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    Tuesday, April 03, 2007

    Is Planning Diluted by Blogging?

    Been giving a ton of thought lately as to how the internet and blogs have not only shaped our behaviors, but our interactions with brands and culture itself. Then this ransom note generator popped up and seemed like an anomaly. Not that i know much of anything about ransom notes, but surely computers and email has taken a chunk of fun out of painstakingly creating the ransom note. This really got me thinking on the flip of trends manifestation. What about the counter- trend? Scott Campbell from the PSFK conference was a great example of the handmade/DIY trend we are seeing infiltrate brands as technology continues to insinuate our culture.

    Clearly there is a bigger issue at hand. How has behavior changed as the world has? The IPA strategy group held an excellent debate last week about blogs infiltrating the minds of would-be planners through blogs. John Lowery argued that it was, while John Grant advised otherwise. Lowery said that the web was muddling “a bunch of people who don’t know what they are talking about setting tasks for and judging the efforts of a bunch of people who don’t know what they are talking about”. I tend to agree to an extent, with the numbers of planners who have blogs seemingly for the sake of having one. Many arent that focused (lifefilter) nor all the interesting (lifefilter) but while that may seem overly incriminating, I do have a bit of foundational training which i can utilize when certain situations call for it. Quite a few of the knowledge seekers seemingly dont have the abilities, but it shouldnt raise the alarm yet. It also allows me to accurately take blogs for their true self worth - filters for connectivity, conduits of inspiration and conversation, and the occasional good image or laugh. Grant on the otherhand suggested "blogging, social media and web 2.0 are facts of modern life, how could the IPA, endorse a motion that suggested that it wanted to turn back a tide of technology and behaviour that everyone else in society was embracing with alacrity." True and we won't ever go back to pre-email or pre-windows days, so who is to say we don't embrace blogging and the social change we are seeing evident today? John's final point was that "judging the state of planning from the plannersphere is like judging the state of the advertising industry by reading Campaign magazine."

    So really we have a rise of a second discipline based on habits of a younger generation. Russell Davies has brought this up a couple times, not only on the state of blogging but killing conferences as well. The ideas thrown around are simply regurgitated from most online forums. But what I find most interesting in that then Russell goes on to create his own SuperConference. Quite interesting that while one aspect of planning pulls, another is pushing.

    Is this evident in our society or brands? Planning as smart as it is, often follows the flux of human behaviors. Are counter-trends cropping up, in response to the vast sea of information floating about? There certainly seems to be a chemical backlash spurred by the inorganic foods and over-pollution. Influx has brought up this notion as well with the rise of the counter-trends, looking at the seemingly down-trodden music industry, which is being forced to rethink the idea of compact discs. Stores like Amoeba buck the trend and create wonderful cultural hubs which thrive despite going against the cultural norm (LvHrd is based on this premise)

    So most likely blogging isn't killing planning but in reality adding another layer. The success of the plannersphere has done wonders as far as creating an academia landscape, with knowledge only helping and not hurting. Even if its mis-information that will stimulate conversations and young minds, which goes a long way to promote the discipline. It is still to early to really judge blogging and planning, as its rise has only been in the past 2 years. Some training bits might never be utilized online, otherwise might be stimulated further, but it makes for fascinating thought and one hell of a future.

    Planning For Newbs

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