From July 31st
Ah, summer in adland. While the rest of the country is sharpening its buckets and spades, digging out the After Sun and wondering how early to get up to beat the traffic on the M4, adland is working. Or more specifically adland is phoning its spouse to tell it that it'll have to cancel the holidays because it's working on a pitch. And then knocking off early to stand outside a pub and complain. But, since a few of you might just be able to get away for a bit I thought I'd offer some holiday reading, so you can come back in September with exciting new buzzwords to chuck about. Or, if you are stuck doing a pitch, it's something to read while waiting for the CEO to dial in from Mauritius. None of these things are very long, but they're all worth reading properly and having a think about.
The first is Kevin Kelly's perspective on who benefits from 'the Long Tail' and how. (/icanhaz.com/tail) He points out something important about Long Tail economics which I suspect a lot of us have missed; the fact that while creators and artists benefit from hits (the head of the Long Tail) it's aggregators and editors that really stand to make money from it. If, as seems likely, lots of markets will develop significant Long Tails with financial opportunity buried in there, the people who might extract the value will be those can sort the wheat from the chaff for their particular audience. People with a good understanding of popular culture might do well here, and it's something that people getting into content strategies should ponder.
The second thing to read is by Jan Chipchase, resident anthropologist at Nokia, who wrote a splendid piece for New Media Age about privacy and location awareness (http://icanhaz.com/locationawareness). As he points out, we're already wrestling with issues of permanent connectedness, with being constantly accessible. New generations of technology which encourage us to share our physical location all the time, will only heighten this. We comms people haven't had to think about our audience's privacy much in the past, but we're going to have to get used to doing so and Mr Chipchase's piece is an excellent start. And, finally, there's a fascinating piece at ycombinator.com/ideas.html from one of the Silion Valley's leading venture capitalists about what kinds of start-ups he'd like to fund. If you're sitting there dreaming of starting your own business it might be worth checking your idea against his list. Point twelve is especially worth considering: "Fix advertising." And with that, if you are stuck on a pitch when you should be on a waterslide, happy holidays, better luck next year.