媒体与艺术 | culture | 미디어와 예술 思想 | ideas | 생각 日本 | japan | 일본 消费者行为 | consumer behaviour | 소비자 행동

The new racism

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I was listening to a mix by Japanese DJ SoccerBoy when I came across this page on his site. It featured a section of the documentary film made about the traditional dolphin cull in a small village in Japan.


The text on the page reads:

“Whites don’t kill dolphins, Yellows do”


Are the likes of Greenpeace, PeTA and the World Wildlife Fund as guilty of racism as the 19th century missionaries who wanted to civilise the savages by bringing God’s word to them, or the entrepreneurs who sought to open the market for opium with cannon shot and muskets?

At the very least, it indicates that western pressure group’s confrontational ‘Two Minutes Hate‘ approach needs to be revisited and they need to search deep within their motivations to come up with a more empathetic and effective way of influencing their desired changes in behaviour because its leaving potential allies alienated in non-Western countries.

在线 | online | 온라인으로 思想 | ideas | 생각

If content is King, is context Queen?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I have heard a number of people repeating the mantra ‘If content is King, context is Queen‘ recently but wanted to ask what does that really mean any more?

On the one hand location provides context, when I think about my online persona:

  • LinkedIn is my business face
  • Facebook and Twitter is more social
  • Friendfeed is more early adopter
  • Delicious is dark journey into my psyche
  • This blog brings it all together under a mask of civility

So when someone like MySpace talks about context, they are most likely thinking about how their site maybe the right location for complementary brands to buy inventory and services to facilitate brand interaction. In this respect context could be said to be Queen, though it follows a mix of old-school marketing segmentation and a more-modern intent-driven focus depends who is in the driving seat.

There is a second type of context which I’ll call neighbourhood context (for the sake of discrimination) which is being eroded. This blog enjoys more readers than it has ever had, and has had more feedback than previously, yet this feedback and debate does not show on its Technorati authority which has dropped, nor from the amount of comments beneath the blog posts.

Instead the comments and responses are appearing on:

  • Twitter as @ replies or retweets
  • Facebook as comments on my newsfeed or as ‘likes’ (the thumbs up rating on Facebook statuses)
  • LinkedIn as comments on my status
  • Plurk responses

This means that lots of one-to-one conversations are happening and even lots of re-broadcasts, but there is a loss of continued discussion as previous comments are not necessarily visible for other commentators to build on like in a threaded forum discussion or below comments on a blog. The power of the conversation is held back and it reminded me of the way discussions that made up much of the life in the old Irish neighbourhood when I grew up disappeared as the community fragmented to better housing.

Thirdly, content itself is fragmenting through micro-formats. The successive iterations of the SHIFT release has chopped each of the content elements into items that can be easily shared. Google now provides addresses in its Maps service as a downloadable hCard. We can consume ‘bitesize’ chunks of media without all the surrounding content which provides context – making messaging from a PR point-of-view challenging.

So as practitioners, what can we do?

I was talking this through with some colleagues whilst I have been out in New York, and for many  clients it is about reaggregating that content as part of a next-generation press room. You can see it on e-Consultancy’s front page with its Twitter feed, though there is a small risk to be run of people saying negative or purile things.

In reality, in order for this approach to be successful, feeds would need to be taken from a much wider set of services than just Twitter and would need to be restructured and updated on a regular basis to take into account consumers evolving online behaviour.

Secondly this won’t necessarily affect the vast majority of your web audience who will look to consume your content wherever, however and whenever they want. Content context has moved from being a given to an active and (social media) educated choice. This is also cross-posted at my work blog.

创造力 | innovation | 독창성 思想 | ideas | 생각

Will innovation move south?

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I have been thinking about legislation and innovation recently, triggered in part by a conversation over Twitter that I had with Phillip Sheldrake over Twitter whilst he was at the Intellect conference.

conversation JPG

In western countries such as the UK, France, Sweden and the US we have seen legislation and authorities act out of fear and the fear of disruption. There are precedents that we can look at to see the relative benefits or otherwise of this approach.

Nicely designed HP print adverts in Wired magazine

For instance Steven Levy documents in his book Crypto how a few geeks with the necessary foresight realised how important encryption would be for online communications and business. The US government considered encryption to be a munition and consequently something that should not be known about by consumers, nor in their possession.

Fortunately, the geeks persisted and now thanks to their efforts you can now shop safely online as your credit card details are sent via an encrypted channel (that’s what the little padlock which appears in the edge of your browser means.)

I think we are at a similar point now with other technologies and the law. Lawrence Lessig in his work Code has talked about how the way we create law to keep up with, and facilitate innovation. The approach the west seems to be taking is one of trying to hold back disruptive innovation.

Contrast this with the standpoint that the Brazilian president took against online practices which challenge our current thinking on copyright and innovation. Brazil is a developing world country, but has had biofuel-powered cars since I was a kid, has its own successful aviation industry, award winning architects and designers.

Contrast this with South Africa which hasn’t legislated around privacy and is now a world leader in areas like mobile marketing.

So will much of the innovation that the Digital Britain report pays lip service to, move south from cool Britannia to cool Brasilia?

思想 | ideas | 생각

Knowledge is of two kinds….

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Knowledge is of two kinds…., originally uploaded by renaissancechambara.

I love this quote my Samuel Johnson which seems more appropriate than ever, now we live in the Google age.

思想 | ideas | 생각


Reading Time: < 1 minute

In a moment of insanity in the office today we were thinking if you have #FollowFriday on Twitter why not have #UnfollowMonday? From Blue Monday to I Don’t Like Mondays, the day has a bad reputation, so why not use the time to weed out the lurkers and spam in your Twitter ‘following’ folder. It will be cathartic, Mondays may even look better; think about it.

You could even do it in haku, for example:

#UnfollowMonday I don’t like Mondays, they make me feel blue, I don’t like your twitter, adieu to you @spam_account @boring_brand etc etc