trendwatching
September 19, 2005 8:19 PM   Subscribe

Trendwatching reports on "emerging consumer trends and related new business ideas." It is packed with ideas and links for new online business concepts that are currently emerging. The language is marketingpersonbuzzspeak, but the ideas (with supporting website examples) are fascinating.
posted by stbalbach (28 comments total)

 
marketingpersonbuzzspeak

Man, you said it. Here's the lead-in sentence for the section on "Life-Caching" (shudder):

Trends are often a manifestation of new enablers unlocking existing human needs.

That sort of writing is an abomination. If there are some good ideas in there, it's hidden under a steaming pile of marketing "copy". I may give this another go tomorrow, when I am less bleary-eyed, to press on an see if there really is any there there, but that sentence, and the dozen or so others the followed it, made me feel nauseous.
posted by psmealey at 8:30 PM on September 19, 2005


Somewhat related.
posted by spazzm at 8:33 PM on September 19, 2005


I am a life-caching dilletante but someday soon, I intend to actually get a LIFE! I love the quote from Lily Tomlin:

"I always prayed that one day, I'd be someone. I should have been more specific."

If I mug someone with a better life-cache, can I keep it? Life-caching, v2.0!
posted by Griffins_posse at 8:50 PM on September 19, 2005


Seems like it's more then marketingpersonbuzzspeak and into the realm of complete incomprehensibility....
posted by delmoi at 8:50 PM on September 19, 2005


The shitstains in my underpants are a form of life-caching.
posted by eatitlive at 8:59 PM on September 19, 2005


Holy crow! If one were so incredibly trendy as to be pre-trending, one could waste the better part of one's life just trying to join the Nouveau Niche, and by the time one achieved one's goal, one would be dead.
posted by Griffins_posse at 9:01 PM on September 19, 2005


man, stbalbach, i wish you weren't a 5-year member. i had some great line about astroturf. gone now.

i think that the trends page should have been linked in the FPP -- that's where all their "articles" are. not that they make any sense.

this site gives me the feeling that i'm talking to some MBA corporate drone suit who's regurgitating a bunch of vaguely useful concepts in a way that renders them totally banal. (guerilla marketing! web 2.0! business as a conversation!)

does anyone else's skin get a little crawly reading this?
posted by spiderwire at 9:01 PM on September 19, 2005


Which is, I suspect, the ultimate trend. (But then, I'm a VERY forward thinker.)
posted by Griffins_posse at 9:02 PM on September 19, 2005


you know what? on second thought -- yeah, i've identified what it is that i'm feeling right now. it's the car-accident reflex. like that feeling of morbid fascination where you come upon something horrible but you can't look away.

stbalbach, you have found the beating heart of the Beast. now i have to go read some more of these.
posted by spiderwire at 9:03 PM on September 19, 2005


Daily lubricants. I have stains in my underpants from that, too.
posted by eatitlive at 9:04 PM on September 19, 2005


You laugh, but companies pay a crapload of money for this information.

Behind that groan-inducing marketing speak, you begin to scratch the surface of an elite group of "trend" companies that create self fulfilling prophecies. If you pay them enough money, they will tell you what is going to be cool on your next product cycle. After all, it takes 10 months to properly plan, design, manufacture, and launch your christmas product line, and the product needs to be produced in china / indonesia / cheap labor port of choice) Guess what? Summer 2006 is over.

There are alot of people who are very good at producing and managing things, who have never heard of your favorite band.

It truly amazes me how few companies are required to get on board with a trend, make it bonafide. Meanwhile, the internet clueful will snort, guffaw, and secretly wish they had the foresight to get paid a shitload of cash to create such copy.
posted by freq at 9:04 PM on September 19, 2005


But these people are giving it away.
posted by eatitlive at 9:05 PM on September 19, 2005


As the exact marketing/pr scum this is aimed at, thanks. I'm not sure how handy it will end up being in my particular corner of the marketing universe but its interesting nonetheless.

Sorry the jargon hurts to read, there's not that can be done about that.

Its ancient now but still kind of funny, the Buzzsaw, angry journalists taking revenge on bad, bad, bad pr monkeys.
posted by fenriq at 9:20 PM on September 19, 2005


Well, since folks cant, understandably, get past the buzzspeak, lets pick a page and see what nuggets it contains..

TWINSUMER brings our attention to some interesting websites, including Findroy, Last.fm, Story Code and Movie Lens. Why these sites are related, what they do and why significant as a trend are better explained in the TWINSUMER article.

I thought about making Story Code a FPP as its different and unique, but just went ahead and posted the whole site where it came from since its loaded with more experimental online sites.
posted by stbalbach at 9:24 PM on September 19, 2005


This clearly needs platformization.
posted by NewBornHippy at 10:15 PM on September 19, 2005


I like their favicon.
posted by cell divide at 10:24 PM on September 19, 2005


I also like the site, thanks stdalbach. I completely agree that the premises of the articles are mostly terrible, but the actual sites they point to are fascinating, if only to often see weird/bad/trendwhore ideas such as yub.com, owned by buy.com and a 'social buying' platform or something like that.
posted by cell divide at 10:28 PM on September 19, 2005




William Gibson's Pattern Recognition is about trendwatching, amongst other things. (and maybe only tangentially)
posted by mek at 12:02 AM on September 20, 2005


mek: William Gibson's Pattern Recognition is about trendwatching, amongst other things. (and maybe only tangentially)

This is the first thing I thought about. It's like some marketdroid read that book, and then started a monthly ritual of getting coked to the gills every weekend while surfing the internet and banging out every thought that came to mind.

fenriq: As the exact marketing/pr scum this is aimed at, thanks. I'm not sure how handy it will end up being in my particular corner of the marketing universe but its interesting nonetheless.

