Short – Jeremiah Owyang’s mega-meme-launching post featured a video asserting that the world has changed, because of how young people are creating and consuming media. Although the video doesn’t mention length specifically, the word “snack” implies brevity, compared with a full meal. Here are my personal guidelines for what’s short enough to make a good media snack: Audio Podcast, 18 minutes; Video Podcast, 4 minutes; Twitter post, 100 characters; Seesmic video, 1 minute; blog entry: 1 screen.
New – Not existing before, original. “Make it new,” the poet Ezra Pound proclaimed. We should, too.
Apt – What’s suitable on YouTube? What’s appropriate to a Tweet? You know it when you see it, and the way you understand what fits is to hang out for a while, taking in the rhythms and textures of the conversation.
Clear – What are we trying to say? It takes more work to say something in a few words than in lots of them. Get to the point.
Kind – There’s plenty of room for crankiness in media snacks, but you’ve got to be as brilliant as Dave Winer or John C. Dvorak to pull that off year in and year out. My favorite media makers are honest but speak and write with compassion and playfulness, like Jim Long, Robert Scoble, Chris Brogan, and Steve Garfield, among many others.