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But is it Organic?

Let’s face it: this is all about advertising, marketing and persuasion.

Is the web providing a new democracy, a more level playing field? If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it…?

Information has never been more freely available, and we’re free to choose the information we want. Isn’t that a good thing? Or is it just a honeycomb of echo chambers? “Information” can be tweaked to reinforce preexisting beliefs; people may surf to find out only what they want to know, not what they need to know.

Wants and needs are manufactured.

SECRET STRATEGIES?

It seems increasingly clear that we don’t “find” things on the web – they’re sold to us. Consider this article from Techcrunch about “secret web strategies.” Among the big secrets, the author suggests (if you’re posting on YouTube, for example) to “make it shocking” and “use fake headlines.” And if that doesn’t work, be sure to throw in some hot looking babes.

In other words, appeal to prurient interests. Content comes in bikinis.

Hire people to be your own sock puppets. Manufacture interest. Rise above the noise with the sound of your own shrieks. Do it yourself, but if you want results, hire us.

They also mention this video as an example of potentially great viral marketing: “Cheerleader Gets Run Over By Football Team” – but if you click the link you’ll find that YouTube has removed it due to “terms of use violation.”

So, in the guise of “freedom and democracy” we’re all being led to the same destination(s). The web is surfing us.

SUCH PRETTY TOYS

David Kelley’s presentation on TED offered some truly wonderful eye candy. The “ultimate Dilbert cubicle” is hilarious. As satire, it’s wonderful. In practicality, it’s absurd: it’s still a cubicle. Maybe that’s the point. It would obviously make no sense to spend all that $$$ on cubicle monkeys – that’s why they’re in cubicles!

There’s a pseudo-anthropomorphizing of objects, meant to mask the reality of the faceless cubicle, and the replaceable cog unlucky enough to inhabit it. Check out the “wilting flowers” in the Dilbert cubicle. Great stuff if you don’t have to live with it everyday.

May I suggest to Mr. Kelley a new idea: the Virtual Cubicle. This would be the equivalent of an ankle bracelet as used by law enforcement, or the type used as “invisible fences” for dogs. Various impulses could be imparted to the cubicle monkey in Pavlovian fashion. No matter where the monkey goes, he’s always in his cubicle.

MISSION: SPACE

Let’s take a little detour here.

We’ve all heard of virtual reality, ways of tricking the brain into visceral experiences. The undisputed masters are still Walt Disney’s Imagineers - from films to resorts, few can match Disney for ingenuity.

My favorite is the fairly recent MISSION SPACE. Incredible achievement creating not just a virtual but visceral experience. The user is confined to a small “spacecraft” with strictly limited visuals; all within a high powered centrifuge. With your vision artificially locked upward, toward the “sky” you are unaware that you’re actually, physically spinning at approx three times gravity. The centrifuge slows/stops at a visual point where you “escape velocity” and you literally experience a sense of weightlessness.

CONCLUSION

No matter what you’re offering, have a gift shop before the egress!

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