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Digitization of life

Digital is not just about technology. Here’s how it is making an impact on the various aspects of our lives.

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Digitization	
  of	
  Life	
  
Pushkar	
  Sane	
  




	
  
Digital	
  is	
  not	
  just	
  about	
  technology.	
  Here’s	
  how	
  it	
  is	
  making	
  an	
  impact	
  on	
  
the	
  various	
  aspects	
  of	
  our	
  lives.	
  




                   www.pushkarsane.com	
  |	
  @PushkarSane	
  |	
  me@pushkarsane.com	
  |	
  www.pushkar.co	
  
	
  
[DIGITIZATION	
  OF	
  LIFE]	
         	
  
	
  
	
  

I	
  have	
  been	
  a	
  student	
  of	
  digital	
  for	
  over	
  20	
  years	
  and	
  consider	
  myself	
  lucky	
  to	
  have	
  
lived	
  through	
  different	
  stages	
  of	
  digital	
  evolution.	
  When	
  it	
  comes	
  to	
  digital,	
  we	
  often	
  
focus	
   on	
   all	
   things	
   technology,	
   but	
   the	
   need	
   of	
   the	
   hour	
   is	
   to	
   understand	
   changes	
  
with	
  respect	
  to	
  human	
  conditions	
  as	
  it	
  directly	
  impacts	
  marketing.	
  This	
  is	
  my	
  attempt	
  
to	
   capture	
   different	
   dimensions	
   of	
   life	
   (communication,	
   connectivity,	
   and	
  
entertainment)	
  through	
  the	
  filter	
  of	
  digitisation.	
  
	
  
Communication:	
  No-­‐Name	
  Language	
  
Historically,	
   new	
   languages	
   emerged	
   when	
   strong	
   political,	
   cultural,	
   and	
   social	
  
changes	
   took	
   place.	
   Most	
   of	
   them	
   remained	
   quite	
   local	
   and	
   spread	
   was	
   largely	
  
through	
  imposition	
  by	
  invaders	
  or	
  missionaries.	
  Digitisation	
  changed	
  that	
  and	
  a	
  new	
  
language	
  emerged	
  with	
  words,	
  emoticons,	
  abbreviations,	
  etc.	
  Slowly	
  and	
  steadily	
  it	
  
even	
   crept	
   into	
   official	
   communication.	
   Most	
   of	
   us	
   get	
   e-­‐mails	
   with	
   J,	
   brb,	
   bfn,	
   asap.	
  
This	
   language	
   is	
   open,	
   fluid,	
   ever	
   changing,	
   and	
   most	
   importantly	
   understood	
   across	
  
the	
  globe.	
  Probably	
  for	
  the	
  first	
  time	
  in	
  modern	
  history,	
  a	
  language	
  has	
  spread	
  and	
  
got	
  accepted	
  without	
  any	
  form	
  of	
  pressure	
  or	
  imposing	
  or	
  destruction	
  (killing	
  people	
  
or	
  burning	
  books).	
  In	
  my	
  opinion,	
  this	
  is	
  just	
  the	
  beginning	
  and	
  I’m	
  quite	
  curious	
  to	
  
see	
  how	
  this	
  language	
  evolves.	
  
	
  
It	
   is	
   interesting	
   to	
   see	
   that	
   a	
   billion-­‐plus	
   people	
   across	
   the	
   globe	
   have	
   effortlessly	
  
switched	
   to	
   this	
   new	
   language	
   but	
   the	
   advertising	
   industry	
   continues	
   to	
   create	
   most	
  
communication	
   (advertising	
   and	
   content)	
   in	
   pure	
   English	
   or	
   Mandarin	
   or	
   Hindi	
   or	
  
Bahasa.	
  Take	
  a	
  step	
  back	
  and	
  think:	
  are	
  we	
  really	
  connecting	
  with	
  people?	
  
	
  
Connectivity:	
  Cross-­‐Platform	
  and	
  Compulsive	
  
Digitisation	
   has	
   made	
   it	
   easy	
   for	
   people	
   to	
   connect	
   in	
   real	
   time	
   and	
   beyond	
  
geographical	
  boundaries.	
  It	
  has	
  also	
  created	
  several	
  different	
  ways	
  of	
  connecting	
  –	
  
mobile	
   phones	
   calls,	
   SMS,	
   social	
   networks,	
   e-­‐mails,	
   instant	
   messengers,	
   and	
   VoIP.	
  
