August 11, 2010 at 02:13 PM in Advertising, Business, Community, Finance, Innovation, Interactive Marketing, Management, Marketing, Media, Modern Marketing, Open Source Marketing, P2P, Social Software, Technology | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
Eric Raymond’s seminal essay The Cathedral & The Bazaar remains one of the most powerful analogies for the world of media and marketing today. In case you aren’t familiar with Raymond’s work, he explained how in the world of software design, for many years, engineers spent long periods locked away creating huge operating systems in institutional settings that were then wheeled out into the real world for people to admire and to obey. However, the open source movement changed all that with online systems much more like global street bazaars allowing programmers to gather in informal networks and collaborate on technical projects in an organic manner, adding a little stitch here and a patch there, and always feeding their knowledge back into the main market, which remained forever in public ownership. For many years Big Brands operated in exactly the manner of Raymond's Cathedrals, building towering spires that required Brand Architects and Guardians to maintain their sanctity. However, in the shadows of these vast edifices grew global online Bazaars made up of people who found they could organise themselves around their passions, as oppose to the demographical pews ordained by the marketeers. And gradually the flocks flocked out of the Mainstream Media Cathedrals into the hustle-and-bustle of these online markets. However, this was just the beginning and people quickly realised that they could not only hang out in the Bazaars but could also bring their own soapboxes along in the shape of blogs. And eventually, as these little soapboxes grew into giant social networking sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, the Bazaar morphed into a global conversation. One where people trashed the Big Brand Cathedrals as they pleased, or even helped build new ones, ignoring the pained grimaces of the Brand Guardians and Architects who could only see desecration wherever they looked. However, that’s now all changed. Big Brands have come our from behind their lecterns and are fully signed-up...
August 04, 2010 at 02:34 PM in Advertising, Business, Co-Creation, Community, Entertainment, Finance, Innovation, Interactive Marketing, Management, Marketing, Media, Modern Marketing, Open Source Marketing, P2P, Social Software, Technology, Television | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
The technology and media industries have been at war for the last decade. In no small part due to Google reinventing the media marketplace, or ‘f**king with the magic’, as Ken Auletta so memorably noted. Messrs Brin and Page snaffled the lunches of content kings all over the world to create a $160bn corporation. Ever since, their algorithmic tanks have been parked on the manicured lawns of global players, such as Time Warner and Vivendi launching salvo after salvo into their infinity swimming pools. Including sucking up vast swathes of the media industry’s treasured IP and giving it away for free, whilst collecting gazillions of Adwords dollars. In short, there’s been plenty to keep the battle raging and the legal eagles billing. With such history, the recent announcement about Google TV felt like another howitzer blast in the direction of the marketing industry’s Tuscan holiday villas : Mountain View’s last surge into the media world’s ultimate stronghold to grab its most valuable real estate. One slight change to the script is that this time Google has brought along a friend. One with bonafide Hollywood credentials. The Google TV bandwagon includes Sony (owners of MGM, Columbia and Tri-Star), which will be making the kit for the Android powered web TVs. That could help the thawing of relations between Big Media and Big Tech. Maybe a first step in recognising the reality that the geeks of San Jose will never actually produce blockbuster content. While the players of Santa Monica will never actually develop global technology platforms. However, as with all these wonderful new media possibilities, the real options are not restrained by the technology, but by the backroom double-dealings and the beancounters’ carving up the juicy new revenue streams. The world’s media markets are worth something in the order of $600bn annually. And that’s the prize that the execs of Beverley Hills and Sand Hill Road have their respective high-powered sights set upon. As a result, suspicions will remain that Google TV is looking to grab media’s ultimate mega-market. Just as Google Search absorbed the revenues of its beloved print businesses. Or, worse still, that Page & Brin plan to unbundle those pricey 500-channel cable and satellite TV packages, where must-see sports comes complete with never-to-be viewed shopping channels. And that Google TV is actually a kind of giant Hulu. But one where TV execs aren’t pulling the strings. However, a pot of gold remains within sight. Whenever Hollywood Players and Bay Area Geeks sit...
