We talk about the blogosphere as being a conversation, and when it approaches that, it gets really interesting because there's something about the interaction of ideas and differing opinions that makes us learn more than listening to the master speak. But, truth be told, most blogging is more like listening to the master than it is engaging in conversation.
I think part of that is because it always starts with the author's ideas, and we don't know and trust and relate to the person on the other side of the conversation so much, so even when you get commenters actively participating, it's still more like a teacher and a classroom, with the original blogger owning the discussion. Except in the classroom, flamers and haters and fanboys and lurkers aren't tolerated. But that's another story.
So, on a completely unrelated thought, I had been talking with a blogger friend Mr. Craphammer Sean Howard several months ago about the Flip Video camera and why it was pretty cool and why he thought it was probably a disruptive innovation.
Sean is a marketing/branding/digital and social media maven who has started to grok disruption, and he gets pretty passionate about stuff that interests him, so we've had some very interesting discussions about what enables disruption, when and how it happens, whether a company or product is or isn't, etc. I've often thought that it would be pretty cool to capture us sitting over a couple of beers shooting a disruptive breeze because there's a lot of creative energy and interesting ideas that come out. Or, it could also just be that after a few of those 8% beers from Quebec, everything seems more interesting. It's hard to tell.
So, Sean was pretty excited about the Flip and was using it for a project he was working on, and intellectually I could see it, but it wasn't my cup of tea. I'm a guy who likes full control, hi-def and all the knobs and dials of a full-featured video camera, so the stunning simplicity of Flip was interesting in the abstract, in the way you say "That's interesting" to someone when you want to change the subject. But then I got thinking -- why not ask Sean to talk about the Flip on my blog. He knows what's cool about it, and understands disruption well enough to offer an interesting perspective.
But, when I asked him, he said "No dude. You frame it. You know this stuff and write it so well. How about I just provide quotes and insights as a user?". Hmmm. Well maybe, but that didn't seem nearly as compelling as having the guy who gets it write about it.
Then a Conversation Started
So he sent me a bunch of stuff by email, and I responded with some "yeah, buts..." and we went back and forth and then spoke some (yup, a real live telephone chat for those who can barely remember when we actually used to speak to people and call that a conversation), and then I thought -- hey, this is pretty neat. Why don't we do this online and open it up for others to listen in and participate with comments and questions.
So that's what we decided to do. I made Sean a guest author, and he's going to post the original notes he sent me, and then I'll post what I said back in a day or so, and we'll try to carry on the conversation through comments and back and forth posts.
I'm looking forward to seeing what kinds of thoughts and questions get raised, and wondering whether there will be disagreements or other ideas thrown in the pot.
A little more background about Sean:
- lives in Toronto
- had his own social media agency, Spinglobe
- merged his business into a larger agency Lift Communications
- one of the 100 authors of The Age of Conversation
- decided that he wanted to use his marketing talents on 'do good' and public works types of projects, which is what he does exclusively now as a free agent
- occasionally likes to get a little wild and crazy
- and here's everything else you'd want to know
That's my introduction. Take it away Sean.