Wednesday 1 February 2012

Trendfear: Ever feel you're being left behind?

If definitions* of Pinterest, Summly, Flipboard, Zeebox, Groupon, Waze and Foursquare don’t leap eagerly to mind, the resulting nagging anxiety that you are missing out might be called "trendfear" in a recent article on the BBC 
A feeling sometimes well-founded in that in many categories, NAMs might find themselves feeling a bit exposed if they reveal they have no idea of the technological state-of-play. There is a point when, arguably, you should know about something. And the earlier you know, the better.
It's unnerving because we are no longer all equal in the information stakes, says digital strategist Nic Newman. "In the era of mass media everyone found everything out at the same time.
"The difference now is that with all these different information channels some people know things almost as soon as they happen. But people outside those networks are not hearing it."
The key for NAMs, apart from the pleasure of responding to reflex curiosity, is to apply the cost vs. value relationship in prioritising the new developments. In other words, given the time required to cover the learning curve, what is it about the trend that will make our (i.e. mine and the buyer) jobs simpler, faster, easier and less expensive to conduct, and how much difference will it make to the bottom line of each company in terms of value?
Feeling better already?
If not, read the definitions below

*Stress-reduction definitions:
Pinterest: an image-based website where users create virtual pinboards based on specific interests, such as baking
Summly: iPhone app which summarises and simplifies the content of web pages and search results
Flipboard: designed for use on the iPad, it allows users to pick the websites they want to create a personalised magazine
Zeebox: an app that links up the user's TV viewing and social networking
Groupon: a discount website that can now target people shopping in a certain mall with specific offers
Waze: an app that interrogates drivers' sat navs to share traffic information and cut delays
Foursquare: a location-based social networking website for mobile devices 
NB. Trend spotting: see end of article for a great summary of key trends early mentions and then becoming commonplace…

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