23 January 2008

An advertising company recognizes change…

TheCorner points off to a substantial policy paper written for a major advertising firm in the US, on social media and how to quantify their influence. (Actually it’s called a “white paper” but that term strikes me as unfortunately implicated in our structures of racial discourse, and so I’d rather not use it.)

While I’m not so interested in the metrics they might use, I am VERY interested in some of their conclusions, not the least being a recognition of the shift towards conversation and collaboration, not simply “push” marketing. It reminds me a bit of the Cluetrain Manifesto’s piece about markets being conversations.

TheCorner does a great job of summarizing the piece, including one of the really useful graphics from the paper. I think these ideas are potentially very important in faith communities — not because we are “advertising” our “goods”, but because we have to be conscious of how much certain kinds of conversation and collaboration will increasingly be a typical part of ordinary, daily interaction, and if we ignore those dynamics, and refuse to provide means for people to engage and collaborate within church communities, we’ll become even more irrelevant than we already often are.

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