Conversation is not Community – @MitchJoel’s Six Pixels blog

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Originally posted on TwistImage: Conversation is Not Community

The thing I’m starting to notice, by having conversations with smart people like you and others and looking around, is that a lot of the things that we think are strategy and tactics are actually results.

“Building a community” can be part of a pitch, but I’m not sure if there’s actually anything you can execute specifically in order to get that result. Conversation is one part of it, having a remarkable offering is another part, but is Community something that is on the controllable side of the equals sign? I’m not sure.

Time and time again, communities form in places completely separate from any connection to any related company. Music-related messageboards crop up all the time, but messageboards on label sites languish. I don’t think we as marketers get to decide where a community lives, or even whether one happens or not. We can create as much conversational surface area as we like, but that doesn’t have anything to do with whether anyone says anything about it.

I think something we CAN do, however, is make sure as many nooks and crannies are exposed as possible, whether we’re talking about consumer goods, non-profit, political figures, celebrities. Give people something to sink their teeth into, and don’t focus so much on the ‘where’.

After all, that’s what search engines are for.

So yes, marketing IS going to get harder and harder. But is that such a bad thing? Seth says All Marketers are Liars. Seems like we’ve made more surface area for the truth, so that less Marketing needs to happen. And I think we can all agree that’s a good thing.