"Howdy, I'm mike, I'm tagging myself as an experiment based on a conversation I had with Raymond of dltq. The question is, is this evil tag spam, or is it genius, let me know by tagging me as such."
This may get me flamed, ignored, boycotted or by slimmest of chances possibly even accolades, but it is a question that needed to be asked, and a risk that dared be taken.
It was inspired by a statement made from Raymond of dltq.com. To paraphrase, "in the future people we communicate through tags, we will put out the "for-hire" sign through tags..."
Raymond has already responded with a most interesting perspective, "pretentious".
I think we're off to a good start. :)
Now, here's why I think this may work without being evil.
a) Most importantly of all, it may work because it IS a conversation. You can call me pretentious, you can say it's stupid, you can say it's a good idea. I've taken a leap of faith here in letting you tag me, encouraging it even... If email spammers did this I dare say there would be no more spam. This is to say, if I or anyone crosses the line in this open system, this tagsonomy, I'm sure you will let me/us know.
b) I'm not forcing myself upon you. This is not an email in your inbox. My delicious tags can be unsubscribed, ignored, blacklisted, or likewise subscribed to.
c) I'm still working on a C
What this little experiment is in it's own little way is a question about the future of advertising and comercial messages in the public forum.
There's a strong backlash against commercial messages in the blogosphere, and rightly so, for they dominate traditional media and clog communications such as email. They interject static and are often unsustainable as a means of communication.
However, in this world we are building, a system built on trusted sources, you trust me to post good stuff on my blog, if you didn't you wouldn't be reading this. People who trust me blogroll me or reblog me. People who don't care what I have to say will ignore me.
All we need do if that trust is broken is unsubscribe in this medium. My theory is that unwanted messages cannot clog this line of communication because it's a system of trust, any violation of that trust will result in unsubscribing, ignoring or even active backlash and boycott.
My second more unique theory is that this doesn't mean the end of commercial messages... I propose the radical idea that the inverse will be true... There will be a whole new ecosystem whereby commercial messages will be woven into the fabric of the conversation in a much more relevant and meaningful way. Perhaps commercial messages will even have a larger roll in society, possibly even a healthier roll. Our culture and our whole free market system will change together. This proliferation of commercial messages won't mean more of us are listening to Britney Spears. Instead it will mean more commerce will be happening aroung the Eels and bloggers and fellow citizens will be more valuable an asset then ever to brands like Vans.
Money may by some influence in this new word of mouth industry, but if your message just plain sucks or is off-topic you're wasting your money and your time.
Contagious media or viral media is the most prominent example of this. Why do we propagate some commercials through the blogosphere while ignoring others? It's a matter of relevance. Advertising doesn't suck when it's relevant or dare I say even fun. (Relevance which comes in many, many odd forms, btw.)
This new economic demand puts a whole new value on advertising and on the advertising industry. It's no longer good enough to pump out the corporate drivel as usual. Corporations MUST participate in the conversation, they must compete through relevance, they must compete with single individuals even, they must find and know their market on a very granular level, and they must communicate more creatively than ever. Advertising is not about bandwagons any more. It's about people. In the blogosphere there is no room for spam advertising and what goes for blogging goes for open tagsonomies in similarly open systems that utilize a trusted source architecture. At least in theory.
Welcome to the new economy of information, the new information ecosystem. Money isn't everything. Credibility is everything. The question is, do I have it or am I full of B.S. and the answer to that question is in you the reader.
For a while I was tagging all my posts with "mostlymuppet" to build up same equity in my site and my alter ego.
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