Gonzo Marketing:Winning Through Worst Practices The Bombast Transcripts: Rants and Screeds of RageBoy
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Wednesday, November 28, 2007
the great facebook faceoff
(i.e., c'mon down and laugh yer face off!)

The All-New Me

like my new heels? click to drop by and pay your <koff> respects (and add me).

The All-Old Me
So speaking of Facebook, I recently got reacquainted there with George Partington, who reminded me of this interview we did back in 2001. I read it yesterday and was somewhat floored at how enthusiastic I was about so many things. This was just before Gonzo Marketing was published and I had, as you will see below, unjustifiably high hopes. Personally, I blame the fate of the book on those fucking terrorists who had just blown up the Twin Towers. Had it not been for those bastards, I'm sure it would have put The Tipping Point, Blink and Harry Potter all to shame. But don't let me get started off on some wild-ass tangent. Here's what I was like back then -- before my own ground-zero meltdown. Those of you who were Valued Subscribers that far back, will not need (or want) to be reminded. And there is some mention of you here, too, for what it's worth. Maestro...

Thursday, June 27, 2002 [the original post is here]

Chris Locke, of cluetrain manifesto and Gonzo Marketing fame, is like the little boy in The Sixth Sense. He's the only one who seems to be looking at the Net and saying, "I see individuals." Not markets, or eyeballs or malls.

And it is the individual voices that make the Web what it truly is -- as Locke has pointed out, a conversation among a community, an engaged conversation, a free flowing, not sure what we're trying to say, but, hey look, I think we're saying it conversation. No strategizing our speech, (Locke's phrase). No marketing study beforehand, no poll. No guru, no method.

I interviewed Chris in October 2001, hoping to publish an article coinciding with the release of Gonzo Marketing: Winning Through Worst Practices. It didn't happen. So, now that I have a blog, I figured, what the hey, I'll just publish it there. Here it is:

The GP-CL Interview

GP: How does it feel to be the only person, figuratively at least, extolling the micromedia view of the Web?

CL: Am I? Well, I think that I have developed a new language here, but I don't think I've created the phenomenon. I am just describing what has been happening for 10 years. Starting with usenet newsgroups and majordomo listservers. Mailing lists and then with the Web you had Web sites and increasingly you've had Web conferencing systems and chat and IRC. Closer to the present, the Weblogs have become a genuine phenomenon and a very important one. We've had these mechanisms that are specifically enabled by the Internet and the Web. And what I am calling micromedia is that ability to publish things to -- not to predefined audiences, because the cost of entry is so low you can float one of these things and hey if your mom and your aunt and your uncle show up and that's it, well, maybe you get some personal satisfaction. On the other hand, if 150,000 people show up in the first few months, you might have a ticket to ride there.

GP: I guess I'm more interested in the fact that this gonzo model, the underwriting of content and the subsequent explosion of sites -- you seem to be the only one putting your finger on that sort of thing.

CL: Well, I think that's true. And I've been thinking about this for 10 years at least. And clearly the models the corporations have adopted with respect to this medium have demonstrably not been killer. I mean in the days of not too many months ago, 12- 18 months ago... what was that book, The Long Boom, this could go on forever, onward and upward. You know, the party was in full tilt and then the bottom fell out. Actually, when Cluetrain launched as a book in the beginning of 2000, and as a Web site a year earlier, it was right in the middle of that party, and we were going, 'What's wrong with this picture?' They were talking about how many billions of dollars by 2003, 2004, all this cheerleading and boosterism and mutual back patting and admiration societies didn't seem to have any base to us. And it certainly wasn't the exciting part about the Web, it was a bunch of corporate interlopers who came along and said 'We can kill all the Indians and put railroads in here and it will be like the good old days.' And we were calling that early. To me it is amazing that people in the business world are saying, 'Well, the Internet is not what it promised.' No, your ideas about the Internet were completely inappropriate and a mismatch for a medium you don't understand and your arrogance blinded you. Why don't you get real and look at what is actually happening. Look at what people were doing before you guys arrived with your dog and pony show and your media budget and pay attention.

GP: How do you get a large corporation to have that kind of awareness?

