Since my last column, Second Life spawned its first millionaire and had IBM open shop, YouTube went mobile on Verizon, Nintendo's Wii hit the shelves, and Michael Richard's horrific racist rant -- caught on a video camera phone -- went worldwide overnight. There's a lot of buzz in the world of emerging platforms.
What's your company doing around the edges of digital media? What's your plan for 2007? Do you have a line item for emerging platforms? After search and the big portal buys, is there anything left over in your budgets for marketing R & D?
If not, there should be. Big brands should be not only covering their basics with traditional online endeavors but also testing digital media's edges.
The challenge is that unless you're a Gen Y consumer or a wired Gen Xer, you're probably not spending a lot of time visiting Facebook, MySpace, or Rocketboom; playing Gears of War on Xbox Live; or hosting bowling tourneys on your new Wii. So it's hard to stay current. In contrast, it's easy with TV. Clicking on the remote and watching an episode of "Lost" is very different from understanding what it really feels like to create an avatar and navigate around and interact with others in Second Life. Believe me, I've been lost in Second Life.
So if you don't have an avatar or a profile or the latest gaming platform (or kids who do), do the people around you? What are you doing to foster a culture of digital innovation in your organization?
With digital media's explosion, markets must stay abreast of what's happening. The adoption curves are getting shorter and shorter. According to a Forrester technology forecast, the camera phone was adopted more quickly than any other consumer technology. And with Flickr's recent camera guide, you can see mobile photographers' participation.
In the early dot-com days, agencies like ours had pool tables, beanbag chairs, and video game stations. Some still do. Then, it was for diversion. Now, it's all business. We have various gaming platforms scattered around our offices (ironically, a vintage Ms. Pac-Man cabinet seems to be the favorite) and a community of gamers who regularly trade games and saves. We have an alumni network on MySpace and a WAP (define) site.
And we're doing more. Chad Stoller, our executive director of emerging platforms, is helping us stay on top of the latest and greatest digital marketing opportunities while providing our people with firsthand experience with emerging platforms, devices, and media. You should do the same thing in your organization, if you aren't already. Here are three things to help you stay fresh in this rapidly changing market:
As Stoller says, the digital lifestyle is about integrating technologies into your life that enhance productivity, entertainment, connectivity, and memory. Get some of your own so you can make even better ones for your customers. Buy some toys and have some fun.
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