The Selfish Consumer

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Information about The Selfish Consumer
Business & Mgmt

Published on July 13, 2009

Author: jonmrich



TiVo, iPod, and blogging have something more in common than the right technology at the right time. They provide the same old media in new and interesting ways. This not only changes consumer behavior, but forever shifts consumer attitude. Greedy for content and equipped with almost magical abilities to control media delivery, we have armed a very intelligent consumer.

The Selfish Consumer This presentation distills emerging digital media trends from a consumer’s perspective. Michael Wilson Chief Technology Officer Bridge Worldwide

What do I mean by Media? Media in the sense of Pictures, Words, Sound and Music. Then what is “New Media?” Is there such a thing as “New Media?”

So what’s our “Digital Consumer” model? Tivo, Ipod, and Blogging have something more in common than the right technology at the right time. They provide the same old media in new and interesting ways. This not only changes consumer behavior, but forever shifts consumer attitude. Greedy for content and equipped with almost magical abilities to control media delivery, we have armed a very intelligent consumer. Combine all that power with a healthy dose of anonymity and the id of our new media consumer surfaces and screams, “Gimme!”

GIMME! What I want, When I want it, Where I want it, In the forms I want, As much or as little, Filtered by my peers, Backed by expert opinion, Without unwanted interruption, And then I’ll share it with my “friends,” But don’t you dare tell a soul you know me.

What I want! Consumers will want new and interesting ways to get the media they want.

When I want! In the same way that TiVo pioneered time shifted TV, consumers will demand time shifted everything. Projects like Google Video and the WayBack Machine can even deliver on-line content long after it’s been taken down.

Case Study: TV vs. TiVo The TiVo is a consumer video device which allows users to capture television programming to internal hard disk storage for later viewing. This is called time shifting.

Where I want! Consumers will demand better DRM solutions from media providers and will want “Location Shifting” to watch their purchased or downloaded content anywhere they go. In the near future consumers will adopt mobile internet appliances like Sony’s LocationFreeTV or the Slingbox to access already purchased media at home from on the road.

Case Study: The Slingbox The Slingbox enables you to watch your TV programming from wherever you are by allowing any Internet-connected PC to control your personal TV and stream back the results.

In the form(s) that I want! Consumers will abandon websites that don’t provide content in multiple formats: Accessible RSS PODcasted PDA Friendly Video Media outlets will need to learn how to separate content from presentation to provide truly accessible media on multiple platforms.

Case Study: ESPN ESPN delivers the same information in many, many different ways…

As much or as little! Visitors will want to consume your media either Monthly (E-zine), Weekly (Newsletter), Daily (blog), or even multiple times a day (RSS). Good search mechanisms will be key to letting consumers “deep dive” into your full range of content if they want to.

Case Study: RSS We see RSS feeds supplementing and then supplanting e-mail as the consumer choice for newsletter content

Filtered by my peers! Users think collaborative filtering is the best thing since sliced bread, and internet properties love it because it saves on editing costs. Even properties that you wouldn’t think would benefit from social collaboration will experiment with it in the next few years.

Case Study: digg is a technology focused news site where the stories are chosen by community members rather than editors.

Backed by expert opinion! Today’s consumers are a little more lenient about who is an expert, but they want to hear some sort of 3rd party opinion. Four out of five doctors may not be as compelling as bloggers, celebrities, or peers.

Case Study: Ana Marie Cox (Wonkette) Ana Marie Cox (b. 1972) is an author and blogger, who was the founding editor of the political blog Wonkette, and widely considered synonymous with the title.* Cox is the former executive editor of, where she wrote under the pen name "Ann O'Tate.“ Besides her countless TV appearances, her retirementfrom the blogging community was worthy of articles in the Washington Post, New York Times, and other fine traditional media * Source: Wikipedia, so it might be true.

Who is more popular? If I use the tool “GoogleFight” to find out who has more mentions on the internet, Wonkette beats out Meet the Press by more than 10%

Without unwanted interruption! Don’t interrupt me or make me jump through hoops, or I will find a way around it. One interesting service ( stores sample logins for “free” services like the to save users the hassle and privacy concerns of registering.

Case Study: Bugmenot! + GreaseMonkey BugMeNot is an Internet service that provides usernames and passwords to let Internet users bypass mandatory free registration on websites. Started in August 2003 by an anonymous person, it aims to allow Internet users to access websites that have registration walls (for instance, that of The New York Times) without the requirement of compulsory registration.

And then I’ll share it with my “friends!” Great for advertisers, bad for Filmmakers, okay for Musicians. It’s going to be harder and harder to keep electronic media from being shared. Even trade secrets or internal memos might end up in the internet space from consumers that use your products.

Case Study: You Tube YouTube is a website that allows people to upload, view, and share video clips.

But don’t you dare tell a soul you know me! Privacy will become a much bigger issue with consumers and government regulators. Expect consumers to take privacy into their own hands—more and more users “clear their cookies” than understand what cookies are. Consumer level VPN could make P2P networks virtually undetectable at the ISP level.

Case Study: PGP Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) is a computer program which provides cryptographic privacy and authentication. While PGP can encrypt the content of any data (e.g., any computer file or message text), it is most commonly used for e-mail, which has no built-in security as originally implemented. What does this mean for email?

The Selfish Consumer Overview Consumers are getting smarter are coming to expect more from the media they interact with. Great content is still key, but is only a part of the puzzle. Watching the “geek space” on line is a great way to see what main stream consumers will be adopting in 6 months to 2 years. Selfish doesn’t mean cheap—these consumers will spend both on-line and off-line for media that matters to them.

Contact Information Michael WilsonChief Technology OfficerBridge Worldwide302 W. Third St.Suite 900Cincinnati, OH 45202ph 513.381.1380fx

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