The Only Thing That’s Dead Is Your Crappy “Everything Is Dead” Meme

STFU

I’m a little tired. Not physically. I could always do with a little more sleep, but then so can everyone.

No.

I’m more tired about the constant “The End of PR”, “The End of Marketing”, “The End of Print” and “The End of Advertising” missives  that seem to be flying about at the minute.

I can’t open my email subscriptions without the latest link shouting out “The end of…. Where now for Industry X?”.

I’m an avid blog reader and use Alltop regularly to find interesting stories from my industry and beyond. Yet it seems that there’s an “End of…” blog post for every *normal* one at the minute.

Why?

Why do we have to bang the nails into the coffin of industries that are still very much alive? Why do we have to look at an industry that’s been around for years as “ending”, just because there are new tools available? Is there really such a thing as an ending, anyway?

End or Mend?

Instead of saying an industry is ending, how about we say it’s mending instead? If an industry is really viewed as being broken, should we be closing the door on it or helping it back on its feet?

If your pet breaks its leg in an accident, do you immediately want to  put it to sleep or do you love it back to health? If you break the point on your trusty pencil, do you sharpen it or throw it in the bin? Even when that pencil eventually writes its last word, you don’t stop using pencils – you start afresh. But it’s still with the same type of pencil.

When you’ve taken your last step on a particular journey, it doesn’t mean your travels are over – it simply means there’s a new journey to  begin.

It’s easy to say something is finished – you don’t have to worry about it anymore as it heads for that big garbage bag of irrelevance. The harder part is making irrelevant into relevant.

It’s not easy, but if there are solid enough foundations already there, isn’t it better than starting again?

image: Black Glenn

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92 Comments

  1. Jack January 23, 2012 at 12:02 am

    We live in a society that looks at most things as being consumable- use them once or twice and throw them away.

    • Brian Driggs January 23, 2012 at 6:58 pm

      Hear, hear, Jack. Le Roi est mort, vive le Roi!

      Unfortunately, the prevalence of me-too, also-ran offerings only seems to further this mindset. Here’s to the comfort of conformity in non-conformism.

    • Danny January 24, 2012 at 10:34 am

      As Brian says, mate, also-rans seem to be the pop culture of today. And the only way they can stand out is to come out with inane crap that has no solid backing with facts. Hey ho…

  2. Geoff Livingston January 23, 2012 at 12:52 am

    It’s a lack of thought leadership. Pundits wax poetic over everything and make ungrounded drastic statements to garner attention. Without the depth to back it up… Well, it’s more hot air. Good post.

  3. Glenn Wallis January 23, 2012 at 2:42 am

    It may also be that internet marketing gurus suggest an eye-catching title to a post be it “Is this the end of” or “7 ways to…” are a surefire way to increase the readership ! 😉

  4. Pamela Grow January 23, 2012 at 6:30 am

    Amen. It’s rampant in every industry, including nonprofit where I’m constantly hearing that direct mail is dead or email is dead. 90% of nonprofits never took the time to MASTER either one and therein lies the problem.

  5. Jayme Soulati January 23, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Amen 2; to echo Pamela Grow above. Just read another missive (like that word you used) about the debacle that is PR. #SickandTired Can we get a new trend? Like say PR is mending. Like that,too.

    Don’t want to promote the negatives about an entire industry being ineffective, unqualified, useless. Where’s the good there?

    • Danny January 24, 2012 at 10:38 am

      It’s funny how the easiest targets (marketing and PR) are usually the ones that (for the most part) back up claims with hard facts.

      Something the bloggers writing the crappy titles often miss. I wonder why… 😉

  6. Leon Noone January 23, 2012 at 9:41 am

    G’Day Danny,
    I’m waiting for” the end of useless wheel-spinning and wheel reinvention on the internet.” How about “the end of web designers who know almost nothing about sales and marketing but think they know everything.” Maybe we could go the whole hog and demand “the end of any article or blog post whose title begins with the words ‘the end’?”

    which brings me to….
    The End
    Regards
    Leon

    • Danny January 24, 2012 at 10:40 am

      Haha, the web designer comment is funny because it’s so true. Yes, you’re a brilliant designer – but your marketing leaves a lot to be desired.

      Then again, not too many sales and marketing folks are brilliant designers. And that’s cool – why can’t we just accept that, and accept there will always be a need for certain industries?

