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The One to One Future, Part IV
Mar 30, 1998 :: Michael Sippey

Personalized websites with individualized content. Narrowcasted television programming. Highly targeted advertising messages. One to one commerce. Custom designed information, consumer products and entertainment experiences.

The culture of 'The Daily Me' will lead to the displacement of the creators of mass culture -- the newspaper editors, the television programmers, the fashion designers. They will be tossed aside by consumers who demand products that are made-to-order, whether those products are comprised of bits or atoms.

The one to one future will not only displace the creators of mass culture, but also the creators of micro culture -- fine artists. When every piece of information we consume becomes customized for our unique wants and needs, we will lose the ability to enjoy, or even tolerate, the singular statement of an individual painter, sculptor, photographer or printmaker. "If they're not going to paint what I like," the consumer of the future will ask, "why should I buy it?"

This means that artists who intend to support themselves with their work will have to adopt market research techniques to make sure they're creating works that targeted segments of collectors will actually enjoy. Alternatively, the art market could become solely commission-based, where buyers work with artists to custom-create a piece that fits with their tastes, their politics, their personalized color scheme.

Read other pieces in the One to One Future series.



Other pieces about personalization: