Sep 17 2007
Best selling author and marketing genius Seth Godin’s blog is ranked 15th in the world by Technorati. No other marketing blogger even cracks the top 50 (Brian Clark’s Copyblogger is #56, making it the second highest ranked marketing blog on Technorati). He has been compared to David Ogilvy and Leo Burnett, and has been dubbed America’s greatest marketer. And he’s here on the Buzz Bin talking about social media and the things that fascinate him.
BB: The Dip was great. It was also priced aggressively and your fastest selling book. Did you intend to get it in as many hands as possible, and why?
SG: Why bother writing a book at all? It’s certainly not to make a profit. It’s to make a difference. To spread ideas. So, if I can make a book that spreads, I’ve succeeded.
BB: Social networks are all the rage, and Squidoo is one of the more mature networks. What’s next for Squidoo?
SG: Squidoo is growing like a teenager, not so mature yet. We just launched squidwho.com, which is a hoot… give it a try. We’ll be launching several more in the next month or two. Lots of room to grow!
BB: Yoyodyne was a great company focused on permission marketing. Now social media is really about inspiring consumers to “raise their hand.” Has social media realized your early vision of permission marketing’s future?
SG: Not yet. Permission marketing works when marketers start trying to find products for their customers instead of customers for their products. That’s a huge shift, and it’s happening, but slowly.
It’s interesting to think about the idea of a ‘friend’ on Facebook is a little odd. It’s not really your friend, not most of the time. Just someone who has given you permission.
BB: Businesses are starting to really eye social media for marketing purposes. What do you think will happen as more businesses engage their communities directly?
SG: Businesses screw up all the time. They do it by being greedy and non-transparent and breaking promises. I have no doubt that they will do that here, big time.
BB: Do you still work with individual companies periodically?
SG: Actually, I’ve never done consulting. I figure if I take your money to solve a problem, then I should (solve it). But the problem is usually too difficult to be solved by an outsider. It’s up to the organization to take the lead and go do it.
BB: What do you find fascinating these days?
SG: We’re an inch down the mile of the internet road. Every week it changes more than we could have dreamed in 1996.
I’m also fascinated to watch how broken the presidential election process is, and how a leaderless system works to fix it while it’s still running.
I’m fascinated by how deluxe chocolate (85% cocoa, etc.) has caught on and reached the mass market.
I’m fascinated by how self-destructive the core of the internet geek community is, trashing their favorites after weeks or months.
I’m fascinated by how tiny businesses are a real thing now.
BB: What’s next for Seth Godin?
SG: New book out at the end of December.
Squidoo goes to our next steps.
Not to mention maybe a nap.