June 18, 2010 at 11:30 AM in Advertising, Business, Entertainment, Finance, Innovation, Interactive Marketing, Management, Marketing, Media, P2P, PR, Social Software, Technology, Television | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)
May 27, 2010 at 11:58 AM in Advertising, Business, Community, Entertainment, Finance, Innovation, Interactive Marketing, Management, Marketing, Media, Modern Marketing, Open Source Marketing, P2P, PR, Social Software, Technology, Television | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
A couple of months ago I had the good fortune to hear Douglas Rushkoff expound his ideas about the changing nature of money and how private currencies could shift the way in which society organises its resources, loosening the grip of MegaCorps and even BigGov. It was inspirational stuff and all very timely coming fresh on the heels of a financial meltdown driven by tricky derivatives traders and faceless ratings agencies plundering the goodwill of widows and orphans. However, at the end of the talk Rushkoff, maybe suspecting his sober Swiss audience weren’t entirely convinced, found himself pressing that these ideas weren’t just pie-in-the-sky. Now, while I don’t expect the world’s currency exchanges and the pound in your pocket to go anywhere soon, I was very happy to raise my hand and offer the room a few examples of where I thought Rushkoff’s private currencies were in action – albeit at a micro-level. Firstly, I mentioned the Chinese Q coin, which is used by the 300 million users of the QQ instant messaging site to buy virtual goods. Tencent, the owners of QQ recently revealed that 'internet value-added services,' or virtual goods, made up 78% of the company’s total revenue at the end of last year. Enough to raise the company's international ambitions, including buying a stake in DST, the Russian company that owns a chunk of Facebook. And Q Coins are now being accepted in exchange for ‘real’ goods on 3rd party sites, sufficiently broadly to raise the concern of the Chinese government. I also highlighted the Second Life economy wrap-up that reads like a surreal corporate annual report, including tracking Linden Dollars and their transformation into ‘real money’ through the exchanges, LindeX or the Xstreet SL Exchange. And, while not operating private currencies, I pointed to Etsy, Zopa and Betfair as examples of private marketplaces that are challenging the traditional corporate structures that Rushkoff believes will come under pressure. These marketplaces range wildly in scale and nature. Etsy is a giant P2P flea market where people sell each other about $22m of (often beautiful) homemade items, such as soaps they’ve made in their garden sheds. Betfair is a vast £300m peer-to-peer gambling exchange. Whereas Zopa is a P2P lending service. All tiny in comparison to the industries in which they operate. However, all very successful and growing like topsy. And now we have Facebook Credits, the attempt by Mark Zuckerberg to create a currency in his world, that as it approaches 500m users is more populus than most countries. Once again it’s all very early days. At its outset, Facebook Credits is a way to unify...
May 19, 2010 at 10:02 AM in Advertising, Business, Community, Finance, Innovation, Interactive Marketing, Management, Marketing, Media, Modern Marketing, Open Source Marketing, P2P, PR, Social Software, Technology | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
May 07, 2010 at 10:42 AM in Advertising, Business, Finance, Innovation, Interactive Marketing, Management, Marketing, Media, P2P, Social Software, Technology, Television | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
There are powerful online trends at work sweeping away anonymity as a default position, creating many commercial opportunities for those with a light enough touch. Firstly, there's Facebook, the web’s 800lb social gorilla. Zuckerberg's service has given four hundred million people around the world an online identity and the norm is for users to provide 'real' information. And it's an identity that increasingly follows you around the web, thanks to Facebook Connect. Then there's the booming mobile web. While PAYG allows people to disguise themselves, anyone using a contracted service instantly ties their data habits to some type of billing system, thus allowing certified transactions to occur. Another mega-trend that will encourage people to 'get real' online is Rupert Murdoch’s decision to throw up paywalls around his online content. Previously, people have been allowed to read the Digger’s content for free – and without flagging who they are. However, now everyone behind the News International paywall will be attending a party where names badges are checked on the way in. Then there’s ever faster broadband and the continuing march of Moore’s Law, making YouTube-style and webcam communication increasingly common, thus letting people see each other all too clearly. And finally, but perhaps most powerfully, the law, in the UK at least, is swinging behind the anti-anonymity drive. Lord Mandelson’s much-derided Digital Economy Bill may be heavy-handed in the eyes of many, but one effect it has is to batter the walls of the ISPs where, to date, anonymity has been standard fare. All of which creates a self-reinforcing norm. Transparency and genuine online identity becomes widespread, brushing aside the previous default so perfectly captured by Peter Steiner’s famous cartoon, ‘on the internet no one knows you’re a dog.’ This in turn creates an environment where people feel comfortable adding ever-more revealing layers of information to their online identities. Including location, financial habits and information that, even a few years ago, would have seemed positively reckless to publish online. As John Battelle writes, the Database of Intentions is extending beyond, ‘What I Want’, to ‘What I Buy’, ‘Who I Am’, ‘Who I Know’, ‘What I Am Doing’, ‘What’s Happening’ and ‘Where I Am’. Of course, digital consumption habits have always linked to an IP address making it theoretically possible to identify who was snacking on what binary bytes. However, this world was murky, with plenty of ways to conceal who was who, including floating IP addresses. So what does this new transparent world mean for the marketing industry? Well, increasingly, the vast oceans of data that flow around the web...
