Lifestyle and New Media
Laurence Desarzens, urban communicator, beatmap.com
Media & communication specialist for lifestyle companies
Laurence is a Thought Leader in the
LAB on MEDIA and Human Experience
An immersed experience of a Do-Tank
May 29 & 30, 2007
Location: Girona near Barcelona, Spain
Club of Amsterdam: Laurence - you are in close touch with youth culture - this from a cultural as well as commercial involvement. Lifestyle is more and more the defining factor for new media. Can you give us some examples how young "urban tribes" are dealing with communication and media at large?
First I think we should talk once about the definition of what is “youth” today. Maybe “youth” is less related to an age group and more to a lifestyle. Keeping this in mind … Using new media (which essentially are tools) need time, that’s certainly why it influence your lifestyle. And for sure if you are using these tools you keep in contact to your network and group. That’s what allows you to learn, share and exchange, work, be cool ;). You use mobile, internet, constantly and everywhere, you communicate constantly. So everything influences everything to give birth to colourful, and creative trends in all fields, who constantly evolve. These trends can also be scary and dark off course. It’s the people and not the media who are defining the content. Or is it really ;)
Youth tribes fluidly use all means of new technologies to surf what can be of their very specific interests NOW. They double-check validity, relevance and credibility with their friends faster than the speed of light. They copy, they fake, because the tools are theirs to do so, and why not. They use what is the most convenient for them to communicate … internet, gsm, whatever.
You will see website about specific cultures interests: skate, sneaker culture, music, who can bloom in a very short time. You see trends come, go and come back, and mutate. If you take people in hip hop music, you have young producers doing beats, exchanging and working cross borders. Influenced by anything. So they use all these tools whatever they are … AIM, Skype you name it.
In hip hop and really in all subcultures it’s simply amazing to see all these mosaic of ideas, tastes and styles developing and exchanging via new media. If main media are not interested they create their own. Look at record label like Stones Throw for example … or Ninja Tune … They build shops, platform, and post. There are many examples besides my space and you tube. Sneakerplay.com is a sneaker community for example, or the fashion blogs who are now giving “the ton” somewhere to print media such as Vogue, it’s “le monde a l’envers”.
Club of Amsterdam: Improved bandwidth allows to distribute content through Internet and wireless close to dvd quality. This means a radical change of the media landscape. Can you give us examples of "everybody can be a tv station" etc?
What defines a TV station? If it’s about making programs at regular time, with specific subjects, selected and where the information is provided via a journalistic approach, I think it then to have more bandwidth doesn’t necessarily facilitate. But if it’s posting moving images about specific subjects then certainly with bandwidth availability we see an explosion of the worst and the best DIY TV online. Like TV on demand.
In wide interests website like www.youporn.com show what is happening when bandwidth and tools are available to everyone … I let you guess, sex definitely is the huge potential for online TV … on the other hand of the ethical spectrum you have a site like www.godtube.com which is for the Christians community.
For entertainment www.heavy.com was there pretty early on, and can be seen as TV on demand with lot of ads, special shows, like TV on demand again. Many subcultures used the bandwidth available to document their products, lifestyles or visions, from skateboard to graffiti, and off course hip hop . That’s what’s interesting regarding my own interests. But is it TV or not?
Club of Amsterdam: What do you expect from a dialogue about media and human experience?
Enhance my knowledge and my network on all levels. Seen the volume of information we need to exchange to proof the intel we get. You are nothing without the others. So I would like to define collaborative visions based on respect and openness or how to optimize these processes, we need to go over the clichés, the fear, we need to admit we can’t have it all, and we don’t need to have it all. I just need to be able to plug in. So it’s about keeping the network open. And respect again.
Thank you Laurence!