Monday 19 September 2011

There Is Only One Platform

If you had everything, where would you put it? Everywhere

If you work in media, in entertainment, in journalism, in advertising, in gaming, in TV, then you work with me. You work with me and I work with you and we all work with everyone else. Meet you at reception in five mins and we’ll grab a coffee, k?

If you’re alive, you’ve probably noticed that devices are converging a bit. Most of the stuff you have is a screen and a computer and wifi and an input device. It runs twitter and you can look at cats in dresses and use it to buy a particular sort of hat. Your television might not be like that, but I’d imagine you’re expecting that to happen by about lunchtime. If you’re not, then look forward to a pleasant surprise at about lunchtime.

This hat

Convergence in devices is definitely a thing. The logical next step from the convergence of the device is the convergence of the content on that device. Of course that’s already happening. Advergaming and gamification are games nailed to advertising and marketing respectively. Branded content is video nailed to advertising. Behavioural economics is psychology in a bag with some economics. Interactive TV, when it arrives, will be games and TV, Social TV is TV and social networking. Everything that’s new in the media world is two old things falling very much in love, a trip to Vegas and the long wait for the stork to arrive.

My psychiatrist died. I don’t know how to feel about that

This process is not one that is going to stop. The convergence of things is not going to cease when we’ve added this and that together and made those. We’ll keep adding those together until we end up with them. Then we’ll repeat the whole process until, just like there’s only one basic kind of device, there’s also only one basic kind of content.

This is entirely sensible, because there’s only one platform when it comes down to it, and that platform is the human being. However you choose to get your message to human beings and whatever that message is, what you’re trying to do is get your message to human beings. Everything else is window-dressing.

Even I cannot justify using this image

There is one device, one type of content and one platform, because there’s only one product (or service). Emotions. When you make a thing, you do it because you want people to feel a particular way, think a particular thing and probably give you money because of it. What that thing is and how you make them feel is pretty much irrelevant. 

Let’s just be friends

If we accept that, stripped down to its stockings, the world of media is a bunch of people making other people feel particular ways for money - and we should, because it’s true - then we are on the verge of a rather smashing golden age. A media-scented Renaissance. It’s long been impossible for one person to be at the top of the many scientific fields, but it’s not entirely inconceivable for someone to have a pretty good grasp of pretty much all the major media forms.

Those people are going to make some goddamn amazing things now that canvasses broad enough to hold their ideas are not just possible, not just mainstream, but quickly becoming standard.

This is basically the real life X-Men

So whatever bit of media you work in right now, stop looking at it. Stop right now, turn around and look at any of the others. And keep looking and listening and touching and loving until you know what the other media forms can do better than yours can. Then stop looking at them as different things at all, because really - really - they’re not. I look forward to working with every single one of you.

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