Friday, March 17, 2006

epiphany: realizing you are not cool

I've suspected it for a very long time.

But when I was researching the Lauguing Squid webhosting site this evening (yes, Traci, I am thinking about breaking free of blogspot, so I owe you more coffee) I came across HorsePigCow.

After ten minutes knocking around the site, I have now realized I will never be cool.

Definitely not BarCampAustin cool. I mean, wow, this is one doozy of a cool pitch - starting with the premise - "marketing with no $$ and alotta (sic) heart".

I'm speechless. Mute, even. But since it is still St. Patrick's Day, an ostensibly Catholic holiday, and since all good Catholics do things in threes, I have three questions.

If HorsePigCow is a "Web2.0 Marketing Site" (work with me here and tell me if it is or isn't), then:
Is Web2.0 marketing all about branding and communication? One would think that reading this.

Is Web2.0 marketing all about communities? I thought all marketing was about communities.

Or is Web2.0 marketing all about being. . .cool?

If so, then my geometric logic suggests that Web 2.0 marketing is about being Fonzie. Which makes me feel better, since Fonzie got along fine with Richie Cunningham, who definitely wasn't cool.

(Ed: the comments feature a brief - at least so far - dialog between me and the author of the abovementioned site, with an insightful thought by Ron too)


miss rogue said...

Well, how about it's neither? I don't know what part of my post gave you a complex, but I'

I don't mean you to feel uncool. Gee, even Fonzi jumped the shark, eh? And, really, I'm not very cool at all. A total geek, in fact. Proudly so.

I suppose if you wanted an answer, I'd say it's about not being full of shyte and being authentic, but then again someone could come along and fake that, too.

You may want to go back and read my post about how I hate marketing. I know, it's a bit ironic.

Not everyone in the biz is a big loser. Okay...well, sometimes I am. But someone's gotta be for real.

Ron said...

Perhaps the Fonz was cool -- in 1978.
But Pinky Tuscadero is now holed up in the Chelsea screaming, "Fonnnnz!", Richie's only slightly less bald than his Oscars, Arnold's flippin' burgers in that great drive-in in the sky, and Ralph and Pottsie are trying to pitch Brokeback -- the Musical in the East Village.

Of course, the Fonz himself is now VP.

Cool is, as cool does.

bob said...

My complex - if that's what you can call it - arises from my belief that marketing can't be cool, or un-cool either.

We've all got our own ideas about what marketing is and isn't - I think it's about finding opportunities, and people who care about those opporunities, and connecting them faster, cheaper and better than the next guy.

Perhaps that's the heart of it. People with problems don't care if the solution is authentic or cool, they just care that it makes the pain go away. So I focus on the pain, and what it will take to make it go away. That is an un-cool process, and requires un-cool directness of intent.

I agree with you in that I think good marketing is authentic, which I can translate as "being honest" or "being direct". Authentic is more effective, and has the added benefit of making the marketer feel good about him/herself at the end of the day.

If everyone in the marketing biz were effective, honest and direct, it would be a better biz, and we'd have a better reputation than we enjoy.

Cool, in some circles, is a glossy patina that hides a lack of substance. It can be a thin skin of perception that doesn't stand up to hard analysis.

Cool should be a tactic, not a strategy.

And that's why I have a cool complex.

(word verification: phprz, vaguely Bronx-cheerish, alas. I'm hopeful the author of the comment didn't interpret my original post as being mean-spirited, or my response. They're not, kumbaya.)

miss rogue said...

I agree.

And authentic should never equal cool. That's totally missing my point. If I ever had one.

bob said...

We are in agreement. And I'm still not cool.


Unless a weekly Richard Brautigan post makes me cool. Which it probably doesn't.