Ever since the crisis has been upon us I have sensed a change in the speech of the online community. If one year ago it was all about getting smart, showing the world what we can, making great things happen, today it's about one thing: MONEY.
There is more than one explanation for this: investment money is running out and people who used to live on that money, thus having plenty of time on their hands to generate ideas and projects, now need to make a living, advertisers are less inclined to spend money on long term commitments since they need short term results. The term branded utility, which I fell in love with at that time, has almost disappeared. Nobody thinks about making meaning anymore because we are down to the bottom of Maslow's pyramid - we need to fulfill basic needs.
However, this is depressing.
Online was the brave new world and now it's turned into the world-which-hates-itself (banners :)-and-makes-little-money and is frustrated. That's why I need to put on the table three things:
1. Optimism 2009 - made by Manafu, this conference is very much like Russell's Interesting (read this instead) only focusing on how to keep up spirits and remain creative in a time when all energies are focused on raw production. While I think that some of the initial thinking behind Optimism has been lost, with a bunch of speakers being the "inspirational" type, which I don't particularly like, I think it's a good thing to be in a conference where we don't speak about how to make money but how to make optimism.
2. A challenge: I run a digital agency and we do not spend a lot of time making anything that makes a difference but a lot of time making money. That's because we have shareholders who have expectations. I know a lot of people who are in the same position. I promise I will talk to each and every one of them and invite them to a challenge: each agency needs to make a project that is not for money but makes a case for innovation, good thinking, meaningful additions to the Internet. My deadline is end 2009 when all projects should be written up and completed.
3. Knowledge: the digital community here does not share too much and obviously with internet not monitored it's hard to keep up and learn and understand more in point of advertising online. There are no publications involved in analysing the online advertising evolution in Romania very much because, as said, it's hard to monitor. So, the thing that needs to happen is an online collectuion point for all the good projects from all players online (Much like bannerblog). This I plan to start and would like to enlist the support of as many people doing online advertising as possible. This will only be possible if everyone shares what they do and is great.
... so there, maybe this will help get over the money-making blues.
communication is essential to business making and it involves more than the ability to name your product, write a tag line or a press release. It's an intricate, rational and scalable effort and, let's face it, not anyone can do it.