On November 18th, 2015, a talk event on the theme “The Future on Digital Media” was held at the Apple Store Omotesando. Speakers were Hiroshi Fujiwara, Yoshikage Kajiwara (creative director) and Issey Enomoto (editor, writer). Now that technology has evolved with the spread of developing social media networks, what kind of changes might digital media achieve from now on, and what is the direction for future digital media? This report covers that day’s conversation with a full transcript.
Photo_Apple Store, Omotesando (c) Kensuke Tomuro | Text_RoC Staff
（Part 1(Continued from
Fujiwara : Lets continue by talking about SNS? I think it has its good points and bad points. For example, when I write “this movie’s interesting” and remark “thats interesting” or even expressing something negative like “that was absolute rubbish”. Of course, despite the honesty you don’t want to see a negative comment, even though at times it can’t be helped as the honest opinion comes from someone that saw the film. But in the end, it’s the same as those opinion polls, average remarks end up stick-out more and more, eventually becoming the consensus of opinion.
About 10 or 20 years ago, there were a lot of really unfashionable old men walking through Shibuya and Harajuku. Now wearing Uniqlo, people don’t care about clothes in the same way and ‘unfashionable’ people per se have disappeared. It’s no longer a case of saying whether something is good or bad. Overall the city became fashionable and sharp personalities became softer. The same with SNS, interesting viewpoints have faded in the presence of surrounding voices and resulted in a middle ground of calm. Thats how I feel, how about you?
Enomoto : I think an environment where you can say what you think important maybe one of the harmful effects of SNS. On the other hand, I think differences in views and opinions will level out more and more.
Fujiwara : You're right! You can say anything anonymously. It’s really irresponsible writing something you just came up with in an instant, it can be misleading. Similarly with people that crave attention and who are a bit strange, it becomes a bit boring.
Enomoto : From the media side of things, I think we need to show the power of being a professional.
Fujiwara : In the case of magazines, we would read articles written by popular editor-in-chiefs and influential people.
Come to think of it, this New Year I was watching TV at home but watching lots of programmes from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Back then, there was a small community of like-minded professionals who were the only ones interested that talked about thins. So when we liked punk we also thought we really belonged to that place culturally.
So, the period during which culture is replaced with something else interesting, is far too short. With someone expressing an interest in something thats suddenly popular, it’s hard to maintain that level of interest after one week. Generally, SNS sites lack opinion and somehow are not really communities. So instead, I spent the New Year staring vaguely at sites full crazy information that only flows in one direction.
I then spoke with Kajiwara and others about whether we should have this kind of thing. If anything Honeyee media is the kind that is ‘one-way ‘, but I don‘t want to see a blog by Kajiwara about food and one about film separately, even though I am interested. For instance, there may be people that don’t want to know about Hiroshi Fujiwara watching film, but a lot that do what know about sneaker things. I thought media should be divided properly in categories, so along this line, since spring I guess, we have been making preparations.
Seeing as we are talking about media today, I would like to announce a new media project that we’ve made, though it is still in a testing phase. It’s launched from today so by all means please take a look. Here it is. ‘Ring of Colour’ (RoC). I think we can talk about how it differs from conventional media and SNS.
Kashiwara : Unlike SNS, it’s somewhat different from a blog, right. It’s a place for those interested to follow the everyday life of Fujiwara and, on the other hand, information on food or a certain genre or just daily business. I think there are people that want to see these things, even though they may be of no real interest. It often said that if you search in my blog on ‘Honeyee’ for Osaka, you find gourmet information of Osaka. ‘RoC’ has been designed to allowed you to directly access to the information that you want to know. Instead of being simply sub-divided into categories, among each category is a personal point of view rather than a professional one, writing as much for our amusement and not simply written by professionals, arriving smoothly at information you want to know, which is what his site can do, I think.
Fujiwara : Not a professional writer, in the true sense of the word, or rather a semi-professional, and so not someone that makes a living from writing. But professional writers are opinionated and well-connected, so in some cases cannot express a true opinion.
RoC will be very different and focus on things other than the new and up-to-date information current media focuses on. It maybe something about what to eat everyday or that film I saw as a teenager. I want to be able to share something you, even if that is something from the past.
Kashiwara : With particular respect to elements of fashion, a good feeling comes from elements of the past like things that have been archived. I’ve also asked a writer to cover this sort of thing.
Fujiwara : Enomoto, do you have any thoughts about other media up until now and the future of RoC?
Enomoto : When I first heard you were talking about this I thought you had hit the nail on the head. I mean, it hit the spot and felt it was probably unlikely to happen until now. Will the future of digital media change dramatically with the advent of ‘Ring of Colour’? It is hard to say whether it will or will not. But, I think that the web site is very useful for receptive people to gather information.
Fujiwara : In SNS, information is weakened by everyone is asked for an opinion. I think it would be good to have a place that stores information, even it’s just with a small group of people, to prevent it from disappearing later on.
Enomoto : I said before “we need to demonstrate the power of the professional to people”. However, as Hitoshi said, in reality even professionals have unwanted ties. And rather than having professionals in RoC, we felt that it was better having someone following a particular path giving out information instead.
Fujiwara : That’s right. People we think are funny, and the things they’re eating, the kind of music they are up listening to, the kind of films they watch and what think about them, etc. These are the sorts of things that it will be really curious about. After that I think it will be possible to have an archive of personal selection coming from things that share RoC likeness, that can be delved into.
Of course advertising is used carefully as it currently makes no revenue. For example, information on new cars in the 'Car 'category will provide some sponsorship, and so on and so forth. So I think it may be possible for some affiliation once it’s better understood by people.
Kashiwara : Also with respect to the advertising-like part, it needs to feel like it’s information the reader will want to know about. New things will vetted by RoC as to whether or not it’s of any value.
Incidentally, people have begun writing for RoC already, one worth mentioning is the person writing on ‘Film’, right?
Fujiwara : Yes, our youngest film critic is Rio Harada, a 6th grade elementary school student. Indeed, he said. “Up to now, I’ve watched 600 films”. With each interesting film he creates a drawing. However, since all contain spoilers, please read them with care (laugh)
Kashiwara : Yes, the film’s ending is written (laugh)
Fujiwara : I should warn him about that sometime (laugh)
（Part 3(Continued in Part 3 — Coming soon)