January 18, 2006
doc searls was wrong
Go back to my New York days in the late 1990s, long before I had my own website.
If I found a cool website or product, I'd tell, I dunno, maybe a few people about it. Maybe a dozen.
Now when I find something I like and I blog about it, hundreds, maybe thousands of people find out. And a lot of the people I tell have blogs of their own. So that thousands of folk might cascade into tens of thousands quite easily.
In short, my 5-year-old Dell and a simple piece of free blogging software has upped my "viral effect" by many tens of thousands of percentage points since New York. And the same has happened for thousands upon thousands of other people. Some more than me, some less, but still, collectively it's huge.
Whatever business you're in, your product's success or failure is going to become more and more dependant on "sneezers" like me. We are not going away. We are getting more viral by the day, while other ways of spreading ideas- TV, newspapers etc- are becoming less effective by the day.
This steady transfer of power and influence from big media to the sneezers won't happen overnight, but it is a permanent state of affairs.
And there is nothing, repeat nothing you can do about it.
Doc Searls said back in April that The Cluetrain hasn't left the station yet. Doc Searls was wrong.
Posted by hugh macleod at January 18, 2006 7:36 AM
You have blogged about me a number of times, and I thank you.
I think I am doing a pretty decent job blogging, but I would like to get even better. What can I do better?
JD, generally I think your blog is great, and wouldn't change much in terms of content.
I'm not crazy about the graphic design. Looks like it could use a facelift.
I dunno, metallic grey and green just doesn't say "old fashioned Yankee integrity" to me.
Also, I think you should make your blog easier to read (i.e. your type is too small)...
Anybody else got other suggestions?
Here's JD's site:
I just changed the design of the blog
Hugh, you rock!
I would love any comments or suggestions anyone else may have
thanks in advance
"I have an MBA in Extinction Management". love it.
Hugh sez: "while other ways of spreading ideas- TV, newspapers etc- are becoming less effective by the day."
I am sorry to be the usual pain in the proverbial, but that's just your opinion, packaged up as a fact.
You and I talked about this recently - TV viewing figures are on the way up, and just last month several quality dailies (including but not limited to the Globe and Mail) have reported rising circulation.
What it looks like to me is not that blogs are replacing existing media, blogs are complementing existing media.
Yes Andreas, that's why all the really smart and visionary people I know are jumping over each other to buy Superbowl ads. LOL.
Secondly, I wasn't talking about blogging. I was talking about "sneezing". Big difference.
Frankly, I find the advertiser's conceit that they can select any media they want, to acheive what they want, is rather delusional.
Which explains why the average client-agency relationship lasts less than two years. Running around like paranoid, headless chickens, and little else.
Of course, there are pockets in the overall industry where this doesn't happen, or at least, happens a lot less. I'm assuming Andreas lives in one of these pockets.
Hugh sez: "Frankly, I find the advertiser's conceit that they can select any media they want, to acheive what they want, is rather delusional."
Hugh, they can and they do. If you don't realize this then you don't know much about how media is bought. My media buyer can guarantee me that an ad we create is seen by X number of people.
Now, that doesn't make this ad a success, I agree. Many other factors come in. Product quality is one. Reputation, or brand, is another one. Audience relevance, there's not much to be gained by showing a diaper commercial to viewers without kids. And all of the above is being amplified by the easy access we nowadays have to word of mouth. Amplified, but not replaced.
Does that mean that blogvertising, or sneezing, or WOM is the right solution if I want to tell 10 million people that tomorrow only I will give a 30% rebate off my product? Of course not. Old media offers me a reach and variety the online world cannot even begin to rival. WOM, in all of it's manifestations, can help, but it doesn't replace.
If you would walk into one of today's smart ad agencies, and I am not talking about the dinosaurs you yourself left behind in the 90's, I am talking Strawberry Frog, I am even talking my own company, you will find a whole bunch of clever and talented people who have a very good grasp on the big picture. Not just Superbowl commercials, but as sure as anything also not just blogging or any related online communication.
"Hugh, they can and they do."
No they don't, Andreas.
Like I said, if they did, clients wouldn't be changing agencies every two years.
Knock the bloggers all you want. But aligning oneself to the Zeitgeist is a tricky, hit-and-miss business. You can't just pay somebody to put you there.
I would agree with Andreas. "Sneezes" are fleeting while other means of advertising such as television or print ads have more staying power. I have to click to "find" the virus. Television and print ads are presented to me whether I choose to view them or not.
Fair enough, Memestream. You consume ads, Andreas sells them. What I'm not seeing is people who have actually spent their own money (as opposed the budget their boss gave them) on advertising disagreeing with me. I think that's quite telling.
is not the larger problem for ad agencies the fact that our whole industry is predicated upon the assumed passive audience delivered to us on a plate by the mass media and this audience is evaporating in front of our eyes.
The adworld assumption that changes in media will somehow inevitably morph into something that conveniently suits us (i work in advertising) and can be manipulated by us seems downright stupid to me. the ad industry exists to take advantage of an audience created by somebody else. no audience, no ad industry.