Seth Godin’s Video: WEB2.0 or New Publishing Technology

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If you are not familiar with Seth Godin you are in for a treat. Godin is a Fast Company contributing editor turned blogger and book author. [see his books: Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
>< Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us
>< Purple Cow, New Edition: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable–Includes new bonus chapter ] In this talk he tells the story of how he got blogs and books noticed by trial and error. His blog is a stream of ideas about the none technical aspects of WEB2.0. Actually, I do not think WEB2.0 is the best term here, maybe more the interaction of Internet use with everyday life. This is a refreshing change to many people that are not interested or do not understand the technology itself. To make a technology useful and relevant there are many aspects which need to be clear and simple. Social networking as an idea and in services like Linked-In, MySpace, Twitter and FaceBook are simple and useful. Godin is a writer in this vain. In this video clip he highlights both the good and the bad of the changes due to the Internet, it’s use and the way people benefit in the end. Eventually business models are used to explain the financial part. Since Godin is not a technologist he brings a practical viewpoint: how do people communicate and how technology is useful for them. This discussion can go on and on. Here are just two points on what Godin has to say:

Seth Godin for Technologists:

Technologists usually are not good in simplifying ideas. Seth Godin’s writing and blogging is useful in their simplicity. They are also useful in cutting through the detail explanations and getting to the core benefits. Godin is not shy about describing the shift from paper based publishing to the electronic format. He does not put down the old business model. But he also clearly points out how “unfair” the shift is for the older businesses. It is interesting that someone in the publishing world is more clear about the situation than the technologists themselves. But this is also not news to most people. In every technology shift there is always an insider that points out how critical this shift is all about. Andy Grove, Intel’s revolutionary CEO, who focused the company on processors and innovated in a few ways, clearly understood shift in his industry and the bigger outside world. [see Only the Paranoid Survive ]

Seth Godin for Business and Marketing:

Business and marketing managers know that “life is unfair”. This is what makes success, the benefit from unfairness of a situation. In the new technology world of publishing, Godin explain “permission marketing” – actually not a new term at all when you consider the business of magazines and books. Magazines earn 10 times what books do and obviously that is “NOT FAIR” but still we have both formats and most book publishers are not crying about the situation. I do not agree with Godin’s assessment of a blog by publishers as non-relevant. He says that a blog for publisher’s employees is useful but not for readers. Actually, publishers, manufacturers, technologists and for that matter domain experts like academic professors and management consultants are more relevant on blogs than ever before. The Tim O’Reilly blog is a case in point. Godin dismisses O’Reilly’s blog as relevant because of his niche specialty, but this is not relevant at all. Most people before they blog find examples of relevance and irrelevance as explanation for and against blogging. But the reality is much more complex. Blogs are simply the current format of communicating deep information. They are also the “front” for expanding information in the form of book chapters, white papers, video clips and other specialty formats (tutorials, reports, spreadsheets, etc.) I am sure that blogs are not the only format that is useful. I am sure that newsletters and static CMS sites are still useful. So are knowledge bases, the Red Hat support base for Linux is still one of the most useful technical resource for Linux. Well, the rest will have to wait for the next post. As you can see, we can discuss this forever… Please comment or write to me if you need help in deciphering Seth Godin’s message in your business application. And most of all, do not let one talk by a GURU deter you from blogging, social networking or any other form of electronic communication.

{editor: this video was found through Jimmy Schwarzkopf’s post on FaceBook}


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