CL: It ain't easy (ow I just slammed my ankle into the desk). And in some cases, it may be impossible. T. S. Kuhn, who coined the paradigm shift thing in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, I think said that when a true revolution, or true paradigm shift, happens in science, the old guard is not brought along. They jump out of windows and shit. They kill themselves or they are so marginalized that they are never heard from again and eventually they die. What was shocking about that book, what 30 years ago, was he was saying it is not one long march of progress, we are not standing on the shoulders of giants, we kill the giants, and then something different happens, and I think it is the same here. Companies that cannot get past the broadcast model, if they can't well it will be a matter of time... but it is not working for them. I think the hopeful side of this is it is quite likely that the early adopters who will put together test beds on the gonzo model. I see lots of test beds, to kick the tires, and that's appropriate.

They are not gonna jump in with both feet, but they are gonna test the waters, see how this works. And the global 2000 is actually prime candidates for two or three reasons. One is they are bleeding cash into Web sites that they have no hope of ROI from and they are spending money on broadcast advertising based on what they have done previously very much informed by command and control and all the rest of it, so it is costing them. Related to that is the fact that we've seen dotcoms go down the tubes, we've seen companies laying off kajillions of people. We've seen publications close their doors. But name me a single global 2000 company that has shut its Web site. I don't think you can. That underscores the fact that they can't back out. It would be like delisting yourself off of Nasdaq or the New York Stock Exchange.

GP: Aren't we talking about moving a huge mountain here. We need some perspective, it seems. Will it take a long time?

CL: Well, there's one more reason. And these reasons are fundamental to why companies would have the incentive. They are bleeding money, they can't back away and they have a huge number of people that constitute the intellectual capital I'm talking about. That constitute a very wide range of interests on the part of the work forces that they employ. So they have the fundamental wherewithal in terms of that interest base; they don't know where they are going and it is costing them a lot of money to stay in a place that they can't leave. So I see that as a formula for business saying, "Okay, we need to go back to the drawing board. We need to drop our arrogance." It is analogous to the quality problems American business had that Demming came in and solved. And the cultural shift that corporations had to go through to listen to Demming and adopt what he was talking about were no less mountainous. They were huge. And the reason business was willing to do it is because the Japanese and the Europeans were taking away whole industries, and they could do the math and figure out how many years they had to live. So I think those things work in a positive way toward adoption.

And another factor is adoption at least at the test bed level is cheap. Relative to the amount of money being spent on these things that demonstrably do not work -- banner ad campaigns and all the broadcast hoopla. Relatively small amounts could be earmarked for testing the gonzo model waters. And based on the early results, decisions can be made on how much of the media budget to segue over what period of time into micromarket development. You get branded that your ideas are visionary but nobody would really want to do this. If you look at what I am talking about, it is very simple and entirely doable.

Before I wrote the book I did sanity tests with serious folks both in the online scene and the business scene and said, "Tell me what's wrong with this; tell me I'm nuts." And one of those conversations was with the head of North American marketing for Ford. And I ran the whole thing out to him and he said, "I don't think this is nuts. You have a lot of good ideas here. We aren't doing exactly this, but what you are talking about is congruent with our directions in marketing, and I'd like to see us doing more along these lines."

I just gave a talk in Boulder about a month ago and a professor from the University of Colorado B-School said to me, "I just came back form Chile and Argentina and Ford is doing stuff in South America that is very close to what you are talking about."

The press and the netheads and the business guys at a low level say boy this is radical, but there are smart heads in big companies in positions of power who have the ability to make this go. And I think we will get early adopters and, as I say in the book, their competitors are going to freak. Competitors will say they are scooping up the best sites to underwrite and if we wait, we will be picking over factory seconds. I think that has the potential to kick off a land rush. We will have corporate A&R people searching out Web sites the way music companies search out the next hot band. And I can't wait.

GP: What do you think about people who look at your stuff and say "60s radical guy who doesn't know what he is talking about."

