Post-digital – what the?
I'm always a little suspicious of such phrases and phases, are they truly the beginning of a new paradigm, or merely the sales driven twist to something current that an agency or channel guru has dreamt up. The latest term I've had throw at me of late is 'post digital'. So what is it and what is it not?
More than digital or after digital?
My first assumption was it meant 'after digital' – what's coming next. In reality it's merely a description of when digital grows up – well, in fact it should be more truly described as when we mature to include digital as a central part of the world we live in rather than a change agent or new toy. In reality then the idea seems to be that everything is now so integrated and multi-device, that digital has no real pulling power as a term or channel in its own right any longer. It seems to me that a more accurate description of the more assimilated-digital than actually post-digital.
Over time digital has just blended into our everyday life practices. 'Emergent technology' means there are now just more ways to get the interaction and interface between people, communities and commerce. The value exchange however between a business and a customer can now be anywhere anytime, and increasingly personalised. The challenge for business is to make sense of this and find a way to deliver it at a cost that is acceptable to you and your customers – ironically this may mean doing less.
The real challenge in this digital world still seems to be over-building (but that is another post altogether). So if post-digital is assimilated then what I expect as a consumer, a user and a viewer is something that is effortless to use, always available, reasonably priced (no not free necessarily), and most of all about me, for me and right for me. Is that too much to ask?
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