TrendWatching suggest :
- On the one hand, spoilt-for-choice, switched-on, wired-to-the-teeth consumers are more demanding, knowledgeable and in control than ever, wallowing in conspicuous consumption and unrivaled choice, and making or breaking new products and services the moment they hit the shelves.*
On the other hand, that same avalanche of choice, the abundance of high quality MASS CLASS goods, the mind boggling number of variations, brands, flavors, and God knows what, is driving those very same, often time-starved consumers into the arms of a new breed of 'curators' and editors, who pre-select for them what to buy, what to experience, what to what to wear, what to read, what to drink and so on. (Curator n. He or she who manages or oversees a museum collection or a library.)
So make way for the emerging trend of CURATED CONSUMPTION: millions of consumers following and obeying the new curators of style, of taste, of eruditeness, in an ever growing number of B2C industries (Martha and home decorating was really just the beginning ;-). And it's not just one way: in this uber-connected world, the new curators enjoy unprecedented access to broadcasting and publishing channels to reach their audience, from their own blogs to niche TV channels.
GrahamLally says companies like MicroSoft might be using technical obfuscation to establish themselves as consumption curators: http://describe.blogspot.com/2004/08/rant-for-sure.html