About four years ago I was at another conference, Future Trends, when I first encountered the people and ideas around social anthropology. This is essentially the study of the culture going on around you. There’s an obvious value for branding, marketing, innovation, etc. And it makes complete sense. But what the scientific sounding name really implies is the study of social behaviour, which is psychology and is a well tilled patch.
Here, at Web2.0, in New York, I am listening to a few journalists describe how to get buzz for your product. The first speaker introduced herself as essentially a cultural anthropologist as a way to describe her angle and take on technology, reducing it to social behaviour. As best as I can understand it, this seems to be the thrust of her guidance–at least as it relates to her: technology products and services that align to the zeitgeist are inherently interesting. Good insight. The third speaker (a WSJ writer) just advised everyone that journalists like to tell stories. Ergo, if your technology, service, product, has a good story it will be more appealing.
This meme of social behavioural psychology seems to be one of the threads of differentiation between today and “yesterday” (by which I’m referring to the dot-com period). It warrants more engaged discussion, which I will post as time goes on. It is likely, I think, to be the thrust of recursiveprogress/the sequel.