October 8, 2008

Moral Decline

Perhaps my brain is interpreting things based on the fact that tonight is the night of Yom Kippur (Jewish holiday of introspection and repentance) and I am feeling morally accountable for the work I do or what I read in Ad Age this morning is really, really scary.

Nat Ives at Ad Age wrote an article about Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt and his comments about the the internet becoming a “cesspool for false information.”

Schmidt’s solution to the problem was the following:

"Brands are the solution, not the problem," Mr. Schmidt said. "Brands are how you sort out the cesspool."

We all know that Google’s agenda is to sell more ads, but to go as far as saying that the entire web should be a giant virtual Times Square, filled with brand controlled content is a bit disturbing.

Brands control network television, since the early days it was the brands who sponsored the shows that dictated content based on how they wanted it to align itself and its products with its consumers. We all know how wonderful an example television is on our society, its like one long commercial.

But the web?

Our sweet autonomous web, the space we all go to for choices, for voices and for original thought.

Imagine the web controlled by the major brands, that is scary!

Schmidt went on to say that the future of quality editorial is, moreover, hardly certain. "It's a huge question in the world," Mr. Schmidt said, "particularly in the United States."

The CEO of one of the most or actually, the absolute most influential and powerful media companies in the world suggests that quality editorial is “a huge question” and “uncertain” while brands are thriving and alive is a really sad outlook if you ask me.

As we stand on the brink of a collapsing economy, we should be embracing real substantial thought and culture and not brands.

During a time of instability, its the editorial that should be thriving. Ideas, comments, theories and thoughts should be growing in the fertile soil of uncertainty helping to deliver us from the mess we put ourselves into. Over consumption and unrealistic economic outlook. We should not be feeding the addiction but treating it. An even balance of truth and honesty.

Creativity and original thought thirsts for inspiration. It yearns to be nurtured until it is distilled down to it's most simplest form. It's of the few forms of expression that is loudest and most powerful when expressed in it's most basic and uncensored way. It spans the masses and speaks volumes. The web gives us this freedom and by handing it over to brands because Google wants things more relevant is creative suicide.

Schmidt went on to say that branding, on the other hand, may be an essential element that helps people navigate the world, he said. "Brand affinity is clearly hard wired," he said. "It is so fundamental to human existence that it's not going away. It must have a genetic component."

If we follow Schmidt’s direction on how to navigate the world based on brand affinity, we are all doomed for destruction and the complete failure of mankind will be upon us.

Google just got scarier.

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