Ok, let’s go on a field trip to ancient times (circa 1998). Before the ipod, before Youtube, before MySpace, before blogs. Matter of fact September of that year Google is actually founded by Sergy Brin and Larry page (so ‘Googling’ wasn’t even a part of our lexicon yet). So at this point hours upon hours of time spent online had yet to become a huge part of our day to day. And up to this point (and for most of that century) our opportunities to actively participate in the market was nonexistent. The corporations pretty much were the ones with the best opportunities to, create, generate, communicate and disseminate content.
So now, just barely 10 years later, we are just about living in another universe. We have a generation of kids who have no idea what life was like without a laptop. Many of us can’t even remember what we did when we didn’t have a cellphone. I mean can any of us contemplate our businesses without a website?!?
Now As a result of the last 10 years the role of the consumer has evolved and changed dramatically. The relationship between those who buy, and those who sell has morphed into something different altogether.
in 2009 the role of the producer is no longer just for the upper echelons of those in the business and creative world. Every single person with a computer and a camera is now, in effect, a producer. And this constitutes millions of people.
The reason that this is noteworthy isn’t just because we can now all produce/create our own networks of people across the world, or that music groups can bypass record companies altogether and can produce their own bodies of work and distribute them directly to their fans, or that individuals can produce personal videos and send theme directly to their friends, families and colleagues. It’s because when you put this all together it is literally changing the DNA of our socio-cultural and business interactions.
The even bigger issue is that as these changes continue to evolve big business wants to try to take the old ways of doing things and simply fit them inside the new ways. Nope. Not going to happen. That’s like trying to put a square inside of a triangle. Two different shapes. Two different ideas. Two different realities.
The consumer-producer is an idea here to stay. The sooner businesses acknowledge this shift and begin to perform the right experiments that will help them to successfully leverage these new ideas the better position they will be in to thrive in the new economy.