Nothing is random

So here we are, next up surrounded by the internet of things. Look around — we're forever stuck in Times Square. #internet #tech #gif

Serendipity on the internet will forever be twisted in the maw of algorithms. Nothing is ever truly random. We are data’s significant other with a bullseye on our back.

Facebook has been triangulating our data for years, matching our likes with the highest bidder. Internet ads are designed to strangle our attention into a click-hole.

So here we are, next up surrounded by the internet of things. Look around — we're forever stuck in Times Square.

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We, the data

Dissolved into data, we produce a feast of trackable interactions.

Dissolved into data, we produce a feast of trackable interactions.

They are the editors as much as much we are the authors. While we create everything, they produce nothing, yet the internet still owns our words. 

The attention merchants munch on the aggregate and peel off the niches into targeted prey.

Our eyeballs are the oil, primed, pumped, and then exhausted into tanks of consumption.

Monetization of the ego starts at birth, built for entertainment in the first place. We make, make, make until we are over-marked and sold to the highest bidder.

Today’s Dream, Tomorrow’s Reality

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“After World War Two, artists and advertising agencies wanted to sell a bright and hopeful future. But they were also working to produce something that their audience would recognize and find plausible. As H. G. Wells said: “Anyone can invent human beings inside out or worlds like dumbbells or gravitation that repels. The thing that makes such imagination interesting is their translation into commonplace terms and rigid exclusion of the other marvels of the story. Then it becomes human.””

Read How Ad Men Invented The Future

Google Plus You Equals $$$$

You’re just logged into some bullshit while browsing the Internet. This next part, however: “… and gives Google that common understanding of who you are.” Now we’re chewing on something a bit meatier—as in, an admission from Google Inc. that Plus mostly exists to gives the company a better “understanding” of you.

The G+ network is merely an excuse to gather more data about you. No utility whatsoever. We. Are. Ads.

Saying-Doing

There’s always dissidence between what people say and what they actually do.

  • People said they’d leave Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram after they introduced ads. Usage on all 3 platforms grew.
  • After the Broncos lost the Super Bowl, some Broncos fans proclaimed that they’d never watch their team play again. After a week of sorrow, Broncos fans were pumped for the new season.
  • People said they’d move to Canada if Bush was elected. They stayed and now they just rip Obama.

The list goes on…

What people say initially is a gut reaction to change, especially if it’s intended to turn them into an advertiser.

But quitting forever rarely happens. The content is just too damn good.

There’s never been a better time to work in advertising

Technology has created a space that, ironically, has made us more human. Online we see more, know more, have more friends, like more things and know more about what’s going on in more places around the world.

Technology has meant that the truth is readily available to anyone who might care to find it. So the flim-flam that we used to peddle to people in the name of marketing doesn’t stand up any more. People can easily get to the real story about a brand or product with two clicks of a mouse.

Even if you read a lot a decade ago, the only way to really learn about another place or person was to travel or meet them face to face. Now you can gather a lot of information about a place and person through the Internet, seeing pictures, conversing with locals, and watching events on YouTube, Instagram as they just happen.

The world is interconnected. We’re all living in each other’s shoes. Every problem is potentially a global one.

Ambient Advertising

Today:

  • What clothes are you wearing?
  • What devices are you carrying with you?
  • What car are you driving?
  • What links are you sharing on your social networks?

Whether you realize or not, you’re advertising product wherever you go. Some of it is deliberate: you’re signaling to others that wear a snazzy brand or drive an expensive car. But most of what your showcasing is unintentional. You’re just using the product because of its utility, not necessarily because you want it to be seen.

For instance, you may not love Amazon but that Kindle logo is displaying on the reverse side of the device. You may be indifferent about your car but you’re advertising the model and you’re probably also advertising the dealership where you got it from on the license plate.

Advertisers will try to sticky their brand logo on you and your stuff wherever you are. You’re a walking and talking ad and there’s not really much you can do about it.

The Agony of Instagram

It is as if every last image is designed to call to mind Norman Mailer’s book title, “Advertisements for Myself.”

Envy, of course, doesn’t operate in a social vacuum. It needs an object of desire. And everyone, it seems, has that friend on Instagram: the one with the perfect clothes and the perfect hair and seemingly perfect life — which seem all the more perfect when rendered in the rich teals and vivid ambers of Instagram’s filters.

Paulo Coehlo said it best:  ”Social media is edited real life.”

We’re all spying on each other.