Twenty Stirring Questions Today

This is the time of year for predictions and resolutions. We'll skip, read or share bits, columns, and books according to our threshold for saturation, and outright interest or curiosity. Standing in Barnes and Noble this weekend, I perused a book or two that asked questions that ran the gamut from "What is a Person?" and "Is Global Warming Real?" to "Is Bi-partisanism Possible?"  "Is America Ready for a Gay President?" and "Are We Safe?" I'm oversimplifying, but I moved along to another table, fairly quickly and was, frankly, more engaged later last night with Jib Jab's Year in Review. This year's Jib Jab rendition opened with Clinton and Obama sort of tobogganing into view on a "rainbow of hope" running through a breathless litany of 2010 happenings.

Like many of you, I'm sure, my penchant for these types of things falls somewhere between heady and absurd.  But, as is my way, this time of year has me collecting my own thoughts. For me, these are the 20 most stirring questions right now. I won't call them defining -- but I note their ability to stir debate, ire, passions and progress.

1.    Is hyper-anonymity possible today?
2.    Is the estimated percentage of  media that will be bidded media in the near future greatly exaggerated?
3.    Will we see true global Internet distribution in our lifetime?
4.    Are there really no women on conference panels and keynotes? Or, are they just missing from the promotional materials?
5.    Are we done counting "screens" -- or is the count still relevant to the marketing mix?
6.    Should you care how much Google knows about you?
7.    Julian Assange: journalist's journalist or treasonous bastard?
8.    Can Mark Zuckerberg authentically care about consumer experience, privacy and commercial enterprise of such scale, all at once?
9.    Is hyper-non-anonymity a sociopathology?
10.    Has industry self-regulation on privacy concerns so far been adequate?
11.    Does the "Do-Not-Track List" have legs?
12.    How much time needs to pass before consumer behavioral studies on Google's Instant Search provide useful data to marketers?
13.    Are scintillating tweets from sanctioned news organization handles automatically exempt from fact-checking before we retweet?
14.    True or False: Right-to-know is to secrecy as right-to-hide is to privacy.
15.    As a consumer marketer, do I need to care about and understand social gaming forevermore?
16.    How influential will predictive engines and demand media be in defining the next decade of journalism and news online?
17.    Is cyber-hacking and the use of high-power coding the equivalent of the analog investigative reporting tactics of yesteryear used to breach security or access protected information?
18.    Do "digital" executive titles - i.e. Chief Digital Officer - at major media companies and agencies need to go away in order to truly progress our sphere to an integrated state?
19.    Who should succeed Randall Rothenberg as he departs the IAB?
20.     Should it be a woman? If so, what should be her lineage, creds, and breadth and depth of citizenship within our industry to date?

These are clearly in no particular order -- and they reflect a storm of conversations, arguments and ponderings ongoing in my world and daily beat right now. I could give you my reflex or pithy answers today for all of them: #9, yes and an irreversible social trend; #17, maybe, how fascinating; #4, not missing entirely but the percentages are ludicrous - and on and on. But, instead, I share these as my desktop scribbles at the end of 2010 -- and as the basis for bigger conversations and writing in the new year. I'll expand. We'll talk. In the meantime, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the above -- or otherwise.



4 comments about "Twenty Stirring Questions Today".
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  1. Bob Ledrew from Translucid Communications , December 20, 2010 at 3:18 p.m.

    #7: Kendall, Assange can't be treasonous, except against Australia. He can't commit treason against the USA because he isn't a citizen of the USA.
    #20: I nominate you. Merry Christmas!

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, December 20, 2010 at 3:49 p.m.

    Kendall, you are wise beyond your years.....and others, too. You have at least 20 great column starts that are sure to drive comments. We need your skills in a governmental position (smart dedicated people are gems). May Santa ring your priceless bells !!!

  3. Kendall Allen Rockwell from WIT Strategy, December 20, 2010 at 4:19 p.m.

    Paula! You are too kind. The bells are off to a good start. First Christmas with my puppy Bruce T. Beauchamp. Wishing you the best, as well. As always, thank you for chiming in on my work.

  4. Aaron B. from, December 20, 2010 at 4:23 p.m.

    #1: No, I don't think so. I don't have to be "logged in" to anything to be tracked, and I don't have to be searching for anything to be targeted. (Plus, a court subpoena can nab our IP addresses in a flash.)
    #6: Probably. Perhaps we'll get to a point where, because of #1, we're too cynical to do anything about it (assuming we aren't already there).

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