Thursday, July 20, 2006

Wild Wire interview with Vaspers (amended version)

Wild Wire: Tell me Vaspers, why do you think an abrasive, snarling, aggressive attitude is necessary to get your message or philosophy across.

Vaspers: As we machete our way through the thickets, there are bound to be a sticker that cuts across your face, or vine that trips you up, or a mud slide that dumps you into a foul and fetid cesspool of human depravity. I am the salve, the tourniquet, the rescue rope that pulls us out of the quagmire of error and mediocrity.

Wild Wire: Er, okay. Moving on then, to a more down to earth and humble level, why are you reading that Tom Peters book as I interview you?

Vaspers: It's called multi-tasking, and I'm also downloading a free legal music mp3 by Aaron Spectre, ragga junglist DJ.

Wild Wire: Let's get right to it. Vaspers, why do you discuss what you call "blogocombat" so much? Just to attract attention?

VtG: As the sage moves mentally through the valley of veils, an antagonism amasses itself together as fog or mountain, vanquished in vainglorious concentration of self-defense and self-explication. As we progress toward full and complete self-disclosure, of those things that can benefit others, and not just every stray feeling or nutty notion, we will stumble upon snakes that threaten our ankles with pseudo bloggery.

Wild Wire: Whatever. Now, ha ha, you certainly are multi-tasking. I didn't know they made foot pedal mouse controls. You are operating your computer with both hands, your nose, and both feet, as you seem to be stepping on some sort of foot pads. Now, what's that book you're reading? You don't stick with anything too long do you?

Vaspers: I quickly get what I'm after, no need to spend hours searching, when I've memorized the location of all text in all my books. The books that I own, that is. Including Proust, pretty much, though I'm slipping there, in all those flowers and perspectives on bell towers. I don't use bookmarks, and yellow highlighting only entered in when I had to be able to grab a book fast, and find the exact sentence, like during a ferocious blogocombat maneuver.

WiWi: So, what's the book?

VtG: The Analysis of the Self, a monograph by a psychotherapist dealing with narcissistic personality disorder, you know, Blog Psychosis and all that arche-blogging architecture.

Wild Wire: I see you've plucked another book from the stack on the floor...

Vaspers the Grate: This is my favorite ecommerce and internet marketing book. GONZO MARKETING: Winning Through Worst Practices, by Mr. Cluetrain and Mssr. Mystic Bourgeoisie, The Chief Blogging Officer and serendiptitiously self-proclaimed Rage Boy, ladies and gentlemen, I mean the one and only: Christopher Locke.

Wild Wire: What's the most important thing to do in a CEO blog?

[EDIT UPDATE: answer got chopped off when I first posted this interview. Here's what my reply was to that question.]

Vaspers: CEOs must vlog, start doing video posts on the blog. Not every post, but frequently. They can take us on a 5 minute tour through some key process or some obscure historical fact. Demonstrate easy-going expertise on what your company does and the materials that go into the manufacture.

Keep them guessing what bizarre angle or topic you'll discuss next. Variety. Respond to every comment individually and completely, as much as realistic time constraints will allow. At least show up in a personal response to a reader's comment, at minimum, once per thread. At least once.

CEOs, more than any other group, need to project, to present a highly engaging, animated version of themselves to the public and stakeholders.

Not a silly clown, necessarily, but at least someone who is charismatic, believable, down to earth, compassionate, clever, entertaining, nice, visionary, inspiring, and a sharp dresser, even in men's casual wear.

Wild Wire: Why are you suddenly acting like vlogging, video blogging, is the biggest and most important thing in the world?

VtG: When we renounce the shackles of information slavery, the cry of triumph is compu-televised via vlogs, those rum around the edge thingamijigs that everybody's going stark raving crazy about. It's all about humanizing the digital realm, isn't it? An extreme and livid hostility to voicemail options lists, press 1 for thunder, press 2 for rain, press 3 for Ritalin drug exchange program, etc.

WiWi: This is a fine example of your apparent technique of shyly bashing everybody. You holler like a hillbilly and stomp your feet like a paramilitary commander. You pounce on a topic like a SWAT team leader. Then you ruin it all. Unexpectedly, abruptly, you range over a superficial spectrum of pet peeves, slinging mud at them sporadically, some might say chaotically, awkwardly and randomly.

V the G: Correct.

Wild Wire: What's next? I have run out of questions you seem capable of answering.

Vaspy t Grr: Okay. Same to ya. What's up?

WW: I don't know...well, the end of this interview, that's for sure. That's what. That's what's up.

Vaspersian Envoy to the World, Vaspers the Grate: No, fool. "Up" is the opposite of "down", that's what up is. That's what is up, what "up" is.

Wild Wire: Sure.


G. Randy Primm said...

it's all good, steve.

readers might want to ponder this: the greatest greek city-states were republics (athens pops to mind), and flourished because they exercised what is called civic virtue.

for a business to flourish, it absolutely must be a virtuous business, which means that it can't be aloof fron its public, ie, its customers. it needs to lead, but also to listen, and when appropriate, act.

businesses succeed or fail to the extent that their customers identify with the purveyors of their goods. witness branding of t-shirts and blue jeans.

these items became hot because the manufacturers of otherwise mundane pieces of cloth perceived that people were comfortable in these articles of clothing, and the customers appreciated that the designers were hip to what the people really wanted. thus, customer and manufacturer enter into a mutual-satisfying, symbiotic relationship.

this, in marketing, is a form of virtue. it's virtuous because it is honest, it is responsive, and it makes everybody involved feel good about themselves.

wake up, ceo's: the internet is the perfect place for companies of every size to participate in the virtuous process of civic living. with the instant feedback available, companies can actually talk to their customers, customers can talk to the bosses, the people who make things happen, and from this push-pull, a relationship results, which, if entered into honestly, promotes respect, mutuality, and cash sales.

win win.

steven edward streight said...

Throughout history, up until Buddha and Jesus, the merchant class was lowly, considered near to slave in moral standing and significance, the middle man, the interloper, the financier, the speculator...

all despised and degraded, for sometimes not entirely irrational reasons.

Crafts guilds, apprentice, marketplace, all got along fine without MBAs or CEOs. Information was disseminated in a Share Economy and Strict Standards, set by the makers, who know best how to judge quality and normatives.

Makers are always higher in status than managers or marketers.

As consumers shape, influence, input, or even make the products they need, the cost dives toward nothing, and the universality spreads like cherries over cappacino cheesecake.