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05:23 PM

My Last Essay

This is my last essay for InformationWeek, as we're putting things on hiatus so I can focus on writing my next book in 2010. There are a few things I want to say before I go...

This is my last essay for InformationWeek, as we're putting things on hiatus so I can focus on writing my next book in 2010. There are a few things I want to say before I go...First, thank you for reading (and commenting upon) what I've written over the past year. When we started with the idea for a column on "technology and brands," we really didn't have a clear idea of where it would go. This made things incredibly interesting and entertaining for me. I found myself writing about topics large and small, and not always directly related to the specifics of the marketing world in which I work.

Such a great set-up was made possible by my editor, Alex Wolfe, to whom I owe great thanks. He is relentlessly committed to making the posts at readable and useful, and his willingness to let me experiment with my topics was equaled by his interest in reading and, when necessary, guiding it. Though I won't be a writer any longer, I'll still be a reader.

I think the world of technology is rich with important and entertaining themes that go far beyond stories on gizmos or corporate strategies. Tech is mostly agnostic of meaning until we use it to accomplish something, at which point it (and we) are intertwined. These are the moments that I find absolutely fascinating, both for what they tell us about ourselves as well as for what a particular technology artifact enables.

Ultimately, it is we who dictate the uses for technology and give it purpose.

I sometimes think we get this equation backwards in the marketing world, as we've spent the past few years transfixed by the conversations and other ephemera that tech makes possible. This focus has supplanted most of the proven truisms of many generations of marketing thinking and I, for one, think that maybe we've got things just a bit wrong. My next book will explore this idea as I research what could be the next great revolution in advertising.

Finally, with this being New Year's Eve, I want to wish you and your loved ones a safe, happy, and prosperous 2010. And to say it again:

Thank you.

Jonathan Salem Baskin is a global brand strategist, writes the Dim Bulb blog, and is the author of Bright Lights & Dim Bulbs.

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