I’ve just returned from an interesting 12 hours in Berlin at the 2010 Webinale.
I got to do a Keynote on the final day with the theme of “The Speed of Now” where I tried to – very quickly – thread a theme through some of the topics of mobile, real-time, augmented reality and new technologies that the Webinale and the many different speakers were covering.
Something I do want to share, and something that I got to touch on in the Keynote, is an idea about what I think is the role and challenge for brands is in the future now that attention has become the new battleground. The quote that I think best describes this is Danah Boyd’s:
“As a technologist, we all like ‘techno-utopia’, this is the great democratiser. Sure, we’ve made creation and distribution more available to anyone, but at the same time we’ve made those things irrelevant. Now the commodity isn’t distribution, it’s attention – and guess what? Who gets attention is still sitting on a power law curve…we’re not actually democratising the whole system – we’re just shifting the way in which we discriminate.” Danah Boyd, Microsoft Research Lab
In this way I think the role for brands in the future is to act as an Enabler AND Filter. At the moment a lot of brands are trying to act as Enablers but very few are acting as Filters – and I think that it is brands that can fulfill this role which will have a great advantage in the future.