There’s never been a better time to be in digital

By Justin Pearse, Editor

There has never been a more exciting time to work in the digital industry. I could have said that at any time over the last twenty years to be honest but today it really does feel like we’re on the verge of something even more incredible than we’ve become used to during the last couple of decades of digital revolution.

There’s a sense of optimism in the air once again, notwithstanding the obvious macro-economic worries, a feeling of the industry emerging into the fresh air after a distinctly torrid time over the past couple of years. The digital industry has always been bedevilled by its own growing pains, compounded by the speed of technological change in a society struggling to keep pace.

But the last couple of years seemed to be ones, in digital advertising at least, where the daily grind of problems – ad misplacement, fraud, privacy scandals – seemed to totally over shadow what is great about our industry.

Well the industry listened to these problems and has made huge strides to address the issues that threaten to derail it. There is incredible work going on in every corner of the digital industry to fix problems that five years ago would have been simply ignored or glossed over.

Yes, there remain issues to be fully solved but the industry has worked incredibly hard to put its house in order and it’s time to stop fixating on our problems and to once again celebrate the amazing innovation happening across digital and the incredible results it’s delivering to publishers, advertisers and, crucially, consumers.

For anyone brought up in the digital industry at its birth, the digital technology today we have at our hands today, from AI to seamless global social communication, is simply nothing short of awesome.

Our ability to harness this power has also never been so high. Multiple generations have now grown up with these technologies and are using them to reshape our world in ways the digital pioneers could never have envisioned. These digital pioneers too, as celebrated in our 50over50 series, are using their hard-won wisdom and experience in the digital sector to continue to push the possibilities of what digital technologies can offer the society it serves.

This is why we called ourselves New Digital Age, as in 2019 we really are entering a new digital age. One where digital has finally fulfilled all its early promises as it first emerged with the threat and the promise of completely transforming our world.

Over a decade ago, when I was editor of New Media Age, I was regularly asked, half aggressively, half dismissively, why we called ourselves new media, when the industry wasn’t new anymore. My answer was always the same, that I could have named ten new technologies and their application that were just then disrupting or about to disrupt society, commerce, advertising, media or simply communication.

I’d say the same thing today. This is a new digital age. It’s the age when all the promises of digital are coming true, for publishers, brands and consumers. We hope that New Digital Age will play a small role in helping these promises come true by celebrating the people, technologies and innovations that power them.

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