Thursday, January 31, 2013

House of M: Open the Gates

I read that this year, the only traditional media that is projected to grow is outdoor advertising. Everything else is on a downward trajectory.

I also read about industries that do not invest in digital media face losses between 900 billion to 1.3 trillion US dollars. I read it somewhere, but I misplaced the link.

Of course, these numbers are released by people who are now in control, people who have great influence over the dissemination of information and communication - the Internet people.

I read these predictions and viewpoints with mixed feelings. A lot of people I meet - especially those in the media industry - do not understand digital media at all. Even those working in the very same industry.

Managing expectations will become crucial to digital media people. First up, the worst, most ill-informed comment I heard about the Internet came from some powerful people who said that the Internet is 'the Underworld'.

That is true, in a way. The Internet started as a porn dispenser. Well, no, it started as a military thing that became commercialized  like Hummers. But yes, the Internet's first real success - to me - was as a place to trade porn. I remember using IRC to trade porn for Windows wallpapers I renamed. There was a system where if you allow people to leech 1MB worth of pix, you get to download 1MB worth of pix from the other guy. I used mostly pictures of scenery before hoarding a respectable reservoir of titty pix.

Anyway, the Internet as 'the Underworld' was true until the mid-90s. These people who view the Internet as such are about two decades out of sync with the rest of the world. And they also believe, they would tell me, that the Internet is a passing fad and that one day, all the kids will stop using social media and pick up newspapers and we would all go back to using asbestos and eat lead paint off the walls.

There is another group who believe the Internet as some sort of magic wand, capable of reviving flagging sales of their bullshit products or turn their brand images magically into powerhouses. Here's the truth: if your product is a steaming pile of shit, no amount of spin on any media - traditional or new - can make it better.

And if you have a blog or a Twitter account, and you put forth your views on them, it doesn't make you important. It makes you some guy who has a blog and/or a Twitter account.

And it's TWITTER, not TWEETER.

These things are merely tools. Know their intended functions, know how to use them and most importantly - know and understand people. End of the day, these things allow you to reach to groups of people and you need to learn how to talk to them and how they think, what their culture is, in order to engage properly.

I have seen and heard media experts make unfounded, totally bullshit claims on the effectiveness of their digital selves. I have seen monkeys jump up and down over insignificant bullshit they did on their stupid free websites.

I have seen people claim the impossible, promise the moon and the sky as they ejaculate to their own images in the mirror.

If you want to understand this thing, as with any thing, you need to experience it and be on it, experiment and get educated. There is no other way. And always listen, but never listen to people who claim shit.

I have seen my fair share of conmen, even those who perhaps do not realise they are con artists. Ah, fuck them. Suck my dick.