March 30, 2010 at 10:45 AM in Advertising, Business, Finance, Innovation, Interactive Marketing, Management, Marketing, Media, Modern Marketing, Open Source Marketing, P2P, PR, Social Software, Technology, Television | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)
For a long time the marketing industry closed its eyes to the impact of networked media. And while it looked the other way, Messrs Brin & Page ate its lunch and built the largest media company in the world. Over the last year or so, however, possibly because of the Google experience, the marketing industry has done a U-turn and the consensus is now that the world has indeed changed forever. So which view is right? Unsurprisingly, the reality is somewhere in between. A thread of my client work over the last few years has been challenging the notion that the maturing web means we should forget everything we’ve ever known and start again. Forget the idea of brands, stop using TV as a medium, assume that the customer has morphed into a new type of being, accept that complete transparency is the only choice, believe that the only workable price point is free. Only a total reboot will do, some claim. However, this binary view of the world overlooks that while much has changed, more has stayed the same. Corporations are still operating in markets where consumers are looking for value and trustworthy suppliers. People are still motivated by the same needs – keeping up with the Jones’, caring for their families, exploring the world, self-expression, ambition, fun. It’s just that the markets they use to find satisfaction have been rewired. ‘The problems which are not changing are human problems - which remain the same,’ noted Eric Schmidt, CEO, Google last year. Take for instance, the social net de jour - Chatroulette. It’s a perfect example of the many new wonderful and unexpected things that are emerging as a result of open networked media and widespread broadband access. Built by an individual, using powerful distributed technology that now sits in bedrooms all around the world, it offers a P2P-experience that undermines traditional views of private and public identity and drives new types of social interaction. And what is this remarkable bleeding-edge innovation used for? Letting young men check out hot girls! Whizzy new kit, same old motivations. However, that's not to underestimate the ingenuity and scale of the new markets that people will build when they find their needs unmet. I was lucky enough to meet Douglas Rushkoff last week and hear him speak about his belief that...
March 26, 2010 at 09:14 AM in Advertising, Business, Co-Creation, Community, Finance, Innovation, Interactive Marketing, Management, Marketing, Media, Modern Marketing, Open Source Marketing, P2P, PR, Social Software, Technology, Television | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
Alan Rusbridger, Editor of The Guardian : "BookArmy – though it avoids saying so – is an offshoot of Harper
Collins. The two enterprises point in completely different directions.
As it was explained to me, the point of BookArmy is to get as many avid
book readers engaged as possible and learn as much as possible about
their likes and dislikes. At some point in the future (the theory goes)
publishers will no longer need to spend a fortune on marketing Max
Hastings’ next book by lavishing money on Waterstones or in print. They
will go to BookArmy and say, 'We know you have a database of the 80,000
people in the country who read books of military history. We’ll give
you our targeted marketing spend instead.' BookArmy is a telling illustration of two aspects of the
January 26, 2010 at 12:16 PM in Advertising, Business, Community, Finance, Innovation, Interactive Marketing, Management, Marketing, Media, Modern Marketing, Open Source Marketing, P2P, PR, Social Software | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
January 13, 2010 at 02:33 PM in Advertising, Business, Community, Entertainment, Finance, Innovation, Interactive Marketing, Management, Marketing, Media, Modern Marketing, Open Source Marketing, P2P, PR, Social Software, Technology, Television | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)