This is something I occasionally think about. A few days ago, I read a NewYorker article "The Things People Say" about web-facilitated polarization of political opinions. On a more general level, I found it interesting how people tend to guard their opinions once they are formed, rather than to expose them to a challenge.
Then, the other day, Michael Surtees observed something interesting: he noted that, in New York, there are a lot of "followers" in the digital industry. That is, people who actually start something and/or have a fresh perspective or an idea, are outnumbered by those who quickly (and uncritically) adopt and repeat the ideas of others.
The NewYorker article claims that this has always been the case, and that the Internet has just made it visible. And it made it very much so: just think all those "great post", "smart analysis", "agreed!" blog comments that offer validation of the opinion rather than to expose it to a discussion.
Does this mean that people working in digital marketing are very agreeable in general? Or, that they are easily influenced? Maybe they are just lazy? Or overly political? Or, they simply don't have an opinion of their own?
Or, they just really, truly, agree with everything that their colleagues write. If so, that's a problem.
An industry that claims to be based on disruption needs to nurture the culture of disruption. For disruptive ideas to happen, people need to, well, disagree.
A few pirates around would really help.