Monday, February 11, 2008

Shirking the dialog, Beaming the enigma

Jon Husband emailed a pointer to this new blog seemingly by Clay Shirky (no author identified on the blog) and having something to do with his new book, Here Comes Everybody. Jon and I had mentioned the book in prior emails, but the blog was new to us.

The current post: What businesses need to know about social media... addressed the question by citing an email that Shirky had sent to Penguin books. In that, Shirky says, in part:

There is both opportunity and threat in this environment. The opportunity is getting these groups to amplify your message or help improve your product.

Something here bothered me, so I tried to post a comment. Shirky's WordPress blog refused to accept the comment, telling me to register. It might be helpful to clue people in on this requirement ahead of their spending time trying to comment. (Like, socially aware software.)

So I registered, was promised a password, which I'm still waiting for. Let's assume Clay is busy with his book appearances and he's not exactly focused on his book blog.

Anyway, what I had in mind to say, quite briefly, because I couldn't quite put my finger on what was bothering me, was this (I saved my comment because this experience with blog condoms was not my first):

I'm not yet "courant" on the new book, which of course interests me, but I'm a tad disappointed to find your reflection on biz effects to be content with "amplify your message." Hasn't it already for some time been time to stop believing that a corporation should even exist via "message?"

"Improve product," fine - tho' how? But if it's about amplification of pre-packaged media unsense, let's hear it for diminution. Or better: dialogue, enhanced articulation, the like.

A few minutes later, I happened to visit BMO's blog, where -- and this has happened before -- I found his latest post to more or less be reading not so much my mind, as the unthought thing it was stuck on:
And so, to answer the question: can corporations manage the migration to social media?

No.

And who fucking cares really.

For about a dozen good reasons, which I’ll get into as we move along here. But number one: corporations - or more accurately, those that work for corporations - hate their customers, even when and if they acknowledge them. That’s not about to change, and it’s not about to change any time soon. And it bears repeating over and over again. HATE.

Now we're getting somewhere: The whole thing.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Mike Golby said...

He has a way with words, our Brian. And he provokes thought. One thing our corporations are very good at is amplifying their hatred, scorn, dislike, etc. of us through increasingly inferior products and ever shoddier service -- while making us pay far more dearly for the pain they so graciously inflict on us.

2/12/2008 11:04 AM  
Anonymous bmo said...

Hey fellas! What's going on? Oddly, I'm coming at this not from the end user side of things but from the almost on the inside of things. I'm picking this stuff up from people jumping ship. Mike as a good catholic boy you'll understand the cleansing nature of confession. As a Prod, I'm baffled and honored to be the channel through which all angst passes. Tom, if I'm articulating your unthoughts I'm only glad to know there is a part of that big human brain of yours that isn't thinking. Most of us just sit and read in amazement. cheers, fellas.

2/12/2008 12:42 PM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

Gracious infliction, Mike, is a dolor possible with corporations who have it both ways - they're our friends, our buddies, and they're legal fictions, dispersed systems of accounting procedures and ravenous armies in the service of "serving" the served. What's for lunch?

An analogy that came to mind after reading BMO -- one that won't be "fair and balanced" to either side of the equation: the incorporated souls feel toward the customer base the way academic faculty feel about students - necessary evils, pathetic little buggers that it is our privilege to deride although it is true that without them we would not be here.

(A comment from BMO arrived as I typed this.)

2/12/2008 12:45 PM  

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