Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A step backwards

Dear users of social media: Are your so-called A-listers telling the truth?

Ever consider that the world is treating information the same way that we would choose a product out of a catalogue. This is a retro-trend that is catching up in a similar pattern to technology in the 80's and 90's.

You know about 'cocooning' - the need to retreat from the harsh realities of life, which was big in the 80s and 90s - and you may have seems the blogosphere go from trendsetting alternative media to Blogvertizing 2.0. You understand the concept of 'Hiving' and you may even have visited one of those 'Homes of the Future', with talking fridges and annoying robots doing a Jetson’s wannabe spiel.

Fact is, consumers' access to information is and will forever be their alienable right and most prized possession, which means spotting new information, before others do, could net you serious bucks, euros, pounds and yens.

Forrester and the big media giants have finally caught on. The Scobelizer becomes the Scobeladvertizer.

So the big thing in the world of domestic bliss right now? How about re-creating experiences from the outside world into subsperiences for the mind? I am seeing a social trend I'll call 'offliners'. People will re-discover the richness of staying offline.

Subsperiences will be as much about extending experiences as flat out replacing them: consumers will still choose to visit a 'real' gym on the weekend, they will still hang out in bars with friends, they will still stay in hotels and they will still come to the office for meetings and human contact.

But with online coaching, online psychologist, teleworking and even a dose of virtual religion, why not just feed the brain from home. Sounds good? Not really if you think about it.

There are studies now showing this trend and the AI labs from around the world are tapping into this social cognoscence.

In the post 9/11 world of insecurity: 'let's stay in and invite some friends' says it all. Information consumers are still time-starved, so having or doing ‘anything’ online means not having to venture out, which saves time and most likely, money. Unheard-of levels of prosperity for millions of ‘mass class’ members from Sao Paulo to Singapore to San Francisco and ever-higher demands for information-at-a-fingertip from experienced social media consumers.

The global (read: western) standard is now the best of the best and preferably the best of the best from the best and most knowledgeable (read: not mainstream) insider - reviews will be done from the 'inside' with the mushrooming of employee blogs. Employees are becoming empowered which will slowly allow them to speak honestly without any reprimand. Hype hype hype. Six Apart becomes the Six for One marketing ploy.

Dear Bloggers and others of the new social media revolution: Are your audiences loyal?

From urban warriors in Manhattan to aspiring members of the middle class in South Korea, the previously-only-available-to-those-in-the-know tidbits of information is getting old and mistrusted. Marketing, applied generously just like goods and services is transforming even the tiniest allowance of credibility into ‘read and tryvertizing’!

The trend is evolving. It will continue to be about readers wanting to 'domesticate' any interesting information they find in the semi-public space.

Offline. Disconnected. Surges in communal rooms, mirroring cool neighborhood bar and restaurant experiences … or the latest in home offices … or yoga rooms … or the creation of ambient information.

The embodiment of social and cognitive theories in interactive content sets a high bar for the future.

Social media can backfire ... the hype is getting stale - we need to sit and think before we corrupt the rest of the developing nations in order to create the 'social media consumers' that the hype needs to be fed.

after.the.fact: Read what Shel Holtz says about this. Credibility is an issue.

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Anonymous Matt O'Neill said...

Throughout history, trends are usually cyclical.

As mentioned to you in Geneva last week, get ready for Web 3.0.

Who can wait for the return of mass semaphore, smoke signals, morse code, cave painting etc? Not me! Wish i'd be around in the seventies.. The idea of using CB radio with a call sign of 'Catatonic Lemming' seems appealing!

Out with the old hype, in with the new!

2:45 PM, May 03, 2006  

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