Discovering Digital: The Prologue

For a long while now, I’ve been incessantly grappling with the concept of the digital world and what it can do for us. I had decided to focus on how brands utilize this virtual space to interact with all their stakeholders in an attempt to add significant value, as well as to strengthen the relationships those brands have with the aforementioned audience. Initially, all I was looking to accomplish was to establish a firm enough grasp on this idea so that I could successfully write a blog post or two.

Little did I know, that this seemingly trivial inquiry was the key that would open doors to a world that effectively hasn’t been clearly defined yet, well at least as clearly as I would’ve liked it to have been. I had always been under the impression that what I had already known about digital communications was more or less as much an individual could know about the topic without becoming obsessive about it, this had been my status quo. That is until I became a part of the digital division of HKLM and was assigned the task of writing about my personal understanding of this field. Eventually I had ended up writing an article that was intended to resemble something along the lines of a “Digital for Dummies” piece, with the hopes of simplifying the many complexities of digital communications for the modern day consumer. It was my belief at the time that this article would go on to become a concise – but effective – guideline for people to use as a tool to navigate themselves through this virtual realm. But I was wrong.

Instead, what I had produced was a feeble attempt at showcasing to the world that I was the digital son of a prophecy, who had a fundamental understanding of this new and vibrant realm. I learnt very quickly though that there were still considerable amounts of ground that needed to be covered before I could become the hero that the people need, and not the one which I had believed I already was. Digital had put me in my place.

Thus we have arrived in the present, with this article, named this way because of the journey I have been on up until this point, but also to highlight the fact that this is only the beginning of our – myself and the readers – voyage towards finding, or crafting, a simple yet effective definition that I seek.

Its become abundantly clear now that in order to reach my goal, it’s imperative that I look at it from a variety of different perspectives. I need to assume the position of the consumer, the small-to-medium enterprise, the established organization, as well as the communications agencies who work hand in hand with the aforementioned entities in order to help them with their respective communications obstacles and challenges. Then, and only then, will the time come to re-assess what we have learnt about digital communications in order to better understand it for ourselves.

At this stage, just to sort of get our foot in the door, I’d like to take a few moments to highlight one or two definitions of digital communications which i believe are good examples to utilise as a starting point for our voyage.

To put it simply, “effective” digital communications is thought to be the ability to create persuasive communications across a variety of different forms of digital media.  If we take that definition apart even more we can say that digital communications is the electronic transfer of digitally encoded media and messaging.

Tedious as this may seem, this initial process is an essential part of our voyage because digital communications affect each of the different stakeholder groups in its own unique way.

So stay tuned as this story unfolds. Next stop, the modern day consumer.

  • Akhona Mantashe

    Don’t you hate it when you’re like “hey, I’m the hokage of this topic” kanti you’re only in the academy and the topic is it’s own hokage!! Very interesting piece Aedi, I look forward to seeing how your qeeeuest, not even a mission but a quest, unfolds.