Language is nothing more than a form of representational code. It allows us to create a shared framework of concepts, ontologies and hierarchies and talk about them and the entities that make them up in a manner that makes total sense.
Anyone remotely familiar with search knows what metadata is. Basically it’s data about data that helps quantify it, classify it and put it in context. A flock of birds flying high in the sky, for instance, is more than a flock of birds flying high in the sky when you know that most birds have the Vitali Organ, a special middle-ear receptor that can sense extremely small changes in atmospheric pressure. This allows them to predict the weather, sometimes days in advance. When birds fly high in the sky then the weather is most likely to be clear.
When, in 1958, Alvin, Simon and Theodore released their Christmas special song few expected a trio of singing chipmunks to get very far. Yet, as a succession of cartoons, songs, albums and movies have shown the talented trio had stumbled onto a magic formula whose impact was big, so big, in fact that its importance would be barely understood, half a century later. But first, so we know what we are talking about, the song:
Search is always personal. The stuff we type as we search, in its totality, encapsulates our interests, hobbies and knowledge. It reveals our nationality, the language we are most comfortable in (if we speak more than one), our location (with some caveats) and, even, our socioeconomic position. Use that to filter particular search queries through and each search also begins to reveal intent.
In The Social Media Mind I detailed how much I love street markets and how I try, whenever possible, to experience them. There are many reasons for that, that go way beyond the purely social or cultural ones.
Search is a ubiquitous technology. That means that its use, while intentional, is mostly subconscious. We search for things using Google on our devices. And our search queries, in their entirety, fall into one of three categories:
Telling stories is something all people, everywhere, love to do. My dad used to tell tales of his fishing trips on rubber dinghies which to me, hearing his recounting and having actually been there, bordered on the fictitious.
Writing is a stupendous thing. I type something on my laptop in English and through the magic of the internet and Google translate people in other countries who don’t even speak English can access what I’ve written, understand it; decode it inside their heads using their own perception as a filter and then, build on it by adding their own abstract thoughts to it.
Running at some 355 slides long the Mary Meeker report, compiled by its eponymous author, has become something of a go-to Bible when it comes to spotting developing trends. This year it’s no exception. Because 2017 is going to be a decisive point where a number of new trends will disrupt established industries it’s worth looking at six particular issues that the report identifies and their impact on your marketing.
The poster child for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) happens to also be “the most notoriously corrupt company in business history”. Enron whose name is now a byword for corporate greed, corruption and deceit on a truly remarkable scale, was also the deserving recipient of a climate protection award from the EPA, and a corporate conscience award from the Council on Economic Priorities.