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Issue #69 – Real Fake Newsletter

Thijs Pepping
June 21, 2022

On the 15th of October our book “Real Fake – Playing with Reality in the Age of AI, Deepfakes and the Metaverse” has been released. It is our take on synthetic media, deepfakes, fake news, conspiracy theories, memes, internet culture, Generation Z and Alpha, crypto, narrative economics, virtual humans, CGI influencers, vTubers, NFTs, DAOs, VR, Web3, the Creator Economy and the Metaverse. Real Fake is about how humans continuously manipulate reality and how new digital technology tools enable us to go one step further in this ancient game.

The Rise of the Internet’s Creative Middle Class

The 1,000 True Fans theory is classic Kevin Kelly. He took something potentially dark—in this case, a long-tail economic model that mashes creatives like a digital-age ore crusher—and found an aspirational alternative narrative. The new tools that allow Amazon to dominate Barnes & Noble might also allow more creative types than ever before to make a living off their work. When placed against the context of the global financial crisis, which was hitting its full stride when Kelly’s essay was published, the appeal of this promise was amplified. Unemployment was soaring while the value of retirement investments was plummeting, but perhaps you could respond to the disruption by finally pursuing the creative career about which you’ve been daydreaming. You didn’t need a functional global economy to find happiness and economic security, just a thousand other people who love what you do—and the Internet would help you find and connect with them. Not surprisingly, the essay was a sensation. “This is Kevin Kelly’s best riff of the year, and that’s saying an enormous amount,” the Internet-marketing guru Seth Godin wrote, on the same day the essay appeared online. “Go read it!”

TikTok Killed The Video Star

A paradigm shift in pop may be happening—and not for the first time. When MTV arose in the early ’80s, popularizing the music video as a promotional tool, many people fretted about the deeper effect of music becoming so tied to visuals. […] The artists complaining about TikToks aren’t exactly condemning the platform. But they are showing that being on all the time, influencer-style, takes effort and talent that is different from the kind it takes to perform a great song. Do we really want our entertainers demystified and desperate?”

The Viral Spiral – How TikTok Is Changing Marketing In The Music Industry And Beyond

“Complaints from recording artists about promotional demands are as old as the music industry itself, and they have often played out in public feuds. But these recent grievances aren’t targeted at the labels themselves. They are direct appeals to fans (in Halsey’s case, 4.6 million of them on TikTok). And while they describe highly specific scenarios — world-famous artists in disputes with their labels over marketing strategies — they also evoke an experience familiar to just about anyone with a presence on social media, where aspects of the experience of fame have been formalized and made available to everyone. […] Joining a social network for personal reasons only to find yourself using it for material ends is, in fact, the standard experience. To bring it up, even as a world-famous recording artist, isn’t just a bid for sympathy from fans on social media — in a small way, it’s an attempt to relate.”

REPORT: Value Creation in the Metaverse

“With its potential to generate up to $5 trillion in value by 2030, the metaverse is too big for companies to ignore.” Download the complete report by McKinsey here.

MUST SEE: Publicis Appoints Chief Metaverse Officer

Publicis appoints Chief Metaverse Officer


Real Fake is a weekly newsletter in which SogetiLabs’s Research Institute VINT examines the future where synthetic reality becomes part or our objective reality. We investigate the impact of new technology on people, organisations and our society. If you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact us. You can reach us at

About the author

Trend Analyst VINT | Netherlands
Thijs Pepping is a humanistic trend analyst in the field of new technologies. He is part of the think tank within SogetiLabs and in his work he continuously wonders and analyses what the impact of New Technologies is on our lives, organizations and society. He specialized in Humanistic Counselling and Education at the University of Humanistics in Utrecht.


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