Recently I was visiting a non-profit client's new facility. It was beautiful. As I walked through the lobby I saw a common sight: a “wall” of glass tiles with donor names etched onto them. Impressive. As I continued to walk I saw a second "wall" - this one was covered with completely blank un-etched tiles awaiting sponsor names. I am sure that the client saw this as a wall of opportunity; an invitation to potential donors to put their name on the wall. To me it was something different. It represented a Wall of “No's” - all the people who had no doubt been asked to give money but had declined to do so. Made me wonder if those people knew something I didn't...
I have no doubt that you have seen this effect when you walk into a restaurant and see that they have several "Best Of" awards but the most recent was from, say, 3 years ago. What does that mean? They forgot to put up the most recent accolades? They now suck? Well we don't necessarily know, but as I often remind clients: "if you fail to put out a message, one will be put out for you" - perhaps by your competitors. (Their message might not be as friendly as yours.) So for those of you who have "specials" pages that are blank, "news" pages that never get updated, or a donor wall/path with 10 bricks, or a brand that has not been audited for a while (or at all…): it's not that you are not saying something; it's that you absolutely are saying something – it's just not good.
The biggest problem with the tech giants is not their monopolistic control of the market, it is their unrestrained and growing control of Americans’ behavior. The power that the large social media companies wield over our lives and the level to which they are controlling us is frightening.
Imagine if we used our current experience to reinvent schools and redesign cities. If we had a mixture of learning online with “playing” on-site; if we gave less real estate to our cars and more to housing. The beauty about going through such a time of fracture is that the opportunity cost for deploying bold ideas seems low.
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