Okay, so I am not done re-reading this book, but I have just gotten to the point where I put it down the last time… and now I remember why.
Chapter 7: The Gonzo Model
Okay, I was following along no problem. Chistropher Locke is certainly a motivated and strong speaker, and believes very much in what he writes. He is a, umm, how can I say this, real born again evanglist when it comes to this idea of Gonzo Marketing. Religeous in approach, even. He prays at the alter of the little guy, lighting a candle for the micro interests that all of us apparently have. Left handed red head football lovers from WallaWalla, short people with big chips on their shoulders about global warming and the effects on the one eyed slugs of bimini island… everyone has a candle lit at the alter of Locke.
I was good with that. Blogs and free blog space and myspace and 100 other sites have given the public a space to post whatever the heck is they want, regardless of the truth, skill, or intelligence of the people using it – the only barrier being smart enough to figure out the interface and type your name (and if you have ever spent time around places like blogger, you will know that many, many people just don’t past that test). There are literally thousands if not millions of totally useless, undeveloped, abandoned blogs and personal web pages crowding up the net universe. Heck, you can’t blame people for trying, I am proud of anyone willing to give it a shot.
Locke prays every day that another blog will appear, that another micromarket will be born, and that the world will be all right.
I start reading this magic chapter 7, and it all goes to shit.
All of sudden, the book takes a sharp turn and we are back inside stuff cubicle packed offices, instructing bosses to set up personal websites inside the company and let the employees play… and then pick the best and put them REALLY on the web and use them as a sneaky, back ass way to get your company exposed, all while tricking employees into being secret sales droids… never realizing that their posts and articles on back yard gardening are in fact a covert way of sneaking your company into the very micromarkets that your employees have spawned for you.
There you have it: The high priest of do it yourself web teaching companies how to corrupt the system and turn it into, well… shit.
Gonzo Marketing is in fact the first step down the road not of blogs, but of micromarket splogs generated not by computer and keywords lists, but carefully created and maintained by the ignorant employees who think that they are putting one over on the company by spending their time working on a blog instead of answering customer phone calls or actually doing work.
He calls it “winning through worst practices” but in the end, after 6 chapters of spewing off how important the new non-broadcast media would be in people’s lives, he turns around and tells companies exactly how to corrupt it and turn it back into a form of broadcast medium… instead of 100 people working to produce a TV show, just give each one of them a couple of blogs to run and you suddenly have access to 200 new micromarkets…
I guess I am just a little disgusted – and all of this from a guy who’s website looks like the very worst of myspace and yahoo groups tossed in a blender, fed to an incontenant monkey, and given 12 hours to filter through.
Anyway, I am going to plug on through and try to get to the end of this book, all the while trying not to laugh at the quaint 5 year old information that it spews.