Thursday, November 20, 2008

The more digital we become, the more human we become

The more digital we become the more connected we become, the more human we demand.

And the more human we become.

I spoke at Mobile Content 08 in London yesterday. It was a great event with a stella line-up: fjord's Christian Lindholm, flirtomatic's Mark Curtis (author of Distraction), msearchgroove's Peggy Salz, Sean Kane from Bebo, Melissa Goodwin from ITV, Ray de Silva from Vodafone and Graham Thomas from T-mobile. Not to mention Day One's chair JonathanMacdonald (ogilvyone and chief node in the Every Single One of Us project - which you MUST check out) Day Two's Tomi Ahonen (Communities Dominate Brands and mobile legend) and in attendance, Day Three's Andrew Grill (London Calling). And many more, of course.

I opened with a talk on mobile's role in the eighth mass media - which is why the line about the more digital we become the more human we become was so appropriate.

Here's the accompanying slide deck - though you won't find the line in it.

But the fact that The Power of The Network equates to the power of humanity is written through the idea of the eighth mass media.

As we become the connections and the way the connections are made we are reconnecting with our human selves.

We connect in a network - in adhoc self-forming communities of purpose. There is nothing from the centre. And the centre has a tendancy to dehumanise.

  • The government line is very different from an MP's opinion.
  • Company policy is very different from an employee doing what seems right and reasonable.
  • Brand voice can't compare to a human conversation with someone who cares about what they are doing.
  • Search engine optimisation can't beat my friends' recommendation (and of course their friends' recommendations)?

Now that we have the ability to organize ourselves through the tools to connect, what we are demanding is more human interaction.

Our connectedness in, through and beyond silos is tearing off the hard corporate masks and revealing the soft human faces. And we're ready to reach out and touch that warm flesh.

The digital future is a very human place to be. And for this, it is ever truer to who we are.

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?