CL: I think they are full of shit, actually. I speak very directly to some of the snide commentary that the New York Times ran on me. In the book, the New York Times wrote something about me where they end it saying "heavy, man, heavy." And it's like, ya know, fuck you. Here's Cotler at Northwestern, who really is the dean of marketing worldwide. Most marketing VPs of the Global 2000 have learned marketing at the feet of this guy. I'm quoting him saying exactly the same things. I'm saying it with attitude because it gets through the haze. If Cluetrain had said "let's reason together Socrates... lets consider..." like the kind of bullshit business books that you get, it wouldn't have touched anybody. But it quoted Elvis... said everything you know is wrong.. and said fuck you and we're having a party over here and you don't get it. And it went to number four on the business week list. So it went gold if not platinum and got in a lot of hands and changed the thinking of some very large corporations, or at least it opened up their thinking.

But the problem with Cluetrain is it pointedly didn't say what you could do about it. After that I started thinking, "well, if there were something that I could recommend that companies do I would do it in a heartbeat. But I didn't know what it was and then it just dawned on me. All these elements came together. It was really like the light bulb going off. I thought "oh my god. Am I nuts... cause it seemed so simple."

GP: It doesn't seem like it should be that hard, but its hard to imagine these big companies letting down their facade.

CL: Yeah, the challenges on the negative side to adoption. The challenges are really radical in the Latin sense in that they go to the root. They go to command and control. Command and control is kind of a non-negotiable for business, but at the same time I think that Demming was facing a very similar set of "oh, we can't do that. We can't empower the workforce to make their own decisions." The fact was, if you are going to lose the market entirely, what do you have to lose, and then they started trying it. And Ford really turned itself around, and at least the early going at Saturn was very exciting. Those were the Baldridge companies. There was Motorola and Corning, GE -- Jack Welch was a big believer in that stuff. And he seems to have gotten in the last couple of years that same kind of fire about the Internet. Whether that continues or not, I don't know. But saying companies can't do something, I think we have examples to prove that can change, kicking and screaming. One of the reasons this is addressed to business is that business can change infinitely faster than, for instance, government. The same kinds of changes are required of governments. I mean look at the situation we're in now. I don't want to lean on this too heavily, but we are in a situation that came from ignoring the rest of the world. Just being blind and isolationist and saying, well lets let George do it. Well, we are letting him do it now.

GP: I think this is our global wakeup.

CL: You could apply Gonzo here. There are multinational corporations that could adopt an entire city and say, "We are going to put your kids through school. Nike in Southeast Asia could change the conditions of the people who are making its shoes. It would cost them a few points off their profitability, but they could win hearts and minds in exact counterproportion to the hearts and minds that they are losing by running sweatshops, which are being documented on the Web in a detail that those companies wouldn't have believed a few years ago was possible.

That's micromedia. You have the equivalent of top notch photo journalists going into those places and like.."here's your market." You can see the whole fucking thing. You don't have to depend on the Wall Street Journal thinking well, that's not really an important story.

I'm up on my soap box here. Stop me if..

GP: No, what comes through is big social revolution sort of look at things...

CL: Companies can do it. They can make this transition. It will cost them soul searching and it will cost them giving up arrogance and that kind of imperial authoritarian attitude that they have towards markets and toward their own people. But they've been told this before about their own people. Demming said that about the workforce: "drive out fear." But now it is like, apply the same kinds of thinking to markets and potential markets. Get down off your fucking high horse and get off your camel... as I said in Cluetrain... if you want to trade with us get down off your fucking camel.

GP: Maybe it takes people like me reading your stuff and getting fired up and eventually moving into positions where they can influence something.

CL: Well, what's encouraging, George, is that there are lots of people like you and I didn't know it. This is what I've been testing with EGR for five years now: "Am I alone over here, thinking this kind of stuff?" And what was important about Cluetrain is it got outside the Web.

GP: Exactly. I did not find you on the Web. I found the book and then found you on the Web.

