Micropersuasion Abandoned By Its Blahger

Edelman PR man, Steve Rubel, is done with his well regarded and immensely popular blahg, Micropersuasion. Taking its place is The Steve Rubel Lifestream at steverubel.com, a blog like setting that may be hard for the layman and expert alike to distinguish from the former form.

I have been writing a weblog for five years now – and it’s been very good to me. However, my job at Edelman is to remain at the cutting edge and to advise major marketers on what’s next. This means I must experiment and evolve or I will die.

Clearly, Rubel like the rest of us in marketing services is under pressure to innovate. Yet, I’d caution that there are other ideas to forward, like perseverance. In fact, perseverance may be one of the most important marketing concepts in existence.
Rubel’s change is being influenced by the likes of Stowe Boyd, who is a proponent of something he calls “the flow.”

Basically, conversation is moving from a very static and slow form of conversation — the comments thread on blog posts — to a more dynamic and fast form of conversation: into the flow in Twitter, Friendfeed, and others. I think this directionality may be like a law of the universe: conversation moves to where is is most social.

Okay, but what’s the intention behind the site/blog/lifestream? If the intention is to foster active channels for multi-directional dialogue, then Rubel and Boyd could be correct. But there are other reasons to publish to the web. Here at AdPulp we love comments as much as the next publisher, but the site doesn’t exist to spawn or host comments. It exists to offer people working in advertising, marketing and media an alternate resource for news and opinion. If said working people choose to discuss topics of interest herein, all the better.
I’m not impressed by the latest and greatest shiny object with a fancy new label. Lifestream? Please. Can we just do away with all the bullshit labels, including blahg? Blahg has never been a good word (which is why I make fun of it). If you publish to Facebook or another soc net, you have a “page.” If you publish something that resembles a blahg, you have a “site.” Lifestream, on the other hand, is a gathering place for all the bits of content created and scattered around the social web. I don’t have a problem with wanting to aggregate one’s content into a single location. My problem is with all the unedifying hype about shifts in digital tools and culture. Even something as amorphous as digital culture has a backbone. People visit pages and sites to glean valuable information from other human beings. There are places and times to talk and places and times to listen. In the best of circumstances that place and time is one destination.



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.