Back to the end of December, Russell Davies the UK based super-planner we’ve all read and heard about, had a post on trends for 2007.
Russell and his associates of the OIA (Open Intelligence Agency) were asked by Piers (Psfk.com - ideas, trends and inspiration) to tell them their trend predictions for 2007. Members of the OIA (Emily Reed from Sidney, Jeffre Jackson from Amsterdam, David Nottoli from New York and Russel himself) made a small video to share with us their vision. Basically, they say video on the internet is going to spread and be used on a wider scale (inc. video conferencing, video tutorials, product demos, etc.). Check it out on the video here under.
Viewing this lead me to 2 different thoughts. My first reaction was to secretly think : “Yes... it’s about time!”. I’ve always been thinking that video was going to be a big hit on the net as soon as technology and bandwidth would allow it. As you may know, for the last 7 years I’ve been running the TV production department of an international advertising agency. When many of my fellow TV producers were worried about the decrease of local productions and at the same time reduction of the average budget to shoot a commercial, I always thought internet would bring new production challenges and demands.
There is a key to be considered by producers, though. We’re not talking about the same kind of productions. When for an advertising film, we refer to shooting in 35mm or 16mm with complete film crew (technically comparable to a cinema shoot), the new film demand is going to be a lot lighter in terms of production: light crew, video, HDV, etc. Making quality films for the internet (...and I’m not talking about the YouTube “Hey dudes, my camcorder and I rule!” kind of films – which can be quite funny, BTW) is as important as investing time and money in the design of the sites. I think there is room there for film producers and professionals. Now, for filmmakers, trading a 35mm film camera for an HD video cam is a bit like what photographers had to consider when going digital. There is a respectable emotional issue underneath, but well... new creative tools and ideas to explore at the same time, not to mention a new market to develop.
(35mm film roll - originally uploaded on Flickr by _Silverstar_)
Then my second thought went to the OIA itself. I’ve been reading many posts and comments lately on what bloggers could define as :
“The perception that the way we work and communicate is going to change, because of the new opportunities linked to the evolution of the internet”.
Or in other words (in a very business oriented thought): Internet leads to a new communication era where companies will have to consider the consumers differently and offer them more than up front (push) communication and after sales (block) helpdesk (hey masiguy, I'm with you on this one!). Companies will have to open the tank and let their previously called “target” reach them with feedback (pull) and “insights” on their existing and future products. Creating Passionate Users recently published an interesting post entitled “Reverse-engineering user reviews”, which describes how to read and analyze user reviews and consider them from a psycho-social and marketing point of view - (part of the visual hereunder comes from Creating Passionate Users).
If TIME magazine and their controversial front page: “Time's Person of the year: YOU” was subject to many criticism, at least it did attract attention of the sceptical masses on the new role of consumers. That’s now a fact. Rapid access to information, community building, freedom of speech (ok, ok, we’re on our way!) lead to an EVOLUTION of HUMAN behavior. At the same time, I think that business wise this is (or at least will be) a REVOLUTION within the companies, because they will have to review their structures and modus operandi taking into account the new dialogue engaged with their customers. (I link back to David Armano’s description of the “Flat vs. Round worlds” as I think it helps visualize sharing ideas from the 2 different perspectives – so extremely brilliant DA!).
If I’m sure many of us (YOU, right here, right now!) have a clear perception of this phenomenon, change is, nevertheless, going to take (some) time. Time to spread the Round World, time to touch a majority vs (still) a minority, time before reaching CEOs and leaders of the big corporations, and... last but not least, time before they actually take adequate action to “adapt” and eventually restructure their big monster companies. In the meantime, communication professionals whether marketers, advertisers, web designers, have (some) time to prepare and shape their surfboard for the next wave.
The OIA is a proposition : light, flexible, international, multi-cultural professionals ready to take action anytime.
I think there is more to do out of this example. There is a time for thinking, and a time for action. In moments of changes, it is good to pause and look around (many of us know it... Lewis Green, Roger von Oech, David Armano). Because it is difficult (say impossible) to run in a direction, if you know this direction is just not the right one. Take time, focus, gain conviction, then go back to... action.
Hint hint hint ! Food for thoughts, guys!
How do you consider the way you work today?
How do you imagine your future work?