Speaking In A Powerful New Way

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Good ideas spread. Bad ideas spread. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: the best thing about Social Media is that anyone can publish anything, and the worst thing about Social Media is that anyone can publish anything.

Here’s our new reality:

"In both internetworked markets and among intranetworked employees, people are speaking to each other in a powerful new way."

Granted, this "new reality" was actually forecasted exactly ten years ago in the fascinating book, The Cluetrain Manifesto, written by Christopher Locke, Rick Levine, Doc Searls and David Weinberger. You could swap the words "internetworked markets" and "intranetworked employee" with words like wikis, Blogs, Twitter or online social networks, but regardless of the platform, these Digital channels are changing not just everything we know about publishing, but everything we know about communications.

When we speak online, we are publishing our thoughts to the world.

It is a permanent record that is findable, clickable and linkable. The way in which you do business is no longer being passed to new employees through one-on-one training or group lunch and learns. The way in which you do business is being passed to new employees through internal Blogs, wikis, Podcasts and more. How we communicate is now a part of public record. Our tribal knowledge now lives on and grows.

We moved from instant messaging to public messaging… and that’s a good thing.

If real marketing is about creating real interactions between real human beings, and if we’re sincere in changing how we do "business as usual" to amp up the transparency and credibility, what better way to do that than by using these new digital channels to demonstrate how we speak, connect, sell and grow? The biggest shift is that all of the voices from within the company are heard. We can also hear all of the consumers and non-consumers too.

This is the group conversation.

An entry-level employee can have a Blog following that rivals the audience penetration of the PR department, while a mid-level manager can have many more followers on Twitter than people interested in showing up to a luncheon featuring a keynote presentation by the CEO. To make things that much more interesting, the consumers can create fan pages and communities around your brands that have more traction than any marketing initiative you have ever launched (and for way less money).

And here’s the kicker: we really are speaking to each other, and that is way more powerful than marketers telling customers what they want them to hear.

This post is part of the Cluetrainplus10 Project. The project was created to celebrate the ten year anniversary of the manifesto. 95 bloggers from around the world are writing a blog post on one of the 95 theses. I chose #8 – "In both internetworked markets and among intranetworked employees, people are speaking to each other in a powerful new way."


  1. I love the fact that social media gives anyone the ability to broadcast. I think companies and individuals are slowly learning how to deal with the bad and to minimize its impact.

  2. You have seriously written a blogpost on communicating in a “powerful new way” which includes the utterly meaningless sentence: “In both internetworked markets and among intranetworked employees, people are speaking to each other in a powerful new way.”
    If that is communicating in a new way, then I’ll still to plain old English – thanks all the same.

  3. Mitch
    Good post. I especially like the way you have pointed out how the group conversation potentially affects the way power is distributed.
    In companies of old there was sometimes a tea trolley and a lady (yes, usually a woman) pushing it.
    I have heard it said that in some companies the tea lady was a much more important part of the decision making change than her lowly position would suggest.
    But now we know why – she was busy twittering as she went from desk to desk!

  4. Great post. Social media really does level the playing field for everyone. The average person can get as much publicity as the largest corporation.

  5. @mitchjoel – fair point and the rest of the post was written much more clearly.
    The interesting thing (for me) about the statement is that it clearly states that social media has empowered people who were already part of a network to network in different ways. Now that’s all well and good.
    However, the really exciting thing about social media is empowering people who weren’t previously well-networked to speak to a wider audience and become more powerful. There are some green shoots but fundamental barriers (lack of equipment) still remain.
    I will be much more excited about social media when it gives a voice to the (previously) unheard.

  6. Many marketers are attracted to internet network marketing and social media because of the reduced costs compared to expensive television, radio and newspaper ads. Today’s internet users want personal interactions with those they do business with before they make a buying decision. Social media marketing, which taps into a familiar concept called attraction marketing, lets you build relationships with your targeted audience. Build people and people will build your business. Social media marketing, if done right, can help establish your presence in a number of different places on the Web. Just imagine the social media profits you can have in being able to recruit people from different places.

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