Getting Horses To Drink

Client: Can you bring us some of that Web 2.0 stuff we’ve been reading about?
Agency: You bet your ass.
We looked at this issue last night. Now we have Fast Company senior editor, David Lidsky, breaking it down in his March column.

The number-one question lurking in every executive’s heart, whether he’s a corporate titan or founder of a Valley startup, boils down to this: Just what should I be doing with my Web site to engage with my customers?
You know what? Nobody has the answer.
Why are we still so flummoxed by the Web? Why does every ripple in the water, whether it’s social networking, user-generated content, or the popularity of video, produce such an outsized tidal wave of frenzied–and wasteful–activity?

Lidsky goes on to suggest that lack of discipline, ease of entry (into areas like online video), myopia and asking the wrong questions all play a part in corporate America’s inability to solve the Web riddle.
One guy is asking the right questions, however. Ted Shelton, founder of news aggregation tool the Personal Bee, says you should ask “where your users are, rather than the other way around.” Once you’ve found them, then you can find a way to join the conversation–without being a tool.



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.