So yesterday — actually Sunday night — some witty soul (and I use that phrase ever so graciously) decided it would be fun to hack Adrants on the eve of Cannes Lions making it impossible for us to share with you all the event’s goodness. Well. we’re back.
But does it really matter? Does anyone really care? When we have AdWeek’s Tim Nudd and Gabriel Beltrone killing it in Cannes, an entire army of reporters from Ad Age, stellar tweets from Ogilvy, a One Question video series from Advertising Week, live coverage from Campaign and PR Week and the #canneslions Twitter hashtag which — if you allowed yourself — you could stare at 24/7…do we really need Adrants?
Two years ago, I was in Cannes on Yahoo’s dime to cover the event for the brand’s Scene publication. I’d like to think we (myself along with former Adrants Editor Angela Natividad and Adland’s Ask Wappling) did a great job encapsulating the week’s activity. Last year, I couch-surfed Cannes using Storify to compile all manner of content to share with those not fortunate enough to enjoy La Croisette for a week. This year, I was game for the same. But this hack — combined with the increasing proliferation of event coverage — has sort of taken the wind out of my sails.
In two weeks, I’ll be sitting on the beach on Cape Cod hopefully without a care in the world. But, honestly, I have a sneaking suspicion I won’t yet have recovered from the regret I now feel for both not having been in Cannes this year and, as well, realizing, it’s not as easy as it once was for Adrants to wield the weight it once had in this industry.
As it should be, everyone (brand and individual) now has their own soapbox. Who really needs the media when everyone with a blog or a Twitter account can report and comment on anything en mass? Yes, analysis and reflection are still important but when most never read what they retweet, what’s the point? Why bother? Why go to all the effort of attempting to create valuable content when all today’s metrics care about are likes, retweets, pins, plusses, shares, etc.?
While Adrants has gained tens of thousands of Twitter followers, it has also seen a decline in site visits. Part of this, of course, is due to Google fuckery but I’d venture to say a significant portion of this decline is due to the fact people simply never visit the site. They just see the headline on Twitter, retweet it and move on. Or, of course, our content could just suck.
I’m certainly not saying everyone has turned into a mindless social media savant but it’s a little difficult to remain motivated in a world where Mashable rewrites the same story five times a day with a different headline just to garner love and traffic from Google. Or when Business Insider writes wildly overblow/impossible to ignore headlines that have little to do with the actual story. Or when every brand and agency realizes (correctly) that they should be creating their own content rather than rely on the media to do it for them. Is it any wonder people just retweet stuff without reading? There’s simply too much to consume.
Now I’m not bitter. Well…maybe just a little. I’m sure I’ll continue to share my voice with those who care. Even with those who just want to retweet the headlines. No, really, that’s OK. But in the ten plus years of Adrants’ existence, we’ve gone from “Adrants can make or break your campaign” (yes, someone actually said that) to a has-been, also-ran entity afloat in a sea of similar content fueled with financial muscle with which we simply can not compete.
We think Bob Garfield got out of this rat race just in time.