How Much Whuffie For The Tenderloin?

PORTLAND–In front of a crowded room this morning at WebVisions in the Oregon Convention Center, author and marketing consultant, Tara Hunt, describes herself as “a small town Alberta girl.” That may be, but it’s clear from her presence on the stage that “the girl” is now a woman, and one with something to say.
The main thing she’s saying is social capital can be redeemed for actual monetary capital, when you play your cards right. It’s the subject of her new book, The Whuffie Factor: Using the Power of Social Networks to Build Your Business.
“Whuffie” is a term Hunt picked up from Cory Doctorow’s book, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. In Doctorow’s sci-fi future people don’t use money, they accumulate Whuffie by doing civic deeds. Said Whuffie can then be traded for food, housing and other essentials. Hunt says she realized that Whuffie isn’t an imaginary construct, it’s real and of this moment.
Hunt’s talk addresses how a firm, or an individual for that matter, can accumulate Whuffie. She suggests esoteric-sounding things like practicing reciprocity, creating automagic and throwing sheep. What it boils down to is being generous. Hunt neatly expresses this fact in these two slides:
Because sharing is one way to generate Whuppie, Hunt is providing her entire presentation on SlideShare. Check it out. She’s also speaking tonight at 7:00 pm at Souk.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.