CL: I had a feeling for a long time that I was preaching to the choir on the Net. But what was exciting, I didn't have a plan to do Cluetrain as a book. I had no intention. It came to me...first an agent and then Perseus threw money at us. But I didn't want to do it. I even tried to bale out of the whole process once it was in place. But the clincher for me was, look, you want to reach people in a position to change this. You're not gonna do it through EGR, your not gonna do it through Cluetrain.com. If you want to reach the boardroom you need a book. And that worked. So, there was tremendous enthusiasm from places you'd least expect: Coke, Proctor and Gamble, Ford, big time. It changed peoples' heads. I'm hoping a lot of people on the Web are going to enjoy my slash and burn, Sherman's march to the sea rhetoric, but I'm pretty convinced that there is much more life in the corporate world than the corporate world is admitting. They don't know what to do with it. But there are people that want to do these kinds of things and given the wherewithal, they would put their boots on and really make it happen.

GP: The problem is that it is all down here on the ground, not up there.

CL: Well, that's right. I met some guys from Erickson a couple years ago. It was at Institute for the Future, ya know, Paul Safo's thing out there in California. And they invited me out for a couple of days. And Erickson's the client and I was expecting the pin-striped suits and stuff and it was like three or four really young folks. We were introducing ourselves and one woman says "well, I have P&L responsibility for North and South America. She looked maybe 30. Very hip. Very in tune with the kinds of things I was talking about. Nodding their heads up and down and saying, "Yeah right..." At the lunch break I went to one of these guys and I said, "are they all like you over there in Sweden, the management of Erickson, because you guys are cool. You understand what this is all about." And they said. "Oh, no. Right above us there's this cast iron ceiling and those guys are never going to change until they die." In the book I mention JP Rangaswami [link added] at Klienwart Waserstein. They are a big German financial banking outfit. He said he is writing a book about the structural impediments to change. And his working title is Fossil Fools.

GP: Ha, that's good. Did your EGR subscriptions go up after Cluetrain the book came out?

Not hugely. Probably some. It's been kind of hanging around 5,000 for the last year or two.

GP: Seems like you would have bigger audience than that.

CL: You have to sort of dig to get to me and EGR and I think that is probably appropriate, because there are people in the corporate scene who would be willing to listen to a different kind of reason, but EGR doesn't represent any kind of reason (laughs). So ya know, I don't give a crap...well I do but on the other hand I have gotten whole waves of people who subscribed and then immediately went screaming out the unsub door when they realized that I really am nuts.

GP: Rageboy is your quality control method.

CL: That's right. I try to keep the teachings pure.

GP: Ya know I've been tempted to e-mail and say "where are the cool companies, like you are talking about...

CL: Well that's a question I've been asking myself for a long time. If publishing and speaking didn't pan out, how would I ever peddle my resume again? I hope I never have to do that, but...

GP: I guess the answer is work for yourself.

CL: Well, part of this book is my resume. The book is like saying, somebody underwrite EGR, for fuck's sake. Give me half a mil to keep doing this. In fact I wrote this up on EGR about 3 years ago, saying "here's a plan. Companies can give me money and support me to do exactly what I'm doing with no change. And I will dis them along with everybody else. But they could be associated with this brilliant....(laughs). It was highly tongue in cheek.

But I think EGR represents the highest form of challenge to corporate underwriting. And yet you should see the subscription list to EGR. It is substantially folks in fortune 500 companies.

GP: It's the highlight of the workweek sometimes.

CL: Well, thank you. And you are not alone in saying that. The folks that have stayed. I love these people. There's an acknowledgment in the book. EGR has changed my life entirely. The folks that have stayed...it just blows my mind. It's not just brand loyalty. I mean people on that list tell me stuff about their personal lives that is just unbelievable. And they trust me on a level...yet they don't know who the fuck I am....

GP: Well, you do the same...

CL: And that's what they say. EGR is an experiment in how much can you really put yourself out and expose yourself as who you really are without the filters and without the spin and without all the rest of it.

GP: In a way you are saying to corporations. Try it, no telling where it might take you...

CL: Well, find people in your own ranks. Who know what it is to be somebody, who have enthusiasm and humor and good heart and are really turned on about something, and unleash that because you've been keeping it under a rock for 100 years. And I say this is intellectual capital and you leave it lying in the dirt. But in this new medium and this kind of global networked economy this stuff is like gold.

GP: Around here our mission statement is to drive shareholder value. Who can really get excited about driving shareholder value?

