I am halfway through Clay Shirky’s book “Here Comes Everyone.” The treatise has many great insights into the social front of the ongoing digital revolution.
Here are the top three points from the first half of the book, as well as my questions that we as marketers must be asking in regards to each:
1. Massive amounts of energy previously spent on passive media consumption are now being redirected into social networks and digital spaces such as Wikipedia. *
Question: Does your organization understand the relevant ways and places this is happening?
This is not about discussion boards or CEO blogs, rather it’s about where your customers are now in charge and where they will take control next and how you must change and prepare.
2. True democratization of expression and communication, nearly unparalleled in history even by tectonic shifts such as movable type, are taking place.
Question: Are you playing it too close to the vest?
Newspapers did, and look where they are today. How can you let go and be a part of the wave? If you don’t, it is very likely your brand/cause will drown.
3. Everyone needs no babysitter.
Question: Are we looking at our organizations and markets as managers or as facilitators?
Yes we must advertise and we must drive revenue, etc.; however, to excel I believe it’s an imperative of our roles to provide platforms, environments, and tools for our organizations and markets to collaborate together. If we don’t, they will go elsewhere.
* I cheated on this one a bit, this is actually from a speech Clay gave recently and not from the first half of the book (although they are related and I am expecting to see this at least implicitly before the volume’s end). You can find this video here, its well worth the few minutes.