You haven't heard of the 'latest trend' because it's not one.
Nice analysis in four paragraphs. I actually read the whole email. Well done.
While the New York Times has always engaged in this sort of scene-specific focus on the fads of a cloistered few, I think the difference at play here is that, I think because of the fragmentation you speak to, the very idea of a trend on any sort of mass scale is just not even in play. It's a little different than manufacturing a trend into existence; it seems like there's not even a sense that the "bigger picture" can ever even coalesce into something we all share. In line with your articool on Default Wisdom, I think this is incorrect to, by action, imply that mass culture is an irrelevant or anachronistic idea, because mass culture still exists. But it's like they're throwing their hands up because it's too hard to make sense of and even giving up on even their time-honored role of convincing people into thinking this is something "everyone," or at least "everyone cool," is doing, and you should, too. Abdicating their desire as psyop generals...
The more censorship and "filtering" are used on the Internet, the less benefit advertisers can get from studying "what's trending." Efforts to rebrand not even moderates but liberals as the dreaded "conservatives" may have some benefits for the left wing, but it pushes potential customers out of the audience and thus prevents businesses from reaching the majority of those potential buyers.
Take a walk in the real world. Ask people whether they use Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok, Youtube or even Paypal. Before censorship got going at those sites, many adults and most teenagers did. Now? My neighborhood is not typical. Check yours.
Businesses need actively to re-engage with "conservatives," Tea Parties, and especially with anyone who's been censored on the so-called social media. They need to listen before they talk, reassure themselves that the vast majority of these people ARE NOT racists, and pay attention to where the real "mainstream" is. And then they need to commit to supporting and encouraging those people to re-engage with the Internet, if the Internet is going to be useful to businesses...always remembering that, if people who use the Internet wanted to sit back and watch television, they'd be paying for cable rather than Internet. People who use the Internet want to do--I want to do about half the talking; I think many want to do all the talking. They have opinions for which they want businesses to show respect...who cares what kind of models you use, although ads for a general audience should never overtly suggest sexuality, but I think you'll find solid interest in inflation (reversing it), product quality control (get GMO and "pesticide" residues out of food), and contract integrity (if a contract changes, be sure the customer gets a BETTER deal). Many of them have their own brands, which they want to promote, and they'll stay engaged only if they see engagement building their brands too.
For businesses that want to use the Internet responsibly and profitably, everything we learned from the ad industry is irrelevant. This is a new game.