Research	
   indicates	
   people	
   engage	
   in	
   conversations	
   using	
   multiple	
   platforms	
   at	
   the	
  
same	
   time.	
   For	
   example,	
   a	
   friend	
   pings	
   you	
   on	
   instant	
   messenger	
   but	
   you	
   reply	
   back	
  
through	
  a	
  wall	
  post	
  and	
  then	
  you	
  get	
  an	
  SMS	
  to	
  which	
  you	
  reply	
  through	
  VoIP	
  voice	
  
mail.	
   This	
   has	
   certainly	
   led	
   to	
   compulsive	
   connectivity	
   through	
   almost	
   all	
  
communication	
   platforms.	
   Majority	
   of	
   the	
   digitised	
   people	
   never	
   switch	
   off	
   their	
  
mobile	
   devices	
   and	
   social	
   networks.	
   They’re	
   always	
  on	
  and	
   they	
   expect	
   their	
  
networks	
  to	
  be	
  always	
  on.	
  There	
  is	
  enough	
  evidence	
  to	
  prove	
  that	
  people	
  wake	
  up	
  at	
  
odd	
  hours	
  (well	
  past	
  midnight)	
  and	
  respond	
  to	
  e-­‐mails/messages/wall	
  posts.	
  There	
  is	
  
great	
   pressure	
   to	
   be	
   constantly	
   connected	
   (through	
   devices	
   and	
   networks),	
   as	
  
people	
  don’t	
  want	
  to	
  miss	
  out	
  on	
  the	
  ‘action’.	
  
	
  


                        www.pushkarsane.com	
  |	
  @PushkarSane	
  |	
  me@pushkarsane.com	
  |	
  www.pushkar.co	
  
[DIGITIZATION	
  OF	
  LIFE]	
         	
  
	
  
It	
   will	
   have	
   significant	
   impact	
   on	
   marketing	
   as	
   people	
   now	
   expect	
   brands	
   to	
   be	
   in	
  
‘always	
   on’	
   mode	
   across	
   multiple	
   platforms.	
   Most	
   importantly,	
   compulsively	
  
connected	
  people	
  will	
  talk	
  more	
  about	
  brands	
  and	
  experiences,	
  as	
  they	
  become	
  an	
  
interesting	
  topic	
  for	
  discussion.	
  
	
  
Entertainment:	
  Sharing	
  is	
  not	
  Stealing	
  
Piracy	
  is	
  huge	
  issue	
  and	
  my	
  friends	
  from	
  the	
  entertainment/publishing	
  industry	
  are	
  
blaming	
   digitisation	
   for	
   the	
   same.	
   They	
   want	
   people	
   to	
   pay	
   for	
   the	
   content	
   and	
   stop	
  
the	
   illegal	
   distribution.	
   Try	
   explaining	
   that	
   to	
   a	
   teenager	
   in	
   India	
   or	
   China	
   or	
   any	
  
other	
   country	
   and	
   they	
   will	
   look	
   at	
   you	
   with	
   complete	
   disbelief.	
   In	
   their	
   opinion,	
  
everything	
   interesting	
   in	
   the	
   digitised	
   world	
   is	
   free	
   and	
   only	
   not-­‐so-­‐smart	
   people	
  
would	
  waste	
  their	
  money	
  to	
  pay	
  for	
  it.	
  Most	
  of	
  them	
  don’t	
  even	
  think	
  that	
  they’re	
  
involved	
   in	
   any	
   kind	
   of	
   piracy	
   when	
   they	
   pass	
   along	
   music	
   or	
   comic	
   books	
   or	
   videos.	
  
In	
   their	
   simplistic	
   opinion,	
   sharing	
   is	
   not	
   stealing.	
   They’re	
   not	
   completely	
   wrong,	
  
because	
  when	
  I	
  was	
  growing	
  up	
  my	
  friends	
  and	
  I	
  always	
  borrowed	
  books	
  from	
  the	
  
library	
   and	
   music	
   from	
   each	
   other.	
   We	
   only	
   bought	
   books	
   that	
   we	
   really	
   enjoyed	
  
reading	
   and	
   music	
   that	
   we	
   closely	
   associated	
   with	
   after	
   listening	
   to	
   it	
   a	
   few	
   times.	
  
Millions	
  of	
  people	
  around	
  the	
  globe	
  did	
  just	
  that.	
  And	
  I	
  don’t	
  remember	
  a	
  publisher	
  
or	
  a	
  music	
  company	
  classifying	
  these	
  people	
  as	
  pirates	
  because	
  they	
  had	
  no	
  way	
  to	
  
track	
  the	
  on-­‐ground	
  movement	
  of	
  content.	
  
