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.