Saturday, December 29, 2007

It's your business

Huh? I do apologize for the totally lame post title, but... I stole it... from Robert Scoble. He has a very long, rambling post entitled "It's your business" which I was getting annoyed with for not getting to the point, but finally he got down to "business":

Which gets me back to the headline I used here: it's your business.

I'm watching how Loic Le Meur is building Seesmic by including the community into every decision he makes. ... Le Meur is building up a ton of love in the community for his approach.

The participants are in control there. It is your business.

Ah, finally he was starting to make some sense. Not a lot, but at least some sense.

Then he started to "rant" again:

I'm tired of getting used by companies who just use and use and use without giving me anything in return. I remember three years ago when I first heard the words "user generated media." That term still pisses me off. ...

I've heard him and a lot of other people say that a lot, but it was always a "So what?" kind of issue for me.

 But, then, finally, he does in fact poke through the clouds and say something that resonated with me:

... I'm not a user, I'm a participant.

Actually, at first it did not resonate with me and seemed like a silly semantic distinction, but maybe his seemingly lame post title (my business??) reinforced his seemingly too-subtle distinction.

Aha! Finally I am getting his point, which is to essentially level the playing field field between businesses and consumers or users or whatever you want to call them. The terms "user" and "consumer" make it sound as if you are at the receiving, short end of the proverbial stick and at the mercy of "the business."

Still, I only half-agree with his use of the term "participant", since even that has connotations of being at the mercy of the "organizer" of the team or game or conference or whatever.

I would have chosen "partner", suggesting a truly equal relationship.

Nonetheless, his key point was that is is my business as well as the organizer's. I would prefer to say that it is our business.

Looking forward in his upcoming venture, he assures us that:

So, whatever I do next will place that philosophy at the center. It is your business.

I can go with that, but I do wish he had called it "our business." And I do wish that he would make us all partners rather than mere "participants."

-- Jack Krupansky


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