CL: Well, I just read something that makes a distinction between shareholder value and stakeholder value. And stakeholder value is a broader agenda. And if you really take all the stakeholders, including the employees and customers and the rest of it, then you get a different picture of value.

GP: Yeah, you're talking about stakeholders as in having something invested in it more than just...

CL: More than just shares of the company. Yeah. And I think that the roulette wheel of Wall Street running all of this stuff -- I don't talk about it at all in the book -- but it is THE problem. I mean you have venture capital firms and investment banking outfits that are driving the new economy. That was the whole bubble that we saw burst. Driving the new economy according to principles of the old economy. And they were clueless. And then you had the Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine reporting to that crowd. In the early days, largely the stuff we were seeing was, some reporter gets 24 hours to do a major story on the Net. What do we see? "Porn on the Internet" in Time Magazine, one of the most bogus stories to ever appear in the press, but nobody knew enough to say it was wrong. If you reported on financial markets like that in the journal you'd lose your subscriber base over night.

The value proposition chapter in Gonzo marketing speaks to this pretty directly. That business is sort of highjacking the notion of value altogether and saying, Our lives are valued in monetary terms when in fact that leaves quite a bit out of the picture. And the Internet has empowered and enabled the expression of those other values in way that is hugely powerful. And it is a super-magnet for drawing people together around things that have an entirely different valuation than corporations put on. To corporations, everything is product and sales and so forth. But I don't wake up in the morning going, "Gee, I wonder if I got any interesting offers on e-mail." But I'm all ears if it is somebody that I know or if it is somebody who is saying something...

Look at the outpouring of money after 9-11. I was just amazed. Amazon raised $7 million in three or four days. People were just so willing to get together behind something that was all about human value, the value of human life. It was about responding to human suffering. And every corporation on the block tried to jump on that bandwagon, despite their rhetoric. I was on marketplace morning edition saying this yesterday. They see a branding opportunity. Wave the brand flag, ya know, with that commiseration and we're so terribly sorry. And obviously for individuals in those companies, those are genuine feelings. But the company qua company as I go to great lengths to explain, has no heart. It is not a human being; it is an institution, an organization, a legal metaphysical entity. But it can't express sorrow, or happiness or joy or fellow feeling, because it is not a fellow. It is not a sentient entity. Satchi and Satchi wrote a book called Brand Spirit where they actually talk about leveraging brand anthropomorphy. They talk about the Jolly Green Giant, the Michellin Man, the Pilsbury Doughboy, and how effective it is to use anthropomorphic images of the brand. But companies just aren't human beings. A lot of confusion ensues from that, especially as corporations increasingly say, "We love you; we love our workers; we love our customers." Why does it ring false? Because they are not capable. That's sort of philosophically core to where I am coming from.

GP: That gets right back to how do we change that?

CL: Well, at the same time companies are entirely made up of real human beings. It is an unfortunate fact that as they get to the top of the corporation they are very largely required to shed their humanity and take on the values of the corporation in place of their own human feelings.

GP: They become indoctrinated in ..

CL: Well, look at marketing people. They become fucking androids. They use institutional speech. They are ventriloquists for things that they don't believe, but they are asking other people to believe them.

GP: You're getting close to home now. I'm in marketing.

CL: Well I was too. It takes one to know one. All these insights come out of doing public relations and marketing. But on the other hand the Net brings a whole new set of possibilities. The Net does bring the possibility that you can speak with a human voice, as Cluetrain said, and that voice has tremendous power. That didn't work in the broadcast era, but it has enormous potential here.

GP: Where do you get your faith in the public and in democracy?

CL: I'm a little wary of invoking democracy maybe, but I guess that's what it is. I think that through this medium more than anything else has enabled me to connect with people. As I was saying a few minutes ago, here's EGR, this zine where I am screaming and yelling and being as nuts as I can and people are sharing with me stuff about children dying and divorces and heartbreak and joy and elation. I've had more connection with people at a human level through this medium. I just wouldn't have connected to the world in the same way. You bang around your hometown, you run into people, it's all kind of anonymous. Something else gets surfaced in a certain kind of exchange over networks. You can look at the American public from one point of view and say, "God, they are so stupid. All these people, they're fucking sheep." And then something happens like 9-11 and some amazing heart and intelligence surfaces out of that same group of people. I think it is suppressed by broadcast. I think broadcast has been a self-fulfilling prophecy of people are sheep, if you don't tell them what to do they are not gonna....In other words, the experiment of democracy, which is few hundred years old, is still very much an experiment and it wasn't fully trusted by the founders which is why we have an electoral college for instance. It is largely not trusted. We are so far from democracy in this country. It is run by focus groups and lobbyists.

