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    From the Gaping Void

    Food for thought

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    January 22, 2008


    El Gaffney

    This may be off (or worse nitpicking) but aren't people the trees? I guess what I'm wondering is if the tree is not in a forest to begin with you can't have a forest fire. Does the thinking start with the idea that people are social beings? Maybe it's actually the 10% that's is oblivious or impervious or actively independent (not sure those adjectives are correct, but their big so I left them :)) and the other 90 are aware and affected by their surroundings. And is this something that has shifted dramatically in recent past? I'm working through it as I type obviously, but fair to say it's interesting stuff. Thanks.

    Todd W.

    I've been seeing an uptick in these sorts of studies, too. What it triggered for me was a throw back to Geoffrey Moore's book "Crossing the Chasm", which if I recall focused on how to break out of the early adopter camp and go mainstream. Most of the hype around viral and influencer marketing has been focused almost exlusively on those early adopters and just assumed the skip to mainstream was automatic.

    In the viral metaphor, all the emphasis has been on the virus - the ads - and little on the condition of the target - ie susceptibility to infection. This is natural since that's what advertising companies do, they make ads. (A contributing factor may be advertising's propensity for narcissism, but I digress.) This may also explain why so-called digital marketers, with their tradition of user experience, are finding greater success. They actually care what the customer wants.


    Nicely put Gareth.

    The tipping point/influencer theories have been a pet peeve of mine for years, but of course it takes a network-theory mathematician to disprove it.


    'That's because in those rare situations, the landscape was ripe: sparse rain, dry woods, badly equipped fire departments' - I like this.
    How often have historical events, or just personal events in our lives, worked out like this. I still think there has to be an important driving force to make things ignite.

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