BlogOn Kick Off: Seth Godin’s Kick Off–AKA Commercial

Liveblogging BlogOn keynoter Seth Godin–How do bloggers differentiate themselves–and get attention amid the clutter? More is not the answer–the answer is word of mouth and the old fashioned idea that the best way for ideas to spread is for person to tell person b–digitally augment word of mouth can spread like wildfire.

One problem: Does it matter who you are? Is being *important* enough? Nope–most of the top 100 bloggers did not have a platform before they started.

Godin talks about three kinds of blogs

  • Friends and family blogs, aka cat blog–limited audience
  • Boss blogs–blogs for folks who have to read on command
  • Viral blogs–monster that want to reach everybody and feed on traffic–these blogs live and die by how much their ideas spread.

Godin: We don?t surf online, we poke around. When we are faced with too many choices and not enough real information we are like deer caught in the headlights?

What we need is a platform for meaning, says Godin–the essence is something called the lens–(Now we go into a promotion for Godin?s new platform, Squidoo?the rock?em, sock?em solution for organizing information and making your blog stand out (Susan sez: why does this spiel sound so familiar?.)

Godin is now demoing Squidoo–Susan sez–Like about 4 other apps I have recently see, this is another media and social identity or personal aggregator–a great idea but one that will launch in an amazingly crowded field. Godin?s pitch is also interesting because it actually seems to contradict his opening remarks about reducing clutter—it seems to be me that what he?s pitching is a series of PERSONAL HOME PAGES that users can create–but are these pages going to be more discoverable than any blog, home page, etc?

He?s addressing that issue right now and saying that his Squidoo algorithm will rank query results in this network and get the best results to the top–

Okay., so here?s the real pitch–Godin is going to offer MARKETING SERVICES to everyone in the network–building pages is free, but Godin owns a chunk of the page and he gets to run Google Ad Words and whatever else he wants and that money goes into a pool and is allocated based on traffic.

Recap: BlogOn?s key note by Seth Godin is a 20minute commercial for his new product, yet another tool set to harness bloggers to generate pages that can make Google Ad Words $$ for someone who has $250,000 to build a platform

AM I jaded, or is this really off focus for a conference kick off?

Update: Good discussion on Squidoo over at Buzzmachine. For me, who lives in Silicon Valley, the wow factor for Squidoo is less than it is for Jeff because I’ve seen at least 3 solutions like this–and they all seem to not take into account that search, not an integrated page/dashboard, is the prime discovery tool for content–if these personalized pages have value as organizers for users, cool, but they’re just another more elaborate form of tagging when it comes to making content discoverable–and not one I think will work better for the general populace.
On the other hand, I have not build one, so all this is talking without experience…not worth as much as a considered look.

Latest Comments

  1. seth godin says:

    Hi Susan,
    Thanks for listening to my talk. To be fair, they asked me to launch Squidoo at the conference. One persons commercial is another person’s demo. Sorry if you felt ripped off… I was trying to show something new and just maybe, interesting.

  2. Denise says:

    I think you are both jaded and on target, ;-). I found it an odd kickoff to the conference, as someone sitting at home and watching the webcast (when I should be working).
    A nice commercial, but still a commercial. It felt like he should have been in one of the “vendor” slots like Pluck or Technorati.

  3. Rafat says:

    Hey Denise/Susan
    Where’s the webcast? Can’t find a link…

  4. Jim Malkoff says:

    Well…if Mernit had been a speaker or panelist at BlogOn, I bet that she would find Squidoo so cool…
    Maybe this post will not make it! Arghh! another ip to block….

  5. susan mernit says:

    Thanks for the note, Seth–I really enjoyed seeing the product, but I found it disconcerting as a keynote. Laurence, thanks for a link to a fascinating discussion.
    A, aka Malkoff–I know who you are now and wonder how your friends, family and charitable/nonoprofit endeavors would feel to discover you’ve been posting sniping and harassing emails on my blog for two years(!)…I pity you for living in the past and being filled with anger you are too cowardly to express under your real name.

  6. Lisa Klein says:

    Jim–Don’t you know Susan moderated the main panel of the morning session and did a great job? Do you just drop in here to be a troll–sounds that way.

  7. Jim Malkoff says:

    “harassing emails”, “two years”?
    Susan, you overeact!
    What’s about my First Amendment rights anyway?
    Send me some email and we will talk.
    At least, you should be grateful that you got nine comments today. This is a first. And you would got many more if you were not trying to block anyone who dissents.

  8. Bob Walsh says:

    What are the 2-3 other applications/sites that do what you think will do?

  9. laurence haughton says:

    Pardon me for getting in the middle of this but I think blogs should be encouraged to create a criteria for commenters.
    For example, when Jim writes, “Well…if Mernit had been a speaker or panelist at BlogOn, I bet that she would find Squidoo so cool…” he’s attacking Susan as a person rather than the argument Susan made. He’s attacking her integrity.
    Now he may be right (or wrong… he offers no proof) but that doesn’t matter. Attacking the person rather than the POV is tactic that inhibits free expression of those who aren’t comfortable trading insults.
    For the sake of a completely unfettered 1st ammendment maybe there could be a special link for ad hominem attacks, a place where put-downs could be traded and rated.
    But in the main blog I think bloggers have the right (if they so desire) to create open space for discussing things logically and fairly. If that means creating boundaries that restrict ad hominem attacks and other logical fallacies I think that’s okay as long as it is published up front.

  10. Chris Heuer says:

    Good point Laurence – this is a big problem today – people don’t know how to argue the idea/thought and choose instead to attack the person. Perhaps it comes from the high school bully mentality which people mimic in order to seize the upperhand in a conversation. Such ranting should not be tolerated. it has nothing to do with the first amendment (people have their own soapboxes to be disagreeable – if no one is listening to what they have to say there, perhaps people will reconsider their approach)
    Bob – A couple of the other sites in the people powered search/discovery space are and a couple of others that are not public yet…

  11. Peter Levitan says:

    2 cents… Seth is a master pitchman. Of course he is going to pitch something – surprised? Second cent: let him kick some butt with a new idea. What else were these folks going to talk about that they didn’t already know all about anyway?

  12. Robert Hoffer says:

    Has anyone looked at David Hayden’s new site – Jeteye? ?

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