Today's Meme Is Tomorrow's Distant Memory

It's been only one month since Cleveland's Charles Ramsey rescued three young women from a decade of sadistic captivity. 

Yet this morning, as I sat down to tap out this blog, I completely blanked on his name. Check my Google log and you'll see I searched "Cleveland guy" and "hero." (If that failed, I might have added "McDonald's.") 

The Ramsey story couldn't have been more ubiquitous. But it disappeared quickly, too—not only from the headlines, but from my memory. My brain moved on to the next headline, the next viral video, the next favored tweet. 

I'm not the only skimmer in the sea. As Slate's Farhad Manjoo points out this week in "You Won't Finish This Article," we may be reading more and more, but we're engaging with that content less and less. We even share stories we haven't fully read.

The culprit: "It's easier than ever, now, to switch to something else." 

The implications are just as crucial for marketers as it is for news media. Today's meme is tomorrow's distant memory. If you don't stay constantly (and creatively) engaged with your customers, they'll move on to something else.