      Cheers, mate.

  7. Hootie and the Blowfish January 23, 2012 at 9:42 am

    First of all…Alltop? really? I will start preparing your reading list for now on my friend. Anything I can do to reduce traffic there I am all for! 8)

    I agree. Just space needing to be filled by copy. It does get ridiculous. I still use Pete Cashmore’s End of Privacy article as an example of this at it’s worst.

    • Danny January 24, 2012 at 10:41 am

      You know, there are some good blogs over there – you just need to look for them. 😉

      And you’re not allowed to quote any Mashable-related words here – you know the rules!

  8. Hajra January 23, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Maybe we have become pessimists. And we continue to take pride in self pity.

  9. Susan Tellem January 23, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Dead!? Not on your life. I was so happy when social media came along to give a boost to public relations which was getting pretty dreary. It’s an exciting time. Nothing is dead – we’re just rearranging ourselves.

    • Danny January 24, 2012 at 10:44 am

      Exactly, Susan. I tend to find the folks that are saying something is dead or dying are the same folks that don’t know how to adapt. So they simply decry.

      But they’re being found out, and that’s always a good thing… 😉

  10. Mark Longbottom January 23, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Nothing ends as someone seems to be employed to rename it every other day, more fool them having to spend time working out what to call or label themselves. Meanwhile real people live on.

    One thing that they can not rename or suggest is ending and that’s ‘talking’, and oh how thye hate the fact that people just get on with it without them.

    So i’ll see you on the other side once I have found out what the new new black is, when the new rock and roll is going to hit the new media and on and on and on.

    Or I’ll just be real and live……

    • Danny January 24, 2012 at 10:46 am

      That’s exactly the reason they’re trying to remain relevant, mate – by being ridiculous. For some, it might work for a little while – but once they’re called out for possessing no facts behind their arguments, it’s harder to listen to their junk.

      Fun times. :)

      • Mark Longbottom January 24, 2012 at 12:01 pm

        So correct, ocne i work out how to leap frog these car sales types the top of the world will be far behind :)

        Inside I have the Oscars already just need to be more strategic in spreading the information.

        Have a good week.

  11. Tom Chapman January 23, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Sounds like a typical ailment/ complaint of today’s ethics of throwaway culture whether in business, social media or otherwise.

    Something’s not working exactly how you want it to? Instead of persevering, throw it away and buy another one!
    Your software application not working properly for you? Sure it’s the software at fault, get rid of it and try something else!

    People give up & find it far easier to bitch and complain about external factors instead of making the most of what they already have or even taking a look at themselves to see what couple be acheived with a little perseverance.

    rant over!

    • Danny January 24, 2012 at 10:47 am

      Mate, you can come and rant here anytime. Especially when you’re so bang on with what’s wrong with the fast food culture of social media and everyone being able to offer their nuggets of “wisdom”… 😉

  12. Andrea January 23, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Probably it’s just for headlines’ sake, they work well and they keep using it. But it might also be because many like to see giants, or celebrities, falling and so they are very appealling titles.

    Anyway as you said if there is a valid thing it should be saved, whatever the cost. Just like a pet. :)

  13. Dino Dogan January 23, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    This is the end of my comment :-p

  14. Darren Sproat January 23, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Hopefully, this post marks the end of such “truths”. I loved your pencil analogy. Take care, Danny.
    Darren

  15. Jay Dolan January 23, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    I’m just going to declare the end of the world. That will solve everything.

  16. Judy Dunn January 23, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Love your image there, Danny. Blah, blah, blah indeed. The end of…the death of…makes for good copy (at least it did before it became regurgitated ad nauseum.) In the advertising and marketing worlds, and, actually, in many industries, concepts are reinvented and renamed, and it seems that something has ended when in fact, it’s just morphed into the next shiny package.

    And those “the end of…” posts are getting boring. Give me a new take on an old concept any day of the week. Fresh, original writing wins over the sensational every time, at least for me.

    • Danny January 24, 2012 at 10:50 am

      Exactly, Judy. The smart businesses and people are seeing the change and adapting. The rest? Well, there will always be suckers born every minute to listen to non-informed opinion… 😉

  17. Anne January 23, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Hi Danny! Love ‘end or mend’! Viva l’evolution! :) Great post. Thanks and Happy New Year.

  18. Ken Mueller January 23, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Commenting on blogs is dead.

    oops. nevermind.

