Friday, January 28, 2005

Research or Market Research

From Wired:

"IPod and user form a cybernetic unit," said [Markus] Giesler. "We're always talking about cyborgs in the context of cultural theory and sci-fi literature, but this is an excellent example that they're out there in the marketplace.... I have seen the future, and it is called the cyborg consumer."

I love the "I have seen the future" bit. Has Wired never read the dozens of theorists who have addressed this subject?--Donna Haraway, Jean Baudrillard, Paul Virilio, Brian Massumi, to name four I'd place on a list of many who write about technology. Haraway's Cyborg Manifesto is monumental. Nevermind the artists who incorporate the concept into their works. In addition, Giesler's vision has been the regular topic of panels at pop culture conferences for many years.

"Apple understood this," Giesler said. "It's selling a hybrid entertainment matrix -- iPod, computer and music store. The iPod is important, but it's only really useful when it's interconnected. It becomes great when it is interconnected."

I don't know what Apple knows, but I do know about academics who glean their more cogent ideas from others without due props. I also know many authors who know less about what they write than their subjects (and readers) do.

I am running on here, but I get annoyed with this. Figures someone from Management would come along and promote himself through a trendy genre magazine as if he had the idea. It's so scripted. After all, the article is less about the idea than it is about marketing Markus Giesler.

His site is a celebration of many things. What of?

From his index page:
We are living in a technologically advanced and increasingly globalized world in which everything is connected but nothing adds up.

Thankfully, not everything can be counted and organized according to the count.
He continues:
In such a world, how can managers win future entertainment markets?

Oh. How can we win? Though Wired sells him as a theorist, Giesler is a salesman. He has a pitch; he intends to use copy freely. Ideas are commodities in-formation. No wonder he has something to say about the IPod and praise for Apple's marketing move. He is selling himself. And his egomaniacal project is winning future markets in spite of the resistance culture offers management.
Through extensive ethnographic and sociological analyses, I get at some surprising answers. To learn more about my findings, please follow the threads on this research homepage.

Do follow his threads. A particularly frightening image anchored in his Teaching Page: dozens of men and women in suits looking up into the lens of a camera, arms locked toghether, they form a large people dot.

He isn't researching to explore the problems technology presents culture formation, he researches to find out how to better and more efficiently manipulate culture for the benefit of technology.

I know we shouldn't practice lookism, but look at the photo on his Biography Page.
A former record producer and label owner, Markus has produced over 300 records and served various Fortune 500 companies, including Sony, Procter & Gamble, 3M, BMW, Bertelsmann, McDonald’s, and many others. Professor Giesler's research explores entertainment marketing and the complex interrelationship among consumption, culture, and technology. He has written and published on file-sharing, consumer resistance, and entertainment culture.

He said it...consumer resistance. Gives me the shivers.

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