I am really getting tired of hearing yet another research report being released about how much time employees waste each day at their jobs. (Here, here, here, etc.) Inevitably the culprit is "the Internet". I guess learning, building relationships and having conversations have no value!
Now that I think about it, it is the people that spend no time on-line that scare me.
I recieved a comment on my last post (WooHoo) from Lev at Co-Creators, wondering if the "weed & seed" analogy is primarily apt for an interium, transition period, while traditional marketers figure it out.
My first thought is that before even that transition can begin, tradional marketers will first have to "get it" that a change is necessary! Most everyone around here is charging ahead with the status quo marketing plans. There are a few pockets of awareness that things are changing, but even there, the thought is that we will do some sort of a small pilot to prove the concept, to validate ROI. My fear (hope) is that we are going to be caught by suprise by some event that races through the blogoshere and makes us look really bad. I would like to think that some foresight now could take us down a controlled transition, seed & weed approach. My experience tells me differently, that we will get hit by a big giant ball of BLOGs.
Back to the original point, I think the seed & weed approach would be a good transition approach, but there will need to be proactive forethought to put it in place.
I just watched Michael Arrington’s interview video with a bunch of Web 2.0 CEO’s. Very thought provoking, in bits and pieces… One quote that really struck me was from Jotspot CEO, Joe Kraus. He was talking about the future of publishing and publishers. His view is that the publisher’s role will be to "seed and weed". In other words, put initial ideas out there and see what happens to grow, while keeping an eye on things and making sure too many weeds (trolls, spam, etc.) don’t choke out the growth of the good content.
I wonder how this metaphor could be carried over to marketing.
The big concern of traditional organizations is loosing control of the message. Therefore most traditional marketing is about driving traffic back to the controlled content source, the corporate web site.
Viral marketing, the apparent preferred approach of Web 2.0 generation organizations, on the other hand is primarily concerned with the spread of "the word", by mouth, by net, whatever. The main concern seems to be maximizing the spread, regardless of how true to the originally intended message.
Maybe "Seed & Weed" is the common ground between these two approaches. This would foster spreading the word while maintaining intended focus, if not control. Not quite sure what this would look like, just an idea…