The Ants Have Megaphones, and RSS

Drew McLellan has a new challenge:

Calling all authors — time to exceed Age of Conversation!

megaphone Yup, you heard it here. We want to make our second book even bigger and better than Age of Conversation. No small task. But we’re confident that together, we can do it!

A year ago, we hadn’t even conceived The Age of Conversation. (Read about its creation) So Gavin and I are feeling pretty good about this early jump. Here’s the skinny.

The Age of Conversation is a fascinating book, written by a group of 100 thought-leaders, that discusses how New Media is being used by people in all walks of life. You can read more about it’s genesis here.

There is also a big article (with lots of great links) by Tim Leberecht at frogDesign Mind:

This conversation age is different. It is the first one that is being commercialized, enabled, and propelled by web 2.0 technologies. Gavin Heaton, who is currently working on an open-source e-book about the so-called “conversation age,” writes: “Technology in the guise of social media is giving rise to not virtual connections, but real conversation.” This kind of conversation, according to the definition of Lois Kelly, the author of “Beyond Buzz: The Next Generation of Word of Mouth Marketing”, is characterized by the following qualities: It is person to person and uses common language instead of corporate lingo. Both sides talk, and what one says is dependent upon what the other has just said. Both parties are engaged in joint problem solving; neither is trying to win or prevail. Conversation is designed to allow people with different views to learn from one another.

Granted, conversations’ value for marketers was discovered a while ago: the Cluetrain Manifesto pioneered the notion of brands as conversations long before the triumphant rise of the blogosphere. The idea of the “Architecture of Participation” has been known for a while, too. But now, the conversation economy seems to have reached enough critical mass to become a new business paradigm. Nick Rice writes: “Customers have always talked about brands, products and services. Today, through web technology, they can influence 100X the number of people with very little time and effort.” As traditional media are losing their power, micro-messages fragment public opinion into the opinion of various dispersed mini-publics. Smart mobs have replaced mass audiences. Advertisers, used to set the tone, are now held accountable by consumers who use social media platforms and sampling tools to raise their voice. In the words of Chris Anderson: “the ants have megaphones.”

So what is the new book going to be about

Visit Drew’s blog and vote! The choices are:

  • Marketing Manifesto
  • Why Don’t People Get It?
  • My Marketing Tragedy (and what I learned)

Why should I care?

Because I may be able to contribute a chapter this time around! How exciting is that? I am really looking forward to this writing project, and want to say thank-you to Drew for inviting me. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions for a point to be sure to include, leave me a note in the comments.

Some more folks are getting in on the act:

7 thoughts on “The Ants Have Megaphones, and RSS

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