OBVIOUS FACT THAT SHOULD BE OBVIOUS: We are all geeks now. Not just would-be sex-bombs dressing up like Slave Leia. More ordinary people and stuff that courses through the culture and is everywhere. Everyone is on Netflix, streams The Daily Show, posts their “thoughts” about “The Red Wedding” on their favorite GOT forum. The total geekiness of everything is everywhere, and it’s like a bacteriophage — unless you embrace it, in which case it’s not.
We’ve known for a couple of years that, by 2016, online ads will eclipse television spending. That underscores the rapid proliferation of gadgetry, and the imperialism of the virtual economy, which will eventually conquer everywhere.
But technology by itself is meaningless. We tend to forget this. We tend to think that we’re being taken over or watched or choreographed. But that’s (probably) not true. The new technology is a function of us, and where it goes next, what form it adopts, whatever it does, will depend on the almighty We.
What’s critical here is the centrality of us — or you — you the consumer, you the individual swimming among billions of social-media profiles wandering the Earth with your hand-held device or tablet or iPhone 10s. You’re the one driving this change. Because you’ve geeked out — you’ve embraced these technologies.
So, Producers of Media: You must deliver content to Us the way we want it if you’re going to stay relevant. This has always been true, but it is more true now than ever, and the failure to adopt will be felt more immediately, more brutally, than in times past. This we know.
Remember, fellow consumers: You’re not a mass audience or a mere demographic. You’re a vast ocean of individuals who like what you like, when you like it and how you like it. The new media will evolve or emerge accordingly. (That’s what makes them new.) The old media will…disappear.
So, when you see old media flopping around, scrambling for an audience, just remember: It’s not because they don’t get all the newfangled technology. It’s because they don’t get you.