Tuesday, May 06, 2003

How to predict the future

As a professional know-it-all, I am often called on to provide predictions of 'what the future holds for online marketing' or some other area in which I am supposed to be an expert.

This coming Friday, I am to address the Westchester chapter of the Association for Women in Communications. I nearly always accept such invitations -- one of the principles of experthood is that public speaking gives you great exposure and heightens your reputation. (It also makes you a target for the derision of others.)

When I first agreed to speak at the conference, the topic was to be "How the Internet Has Changed the Way We Do Business." Sounded great -- I can talk about that in my sleep and often do. However, when I saw the conference brochure for the first time three days ago, my topic had morphed: "The Future of E-Marketing." Gulp!

You see, predicting the future is a prickly matter for the reluctant guru, as he knows that whatever he predicts is likely to be wrong, unless it's along the lines of "Television will continue to get stupider."

However, I'm anxious to please, so I have revised my presentation somewhat. Well, actually, all of my points are the same, except I have added a question mark to the title of the talk: "The Future of E-Marketing?" That way, I can waffle and equivocate, and do what I do best -- revel in my ambivalence!

Al Bredenberg
Keene, NH


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