Monday, November 07, 2005

What if everyplace was everywhere?

At the Media in Canada Forum last month (and as reported by one of my favorite bloggers mynameiskate) , David Verklin foresees a "collision of commerce and cause where marketers will combine their efforts with philanthropy, creating a new, and hybrid medium." This is fascinating to me, and I'll write more about this later, but then he went on, in more sparsely reported comments, to advise his audience to "look for ways for your brand to have physical contact with your demo(graphic)." This got my mind churning... To return to the topic hinted at in an earlier post of mine, I see the narrowing of the gap (mind the gap...) between our virtual and our physical lives accelerating. One of the early markers of this trend, Geocaching, has been popular for a while among those with investigating feet. Another one of the interesting manifestations of this meme is "Placecasting." HP Labs has been doing some work in this area, participating in a project called scape the hood, and there's an interesting project called "Mobile Bristol", both of which attempt to anchor the webscape in the landscape. Walmart, it appears, is taking this seriously. The internet will be everywhere in the physical world, for sure. What will it mean if the physical world is everywhere in the internet? At Web 2.0, listening to a panel of teenagers talk about their lives, I was struck by how much their relationships were always "on". Their friends were always with them, either in person, or on the phone, via SMS, or via IM, and they differentiated little between these various channels. How long will it be before being together in physical space is just another channel you can tune in?