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“a huge portion of the population that are social media averse; gadget allergic even. How do you propose to get your message to this group?” I misunderstood his question and replied as though he asked, “a huge portion of the PR, advertising, and marketing population…” as opposed to the “general” population, and so my response is based on that misunderstanding and premise… “You really can’t — the main reason that I only lasted at Edelman for 90-days is because they never used me for my expertise in Linux, RSS, SEO, geek culture, geek cred… they really just wanted someone else who “got blogs” Blogs are also the Web 2.0 platform, too. The gulf between Communication School and the MIT Media Lab is too deep.”
Here is the comment from Charles Edward Frith in full:
“I’m not sure if you’re responding to me Chris. It is OK to address people directly in orums; we call it the conversation. If you are, I am saying that there is a huge portion of the population that are social media averse; gadget allergic even. How do you propose to get your message to this group?
And here is my long, ranting, and misdirected response:
“You really can’t — the main reason that I only lasted at Edelman for 90-days is because they never used me for my expertise in Linux, RSS, SEO, geek culture, geek cred… they really just wanted someone else who “got blogs” Blogs are also the Web 2.0 platform, too. The gulf between Communication School and the MIT Media Lab is too deep.
They didn’t even see what I was, which was a geek first, a marketer second. I don’t know if I can share this here, but here are some of my ideas on the subject… http://www.cabraham.com/ideas — to me, it is really about both the community and also the platform.
One needs to blog — message — at both the people in the blogosphere but also to the semantic web. When I realised that www.edelman.com was anti-SEO-optimized (it didn’t care at all about search engine optimization at all!), and really didn’t care (and they were afraid of upsetting IT and the people who ran the site) I was pretty sure I had made a terrible decision.
New Marketing needs to understand ping servers, online communities, cirtual worlds, RSS, RSS2, ATOM, GData, tags, labels, Google juice, the semantic web, gadgetization, what “slashdotted” is, why del.icio.us and digg and reddit and Newsvine and Stumbleupon are important. They need to grok Revver and Vox and Facebook and they need to know what “WordPress, Movable Type, Drupal, Xoops, Joomla, phpBB, etc” are.
This isn’t just “how to IM Kos” — this is about Internet Forensics and fisking and unintended consequences and blowback and counter-messaging.
There is a lot more going on than just “activating email lists” and “creating a blog.”
And we have not even talked about Prediction Markets, we have not talked about message boards, we have not talked about YouTube (it is a community, not a video site, at its heart), or Flickr (same thing, it is a community and it is not Photobucket).
New Media Marketing and New PR needs to know what Web 2.0 is, not as a buzz word or as hocus pocus. It is a platform, it is an emergence, it is a honey pot. It is “build it and they will come,” but only if it is cool and and compelling, and always in beta, and never loses focus of the users’ needs.
Actually, Yahoo and AOL are getting their game on again. Google gets it in its source code. Why are PR and marketing firms so risk averse? Why, to quote you, Mr, Charles Edward Frith, why is there a “huge portion of the population that are social media averse; gadget allergic even?”
And when I say that, I am talking about Edelman, I am talking about NMS, I am talking about Ogilvy. It is our responsibility as media professionals to be so expert in the technology, the protocol, the culture, and the passion (called passion chamber, as another term for the blogosphere’s echo chamber — and I own www.passionachamber.com, actually) so that this population doesn’t have to.
A population that universally adopts iPods, Plasma HDTVs, and DirecTV with TiVO is not gadget allergic.
What Old PR and Old Media might be really great at is taking an ubergeek like me and working with me to translate all of this cool stuff to the 7th grade reading ease so that new media and web 2.0 can better connect. This will be more and more important.
Unfortunately, when it comes to influencing the influencer, that person is not the “population” — that is a person who thinks that “salesmen” and “PR executives” and “advertising folks” are a bunch of wankers who don’t get it, wouldn’t know cool if it hit ‘em in the face, who are too focused on what people think about them to ever allow people to get to know them, to be authentic, and to be open.
The bad PR that PR has felt for years: snake oil salesmen, hustlers, pretty boys, spin-doctors, and inauthentic, opportunistic liars is exacerbated in the rarefied web where all of these things are not tolerated at all — and to be honest, nobody has to.
Lots of PR people I know tell me that they have to be risk-averse and they have to pull punches because the PR world is incestuous and to be honest, burning bridges is a death blow to one’s career. I am told the same thing by folks in the Valley who are afraid of insulting the silicon Gods.
Coming from a place of fear is just plain unacceptable. At the end of the day, I am a Linux SA who loves to hack PHP and MySQL and so really, I am neither a Valley wag nor am I am PR lifer. Most of my consulting deals with my niche of genius and I don’t see myself as ever getting too tarred or feathered — never to the point where people will cease hiring my counsel… even if it is on the down low after my name is mud.
So, I am not really tolerant when it comes to this PR sycophantism. The Internet and the bloggers and the people who matter now don’t play that. I know reporters and they do surely covet and protect and are jealous of their career arcs. And this fear for career and for immortality is easy to coerce and control.
Web 2.0 is not about control. The X factor in new marketing is that people really have no career arc, people online really cannot be kept in the kind of sycophantic blackmail that is common on Capitol Hill, on Madison Avenue, on K Street, and also in Silicon Valley.
When Edelman has to block Strumpette from 2,000 laptops and desktops held in their worldwide network, then maybe Edelman and the like aren’t as new media and new public relations as they would like to preach.
You can’t have it both ways. The only two things that the Internet doesn’t suffer: fear and hypocrisy. And from what I have been seeing, there seems to be a lot of both of them, both in Old PR and Marketing as well as in “new marketing” and “new media PR.”
Anyway, I am ranting. I have a call soon so I am going to stop now and click on “Submit Comment.” Thanks in advance for indulging me. I am going to rewrite this a little and post it on my blog… cheers for making me thing and making write! I have been way too busy to take the time to really download.”