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For two centuries and two decades advertising people have enjoyed a privileged life. They have benefitted from one innovation after another designed to display messages from product makers and service suppliers. The advertising people charged fees and commissions for this service. The digital revolution made them very happy; more opportunities for billable service. Profits grew exponentially. Alas, what the profit margins giveth, the digital gods taketh away and the advertising people are having a bit of a mid-life crisis.

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A notable force in the rise of the World Wide Web has been its facility to engage people. Part of that is due to the ubiquity of internet and now mobile access. But people also just like to share their thoughts, personal and otherwise, and those of others in a rather non-binding way. Anybody can have a blog, website or pages on social media portals and invite others to their world, except in China and a few other places. Some of these are silly, some serious, a few actually become famous and make money. All of this could be coming to an end.

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Digital technology is unforgiving. Ones and zeros. Digital technology business is ruthless. The ones take all, no sharing. The zeros leave no trace, filtered out. Woe be onto those who expect a different outcome.


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