Again, it's interesting like a car wreck. I'm in marketing, too -- and in the field this is targeted toward -- and I'll say without reservation that this site is a crock of horseshit. My eyes just about exploded reading it.

Just to make sure I wasn't crazy, I passed it on to a friend of mine who's been a PR guru in consumer electronics and tech for some time now, and he agreed completely. I mean, HYGIENIA? Excuse me?

More on this when responding to the post parent.
posted by spiderwire at 1:32 AM on September 20, 2005


stbalbach: Well, since folks cant, understandably, get past the buzzspeak

That's because there's nothing here except buzzspeak.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled that you brought this to our attention, and I find it morbidly fascinating, but there is no substance here. This site is what happens when you take a cage of marketdroids and have them distill every single vaguely-related web trend they can find through a Corporateish translator until the concepts have been been rendered meaningless.

This is fodder for clueless VC groups and for the VP who got transferred over to the development division and needs some fancy "forward-looking," "hip" copy to show his superiors. That's all. It's fascinating from an anthropologlical perspective -- unparalleled, and I'd love to take it more about it in that regard -- but that's it.

lets pick a page and see what nuggets it contains.. TWINSUMER...

All right then.

"GENERATION C opened up the content floodgates and moved insights and recommendations online, but often without much-needed relevance and context."

(a) What is this, Being & Time for marketing retards? How self-effacing do you have to be to make up a term like "GENERATION C" and repeatedly reference it in later articles, always in caps to boot? Half this articles is references to terms they made up in an attempt to sound revolutionary. Please.

(b) The reference itself is bullshit. "GENERATION C" = Consumers generating content!? Holy shit! And at the vangaurd of this movement: Garageband. ...What? "Rip. Mix. Burn," you fucking morons? How revolutionary. Two decades late and a brain short.

"Now, through an onslaught of new collaborative filtering software, millions of new personal profiles, exclusive communities and what have you, the TWINSUMER phenomenon is turning millions of reviews, ratings and recommendations into truly valuable results fitting one person's very particular preferences or even lifestyle."

Yeah, Amazon circa 7 years ago called... oh, and Seth Godin, too. He's not original, either, but at least he's readable.

Ever heard of direct mail?

Also: "and what have you"?

"Collaborative filtering (Wikipedia's definition: the method of making automatic predictions about the interests of a user by collecting taste information from many users) has been around for a long time (in internet years, that is)."

Nice Wikipedia reference. You're officially hip.

"Internet years"? What? This kind of analysis has been done in your local goddamn supermarket for decades -- probably since before you were born -- you troll.

"Open source collaborative filtering, anyone?"

.................right.

"Myspace.com (4 million members)"

This article was written in mid-2005. If you're going to pretend to be a 'Net guru, learn to use Google.



OK, I'm done here. I'm not nitpicking -- these are just spur-of-the-moment highlights. I really do find this site interesting, but I'm not going to give it a shred of credibility or ascribe to it any utility unless I need to baffle some clueless suit with a bit of mindless drivel -- this would serve that purpose well.

And yes, stbalbach, there are some interesting links here, but nothing that you couldn't find in 5 minutes on Google, and the analysis is in most places just flat wrong, or it's self-evident to begin with.


This site is what would happen if you gave a marketdroid a bunch of high-grade coke and locked him in a room with a Powerbook and an internet connection.
posted by spiderwire at 2:01 AM on September 20, 2005


As the exact marketing/pr scum

You and me both, fenriq...I'd like this particular phrase to be trendy actually. Well put.
posted by miss tea at 4:35 AM on September 20, 2005


Is it really appropriate to call these words "jargon"? Jargon is a vocabulary or vernacular specific to a particular field of study or work. From what I can tell, what we are calling marketingpersonbuzzspeak is really just a collection of tired clich├ęs, sociological terms used improperly or out of context and basic neologisms. Calling it jargon kind of elevates it to the level of something credible or even well thought out, neither of which it deserves.
posted by psmealey at 5:16 AM on September 20, 2005


This site is what would happen if you gave a marketdroid a bunch of high-grade coke and locked him in a room with a Powerbook and an internet connection.
/giggles uncontrollably

spiderwire - you are my hero.

On preview *mwah* to you too psmealey!
posted by dabitch at 5:46 AM on September 20, 2005


This is why I went into programming instead of marketing.
posted by afroblanca at 6:55 AM on September 20, 2005


psmealey: Corporateish is jargon, it's just jargon whose purpose is intentionally obfuscatory. lots of academic jargon is similar.

fenriq as marketing scum makes me think of Jane Goodall.
posted by spiderwire at 7:19 AM on September 20, 2005


psmealey, yep, your tired cliches are our marketing jargon. We're not proud of it, its just what we've got to work with.

At least we're now legally empowered to bludgeon anyone who says "Think outside the box" to death with our staplers. That's progress.
posted by fenriq at 7:21 AM on September 20, 2005


No question, fenriq. I work with marketing folks all the time, and whenever possible, I try ask them to prompt them to speak in plain/simple English. Every time I hear a suggestion that we "leverage some synergies", I will cringe and tell them they'd sound a whole lot less ignorant if they said, "let's just work together". It's a losing battle.
posted by psmealey at 8:44 AM on September 20, 2005


Sorry the whole expression was "let's leverage some synergies and get some wins"

{shoots self in head}
posted by psmealey at 8:45 AM on September 20, 2005


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