“Participation is the new consumption” – from Trendwatching.com

participation is the new consumption

I LOVE IT. Consumption has consumed itself. Nothing is original. Affluence has become affluenza. The only thing which is original and unique is the journey that you take in life.

Participate. Join in. Does this mean we are about to see a resurgence in participatory democracy? Will membership based organisations all of a sudden reverse their global decline? Is travel going to become far less “tourist”? Will people become bloggers or have bloggers become people? Is it all about family again? Dare I suggest it, have churches such as the pentacostals led global trends?

Or is it as simple as saying goodbye conspicuous consumption, hello “joining in” to holidays, events, membership based organisations, knitting clubs and other things that we “do” rather than “buy”?

There’s definitely going to be a shift in expenditure from goods to services in a digital economy.

EMI = Every Mistake Imaginable

The past few weeks have been somewhat tumultuous in the music industry, with the departure of two of the music industry’s best regarded executives, David Munns and Alain Levy from EMI and the closure of Sir Richard Branson’s V2 record label in the USA (home of the White Stripes, among others).


It’s interesting how a total lack of recognition and adaption of a new business model is slowly killing the recorded music industry from the inside. Live music is still firing, music publishing is fine – but records – oh records, what a sorry state they’re in. A sad state of affairs, but few in that industry are acknowledging the fragmentation and movement from physical distribution to distributed consumption. The former is about a central factory making and distributing artefacts and physical products. The latter is the central factory placing content on a variety of channels and allowing people to consume at will; they choose the time, place and channel.

Every industry will move thorugh these phases:
1. Reduction in the cost of production due to technology and globalisation
2. Increase in number of producers / democratisation of production
3. Increase in number of channels due to digitasation and high cost of physical channels
4. Increase in ability to distribute through channels as internet speeds get higher and computing power gets better / cheaper.
5. Fragmentation of channels and consumption meaning large “culture driving companies” will struggle to impose their products
6. Changes in marketing and advertising – increased personalisation of marketing as fragmentation will lead to a need for greater relevance and “chase” of smaller markets
7. Decoupling of product from time or place (goodbye seasonality, hello songs from twenty years ago randomly appearing in the bottom rungs of charts).

What other ramifications?

Traditional media are n00b5 – gaming is a PHENOMENON

WOW Burning Crusade is out. it’s very, very big. this is bigger than any film release of this year. The traditional media is slow to understand; close to 7 million people pay USD$13 per month to play World of Warcraft. That’s big bikkies, about $80m per month or thereabouts, or close to BILLION U.S. DOLLARS A YEAR.

Bigger than Titanic.

Even in the guy in the little EB Games shop in Elizabeth St, Melbourne, told me in NOVEMBER that he had pre-sold 600 “Burning Crusade” at $10 a pop close to three months before eventual release. Pretty funny eh?

Like I said, the traditional media are SO slow in picking this phenomenon up.

Check it here!

Toy Stores are really wonderful places – for an adult

The joy of walking into a toy store as a kid. Is there anything in adult life that approximates that pure open horizon, unlimited ecstasy of reverie?


I walked into a toy store today and looked around.  They are still great, still so cool. I got that little feeling of naughtiness, like I shouldn’t want any of it, but I wanted it all: the Star Wars light saber, the Scalextrix slot cars, the remote control cars, the Matchbox cars, the Transformers, the computer games.

Why is it on TV, in entertainment, in advertising and contemporary communications everyone tries so hard to be boring, dumbed-down and bland? Deep down surely everyone is a kid who has been bored to death too many times to remember the good fun they used to have. Why can’t product marketers and communications gurus see that while things might be oh-so creative, high-brow and witty, often it’s at the expense of actually being FUN!

Toys = fun. People want toys. People want fun.

What a blissful way to spend a lunch break.

Lamenting over the Aussie car industry is a Beep Beep Beat Up

In a front page article in The Age, Bridie Smith has lamented the collapse of the local car industry, where sales are down over 20%. Australian Car Sales Collapse says the headline in the print version of the The Age.

Ferrari SuperAmerica

The reality is hidden deep within the article:

Australians bought a total of 962,521 new vehicles last year, which marked a 2.6 per cent fall on 2005 figures, although 2006 remained the second strongest year on record

Yes, Aussie MADE cars aren’t selling as well as the previous year, but overall, sales figures are outstanding! The local industry is fine – as long as you don’t factor in the total absence of a locally made 4-cylinder car in a market which is buying 4-cylinder cars like crazy.

Signatures and other email etiquette

How do you read email signatures?

Is “Thanks and regards” your preferred poison when a simple “thanks” will do?

Or is it a “Yours Sincerely” when you could just write, “Best”, like Phil Gomes here does…

Alternatively, you could be like a certain ex-boss of mine who used to sign off EVERY email to everyone and anyone with the standard formatting of “I am awaiting your reply”. I once pointed out it could come across as a bit forward or rude depending on the context of the communications, but he responded with a curt, dismissive “It gets results – I hate emails anyway”.

Phone numbers or no phone numbers? Contact details for easy cross access?