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Industry bigwigs hate paradigm shifts, evangelists and integration

Australia’s online leaders have declared war on cliches, with the phrases “paradigm shift” and “digital evangelist” among the targets.  

The bugbears are highlighted in the final episode of the Digital Bullets video produced by recruitment agency La Volta.

In this week’s question, industry leaders were asked to name the most irritating cliche in digital. The responses included:

  • Domenic Carosa, CEO, Dominet: “During the dotcom days anything to do with the internet was a paradigm shift. That would be a relatively wanky term these days.”
  • Martin Dalgleish, media commentator: “If I saw paradigm shift on a proposal or a pitch I would inevitably turn off. I don’t even know what a paradigm is, but I don’t want to shift it.”
  • Tony Faure, investor: “At the moment ‘social marketing’ because nobody has got any idea what it means. It’s one of those phrases that people come up with to cover so many different things. At the moment it doesn’t actually mean anything at all.”
  • Steve Fanale, CEO, Mass Media: “The most irritating one for me is the evangelist. As soon as I hear it I think of Jim and Tammy Baker.”
  • Jenny Williams, founder, Idea Garden: “Integration.”
  • Liam Walsh, MD Microsoft’s Drive Performance Media: ‘The worst is ‘people capital’. But in digital it’s ‘deep dive’. Intolerable cruelty – intolerable. It’s used a lot at Microsoft.”
  • Adam Dunne, CEO, Aura Interactive: “The most annoying thing that I hear on an almost daily basis is somebody calling me and telling me they are just ringing to touch my base.”
  • John Butterworth, CEO, AIMIA: “The one that irritates me is the phrase ‘it will never take off’. I heard it about the internet and it started up about three or four years ago with mobiles. When I heard that again I thought mobile’s a sure cert winner.”
  • IAB CEO Paul Fisher: “Hits is an awful term. It denotes people who don’t really know what they are talking about. I hate hits. We should abolish it. And the second is unique browsers. Let’s kill off unique browsers. It’s a ridiculous term. It’s just not real.”
  • Lee Stevens, CEO, Aegis: “Anything (his former colleague and – one presumes – friend) Chris Brinkworth says.”
  • Jennifer Wilson, director of The Project Factory: “We use all these bullshit bingo buzzwords just as a way of shorthanding and we need to stop. We need to start using language that other people can understand.”
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