GP: That's how I feel. It would be nice if it (democracy) were tried.

CL: It would be nice if somebody tried it. And it is dangerous because... ya know power and control and command and all those things would be up for grabs. I understand the terror. On the other hand, what we've got is an oligarchy where nobody knows who is making what decisions for what reasons, and it's all in the background in closed rooms with money changing hands. I think people are capable of incredible stupidity, but at the same time there is intelligence, there's heart, there's something in people that longs for expression and connection.

GP: Well if you're honest with yourself, you know you can be pretty stupid too. You have potential for everything in there.

CL: Right. Yeah. But I think on both sides of the spectrum...we can see incredible evil from people, which we've seen recently. But there is something else. That good thing, the potential that human beings have for interest and caring and love and connection and enthusiasm. All those kinds of human qualities are not valued by corporations that value the world in terms of how much profit can we make off it. And because they have had, up until now, control of the passes, control of what Marx called the means of communication, they could make human values appear to be trivial or non-existent. And the network is resurfacing those values in a way that corporations and the financial world cannot control. And it represents a huge challenge because, well how are we going to lock that back in and leverage that to the betterment to the brand. Well I think it is increasingly obvious to the market that that kind of manipulation is not only cynical but it is approaching...there are companies now saying now that we've all wept over terrorist events...your way of fighting terrorism is to buy a Taurus. Well that is beyond cynical. And it might have been missed in previous times. It is not gonna be missed this time around. I think people talk about that stuff and say, "Jesus Christ, this is really beyond sleazy."

GP: I hear ya. Why couldn't somebody like Ralph Nader use the Web better? Why didn't he garner more support by using the Web?

CL: Because he's got no sense of humor (laughs). I actually think that's my answer. Nader has some good ideas. I'm not here to endorse or condemn. I think Nader probably did get a better hearing because of the Net. But Nader doesn't have the financial clout of soft dollars and all the rest of it. Microsoft is not giving Nader megabucks to overturn the antitrust decision, just to take a random example. And that is the way our politics seems to work. These elections are auctions.

The way Michael Moore uses the Web is fucking brilliant. He's written some stuff since 9-11. I sent him a letter on one of them. I've never communicated with him before, but this was really human, really getting down to a place that I've never even seen from him. And again this is not to endorse everything Michael Moore has said, or his politics or whatever. But I think it is easy to say Moore has a better sense of humor than Ralph Nader. And I think humor really counts, humor not in terms of telling jokes, but humor as in putting your own ego in context. Not being arrogant. Moore has a capability to laugh at himself. That sort of sense of humor. Strangely enough, I think I do too. I do it by being a total fucking egomaniac with the lever pushed all the way over, so no one who is paying attention could quite believe I am that much of an egomaniac.

GP: You sprinkle in plenty of self-deprecating remarks too.

CL: It's a combination of "look at me. I'm the fucking king of the world. Like in the last send I think I said don't these guys at Forrester realize they are talking to someone who is totally insane? I don't think you are going to hear that from the CEO of General Electric.

GP: What are your favorite Web sites right now?

CL: This is a question that I'm never quite able to answer. It changes with some frequency. I don't have a hot list that I go visit everyday. I've got pals. I've got people who do stuff that I track. There is so much going on, I am very hesitant to have a top ten list. There are bizarre things that I use in my research. I use Amazon more than anything else. Barnes and Noble. I'm a book writer, ya know.

GP How do you use them?

