Before I say a word about SEMIOSEARCH, I need to start with a proper introduction on what is semiotics and what is its present/potential/future role in the field of communications. And even before that, I need to start with me getting into semiotics and getting into communication.
THE LOW START
Even though I ended up working with brand and communication strategies, I started in humanitarian sciences. Or philology to be more precise. At the time, it wasn’t working out so well for me, but literature studies introduced me to semiotic method as a way to analyze literature texts. With semiotics my understanding of what analysis is and what it’s not was turned on its head. What’s most important I started to understand that principles of analysis can be applied to something as elusive as a text, a genre or culture itself.
During the semiotic studies we mainly focused on literature and textual analysis (in its traditional sense), but the further we went the more clear it became that principles of semiotic analysis extend well beyond the initial field of written text. This is where I started wondering about the broader use of semiotics. I looked at different places, even worked as a court case analyst for quite a spell.
The first real case that landed in my hands and shaped the idea of the actual product that I might be selling was a rebranding case that my friend invited me to do consulting on.
FROM SEMIOTICS TO COMMUNICATION
My biggest challenge was to tone down semiotics and academic-speak to a level that would be understandable to people outside of the field. I wasn’t particularly successful at first (some say even misguided), but later managed to translate the semiotic-speak into human-speak. But it wasn’t the semiotic thinking, but analytical thinking (inspired by semiotics of course) that helped me to set foot in the door with clients and agencies.
WHERE AM I NOW?
Right now, I am head of strategy and research at IDEA GROUP – a Baltic network of integrated communication agencies. My daily grind includes running strategic branding and positioning projects, consulting clients and handling biggest research work.
DEFINITIONS AT LAST
Semiotics is a study of meaning and its production. Semiotics is a study of signs. Many semioticians are dogmatic about these definitions and would surely kill, if you dropped the wrong definition in a semiotic party.
The truth is that there is no single discipline that would go under the name of THE SEMIOTICS. Different parties would claim otherwise, but the truth remains the same. Semiotics stems from both philosophical and linguistic traditions and different schools of semiotics put forward different framework for analysis.
(got bored at this point, will resume some time in the future)