We now live in a beautiful online world. How does your team fit in?

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We now live in a beautiful online world, where design is improving by the day. Great websites, photography, video, and design tools were once expensive, but that is changing fast.

One result is that audiences now have increasing expectations because their social media newsfeeds bombard them every minute with amazing-quality content. So are your team's online communication and storytelling evolving at a similar pace?

The lightning-fast spread of great video is proof of fast changes in online communication. Earlier this year in fact, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said he envisions a time when most shared online content will be video.

After all, your phone today shoots higher-definition video than premium DSLRs from yesterday (and some today, too), so why not use it?

“Most of the content 10 years ago was text, and then photos, and now it’s quickly becoming video... I just think that we’re going to be in a world a few years from now where the vast majority of the content that people consume online will be video.”
— http://www.fastcompany.com Mark Zuckerberg: Soon, The Majority Of Content We Consume Will Be Video

As video has spread, producers have figured out that we often want to watch muted video. So, as somewhere around 50-85% of videos posted to Facebook are now played without sound, producers now increasingly include subtitles and text overlays.

This is all a very recent evolution, and it is proof that our media consumption habits are changing quite literally month by month.

In all online communication, great design is now abundant, very often cheap, sometimes even free. Your team can start setting up accounts with apps and networks like Soundcloud and Youtube and Canva in the morning and have an incredible communication spaceship by the evening.

With these options, almost anyone on your team can now be a designer, creator, and storyteller in this beautiful online world.

Your team in this beautiful world

Is your team's online communication changing like your own media consumption habits? Or is it static while other teams (partners and competitors) explore wonderful communication and design tools?

To see how your team fits in, try starting with some simple questions about the ways you communication with your audiences:

  • Your publications: how do they read / look? The trend is conciseness, plain English, shorter sentences, shorter publications, more imagery, more sub-headings, engaging titles, and a reading experience of fast scrolling and scanning. This is because, as a whole, we are more distracted than ever, and content producers need to cut through the noise.
     
  • Presentations? All advice suggests you avoid large blocks of text on your slides, avoid reading from slides, and focus on imagery that enhances your spoken words. Cheap templates are easily available.
     
  • Your phone: do you capture photo and video content with the amazing computer in your pocket?
     
  • Social networks: have you found the ones that work for your team?
     
  • Proposals: how does your team create them? Do you use tools for writing collaboratively and quickly so you can spend less time on formatting and version control and more time on planning and presentation?
     
  • And finally: how do you tell stories of your work? Photography, video, animation, and podcasting? These are becoming easier by the day. Try them.

If your team's online communication is evolving slower than your audiences' communication habits, then you are gradually falling behind the curve, but you can change that easily.

Still, maybe your audiences' habits are not changing fast anyway, so you might not need to change your approach by tomorrow. By next month, though, change would help, and by this time next year, would be almost certainly necessary. So let's move!