18 November 2005 · About 1 minute read

Social Hotspots - Concession

Whilst clarifying my idea of social hotspots, it occurred that they represent a social subversion of corporate space. The identity of a brand (of a corporation) is subject to the experiences of the consumer. It is important to think of the coffee-symbol - the Costa experience appearing in our local bank - not as just a meeting place, but as the actual manifestation of corporate identity theft.

This bank is no longer selling us its services (in the age of the digital economy, money has no physical relevance, and thus a bank has no functional need to be on our high street), but it must find a way to entice us into its brand. This social hotspot then is a ploy to disarm the consumer, to attract them on the premise of social experience to be victim to corporate invasion. By violating their space with supplementary concession, they are actually extending that space - their space - into our social existence. Our visit to the bank no longer is just one of financial subjection, but also subjection to social power. We are socially disarmed such that we may become influenced to corporate desire.

Of course, there is a reaction to this in the form of social space: reputation. Whilst social hotspots may work for the corporate brand, they can also work against it. The hotspot becomes a hotbed of reason and experience, both good and bad.

Virtually, we see this in sites such as epinions.com and reviewcentre.com, and physically we see it (sometimes) in news articles and financial markets.

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Chris Blunt
Chris Blunt @cblunt
Chris is the founder of Plymouth Software. As well as code and business, he enjoys being a Dad, swimming, and the fine art of drinking tea.