Four questions for… Russell Davies
The man credited with coining the phrase "post-digital" worries that too much weight is being put on the term…
Russell Davies is head of planning at R/GA London and a speaker at this year’s conference
1. You were one of the first (if not the first) to use the phrase “post-digital” – and later apologised somewhat for doing it. How are you feeling about the idea now?
Post-Digital was weird. I just needed something to hang some thoughts together for a presentation. It was a relatively specific thought for a relatively specific occasion. I was trying to describe a world we’re possibly heading for – a world where we can take connectivity and ‘digitalness’ for granted and think about them, and design for them, without being distracted by their shiny newness. Or something like that.
I explored that version of the idea on my blog for a while. Noodled around it. Talked about it a bit. Like I do with all sorts of thoughts. If I’d thought anyone was going to pay much attention I would have googled it first and realised it was already a term for something else.
I then discovered that the internet loves terms that sound like they mean something but can be adopted to mean anything you want. People started using ‘Post-Digital’ to mean all sorts of things, which is fair enough, and fine, but because I was high up the list of Google results for it, I was somehow implicated in all their meanings. That worried me. It’s not substantial enough an idea to sustain all this interest, so I backed away.
2. What are the most interesting post-digital ideas you’ve come across regularly?
Don’t know. It’s not something I pay that much attention to, to be honest.
3. On the flip side, have seen seen any particularly bad abuses of the term?
4. What should we look forwards to hearing from you at NEXT this year?
Blimey. Who knows? It’s not for ages yet, I’m sure I’ll think of something.