	
  
Digitisation	
   gave	
   a	
   new	
   dimension	
   to	
   peer-­‐to-­‐peer	
   and	
   accelerated	
   it	
   on	
   a	
   global	
  
scale.	
  Now,	
  we	
  can	
  argue	
  about	
  the	
  morality	
  of	
  this	
  issue,	
  but	
  these	
  teenagers	
  are	
  
not	
  going	
  to	
  change	
  their	
  opinion	
  because	
  we	
  want	
  them	
  to	
  do	
  so.	
  Piracy	
  is	
  bad	
  for	
  
distribution	
   revenue	
   but	
   it	
   is	
   certainly	
   making	
   content	
   owners/distributors	
   much	
  
more	
  accountable	
  and	
  competitive.	
  It	
  is	
  also	
  helping	
  to	
  differentiate	
  between	
  good	
  
and	
   poor	
   content.	
   Have	
   you	
   ever	
   heard	
   of	
   poor	
   content	
   getting	
   pirated?	
   I	
   suspect	
  
that	
   just	
   like	
   ethical	
   hacking	
   there	
   will	
   be	
   emergence	
   of	
   ethical	
   piracy	
   and	
   content	
  
owners	
  will	
  engage	
  ethical	
  pirates	
  to	
  promote	
  their	
  content	
  to	
  a	
  wider	
  population.	
  
	
  
A	
   decade	
   ago,	
   I	
   read	
   an	
   article	
   written	
   by	
   management	
   guru	
   Peter	
   Drucker	
   on	
  
managing	
   change.	
   The	
   very	
   first	
   paragraph	
   caught	
   my	
   attention	
   and	
   it	
   has	
   remained	
  
on	
  my	
  desk	
  ever	
  since.	
  It	
  read:	
  
	
  
“In	
   a	
   few	
   hundred	
   years,	
   when	
   the	
   history	
   of	
   our	
   time	
   will	
   be	
   written	
   from	
   a	
   long-­‐
term	
  perspective,	
  it	
  is	
  likely	
  that	
  the	
  most	
  important	
  event	
  historians	
  will	
  see	
  is	
  not	
  
technology,	
  not	
  the	
  Internet,	
  not	
  e-­‐commerce.	
  It	
  is	
  an	
  unprecedented	
  change	
  in	
  the	
  
human	
  condition.”	
  
	
  
I	
  didn’t	
  fully	
  believe	
  him	
  10	
  years	
  ago,	
  but	
  looking	
  backwards	
  he	
  was	
  so	
  true.	
  	
  
	
  
                              (Originally	
  published	
  in	
  ClickZ.Asia	
  on	
  3	
  March	
  2011)	
  
                        www.pushkarsane.com	
  |	
  @PushkarSane	
  |	
  me@pushkarsane.com	
  |	
  www.pushkar.co	
  

