The Idea Dude


Friday, May 25, 2007

Infatuation with the epidemic

The best part of TheGoodBlogs is discovery, you can't read everybody all the time, but a quick prompt every now and then will reveal a gem. What's a gem for me? That moment when you read a blog and the whole world stops because you go, "wait a minute, what is he or she really saying?". It's the blog post that challenges you to a conversation and threatens an assumption or a perception you've held for a long time. Last week it was my friend Liz. This week it was Sean Howard.

Sean posted an article about tipping points and how having influencers is not enough to create a forest fire. The conditions for starting the fire have to be right. I love the tipping point paradigm, it's about achieving the non-linear when acceleration is created by self-momentum or rather the momentum of the environment. I resolved my internal conflict by noting to Sean that influencers are part of the conditions not external to it and yes, I agree, it is not the only factor. There are other factors and often, these ecletic factors seem so obvious after the fact. We all love free lunches.

His reply to my comment was equally profound. He mentioned that even the true masters of viral campaigns would admit that only a very few succeed and most only result in minor blips in marketing campaigns. He called it the "infatuation with the epidemic". You gotta love that phrase. It describes everything about Web 2.0 today. I think it defines where we are today. During the it was about getting out there fast and making lots of money. Welcome to the new currency, it's not dollars, it's people. Web 2.0 is about getting out there and getting mindshare, it is our infatuation with the epidemic. We've thrown out all the basic principles of providing real value and real service over long periods of time. Now it's about getting as many people to like you as possible. Sobcon taught me a very basic principle, when the party ends, who are really still your friends?

Thanks for the conversation, Sean.


Blogger "ME" Liz Strauss said...

When the party ends, your friends are lined up across the nation. :)

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the kind words and the post, Vernon!

And to M' Strauss' comment, it's nice to realize we have a much larger circle of associates and friends in this world, eh?

11:32 PM  
Blogger The Idea Dude said...

Thanks Liz, Sean, sometimes in the quest for fame or noteriety, we forget we didn't need the millions of passerbys, just a couple hundred of 'blog connoisseurs' will do just fine.

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It depends whether your goal is low value eyeballs or high value relationships. Some are infatuated with epidemics, but those that provide enduring value care about quality, consistency, providing value and not disappointing their readers/clients. You can still be viral, but viral doesn't always have to mean SARS.

I'd rather have the 'right' people like me than everyone. Still, it's nice to occasionally feel the wind beneath your sails when an idea catches on.

10:53 PM  
Blogger The Idea Dude said...

I know what you mean Paul. It's pretty darn impossible to please all the people all the time, so are we going to please some of the people all of the time or all of the people some of the time!

10:58 PM  

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