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A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Allison: I see in New Media this… it’s a… how can I explain this? We talked a lot about media being increasingly [fractured]. So, there are ever tinier audiences to consume each product whether it’s a magazine or a television show, whether it’s on cable or whether it’s a blog, and I think that isn’t necessary, it scares a lot of big networks and it scares a lot of newspapers because they’re predicated on marketing themselves to a mass audience. But what I saw was instead of looking it at length it’s a disadvantage that all people aren’t watching the same three shows. I saw infinite opportunities not only for content that’s not only marketed to specific audiences but that fulfills their needs specifically, but also for advertisers and not in a malicious way but in a way that genuinely serves customer. So, let me explain what I mean. When I, as a woman, when I watch advertisements, I guess it could be as anyone, but when I watch the advertisements that make the most difference to me or obviously the ones that are most relevant, am I going to care about a Toyota? No, I’m not in a market for a car. I live in New York. I also have no money. And so, it’s not relevant to me when I watch, you know, let’s say American Idol and I see that Ford sponsors them, not relevant to me. Okay. So, what about when I blog as a 27-year-old girl, I blog about my digital camera, well, another 27-year-old girl, every single girl I know has a digital camera. What is she looking for? A digital camera, an iPod, cellphone, probably a laptop, cute dresses, so those are the kinds of advertisers that we try to attract, and instead of being annoying, it’s actually quite relevant for our audience. That I think is the future of marketing online. That’s how people are going to make their money.
 

Julia Allison on the Future...

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