INTERACTIVE: NEW-MEDIA CLINIC; Ordinary, innovative, or idiocy? I’ll let you know in three weeks

What separates a cutting-edge business innovation from the commonplace or from a blinding statement of pure idiocy? In the interactive business, about three weeks. My job involves identifying which is which, and then either selling it, pouring scorn on it, or writing it up in Campaign as a hot tip. Here’s my list for this month.

What separates a cutting-edge business innovation from the commonplace

or from a blinding statement of pure idiocy? In the interactive

business, about three weeks. My job involves identifying which is which,

and then either selling it, pouring scorn on it, or writing it up in

Campaign as a hot tip. Here’s my list for this month.



In the now-viewed-as-idiocy stakes: ‘Websites are becoming a vital part

of any multimedia campaign.’ Equals: ‘putting

http://www.icantbelieveitsnotbutter.co.uk at the bottom of your posters

will get you more hits than just the repeated ones to your unprotected

face from the poster design team.’ I’m not saying that this is an

overused approach, but I now get press releases from companies including

the claim they don’t have a Website connected to a launch.



This month’s commonplace: ‘Network computers are the future for

mainstream interactive entertainment.’ Like many others, I’m quoting

Larry Ellison of Oracle. Quick - list the other mainstream entertainment

hits that Larry Ellison has predicted. Now tell me: what does Oracle

make, exactly? Actually, it’s profoundly unmainstream, uninteractive,

unentertaining database management software. Like, curiously, network

computer servers, and...mailing-list handlers. Do you begin to see how

this one spread so far without a reality check?



And finally, a newly minted metaphor you can impress your friends with:

‘The Web is like a neutron bomb right now: lots of buildings, no

people.’ I like this one, because it’s hot, sounds thrilling, and is

trs cutting edge. But mostly because it makes no sense. Did the Web

kill all the people? Who made the Web-buildings, if there’s nobody

there? I have a feeling that this one disguises a sensible point about

the decline of real community on the new-look Net, but, ah, who cares?

Anything that gets cited as the main point of an article in this month’s

US Wired, and is then ridiculed as a tired cliche at the other end of

the same magazine, has value beyond meaning.



Dan O’Brien is a new-media consultant E-mail: danny@cityscape.co.uk



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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).