Dear passionate user blogger people,
I have no idea who you are, yet, I just now stumbled upon your blog, but I can see from the way you talk about things, such as "why we care", "creating meaning" and that you think passion can be reverse engineered (is that some sort of hax0r theory? or a branch of social engineering?) that we will be blogging friends for a long time to come.
Have you ever thought about or written about lock-in as a tool for marketing. It's the antithesis of passion. It never ceases to amaze me that there are vast amounts of people who hate the corporations that they do business with but they continue to work with them because they have long term contracts (such as in service industries like cellular, cable, phone, ISP's) or inoperable products (i.e. Microsoft Office).
On the other hand I've been using a term that has more in common with the 60's and 70's than current business techniques. I call it "love-in". In it's noun form it's often confused with the late 60's protest (or other) but I like to use it in similar fashion to "lock-in" as in... What this product needs is less lock-in and more love-in. In it's verb form I think people tend to get it better. After all, every company and person really wants some of that "good love-in". Although I must admit the true meaning of it is often overlooked do to the over use of lovin' thus causing confusion with loving.
Love-in is a rare thing, but it does exist. People who wouldn't dare leave a brand or company's service because they love it to much. It can be seen with Apple, Volkswagen, Adidas. The guys over at Saatchi and Saatchi like to dole out "love-marks". I'm sure you've heard of lovemarks by now.
Love-in is not just loving or lovemarks though, we're talking about the
"loving lock-in". For example one might say "I just bought a new mac mini to go with my iPod, not because I had to to get the most out of my iPod, but because I love my iPod so much." Or inversely... "I just bought an iPod not because it's the only mp3 player to work with my Mac, but because I love my mac so much I figure I'd love the iPod too.
What love-in is about is the leveraging of of love of a product to sell other products.
Love-in is such a beautiful devil, because people by definition love this type of subversion. If you have the iPod, you have to get the iMac. If you have X-brand shirt, you have to get X-brand pants and X-brand accessories. If you have the Harley Davidson motorcycle you have to get the authentic accessories. Yeap, this is the way the beautifully subversive love-in works.
It is in this passion that my modern love-in theory starts to get blurred. Because they have Saturns thousands of people join together for a mass pilgrimage and vacation at Saturn Corp. Harley Davidson owners go to Harley Davidson rallies, and Star Trek fans get together at marvelous Star Trek conventions. It is at this point where corporate love-in starts sparking eery similarities to the love-in's of the 60's and 70's. Is there some parallel that can be drawn? Is there something bad here? Is this something good? Has free lovin' be subverted through capitalistic hegemony to corporate love-in?
I guess all this is to say I think you have the right focus. Focus on the passion, it's all about love-in not lock-in... but then reverse engineering... well we have a long road a head of us before we can all become "little happy pods". :)
Oh, And yes, Scoble did say blogging will make us richer and improve our sex life...
In response to: Creating Passionate Users: Reverse-engineering passion: part 1