Thinking Sideways – it’s a bit of a nothing term, but I figured it sums up the way that digital culture encourages us to consider the different challenges we face on a day to day basis.
Lo and behold, it means lateral thinking, finding alternative routes to solve a problem.
I find this interesting, largely because I think that digital culture itself is undergoing a kind of entropy, an unstructured order that is slowly becoming structured as time goes on.
4chan, once the backchannel, is now mainstream; Anonymous are anything but, with any criticism of online behaviour somehow finding a way of fitting them in; Google don’t innovate, they buy and re-badge.
What we’re asked to do when embracing digital culture, is to absorb information from a bunch of different disparate sources, and squeeze them through a funnel to bring structure and form.
This means that each action we take forces us to find ever increasingly separate elements and push them together to form an idea. To do that, with a decreasing number of potential factors, means we need to think around a problem, rather than through it.
This can be applied, I figure, not only to engagement (what’s the common point of interest to engage with a blogger) or creative (how can we juxtapose online vituality and offline anti-design), but also to account structure and team strategy (why put all your specialists in one basket).
Digital culture is slowly being brought into the mainstream – see the Family Guy effect – we must work to ensure we all think sideways to deliver better results, more innovation, and a better experience for savvier-than-ever consumers who deserve as good a service as possible; they’ve been waiting too long already.