell us how people prefer to receive the information that social media provides. It doesn’t tell us anything about a general case.

    So while dipping into the quotidian banalities left on, say, Twitter might be fun and dopamine-producingly addictive, it just doesn’t follow that Twitter is the perfect medium for anything more complex than “I’m wondering what to have for lunch. @hubmum, roflmao”

    This is the classic mistake of Web 2.0: thinking that all information is born equal. If you’re rocking the aspergers, sure, go ahead and think like that. But there is a very big difference in the way that, for example, a communiqué from your favourite band about their new album, and one from a cabinet minister about diplomatic efforts on the nation’s behalf, are: at their heart, they are both just information, but they are also surrounded by massive amount of contextual detail that is, I would say, co-equal with the message itself.

    By putting the message out in the wrong format, just because people statistically like receiving information that way, misses the point that the context is half the message. Mismatch the message to the wrong medium, and you destroy it: Do I think that the Foreign Secretary is a hip and connected guy for blogging, or do I think that, frankly, it’s a bit beneath the dignity of the post, and information he posts would better be delivered to parliament, or at least published on creamy foolscap? The information would be the same, but the message entirely different. Has everyone forgotten their McLuhan?

    (Compare and contrast all this with trying to communicate back to the government. When you see lobbyists using Twitter to influence legislation, come back to me.)

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