TechCrunch Disrupt , a conference that gathers web innovators in social media, mobile devices, and smart applications, hosted a compelling panel about the shift from traditional print to online media.

The grounds of the discussion revolved around the transformation from conventional methods of reaching consumers to modern platforms that actually interact with users. Gone are the days where static media effectively delivered messages to consumers. Social media sites have dominated the playing field, where consumers choose what they want to view and who they want to engage with.

Here are 3 key secrets revealed about addictive digital platforms:

1. Users define content creation and content consumption. Digital platforms such as YouTube and DailyBooth make it super-easy to upload videos and pictures and share them with friends. These can soon become addictive and viral as people consume content and pass it along further. Businesses can take advantage of this by opening up content creation to users, such as GE's crowd-sourcing effort .

2. Visual content is universal.

Brian Pokorny explains that "...you can talk in different ways through just visual imagery. Text is less of the focus now with both videos and photos, which can transcend languages, borders, and cultures." Three of the panelists founded sites where visual imagery was dominant, and demonstrated the effectiveness of such sites in reducing boundaries in today's global marketplace.

3. Digital platforms cultivate brand building.

GE has always been known as one of the traditional marketing giants that garners the use of customary marketing techniques. However, Judy Hu, GE's Global Executive Director for Advertising and Branding, explains that using social media can help "extend the brand and make it iconic. [GE] wants to build their brand and get their key message across to everyone." Digital platforms can help small and large businesses alike expand their company to different demographics and distinguish their corporate image.


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Originally published May 25, 2010 7:33:00 PM, updated October 20 2016