Thursday, January 20, 2005

Sleep well my brothers...

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Art for art's sake

Video silliness...

Monday, January 17, 2005

Dead fish warp drive

It's not a band name, but it should be...

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Via Substitute

Friday, January 07, 2005


Let the backlash commense:
IPG Establishes Blog Specialty Group
NEW YORK Interpublic Group's MWW Group said it has set up a blogging subsidiary. Called Blog 360, the division promises to help corporations create blogs that will provide "a unique and highly effective platform to connect with key constituents and audiences who are more difficult to reach via traditional marketing and public relations," the agency said in a statement. Blog 360 has enlisted the expertise of Stephen Morgan Friedman, who runs the blog "Through blogs, MWW's clients will have the ability to truly speak the language of their customers," he said.
--Catharine P. Taylor
- via Adweek

Seems to me that part of the attraction of blogs is that they are free of the editorial influence exerted by monied interests in traditional media. The Raging Cow blog (that covertly marketed the Dr. Pepper milk drink that went nowhere) was supposed to be a hip way to connect with consumers and it bombed. Robert Scoble is widely read but also widely criticized for being less than critical of Microsoft. Why would I trust a corporate blog?

A blog that makes it easier for you to hear from, and be influenced by, your customers seems like a good idea, but why push the "connect with key constituents and audiences who are more difficult to reach" angle? Why are they that disconnected from existing or potential customers?

Seems like another way companies are trying to fake the funk. Consumers are smarter now, and more powerful than ever. Companies do not get to deliver messages anymore. They get to listen.

It's a user-centered world now.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

If Nietzsche Was In Marketing...

Nietzsche said that it is the nature of every living thing to want to increase the amount of power it enjoys, that life is ultimately a struggle for power. It's interesting to apply that principle to todays technology environment where corporations and consumers are fighting for control over digital media.

This is a time where consumers are finally empowered to do unprecedented things with the media we buy. It is also a time in which organizations like the RIAA and the MPAA are throwing everything they have into protecting the power that they have owned, with only meager challenges, for decades. Witness DRM, the Broadcast flag, the INDUCE Act and the ongoing attack on P2P tech.

They don't want consumers to be a more powerful entity and they have technology, the established power structure, the money and they're slowly getting the law as the resources they can use to make sure that doesn't happen. CES coverage is hyping the struggle for the "digital livingroom" but what isn't being talked about is that the content companies are fighting to take it from you. They want to dole it out in perfectly controlled, time-limited, self destructing pieces. The consumer electronics companies are playing along.

Hugh Macleod has nailed an idea that I have felt but have not been able to articulate:
"Nobody cares about your whiter-than-white laundry detergent. They care about power. The sooner you stop pretending otherwise, the easier your path through life will be."
It seems to be a reasonable enough explanation of why TiVo lovers are so rabid in their support of the service. But TiVo, flanked by competition from cable companies on one side and the hypersensitive content companies on the other, can only go so far. They're existance is too fragile to truly give the consumer complete control.

By contrast, look at Napster and how quickly it took off. Look at BitTorrent and what is happening there. These technologies gave/give consumers unprecedented power and their rate of adoption shows how attractive that is.

This is an epic struggle and worth keeping an eye on.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005