Five things about me

I like this meme. Five things about me:

  1. I’m a Jamaican citizen
  2. I once won a kickboxing match by knockout
  3. In 1978, I won three medals in the Jamaica national cultural festival (poetry, acting, and recital)
  4. I met my father for the first time when I was 27
  5. My great-grandmother was known for making a fantastic curry. One day, she brought home a young journalist named Winston (who later became very famous for other reasons) who had heard of her famous curry, and wanted to sample it.

In the interest of passing this meme along, I tag three very interesting people: Dethe Elza, Paul Prescod, and Colleen Nystedt.

A new name for the Marketing department

Like many companies, Uniserve has a Marketing department. Today, I proposed to my colleagues we change the name of the Marketing Communications function (MarCom), to Marketing Participation (MarPa). Marketing is a conversation, and I think we need to be explicit: we are participating together with our customers in a conversation. What do you think of this?

This reminds me of a post that Ross Mayfield made a few months ago. Let’s see if I can find it (rummaging through bookmarks). Oh yes, here it is: Power Law of Participation.

“As we engage with the web, we leave behind breadcrumbs of attention. Even when we Read, our patterns are picked up in referral logs (especially with expressly designed tools, like Measure Map), creating a feedback loop. But reading alone isn’t enough to fulfill our innate desire to remix our media, consumption is active for consumers turned users.”

Consumption is active. We are what we eat. Culture is an activity.

Authenticity is the new "new black"

I gave a talk at the High Tech Communicators’ Exchange two nights ago with my colleage Kate Trgovac, reprising many of the themes from an interview I did for Destination KM with a former (and very distinguished) Blast Radius colleague, Philip Guegan. For the benefit of those who attended my talk (a bright and enthusiastic cross section of Vancouver’s high-tech marketing community), I have posted my slides for you to download and use. In keeping with the theme of my talk, it is creative commons licensed, as stated at the bottom of this page.

Who owns culture?

Culture, by David Davis

One of the interesting conversations at the Web 2.0 Conference was a discussion about copyright law, and remix culture. Most of the discussion centered around the mechanism by which artists (that is, their labels) might receive compensation for these remixes. I thought the whole discussion sounded like an elaborate misdirection. The “record” companies already have incredibly sophisticated systems for calculating and distributing royalties. To add “mashups” to ringtones and jingles wouldn’t be hard at all.

Yellow Submarine, by Marco Canestrari

The real issue is that the whole framework of copyright is less and less at the service of society and culture, and more and more at the service of big business interests. It is an absolute fact that culture belongs to the people who express it. Not the companies that try to profit from it, or the institutions that try to control it. The sad fact is that our copyright law is diverging further and further from this reality. Law isn’t my area of expertise or interest, so I won’t comment further on that, but it seems obvious to me that extending copyright for longer and longer periods is simply wrong. With all due respect to the fab four, Yellow Submarine doesn’t belong to you. I sing it to my kids at night, I hum it to myself when I’m jogging, I make sideways references to it when I’m talking politics… it belongs to me. My culture belongs to me.