Sunday, 3 February 2008



I noticed with interest that "Live for the outdoors" (Trail/Country Walking) have an advert in a photography magazine (Digital Photo, March 08). It's not great, as it isn't tailored to that market especially, and the graphic used is badly pixilated....but, in the same way that Bob's TOS allowed him to move away from 'just' being sticky content for, so this rebranding allows L4dO them to market their online content to people who are interested in the outdoors, but not the magazines.

As this involves a lot of user-generated content, I wonder how people who participate in it feel about being 'used' in this manner. No doubt, so long as there are still meets and competitions, and a feeling of community, they are happy that the hosting of photos, and cross-fertilisation of ideas and gaining of new ones is worth it. Of course, as magazine sales drop in favour of online content, one also wonders how long it will take before revenue generation becomes a bigger part of online companies. The usual way of doing this is to have basic (free) access, and additional (subscription) content. Just look at for this model.

The fight is on, not for you to buy their magazine, but for them to get you going to their one-stop-shop for all your <insert interest here> needs. If you take photographs of the outdoors, go to <insert name of site> and you'll find content that you can customise to give you the information that you want and need. Of course, there'll be advertising tailored to this, but it will not be spam, because you might find some of it interesting.

The hunt is on. The customer is the prey. You can always switch off, escape from it all, but you'd better not go near a digital media service of any sort. Artificial intelligence and marketing. All for your benefit. Just don't eat the soylent green.

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