  19. Bill Dorman January 23, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    My industry too; the internet was supposed to eliminate the insurance agent. Things have certainly evolved more in the last 5 years than the previous 50, but I see it as incredible opportunity. These are the good ol’ days now; things will never go back like they were, but that’s ok with me, I’m enjoying the ride.

    • Danny January 24, 2012 at 11:14 am

      You know, it’s funny mate – some of the best uses of social media, and “non-dead” things is coming from the insurance industry. And that’s meant to be the boring and safe one… 😉

  20. Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion January 23, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    I said ‘amen’ like 12 times as I read this DB. Good stuff brother.

    To the end of sensationalism in social media….

    Marcus

  21. Craig McBreen January 23, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Hi Danny,

    Print was dead over 10 years ago, but I still get paid to produce brochures and print ads. Yes, I really do. I just had to say it because many don’t believe it. 😉

    • Danny January 24, 2012 at 12:01 pm

      You know what I think it is, mate? There are so many industries that are (essentially) still new, due to developing worlds gaining access to them.

      To say that they’re dead, just because a certain geographic has found another platform, is kinda close-minded. Hey ho.

  22. Daniel Milstein January 24, 2012 at 2:19 am

    That is so true, Danny. Certain things or events may slow you down, but they dont make you stop.One thing I learned is treat everyday as a new day and new challenge.

    What if these so called rumors became true (I know they are not)?? We will not be left with many options but to learn to live with them. I dont worry, I just continue my journey!

    • Danny January 24, 2012 at 12:02 pm

      That’s something so many seem to miss, Daniel – that people just keep going in so-called dead industries. If it offers value and makes sense, there will always be users.

  23. Holly Jahangiri January 24, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Let’s just ignore the doomsday folks – even the Mayans are tired of them, Danny! :) Let’s all focus on the good and positive stuff, and remove all incentive to continue “The End of…” memes. They’re as bad as the “Aftermath of…” stories on the news. I can’t help but think that if we loved the negativity less – there’d be less of it, you know what I mean? Great post. I’m with you!

    Holly

    (Speaking of a little positivity – the link in this post isn’t to MY blog, but to a friend’s blogging contest entry. Abhi Balani runs OddBlogger.com and is entered into a blogging tips contest. He’d be thrilled to get some more readers and comments, I’m sure!)

    • Danny January 24, 2012 at 12:03 pm

      Damn, Holly, that’s a great way of paying it forward, and perfect for this post. So, the end of collaboration? Pfft. 😉

      Cheers, miss!

      • Holly Jahangiri January 25, 2012 at 8:26 pm

        :) It’s so much more fun this way, Danny! I have pointed out the irony in the commonly used acronym, “SoMe,” but so far, very few people really seem to GET IT. I still blog as much for fun and entertainment – mine and others’ – as for anything else. So “paying it forward” is one of the ways I get enjoyment out of blogging – it’s not ENTIRELY selfless, or anything! I should add, Abhi hardly knew me when he started promoting ME in the Surviving the Blog contest last year, at WBB. But I didn’t even have to ASK. I get the feeling he finds fun in a lot of the same things I do. He’s just one of those cool folks it’s worth getting to know better.

        By the way, it’s already tomorrow where he is, but today’s his birthday. 😉 I told him I am a firm believer in dragging birthdays out as long as you can get by with it… whoever reads this? Drop by that link below and say “Happy birthday, Abhi!”

  24. dave friant January 24, 2012 at 9:53 am

    O I suppose we could do it your way, but that isn’t very sensational.

    In all seriousness in these stories your referring to I’d wager their all trying to sell something and people gravitate to hype and drama.

    So really it’s our own fault. It goes back to does art mirror life or vice versa.

    Hell even if you talking about main stream media they are still trying to sell ratings.

    So until people change this technique isn’t likely to go anywhere. People may like a nice, happy story they just won’t go out of their way for it.

    Thanks for the post.

    • Danny January 24, 2012 at 12:07 pm

      You know, Dave, that’s usually the case indeed. “Print is dead – buy my digital-only ebook!”, or words to that effect. 😉

      Like you say, it’s cause and effect. The sooner more people see through the crud, the less we’ll see of it. At least, we can but hope!

      Cheers, mate, appreciate the comment.

