The Passive v Interactive Debate

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Business consultant Luke Johnson stated in the April edition of Management Today that the old-fashioned ‘linear’ and ‘one directional’, PowerPoint-based, presentation is now dead. People now expect discussion and interaction. What’s more he then expanded that to say that it is the way of the future for all communication – whether film, TV, advertising, documentary, debate and so on.

Anyone who has watched Match of the Day or Question Time on the BBC will be aware of the fact that random Tweets are shown on-screen from equally random people. The question this interactive proliferation raises, however, is “Who wants this?”

It is true that when watching a film or reading a book one can be moved to the extent of wanting to share ones thoughts with others or with the authors. But that does not mean everyone on the planet – and certainly not on an unsolicited or unassociated basis.

Surely there is a right ‘not to be forced to interact’ as well as a right to offer interaction.

Certainly I would not wish to see inane Tweets on MOTD even when viewing on the HD channel. Viewing on that channel does not mean I have also given permission to receive unsolicited Tweets by dint of the fact that I have paid a TV Licence fee.

If Luke Johnson is correct and interactivity is something that is going to grow in pervasiveness then it suggests that there will be a growing debate about “Passive v Interactive” opt-ins, as there was when direct marketing vis telephone, fax, and email came onto the scene.

It would be good to know what others think about this topic.

Copenhagen is just ‘History Repeating Itself’

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For those of you depressed that the two weeks in Copenhagen have not come up with a solution to climate change, then take heart – it’s just history repeating itself.

At the start of the 20th century, 200,000 horses lived in New York City and produced 5 million pounds of horse manure each day. It was an environmental and health catastrophe that affected every major city in the world.

In 1898, New York hosted the first international urban planning conference. Horse manure dominated the agenda. After 3 days (instead of the intended 10), the delegates gave up. They could see no solution to the problem and consequently believed that the great cities of the world were doomed.

The solution that saved the 20th century is one that appears to threaten the 21st century – the internal combustion engine.

When the solution to a given problem is not obvious, it is easy to assume that no solution exists. But history has shown us time and time again that such assumptions are totally wrong.

Spin, Spin and Selling News

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If you look at the news headlines today you would be forgiven for thinking that we really were in the biggest recession since the 1930′s.

For example the BBC web site has:

"Retail sales growth almost stalled in February as consumers cut back on spending, official figures show."

The reality, however, is that retail sales are 0.4% UP versus the "boom" period before the crash in 2008.

I am only a simple guy, but to me if sales are at a peak and then they go EVEN HIGHER then that is hardly cause for a wake.

Sure, they are ONLY 0.4% higher BUT they are HIGHER not LOWER.

We know we are in tough economic times.

We know we are having to "mend and make do".

The official stats just keep confirming all the views Schezzer has been writing here since in December.

So Schezzer’s advice to everyone is – watch out for the media (the "repeaters" as some people call them).

Just look at the facts and make your own mind up.

The journo’s have rating points and sales to keep up and this clouds their reporting of the facts.

Unfortunately they do have an influence on people’s decisions and in the current circumstances that influence is unjustified.

Ignore them. Look at the facts. The future will be as we have described it before.