CL: To research topics that I don't know much about, and I'm trying to educate myself. I looked up audience the other day because the new book I'm working up a proposal on, I'm thinking about voice, institution, audience, subculture and stuff like that. So I look up (on the site) who has written about audience qua audience and I found three or four killer books, but it took me hours of searching around. I really use Amazon. I really use the links and the reviews and the cross references. I use research tools online, like xrefer it's like a full text repository of stuff like the dictionary of sociology, quotation dictionaries...weird shit, Bartleby full text repository. My use of the Internet is really different. And I'm really not out there chatting and engaged in a lot of stuff. If I can keep EGR afloat I'm lucky. And people on EGR send me the weirdest collection of "Oh have you seen this? So I see all the hits of the moment, if I have the time to go out and flash on the links.

I do this thing I call reading bookstores. I can spend 4 or 5 hours in a Barnes and Noble. And I'm not reading the books. I'm reading the backs of the books, the blurbs. I'm getting stuff on titles, publishers, what's hot, what are collections and new groupings of things emerging. I'm going to write about this one day. I've been talking about it for 10 years. I do the same kind of thing on the Net. You get a sense of what's going on and drifts and trends and attitudes but it is not necessarily localized. I think that is very powerful. I think people are getting a new kind of sense, very potently, by the kind of e-mail they are getting. The kind of attitude that is expressed in e-mails. Free wheeling opinions that don't have to be foot-noted academic treatises -- they wouldn't fly if they were. But seeing sites that represent a new kind of thinking. Seeing Weblogs, blogs linking to each other. Man, this is like not going away. It hasn't been in the least stopped by the dotcom implosion. If anything it has been increased by people who know what they are doing having more time on their hands. And it's powerful in ways that have not really been thoroughly surfaced, especially to the corporate crowd because they keep looking at this thing as television. And you can show them all this, but they go, it's too micro to market to. And that's my point: here is a methodology that does make logical, rational sense, that you can create micromarket relationships in a way that will be far more effective for you than continuing to do either mass marketing or the kind of demographic segmentation or targeting that you've been doing, because the foundation and the ground rationale isn't here in this medium and the world is moving into this medium at light speed. So QED, check it out man.

GP: When does the book get released? What do you think is going to happen then?

CL: Amazon is going to do a massive shipment of preorders on Oct. 16 and I see every one of those as a potential bottom up evangelist. I read it recently when I finally got it in hardcover. I got to the first six to eight pages and thought, people are gonna want to quote this to each other. I was really gassed. There are some good lines here.

I think at the highest level here, Gonzo Marketing is trying to be a demonstration by example. Here is voice. If that voice fails, then I'm wrong. I don't want to be condemned for something I'm not. If Gonzo fails because that voice doesn't connect with anybody, then I'm just wrong. But if the voice and tone and content and ideas represented in this book catch fire, then it is a demonstration by example that if you are capable of doing this you can connect with people at a much stronger level than the "let us reason together Socrates." Or the boring consulting rap of onward and upward and there are opportunities here...So I'm sitting here on the 50 yard line wondering whether this balloon is going to go up or sink like a stone. I think it is gonna fly. Because I think I do have my ear plugged into the ground here. And I think it is not just a bunch of net heads who are off in lala land. I think it is people across every spectrum of society and business and institutions, government, that are dying for something different and more genuine, more authentic, more connected.

GP: I hope you're right.

CL: I hope I'm right too. I have my livelihood riding on it. I'm getting paid to do something I love and I want to be able to keep doing it because I love it. My next book is about voice and audience and so forth, because the only way you can find out is to put your ass out there. This is the replacement for market research....trying to do it by remote control, behind the scenes focus groups, should the movie end this way or is it too sad? Well fuck that, you don't have time for it and you get a pastiche of like lowest common denominator bullshit. If you are gonna write the novel, the web site, the movie, the song, do it. If you connect, then you connect, and if you don't, well... that's reality. But trying to manipulate that reality to maximize the outcome, it begins to be sterile almost instantly.

3:35 PM | link |

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"RageBoy: Giving being fucking nuts a good name since 1985."
~D. Weinberger
28 October 2004

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Until a minute ago, I had no photos. I still have no photos to speak of. I don't even have a camera. But all these people were linking to "my photos." It was embarassing. It's still embarassing. But I'm used to that.

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