Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Co-Operative Crowds Versus Narcissistic Networks.

The coining of the term crowdsourcing to define one of the best aspects of online communitarianism has made me think of crowds, not only in terms of wisdom, but as the antidote to social networking (which readers will know I view as over-hyped eye-ball collections). All this in spite of the slightly perjorative connotation that is often attached to crowds. Some thoughts on how they differ and how crowds are more likely to provide the benefits that so many people are ascribing to social networks.

Crowds are focussed self-moderating groupings.
Social Networks are self-selecting disparate webs.

Crowds are filled with real conversations and debate.
Social Networks are filled with shouting and self-promotion.

Crowds are altrusitically selfish (they want to give valued service).
Social Networks are inherently selfish (they want a voice).

Crowds can be monetised via permissive participation such as crowdsourcing and what I'd call crowdseeding.
Social Networks need interruptive marketing to be monetised.

Crowds generate energy and excitement.
Social Networks generate paranoia and neuroses.

Crowds embody the original concept of portal as marketplace.
Social Networks embody social climbing and status acquisition.

Crowds are something you want to be a part of.
Social Networks are something you feel you're expected to be a part of.

Don't be afraid of crowds.

4 Comments:

Blogger ann michael said...

John - I couldn't agree with you more. On the one hand I see so much value in business blogging and "networking" but on the other there's way too much teen-type drama attached to "social networks". Sometimes I feel like I've stumbled in to a cyber-Amway meeting!

As an example, I don't want to hear about Rocketboom anymore - I don't care. It will survive or it won't - I wish them both the best - now can we please move on!

4:00 PM, July 07, 2006  
Blogger Rod Boothby said...

"Crowds are something you want to be a part of.
Social Networks are something you feel you're expected to be a part of."

Too funny. I couldn't agree more.

9:38 AM, July 16, 2006  
Anonymous david simoes-brown said...

Nice distinction and it leads me to think that whereas crowds may be communities of interest social networks are in fact communities of self interest.

3:45 AM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger eda said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:54 AM, June 08, 2009  

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