July 27, 2007
As more and more people realise that the future of communications is digital so they bring with them misconceptions about the role that it can perform. Iain Tait over at Crack Unit has written what he considers his Seven Deadly Sins of Digital. As he states it’s not that these ideas are wrong (although some clearly are), it’s just that they get bandied around so frequently. Here’s a couple of our favourites.
They say: “We’ve made this film, can you make it a viral”
You say: “I’m just going outside to suck on an exhaust pipe for 30 minutes - if I make it back I’ll stick it on YouTube for you”
Why it seems like a good idea: we’ve all seen ‘viral’ hits, they’re things that everyone has watched, that have been passed around, loved and genuinely become part of the culture of the web. We’ve not all seen the ‘viral’ wasteland, the thousands of clips that sit gathering dust at the bottom of the ‘exploding heads’ category on YouTube. And because most of us only see the good stuff that works we assume it’s easy.
Why it’s a bad idea: because it’s not easy. Now that ‘viral’ has become a dirty nasty industry full of paid for placements and seeding bungs you need to plan for it from the word go. It’s mostly not really about things being viral at all, it’s just about dark media buying.”
They say: “Let’s make a screensaver”
You say: “When was the last time you installed a screensaver? When was the last time you saw a screensaver on someone’s screen?”
Why it seems like a good idea: screensavers were kind of fascinating when we were younger, at the time they were much richer and more visual than most of the web stuff that was around. They were animated, they had flying windows, zooming starfields, even scrolling text! They’re full screen (so they look a bit like a TV). And the idea of something that’s sitting there in the background, hiding, ready to jump up and surprise you when you’re being lazy has some kind of appeal I reckon.
Why it’s not a good idea: screensavers are a product of a byegone era, people don’t like installing stuff, the only time they actually come to life is when you’re not there. And they’re kind of a beacon that says my computer should be off or at least asleep to save power, but I’d rather show off some fancy graphical nonsense.”
Oh and if you like what you read, you can watch Iain speak at the PSFK London conference here.