Deep Dish Blog


Is it New or Better? Know The Difference.

This is a guest post from Derek Leverington who is VP, Interactive with Brown Communications. He's also a professional musician, passionate about web technologies, and all around smart guy.  Read on to learn more:

I learned how to play guitar about twenty years ago. And when I bought my first electric guitar amp, I bought one that used the most popular technology at the time: a solid state amplifier built with transistors. In many respects it was a superior amp to the old tube-style amplifiers. It was more reliable. It didn’t require any warm-up time. It was cheaper to maintain and was lighter and easier to carry around. At the time, I didn’t know any different and I played similar amps for some time.

I can still remember the day that an older friend of mine who had originally got me interested in playing guitar was telling me about an artist who recorded his album using tube amplifiers. As a young player, I just couldn’t imagine why someone would do that. So, I asked the obvious question “Why in the world would they possibly use those old things?”.

The answer surprised me.

“Tube amps sound better”.

He was right. And years later when I could afford one, I bought a tube amplifier. And it was heavy. It needed maintenance. It needed to warm up and cool down. It was a beast to carry around. And it sounded better. And that’s why I owned it.

It taught me something. Not everything that is new is better. And if it is truly new AND better, it takes some time and perspective to be able to make that call.

I recall several years ago evaluating other platform options besides a website to create an innovative online presence for a particular client project. At that time, I was evaluating Second Life and MySpace.

Cutting edge stuff for then to be sure. At the time, it would have taken quite a fearless client to seriously consider setting up a presence on such platforms. (This was of course long before the social media hysteria had gotten to the current level we find it at today).

I haven’t put any clients on Second Life or MySpace since that time. And as it turns out, I didn’t then. We ended up focusing our efforts on the website and were very satisfied with the results.

I don’t think being on Facebook is going to launch you or your brand to stardom any more than not being on MySpace held you back. In this day and age, what’s almost more important than WHAT you do is WHEN you do it. If you do something early enough, there’s a story there. If you do it when the herd is adopting it, there’s no story. And that’s exactly the reality for most brands adopting social media now. You’re now several years behind the early adopters. The good news is that you’re not likely to lose your job over it.

Digital marketing is such a game of timing that it’s important to be able to tell new from better. If you’re evaluating a potential platform, ask yourself some of these questions:

- Does this platform have any significant reach?
- What's the reach we can confidently predict in the next 12-24 months?
- Does this platform do something that an existing platform doesn’t do?
- Will this satisfy some latent need or demand of my audience?
- Is what we’re doing interesting enough that there’s a memorable story here?
- Is there something about this platform that has a linkage to our brand?

If you find some positive answers, it just might be new AND better.

I don’t know exactly how many iPods are in the house but I got up to flip the record over more than once while writing this. I read an article just the other day that suggested that the LP will outlive the CD. I think I agree.

Derek Leverington

As Vice-President, Interactive at Brown Communications Group, Derek provides leadership to the digital practice at the agency. A passionate consumer and advocate of web technologies, Derek brings over a decade of experience in website development, online advertising and digital strategy to his clients



Harley Rivet - Blog Author - Deep Dish Digital


I know what you’re thinking – “What can a guy from Saskatoon know about online marketing? Also, that picture is a bit self-indulgent, buddy.”

But, just give me a chance. I’ve been working in the online space for twenty years, and promise the articles you find here aim to be informative and entertaining.