TopRank Marketing Editor

SES San Jose Session: Keynote with Lee Siegel

TopRank Marketing Editor     Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies, SEO, Social Media

Jeynote with Lee Siegel

Lee Siegel is the Author of Against the Machine: Being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob. I haven’t read the book, but this session shed a new light on the effects of the online world we all currently live in.

Kevin Ryan leads this Q/A session, focusing mainly on how the digital mafia is affecting our society’s current state of being and the challenges foreseen for the future.

A few of the Q/A highlights from the session include:

Where do you see this online world we’ve created taking us? Do you see us moving in a negative or positive direction?

The internet is a revolution in the social arrangement, and technology is not a cure for human nature. The media is opening their doors to online audiences, however most media venues have tight controls.

This is the information business. There is a big different between the internet as a business and as a lesson.

Keynote with Lee Siegel

Lee discussed the potential for a cultural backlash in the future against the internet. In that, people will soon undergo information overload from the sheer amount of information available at their finger tips. Substance will be so overwhelming that the information will start to mean nothing and everything will continue to blur together. At some point, this overload of information is going to have an affect on education and attention in our society. As the internet expands, we will loose our attention span. When you open up a Pandora’s Box, you have to deal with the repercussions at some point.

Lee stated that we are loosing the capacity to be alone with ourselves, to figure out what is going on with us. There is a shift happening in the American culture. It’s one thing to use the internet to create wealth and prosperity; it is another to make this a mobile culture.

The conversation has focused mainly on the negative aspects of the digital mafia, what are some of the positive aspects you’ve seen with the advancements of the internet?

The blogosphere has opened a new door for local and community based blogs to challenge the hierarchy in our society and really speak to their cause.

Is the next generation of target audiences going to have no sense of right or wrong, or no point of deductive reasoning skills?

That is one possibility, we’re adapting to one type of technology that allows the American culture access at their finger tips. “The internet really is instant gratification”.

It’s hard to make distinctions between what’s right and wrong. We no longer talk to people face to face, and we’re loosing the ability to figure people out. People have become so anonymous and dehumanized, that seems to be the scariest part. The internet becomes part of us. Click and get what we want. The bad thing is we’re not prepared for the real world as it is. We’re not training future leaders for the real world.

Lee’s book, Against the Machine is written with the aspiration that no one is talking about the negative impacts the internet has on our culture. In starting this conversation about the negative implications of the internet, will it spark change?

When we start loosing the reflection of our own individuality around us, we loose touch with how we are different than other people.

For more photos from SES San Jose, be sure to visit TopRank on Flickr.

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  1. Avatar Stephanie Courtney says

    This is very interesting to read because in the last month or so I’ve changed my mind about the internet, my personal relationship to it, and it’s power as a social tool. I have worked in SEO and as a copywriter for about 4 years now and NEVER did anything online but research and (rarely) shopping – until about 3 weeks ago. I moved to Ireland from California almost a year ago, and friends begged me to get onto Facebook – I did just a few weeks ago and am connected to colleagues, former students, friends and family all over the globe. As a reclusive person, this has become my way into the world. I feel connected to a life outside my door in a way I never have before – and the connection feels good because I have the ability to control how I deport myself, how much I want to engage and how often. Because people from so many very disparate aspects of my life see my Twitter posts, I tend to think before I spew and it keeps me honest (it’s hard to embelish how big that fish was when the person who caught it with you is also getting the post). I actually see myself in one world online instead of in the fragmented, splintered social groupings I tend to engage in in ‘real’ life (I’m sure my SEO colleagues shake their heads when I post about Shakespeare and vice versa). The thing that has changed my mind the most about the internet is in how the Obama campaign has embraced and is using the net as a political tool, and by doing so, is able to reach out to so many different communities. As a memember of the arts community, which the campaign has tapped into online, I feel championed and excited, used (in all the right ways), visible (which has never happened before), and I feel (whether it’s true or not) that I have access and a voice. I have run from the net most of my life, now that I’ve embraced it I realize the negative image I had of it was very biased and not based in fact or experience. Case in point, I used to think the net would be the end of the written word, the truth is I write more online than I ever have in all my letters, journals or anything else – oh, and I read more now, too. Funny, isn’t it. I think they were saying the same things about the printing press in the 15th Century. So, though I would have agreed with this kind of pessimism a month ago before I was using, I certainly don’t anymore.