In response to GAME OVER - http://www.kaneconsulting.biz/blog/2013/game-over/
What a brutally honest assessment of not just your current state, Jennifer, but of the ‘social engagement’ community as a whole.
I am not so sure that the Cluetrain Manifesto is still way ahead of its time, rather I feel that in all the euphoric building of machines of engagement we’ve let some old habits sneak back in.
In reality, for many, the fresh uniqueness of directly reaching out to clients has faded pressure to fall back on established paths by those who do not understand is great. Its just a tool, they can be heard to say.
This goes against Cluetrain #17
Companies that assume online markets are the same markets that used to watch their ads on television are kidding themselves.
The pressure is to get immediate gratification - ROI that can be directly tied to real cash on the table. So we gamify, and ‘need to go viral’, all so the CEO and head of marketing can, in the words of Governor William J. Le Petomane of Blazing Saddles fame - “Gentlemen, we need to save our phony Baloney jobs!”
Alright, so maybe their jobs are not so phoney baloney but the pretext for stone cold metrics is.
What they have lost sight of is Cluetrain # 33, 34 and 35
Learning to speak with a human voice is not a parlor trick. It can't be "picked up" at some tony conference.
To speak with a human voice, companies must share the concerns of their communities.
But first, they must belong to a community.
What we are more often asked to do is pretend this is what we are doing while still hiding the corporate separation. A not third wall that is a third wall.
I am no longer directly involved in social for a company as the vision for what it must do changed after we had built and established it for the company. The outreach as we called it stemmed from my seeing directly communities talking, cajoling, scolding and crying out to us but getting no answer.
The reaction was immediate and visceral. After some resistance upper management let us build bigger but then came the demand of making it more dynamic, it must be gamified, it must a profit center and now.....
What it became reminds me of a line in the kids book ‘The Donut Chef’ - Two chefs fight it out to reign supreme in selling doughnuts with culinary extremes :
It wasn’t long before the sweets not at all like donut treats
They'd lost their soul.
They'd even lost their donut hole!"
In the end the Chef finds that what most folks love the best is the delight of a simple glazed.
Perhaps it is just me but this, I fear, is the cause of our malaise.
What is your take? Industry or Individual at the root.