We need a new taxonomy

We need a new taxonomy.

What the hell does “digital” mean?

I mean, what the hell does it mean in the context of analysts, consultants, the trade press and the way agencies and clients use it?

“We need to be digital.”

“You aren’t digital enough.”

“They are really digital!”

“We are 100 percent digital.”

“They have no digital.”

And on and on and on….

I say this as I meant to report on the IPAD, and in reading various reviews and opinions I was struck by the way people use the word/term/idea/concept digital – mostly with no meaning and little understanding.

And almost never with any appreciation of the average everyday user of the devices, channels, content and applications that digital technology has enabled and empowered.

I have just given you the first clue….

So let’s start with a general definition:


dig·i·tal  (d j -tl)
a. Relating to, or resembling a digit, especially a finger.
b. Operated or done with the fingers: a digital switch.
c. Having digits.
2. Expressed in discrete numerical form, especially for use by a computer or other electronic device: digital information.
3. Electronics
a. Relating to or being a device that can generate, record, process, receive, transmit, or display information that is represented in discrete numerical form.
b. Relating to or being a service that provides information expressed in discrete numerical form: We subscribe to digital cable.
4. Relating to or being a profession or activity that is performed using digital devices: a digital librarian; digital photography.
5. Using or giving a reading in digits: a digital clock.
6. Characterized by widespread use of computers: living in the digital age.

I love the finger one – reminds me of the digital switch on my Kindle….

You can also BING it or follow mine:


Bottom line – we have made the term meaningless – in fact beyond meaningless.

Which, of course, opens up a challenge and an opportunity….

A new language of description and engagement. A taxonomy that makes sense.

What is a magazine? What is TV? What are apps…really?  What is the Internet? What is a Web site?  You get the point.

So I thought a great place to start might be Facebook and the definition of friends – critical to understanding what is really happening in that world.


Go through your phone book, call people and ask them to drive you to the airport. The ones who will drive you are your true friends. The rest aren’t bad people; they’re just acquaintances.” Jay Leno

And there you have it….

What’s your view???

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