Likeminds – a Story from a Town Far Far Away

Richard Baker has written about his disappointment at some of the methods used in the Likeminds event. http://rich-baker.com/2010/01/05/likeminds-2010-social-expense/

My comment is on his blog but here it is again for easy linkage.

One day, a new dude came riding into a small town. He invited all the nice local apple orchard farmers to be part of a “round table of expert apple growers”, for a small charge of 1500 golden coins, thereby getting a lot of attention from nearby Megalopolis, where people consumed 6 million apples per month.

Having these expert apple growers assembled in one place made the large supermarket buyers go weak in the knees. They henceforth associate the new dude with excellent apples. And when he starts a large-scale apple plantation, where do you think they went for their apples?

But the new apples sold all over Megalopolis tasted like rubber and were lacking in nutrients and vitamins, so after a while nobody wanted to eat them. People became dull and sluggish, and the rotting apples clogged up the supermarkets. After a few weeks the rotting apples formed a huge pyramid outside the gates of Megalopolis.

When the orchard owners, who were standing around, having lost all their business, one day saw the new dude drive past in his shiny carriage, they pelted him with the rotten rubber apples until he ran and ran…

Since then apples once again come only from people who know their trees and are eaten by all the people in Megalopolis who are once again shiny and happy.

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3 responses to “Likeminds – a Story from a Town Far Far Away

  1. The world was never going to stand still. Where there’s a trend, there’s a market and where there’s a market then it’s our nature to exploit it. I had a rant recently about the World Social Media Forum which priced its conference at just shy of £1,500 targeted at marketing professionals. Which was a bit unfair but I just hate the cynicism. If people want to gather round and be World this and that or best of breed and charge large fees then they should be able to do just that. What shouldn’t happen is that they drift into the social space (it’s social for a reason) and lay claim to it. Nobody “owns” the social space de facto or de jure.
    The social space has much to learn from private sector marketeers but neither the marketeers or the social space must fall into the trap of believing its own publicity.

    • Yes I agree Paul – I think my point is mostly that many of us who work in the field are so excited about being called to events that we don’t realise when our skills, track record and credibility are being used to drum up business for somebody else.

      And that is something we can control by just being less naive and trusting. And possibly by having a stronger local community and listen to each other more so that it’s more difficult for cowboys to ride into town and do this.

  2. Pingback: Likeminds 2010, I’m (no longer) disappointed. « Rich Baker – Digital Communication and Social Media.·

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