Friday, January 20, 2006

"Interest Groups Are The New Geography"

In a piece from Fast Company called Ambidextrous Exec, Steve Murphy, CEO of Rodale, Inc., makes an interesting statement:

Interest groups are the new geography. Because of the Internet, old paradigms of demographic analysis and segmentation -- by sex, age, household income, and especially zip code -- are meaningless. People are gathering around their interests. The more we can identify those interest groups the better we can serve them.
My experiences on the internet support this claim. I'm part of several online communities based not on geography, gender, or socioeconomic status but on personal interests. Old barriers are breaking down, but I wonder if new ones -- just as seemingly impenetrable -- are being erected. Instead of hanging out with people of the same race, gender, religion, and/or income level, will we hang out only with people who are into the same music or have the same hobby? If so, we'll still miss the great diversity of this world and still become balkanized.

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