Postblack and Postdigital: Part 2

The Convergence Is Coming

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(Continuing the postblack, postdigital discussion from yesterday)

CASE: Imagine hip-hop with a fundamental root, intense local identity, traveling and morphing through communities in global and seamless conversation through both real and virtual social networks. Of course, you don't have to imagine that. It's been happening since the birth of hip-hop, but really amping up since nxoc01.cern.ch. The speed of diffusion is what's different.

I wish we had as cool a predictor of postdigital as we had of the digital with Roger and Zapp speaking perfectly literate web talk in 1989 easily predating Match.com and just nipping Tim Berners Lee with Computer Love.
Could it be your face I see
On my computer screen?

Could you be that special girl
To share in my computer world
I no longer need astrology
Thanks to modern technology
That cut is futuristic on so many fronts (electro-funk with-on point scratchin' throughout), but I feel a big sing-along digression coming on here. So, back to postwhatever.

Postdigital means you're just gonna get your message or art out there and you're not stunted by focus on the means. Now, I'm free to just bring the message, and even when I'm goofy in my execution, you can't tell me that I'm not sailing, sailing, sailing!!! The point is not the sailboat, it's that you're sailing.

Postethnic means you do see color, but through a lens not really concerned with cultural self-worship; you're comfortable even when falling into what others see as stereotype. Now, my fried chicken with watermelon side is both cultural and not, because it's just . . . eating. Melvin van Peebles knows the deal: How To Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (And Enjoy It).

Agencies should itch to play at convergence points. But we still get suckered into the (t)rope-a-dope, putting in furious work to recycle familiar metaphors and mistaking that work for creative progress, but really only opening ourselves up for a Darwinian counterattack.

You can't just grow a new set of legs on the spot when convergence realities confront you on your belly. You can think of a few former Fortune 100's now overwhelmed by new markets? (By the way, that supposed "Darwinian shakeout" of the internet bubble was actually Malthusian: not enough food (customers) for a wildly expanding population of funded, but weak business plans. Darwin doesn't strike that quickly.)

A postethnic, postdigital agency (or, at this point, collaboration) -– one with full competence in tools and cultures –- will, of course, be the best positioned for the future, playing at the roots of both strategy and content (content being people and stories).

The irony here is the separation between pros who know digital and pros who know cultural shift. I'll leave it right there to see if both of you can figure out how to meet in the middle of the sandbox. The next generation already has. (Uh oh! Here comes Chuck D. -- the Darwin one.)
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