  25. Mark Aylward January 24, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Danny
    It’s a glass half full/half empty thing. You see opportunities where others see problems. I’m a half full guy myself. Some of these half empty folks are also just manipulating people opportunistically…”Article marketing is dead so you should buy my video tool…” It’s unfortunate for the newer people who don’t know who to believe yet.
    Cheers
    Mark

    • Danny January 24, 2012 at 12:08 pm

      Hi Mark,

      I think we can blame Google for the “article marketing is dead” thought, thanks to their Panda update and confusion around it.

      Yet from an SEO angle, it’s still a hugely effective approach (if done well). Like you say, there will always be opportunities – it comes down to how you want to “angle” these opps.

      Cheers, mate.

  26. Kneale Mann January 24, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    I worked in radio for 20 years and over the past few there has been no shortage of web prophets who have proclaimed the death of radio because “no one listens to it anymore”. Same with print, direct mail, outdoor and television. The last time I checked, all are still alive. It’s up to each channel and each content provider to determine if they want to be irrelevant.

    Mobile is exploding, we know this from facts and data, does this mean that once it begins to wane it will be dead as well?

    It’s easy to lob fire, it’s much more difficult to find ways to utilize the tools available and create better stuff, content, offerings, product etc.

    Blogging was dead five years ago, four years ago, comments were dead or not cool or cool or not, orange was the new black, the list is endless.

    Here’s something that is very much alive and well – human contact. No matter the channel or medium, let’s not let that die.

    • Danny Brown January 25, 2012 at 10:47 pm

      Love the example of the easy part, mate, versus the harder (but infinitely more rewarding) way of really making things work, as opposed to the quick fix. Something we seem to have lost in the transition to this new digital playground.

      And great point about human contact. That can never be beat. Which reminds me…

  27. Carrie Brown January 24, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    The point is not to give up and rush to announce “the end”, but to struggle and search for new tools, methods, approaches, provided by the constantly changing market.

  28. Ravi January 24, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    No form of advertising—or media— completely dies. Instead, something new just comes along and takes away from the former mediums popularity. TV didn’t kill radio. Internet didn’t kill tv. And infomercials, in my opinion the most annoying form of advertising in existence, are still going strong. Just not as strong as when they were a more prominently used form of advertising.

    • Danny Brown January 25, 2012 at 10:51 pm

      Agreed Ravi – it ties in with Jens’s point below, about the shiny ball syndrome and how new seems more exciting, but then the glean wears off. At the end of the day, if it’s a viable business model and there’s a need and audience for it, anything will remain.

      Cheers for the comment!

  29. Jon Loomer January 25, 2012 at 12:22 am

    Thanks, Danny. This is the end of pessimism.

  30. Jens P. Berget January 25, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Great points.

    To me, it seems that there are especially two reasons why media (people) are adding to the “everything is dead” trend and that’s to create sensationalism (stand out from the crowd) and when ever there’s an end, there’s a start of something new. They want to focus on something brand new, and to do that, they feel the need to say what’s not working and what’s dying :)

  31. Brankica January 25, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    “Article marketing is dead” is one of the most repeated sentences among bloggers. “Do guest posting” is the second most used. Which comes to the same thing. But last time I checked, article marketing is still very much alive and kicking.

    I think some people just need some eyes on their titles, otherwise no one would be reading their blogs.

    • Danny Brown January 25, 2012 at 10:56 pm

      For sure, Bran – like you say, while article marketing may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s still enjoying a huge amount of success for its proponents. Just because something doesn’t work for you doesn’t mean it’s wrong or useless.

      Some folks, eh? 😉

  32. Paul January 25, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Outbound marketing is the new Inbound Marketing. :-)

  33. Daniel January 27, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Let’s be optimisitc, stop taking pity on ourselves, and ACT!!The market provides a wide ranges of instruments to succeed!

  34. Brian January 28, 2012 at 11:37 am

    I think any industry “THEY” say is over or dead has a mending period before the naysayers shout it’s dead. Eventually, some industries need to die, not be propped up continually. But I do agree, I don’t like reading the headlines all the time about this is dead or that is dead or over or whatever words they want to use.

  35. Alesia Krush January 30, 2012 at 4:59 am

    Ha-ha, it’s so comforting to know I’m not the only one under the impression that industries have been “dying” in bunches all around lately. Thank you, Danny.

    End or mend? Mend all the way!

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