InstaFame and Digital Diffusion

In an ‘always on’ and connected world (I say world – I mean the US and Europe in this case) have we seen the end of the pop culture Svengali or media mogul? It must be increasingly difficult for media businesses and brands to curate and control content when all it takes it a photo from a supermarket: Alex From Target.

It raises some interesting questions about control in the age of connection, but it also raises the thought that the whole thing could be a very clever marketing campaign. But how can we even tell? The Samsung Selfie left us a little on the jaded side… But the idea that you take the right picture, post it on a site and leave it for people to find themselves is where we are now. Whatever this is, organised or organic, I find the way public grabbed the image. manipulated it or built on it the really interesting part. People’s creativity and humour, their ability to grab the story and run with it: fascinating!

Are we seeing an example of diffusion in practice or just a bunch of kids playing with a form, because they can…? One thing is certain – the noise gets noisier, and Svengali’s, marketers and media companies really have to work hard to get our attention and engagement, particularly around the question of what is real and what is marketing (or are they both real?) Or maybe they just need to snap a picture of an attractive young person and let us do the rest – nothing much changed there then.