Get Out the Brass Polish, Steampunk Ahead: IBM

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Alan A. Reiter
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Hi John,

I assume IBM is using its Social Sentiment Index to try to predict what's next, but I'm sure, as you note, that the algorithms require certain types and levels of data before reaching any conclusion.

Ariella
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Re: Pssst ... Spread the Word
Ariella   2/11/2013 2:00:57 PM
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@Alan you're right, those accessories would give him a lot more charm. 

JohnVerity
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Re: Pssst ... Spread the Word
JohnVerity   2/11/2013 11:20:53 AM
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I would like to know what's next, after steampunk. I wonder why IBM cannot figure that one out. There may have to be some minimum level of chatter before its sensors pick up anything interesting.

Alan A. Reiter
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Hi AliceAMM,

That's great. I'm glad you're having fun learning about steampunk. But will it become a big deal for mainstream consumers? That's the question. We'll know if IBM is correct by the end of this year or next.

AliceAMM
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Re: Pssst ... Spread the Word
AliceAMM   2/7/2013 1:05:33 PM
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On Pinterest > http://pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=steampunk

On Twitter (one of many) > https://twitter.com/SteampunkNews

On Facebook (one of many) > https://www.facebook.com/steampunkcouture?ref=ts&fref=ts

 

Such an education just looking around.

Alan A. Reiter
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Hi Ariella,

That's great. I haven't read comic books since elementary school -- PSA or otherwise -- although I've read a few graphic novels (The Watchmen, V for Vendetta).

Perhaps Spider-Man's Dr. Octopus villian could be considered somewhat steampunk because of the mechanical tentacles....although he doesn't wear a spiffy double-breasted vest or top hat!

Ariella
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Re: Pssst ... Spread the Word
Ariella   2/6/2013 2:29:37 PM
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@Alan Of course, from the perspective of commercial success, you're better off appealing to the mainstream than to a niche market.  Apple is an illustration of that. 

An interesting note on IBM marketing. Today I shared an article called 10 Educationally Insane Superhero PSA Comics  

Check out the seventh:

Spider-Man: Riot at Robotworld
This IBM-sponsored comic may be ludicrous, but it's still certainly the most awesome one featured on this list. It was written to get kids interested in an engineering career, so putting a giant rampaging robot dinosaur on the cover is a smart move. Peter Parker is covering the Robotworld exhibition when Ultron takes control of all of the machines and makes them start attacking people.

It's not Spider-Man who saves the day but the three high school students who devise a remote control to shut down the robot.

 In the end, the moral is, "Would you like to build a giant robotic dinosaur, with no regard for the potential consequences? Try a career in engineering!" 

Alan A. Reiter
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Hi Ariella,

If steampunk becomes mainstream it might lose its status among geeks, but for CMOs targeting the mainstream, that's just fine. After all, most companies want to sell millions of things -- clothing, jewelry, household items, etc. -- and today's steampunk audience doesn't offer the huge numbers that companies seek.

Interesting, that's a bit like Apple's "problem," if you can call it that. Apple has become so well known that many of its products are mainstream -- prices notwithstanding. Owning a MacBook or iPad isn't much of a status symbol, at least in some countries. But that's another subject....

If CMOs could absolutely rely on IBM's Social Sentiment Index (or any similar analytical predictive tool), their companies could start developing steampunk products and marketing campaigns in anticipation of a major resurgence. But sentiment analysis is far from being a sure thing.

Ariella
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Re: Luddite-Lite?
Ariella   2/6/2013 2:01:57 PM
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@smkinoshita as I mentioned, I think that for those who go for it, steampunk's coolness factor is magnified by the fact that it is not mainstream. That may be part of the "punk" at work, for that movement was meant to be somewhat counter-culture. You're right about zombies, though. They are everywhere on the internet, and, trust me, I never seek them out. I boycott books like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  

Ariella
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Re: Pssst ... Spread the Word
Ariella   2/6/2013 1:57:35 PM
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@Alan You're right, a TV program that features steampunk fashions and accessories would boost merchandise sales. However, I get the sense that part of the geeky appeal of steampunk stuff is that it is not mainstream. If it would become too fashionable, it would lose that status.  

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