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Taste Measures vs. Taste Makers

In my post yesterday about convergence and consensus, I noted that there are no real convergence/ consensus opportunities on Google. By that I mean that Page 1 of Google, at this point inarguably the front door to the internet, offers no place for consensus building and the limitless Google page 2's (the search result pages) offers no place for convergence.

As a result, I view Google (or more specifically, Page Rank) as a taste measurer, not a taste maker. When I enter the search term "Britney Spears News" Google, through its link counting, measures what the populace of the net thinks is "the best" Britney Spears news page and presents me with that result. That is taste measurement defined. It is a backwards in time look at the world.

For a marketer who wants to reach the Britney fan, this is a great opportunity. But what about the next Britney? What does she do? Not much on Google. The value of search marketing is on known entities. Isn't the job of marketers to build awareness for new opportunities as well as capitalize on existing ones?

Traditionally, that's where taste makers act. They make decisions about the "New New Thing" and then utilize the convergence/ consensus channels to guide the rest of us. But what if there are no convergence/ consensus channels. You can't ask Google what will be the hot new look on the runway's this fall. Not enough folks have seen them to comment (i.e. link) on the subject for Google to have a measure. But, I bet if you ask the editor of Vogue, they would have an idea. As would lots of folks who follow that industry. They're the taste makers.

So how do they get their word out? If TV, radio, etc. are dying, and Google doesn't offer them a convergence/ consensus point to make their case, how do the taste makers create big buzz around their product.

In our current system, maybe they can't. It's the natural response to social fragmentation. Look at the music industry. In addition to the technology issues that dog them, it is becoming increasingly difficult to create a big new act. And music isn't alone. Take politics. Doesn't it seem like we keep recycling the same national candidates over and over again. Occasionally a viral element kicks up and a new face shows up, but not often. It's harder and harder to create buzz.

And that's the fragmented world we currently live in. Temporal hits are smallers, buzz around them lighter. Will it stay that way?


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 29, 2007 12:47 AM.

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