Pop Idol changed the world

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“Pop Idol changed the world”
(a strategy manager from a large mobile carrier, oct 2006)

This may sound a little provocative, but after the first laugh, come some thoughts.

Some data : (partly from from Communities dominate brands)

  • Of those who text voted in the first American Pop Idol, 30% had never sent a text message before.
  • 400 million people voted for Lee Yuchun in the China’s first ever Supergirl (pop Idol) contest
  • French voters to Star Academy are genuinely choosing their prefered candidate (Star Academy 5 statistics)
  • 90% of all Korean teenagers belong to Cyworld – but a staggering 30% of the entire Korean population belong to Cyworld
  • SMS voting is part of the latest American elections (Maine Gubernatorial Race Goes Mobile)
  • According to Technorati :
    • 50 milliont blog on july 2006
    • The blogosphere is doubling about once every 6 and a half months
    • About 175,000 new weblogs are created each day
    • There are more than 2 blogs created each second of each day about 1.6 Million postings per day, or about 18.6 posts per second.
  • Amazon increased sales by adding reader reviews
  • Internet users choose reader reviews as the most trustred source of information

Beyond the 2.0 fever and mobile explosion, what does all this mean ?

I see 2 majors trends from this : Communities & the end of the read-only era

End of the Read-Only era :
What’s behind this Pop-Idol changing the world statement ? Simply the feeling that anyone can now be part of it instead of just watching. Pop-Idol is the first 2.0 (the first “user generated content”) TV Show
User generated stuff is everywhere now in the online world : With Cyworld & MySpace being the most important websites in the world, with Amazon inscreasing sales with user recommenadation, with Booking.com ranking hotels according to what travelers said about it, with YouTube being a destination website, with TV News relying on cameraphones, with Wikipedia being recognized as a valuable source of information and with the millions of blogs spreading all over the web, the information is now the result of a collective effort.
Everybody can now be part of it.

Pop-Idol, the Apprentice and all those TV show bring the online model to the real world.

Now anyone can be part of it, that’s why we could say that the read-only era is over.
No more people with knowlege teaching or informing the crowd, the information is now generated by the crowd for the crowd.
But being a component of the crowd brings the need of being part of a community.

The need of communities :

Expressing yourself in this new landscape creates lots of new needs.
The most important being : who am I talking to and do they know who I am.
People trust their peers more than official sources of information, but to deserve this trust, you have to proove who you are or to talk to a crowd who will understand what you mean.
Communities fill those two needs : giving an reputation and building mutual recognition between people.
The story, is about people – and what we are – A “we species” – human beings are highly social and are built to be so

Some money thoughts :

So now, what can you/we do to be part of all this, provide tools for this self-publishing generation ?
First, forget about dividing between Internet/mobile/real life
Then provide tools to enforce communities and identities/reputation within those communities (reputation tools, several identities aggregation )

I probably miss the big part of what will happen, but this is my view from my window.

And the grass is definetely much greener there.

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