March 16, 2016

3 Things I Don't Hate

I'm afraid I've developed a reputation as a person who hates everything. It's not true. I just hate most things.

People often come up to me and say, "yeah, I hate the web, too." Or, "Millennials really suck, right?" Or "you're right, social media is total bullshit."

And I have to either shake my head enigmatically to signal a kind of vague agreement or be a dick and say, "I kinda like millennials."

So just for my own clarity, here are 3 things that a lot of people think I hate, that I don't hate.

First, I don't hate online advertising. I think as it exists today it is annoying, ineffectual, and wasteful. But I think there is a future for it. All that needs to happen is for adtech to go away, and for agencies to start hiring some talented people to do it. I think we'd be surprised that it might light a spark under the moribund agency business.

Next, I don't hate social media. I actually enjoy social media a lot and have been using it with modest effectiveness to promote my writing and speaking businesses.

Third, I don't hate millennials. I actually had a hand in creating one and she's pretty amazing.

Here's what I do hate: I hate the ignorant obsession with these things, and lack of perspective about them -- which are the hallmarks of the contemporary marketing and advertising industries.

I hate the fools who constantly exaggerate the effectiveness of digital advertising and conveniently ignore the enormous problems.

I hate the overblown promises and claims of social media "experts" and the naively gullible marketing industry that buys into them.

I hate the embarrassing obsession with millennials that has been the fetish of the self-absorbed ad industry for almost a decade.

But let's not blame the objects of our foolishness for the foolishness itself. Online advertising doesn't create itself. Social media isn't responsible for the fantasy of social media marketing. Millennials never tried to take control of our minds.

All these manias and fixations are the result of a marketing industry that is lost in space and devoid of perspective.

That's the only thing I really hate.

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