Someday Facebook will be replaced. It may not be Ello that replaces it. It was not Google+.
But something will come along that does what users want better than Facebook–or shows them new, exciting things to do–and Facebook will go the way of the manual typewriter.
What should we learn from the fact that communications media come and go?
One lesson is to value what doesn’t change.
If you learn this lesson, you will find out as much about your audience as you can, and figure out what they want to hear about, where, and how. Then you’ll craft your message to make it stand out, and you’ll offer your audience a chance to take actions you want them to take (whether that’s eating differently, donating to causes, or marching on Washington).
A different lesson would be to keep track and keep up.
Focusing on your audience and your strategy will always serve you–but it may not be enough. If you’re trying to reach people by calling their land lines, for instance, you’re going to be missing a lot of people who exclusively use mobile phones.
You might decide that the ever-changing nature of communications technology means you simply have to keep track of the changes and keep up with the technology.
If you take this lesson instead, you still don’t have to fall victim to Bright Shiny Object Syndrome and chase every new, cool trend that comes along.
You will realize, however, that new technologies build on old ones. Imagine nobody had learned how to work a manual typewriter. There wouldn’t be anyone around today who knew how to use a computer keyboard. Or, suppose you had a fax machine but no email. Other people would be able to join distribution lists, and you would be left out in the cold.
Pay attention to timeless truths. Keep track of the latest thing. Opposite ways of facing the same challenge. Is there a way to do both?