4 Business & Tech Issues Itching Me

Bubbling Cultural Conundrums, Waiting to be Addressed

Matt Klein
Jul 23 · 2 min read

01. Countless Avatars

We’re approaching peak avatar. From Apple & Samsung’s Animoji’s, to Facebook and Snapchat’s Avatars, and now Facemoji and Genies, there have never been so many versions of us online. The creation of these virtual selves not only have significant business implications, but also psychological ones. Coined by Douglas Rushkoff, what we’re experiencing is Digiphrenia, or the tension between our countless digital selves and our single physical being. The problem is not that we have virtual versions of ourselves, but rather that there are just too many versions, all competing to represent just one of ‘us.’

02. Rebranding ≠ Disruption

With the proliferation of countless investment into companies likes Superhuman, Quip, Casper & Allbirds, many frequently dub these organizations “Disruptors.” However, at a much deeper level, the success of these companies are not their radical innovation, but rather their re-branding of ordinary products. Away is just rebranded luggage, Figs are just expensive scrubs, and Liquid Death is just repackaged water. Differentiating true new market value vs. appealing marketing is critical for investors and entrepreneurs alike. Will we face a peak re-brand, revealing what’s up?

03. True Social Media Experiences

While we have social media, media lacks the social component. Third-party companies currently exist and are helping friends listen and watch together like Netflix Party. These extensions are shining light on the unfortunate and wide gap in online social entertainment. While streaming stole share away from traditional theaters, who is to say that online viewing can’t be social — if anything, it should be more so due to its technological capabilities and global audience. No one has cracked this feature, which presents the question: Why?

04. Ad Personalization Post-Privacy

As consumers become increasingly aware and concerned of how their data is being used in advertising, the industry is back to the drawing board. A fascinating new approach is emerging, dubbed Contextual Advertising. Rather than leveraging personal information to target an individual online, advertisers and sites are applying contextual information such as the the content they are reading or watching to then target them with a personalized asset. By overlooking explicit personal attributes and to more momentary ones, advertisers are continuing to personalize media without encroaching on the sacred data. This approach teases a more respectful and ethical relationship between audience and marketers.

On Advertising

We’re an open community of Executives, Strategists, Designers, Developers and Students alike, skeptically examining communication, technology and culture.

Matt Klein

Written by

Cultural Researcher & Business Consultant at Sparks & Honey. Fascinated with the relationships between psychology, technology and culture. [KleinKleinKlein.com]

On Advertising

We’re an open community of Executives, Strategists, Designers, Developers and Students alike, skeptically examining communication, technology and culture.

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