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Digitization of life

  • 1.             Digitization  of  Life   Pushkar  Sane     Digital  is  not  just  about  technology.  Here’s  how  it  is  making  an  impact  on   the  various  aspects  of  our  lives.   www.pushkarsane.com  |  @PushkarSane  |  me@pushkarsane.com  |  www.pushkar.co    
  • 2. [DIGITIZATION  OF  LIFE]         I  have  been  a  student  of  digital  for  over  20  years  and  consider  myself  lucky  to  have   lived  through  different  stages  of  digital  evolution.  When  it  comes  to  digital,  we  often   focus   on   all   things   technology,   but   the   need   of   the   hour   is   to   understand   changes   with  respect  to  human  conditions  as  it  directly  impacts  marketing.  This  is  my  attempt   to   capture   different   dimensions   of   life   (communication,   connectivity,   and   entertainment)  through  the  filter  of  digitisation.     Communication:  No-­‐Name  Language   Historically,   new   languages   emerged   when   strong   political,   cultural,   and   social   changes   took   place.   Most   of   them   remained   quite   local   and   spread   was   largely   through  imposition  by  invaders  or  missionaries.  Digitisation  changed  that  and  a  new   language  emerged  with  words,  emoticons,  abbreviations,  etc.  Slowly  and  steadily  it   even   crept   into   official   communication.   Most   of   us   get   e-­‐mails   with   J,   brb,   bfn,   asap.   This   language   is   open,   fluid,   ever   changing,   and   most   importantly   understood   across   the  globe.  Probably  for  the  first  time  in  modern  history,  a  language  has  spread  and   got  accepted  without  any  form  of  pressure  or  imposing  or  destruction  (killing  people   or  burning  books).  In  my  opinion,  this  is  just  the  beginning  and  I’m  quite  curious  to   see  how  this  language  evolves.     It   is   interesting   to   see   that   a   billion-­‐plus   people   across   the   globe   have   effortlessly   switched   to   this   new   language   but   the   advertising   industry   continues   to   create   most   communication   (advertising   and   content)   in   pure   English   or   Mandarin   or   Hindi   or   Bahasa.  Take  a  step  back  and  think:  are  we  really  connecting  with  people?     Connectivity:  Cross-­‐Platform  and  Compulsive   Digitisation   has   made   it   easy   for   people   to   connect   in   real   time   and   beyond   geographical  boundaries.  It  has  also  created  several  different  ways  of  connecting  –   mobile   phones   calls,   SMS,   social   networks,   e-­‐mails,   instant   messengers,   and   VoIP.   Research   indicates   people   engage   in   conversations   using   multiple   platforms   at   the   same   time.   For   example,   a   friend   pings   you   on   instant   messenger   but   you   reply   back   through  a  wall  post  and  then  you  get  an  SMS  to  which  you  reply  through  VoIP  voice   mail.   This   has   certainly   led   to   compulsive   connectivity   through   almost   all   communication   platforms.   Majority   of   the   digitised   people   never   switch   off   their   mobile   devices   and   social   networks.   They’re   always  on  and   they   expect   their   networks  to  be  always  on.  There  is  enough  evidence  to  prove  that  people  wake  up  at   odd  hours  (well  past  midnight)  and  respond  to  e-­‐mails/messages/wall  posts.  There  is   great   pressure   to   be   constantly   connected   (through   devices   and   networks),   as   people  don’t  want  to  miss  out  on  the  ‘action’.     www.pushkarsane.com  |  @PushkarSane  |  me@pushkarsane.com  |  www.pushkar.co  
  • 3. [DIGITIZATION  OF  LIFE]       It   will   have   significant   impact   on   marketing   as   people   now   expect   brands   to   be   in   ‘always   on’   mode   across   multiple   platforms.   Most   importantly,   compulsively   connected  people  will  talk  more  about  brands  and  experiences,  as  they  become  an   interesting  topic  for  discussion.     Entertainment:  Sharing  is  not  Stealing   Piracy  is  huge  issue  and  my  friends  from  the  entertainment/publishing  industry  are   blaming   digitisation   for   the   same.   They   want   people   to   pay   for   the   content   and   stop   the   illegal   distribution.   Try   explaining   that   to   a   teenager   in   India   or   China   or   any   other   country   and   they   will   look   at   you   with   complete   disbelief.   In   their   opinion,   everything   interesting   in   the   digitised   world   is   free   and   only   not-­‐so-­‐smart   people   would  waste  their  money  to  pay  for  it.  Most  of  them  don’t  even  think  that  they’re   involved   in   any   kind   of   piracy   when   they   pass   along   music   or   comic   books   or   videos.   In   their   simplistic   opinion,   sharing   is   not   stealing.   They’re   not   completely   wrong,   because  when  I  was  growing  up  my  friends  and  I  always  borrowed  books  from  the   library   and   music   from   each   other.   We   only   bought   books   that   we   really   enjoyed   reading   and   music   that   we   closely   associated   with   after   listening   to   it   a   few   times.   Millions  of  people  around  the  globe  did  just  that.  And  I  don’t  remember  a  publisher   or  a  music  company  classifying  these  people  as  pirates  because  they  had  no  way  to   track  the  on-­‐ground  movement  of  content.     Digitisation   gave   a   new   dimension   to   peer-­‐to-­‐peer   and   accelerated   it   on   a   global   scale.  Now,  we  can  argue  about  the  morality  of  this  issue,  but  these  teenagers  are   not  going  to  change  their  opinion  because  we  want  them  to  do  so.  Piracy  is  bad  for   distribution   revenue   but   it   is   certainly   making   content   owners/distributors   much   more  accountable  and  competitive.  It  is  also  helping  to  differentiate  between  good   and   poor   content.   Have   you   ever   heard   of   poor   content   getting   pirated?   I   suspect   that   just   like   ethical   hacking   there   will   be   emergence   of   ethical   piracy   and   content   owners  will  engage  ethical  pirates  to  promote  their  content  to  a  wider  population.     A   decade   ago,   I   read   an   article   written   by   management   guru   Peter   Drucker   on   managing   change.   The   very   first   paragraph   caught   my   attention   and   it   has   remained   on  my  desk  ever  since.  It  read:     “In   a   few   hundred   years,   when   the   history   of   our   time   will   be   written   from   a   long-­‐ term  perspective,  it  is  likely  that  the  most  important  event  historians  will  see  is  not   technology,  not  the  Internet,  not  e-­‐commerce.  It  is  an  unprecedented  change  in  the   human  condition.”     I  didn’t  fully  believe  him  10  years  ago,  but  looking  backwards  he  was  so  true.       (Originally  published  in  ClickZ.Asia  on  3  March  2011)   www.pushkarsane.com  |  @PushkarSane  |  me@pushkarsane.com  |  www.pushkar.co