I came across Tim O'Reilly's 2005 Web2.0 Meme map for the first time yesterday. In 2005 I was still slinging ColdFusion code, continuing to build-out a website management/input tool from scratch.
I like this map because of it's visual nature and ability to put a lot of ideas into a single image.
But it is somewhat depressing to look at this and realize that though this is the direction we are heading, we continue to be on the journey.
If you've ever been to my office, you know that I have the 95 theses from Cluetrain Manifesto posted on my door. David Weinberger has consulted on our communications work to identify what we need to do to improve our online capabilities.
Valeria Maltoni has a post on the Cluetrain Manifesto Conversation which looks at where we've come since 2000. But I think that Jason Falls puts it best with his post, Approaching 10 Years After Cluetrain, Most Still Don’t Get It, when he says:
Social media and true consumer-centric brand behavior is prevalent in the technology bubble and few other places. While adoption has been steady and progress has been made, the premise of the book hasn’t exactly “gone viral.” Businesses in general still think bottom line and “what’s in it for me,” first. Advertising still sucks, is loud and intrusive. And consumers still have little reason to trust brands, companies and even folks like me – marketers trying to connect them with products and services that fit their needs.
Looking at the impact and opportunities of new marketing, Seth Godin's Meatball Sundae is an inspiration to those who recognize that new technology provides the opportunity for change but in a way that is strategic and thoughtful and where it makes sense.
However, getting people to read and digest the content in Cluetrain Manifesto and Meatball Sundae is sometimes difficult.
Even I have limitations on the ability to draw in new content. To fit digestion of Meatball Sundae into my schedule, I downloaded a copy from Audible.com before purchasing a copy of the book. It was easier to have Seth reading the book to me on my way to and from work than to focus all my attention on reading the book myself. Sometimes "online" can still separates me from the "real world" and it helps to use technology to bridge that gap.
All of this is to say that people are busier than ever managing their online decentralized spaces, doing work, doing family time, doing down time, doing whatever ... how do we get people's attention in a media-overloaded environment? And once we get their attention, how do we provide them with the resources and space they need to manage change.
Institutionally, we know where we need to go and we are leveraging the technology to facilitate that shift. But individuals are stretched thin and push back when offered another technological solution to manage.
The common theme is here is that all these resources indicate we MUST change, but change is proceeding slowly. Maybe that's because it's hard to teach old dogs new tricks. Or because people get set in their ways of approaching the online space and don't want to change. Or because the cost of change is a difficult variable to define, let alone measure.
Or perhaps it is because the number of voices that we can listen to has been multiplied. And people just have so much bandwidth to dedicated to both listening and doing. More than a decade ago, I learned that if you want any of those busy people on Capitol Hill to act on your ideas you need to present them with a one page bulleted list.
Now that we have so many voices offering ideas, tough choices about how one allocates time one's time need to be made. If Charles Leadbeater's assertion in We Think that "you are what you share" is correct, people need to spend just as much time doing as listening.
I can't help but think that the success of services such as YouTube, Flickr, SlideShare, iTunes, and Audible reflects the idea that people like to interact with graphics and multimedia rather than print media.
So, I come back to the graphic approach that Tim O'Reilly created -- it is simple enough to digest and can be posted in a location where the ideas put forth can be reviewed on a regular basis.
Frankly, I'd love to see Cluetrain Manifesto celebrate it's 10th birthday with a succinct graphic highlighting key ideas that haven't but need to happen in order to succeed in the Cluetrainosphere. You couldn't get the 95 thesis in one graphic, but I'll be you can get the big ideas in there.
Okay -- I know the Manifesto is not designed to be simple, because the idea behind the Cluetrainosphere is that things are going to be messy and we need to embrace that messiness.
But I'd love to have a Cluetrain graphic that we all can blog about!
It would go viral!