Oh the humanity!

Hubert Morrison famously said ‘Oh the humanity’ in his live commentary as the Hindenberg burst into flames and it then became a meme in American culture used in a mostly satirical way to ridicule, diminish and trivialize deep emotional feelings that are part of the human condition.

Morrison’s commentary was the first pre-recorded news report. It was then taken and distributed via radio all over the continental US and used to dub newsreel footage of the disaster. Morrison ushered in the modern news media the way we know it and what made it so powerful is that he put people at the centre of his recording.

I thought of Morrison’s catchphrase when I started to see a number of posts about remembering that people make social media social. There is a lot of great things being said here by:

Something concerns me about all this, not the content that these guys are putting out there. But that the fact that its such a hot topic implied that there were a number of people who don’t realise that social media is people-powered, or more likely don’t think that much about it at all.

That is a really scary concept. It is a rejection of old ‘pre-internet’ wisdom in marketing communications disciplines from Bill Bernbach to David Ogilvy. It is sociopathic media, rather than social media.