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September 09, 2010

Carpet bombing the Social Web - aaarrrgh.

The downward spiral of hollow rhetoric.

It would appear that whilst we have this wonderful thing called social media and its misinterpreted age, the web and its aggregation, and narcicsm and ego that are just being discovered - carpet bombing seems to be all the rage!


 I was on a "social network" the other day, checking out a few posts when I came across a "guru/expert" dictating how to use the social web. His main point of teaching was the method in how to get as much out there as possible.  In other words, to become the "go to" person in their field of expertise.

Now on one hand I would say that, in theory, this is not such a bad idea. After all "traditional" marketing dictates that "carpet bombing" a central idea, notion, or service "should" keep the purveyor in the potential user’s mind - but that's in the world of traditional marketing and the web is far from traditional.

In fact, in respect of the web, it dictates an entirely different and radical approach in order to achieve any kind of traction.

What about content and the notion that respect for the reader should be of primary concern? It’s certainly no longer about how much you can cram in their minds.

Traditional marketing channels treated the "consumer" in a very patronising and dis-respectful manner. It is based on assumption and brainwashing, knowing full well that the consumer cannot do anything about it and has very little choice.

However, the web allows us, the consumer, to act in a different manner. We have control, not the purveyor of the stream/s.

We, the consumer/s, want relevant content and not to be "tricked" into thinking that automated or carpet bombing content will help us or even brain washing us into thinking that the purveyor of such content is the "go to" person.

Users on the social web are becoming a very discerning breed. We have learned that we have control over what we see, pay attention to and use. We want rich and relevant content - in fact I would go so far as to suggest that we demand rich and relevant content.

Carpet bombing me with unadulterated and unauthentic rubbish is not only annoying but fundamentally wrong. The web is a resource of rich content, or should be, and "gurus" that have just discovered "automation" should really take some time out and realise the nature of what they are doing - not only to the consumer but to the web and their own reputation.

Clearly there is a fine line between getting the balance right and getting it wrong, and an emphasis on "content farming" is a sure fire way of starting down the road of getting it wrong.

The social web has grown up and is demanding higher standards of content.  

Carpet booming in military terms does not work either!

August 10, 2010

Why do the English call it by what it does but the Americans call it by what it is?

We're talking about a phone.

In the U.K. we call the object that you carry with you everywhere, couldn't live without a "mobile phone" and yet in America they call it a "Cell".

On one hand it' referred to by what it does and on the other it's referred to by what it is! At this point we could go into a diatribe of the difference between the countries but that's not my intention. On the contrary my point is "ipad-ivity". I'll get to that in a minute.


Arguably in 1822 Charles Babbage invented what today is regarded as a computer. Back then he called it a "difference engine" but its primary function was to calculate and take out "human error".

Since then Allan Turin and Tommy Flowers built "Colossus" (during WW2) and the rest is history via IBM, Microsoft, Apple etc - but to a point.

One thing is for sure, and this applies to all the "devices" above, the action of using such a device means this - you have to go and sit in front of it. As a rule, most of these devices are chained to a wall (so to speak) and to use one you have to stop what you are doing and go to it. It does not come to you.

You could argue that a laptop changes this, but in reality it is still a cumbersome device that on one hand is portable but on the other is really just a smaller version of the same computer that sits on your desk.

I'm not sure I have seen many people mountain-biking whilst carrying a laptop!

A Personal Computer, by it's very nature and title, is exactly that - a device that computes your personal data. It's yours - it's a hard drive (amongst other things) that holds your data. So in that respect it's still (by design and function) the same as Babbage's, and because it was a hard drive it didn't really need to change design and function (albeit it has got smarter and faster).


However, today we have the web and this has changed the way that we interact with "the machine".

Humans love to communicate. That's what makes us different, and since that advent of web 2.0 this "desire" has designed the way we consume and use technology.

Now we have "devices" that are merely "portals" to the web and that is why,I would argue, that the iPhone was the most important device to be invented this century. Not because it's from Apple but because of what it is and does.

No longer are we chained to a computer that sits in the corner or have to carry large bags around with us. We now have the freedom to "communicate" and "organise" our lives in a manner that is "free".


It's a natural progression really. 20 years ago we stopped being chained to the wall when we wanted to make a phone call - the phone came with us.

Now we have the iPad or Android tablet (it does not matter which).   This means that not only can we communicate via voice or screen but we can read books and magazines, we can watch TV, listen to music and still do the "mundane" tasks that kept us "chained to a desk" whilst we used a traditional computer.

Suddenly we don't need to "go to" the TV, Phone, Computer, Newspaper stand, Magazine stand, Music store, Bank, Shop's, etc.  Instead they all come with us - and I can take them all with me whilst on my mountainbike.

This is a fundamental shift in the way we consume. It is changing the method of society and making it smarter.

This is iPadivity. 

Whether we call it a Cell or a Mobile is now irrelevant - what it truly is, is Mobile by function and that will transgress countries.

Star Trek was ahead of its time: we have a communicator!  


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