October 10, 2008

News & Opinion: The ChangeThis Connection - Hugh MacLeod Interviews Seth Godin

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 9:56 PM – Filed under: Marketing & Sales

The author of the most downloaded ChangeThis manifesto of all time recently interviewed the site's founder about his new book and much, much more. A lot of people are saying this is Seth's finest book, which is really saying something considering the consistent quality of his writing. Hugh asks Seth 10 questions, the first of which is:
1. For the benefit of gapingvoid readers not yet familiar with your work [all 14 of them], let's get the main schpiel over and done with: From your perspective, what is "Tribes" about?
It explains why top-down, buzz-driven media is the past, not the future.
The world has always been organized into tribes, groups of people who want to (need to) connect with each other, with a leader and with a movement. The products, services and ideas that are gaining currency faster than ever are ones that are built on a tribe.
Barack Obama has one, John McCain tried to co-opt one. Arianna Huffington has built the most popular blog in the world around one. Harley Davidson and Apple are titanic brands for the very same reason. They sell a chance to join a group that matters.
The punchline is that the only way to lead a tribe is to lead it. And that means that marketing is now about leadership, about challenging the status quo and about connecting people who can actually make a difference. If you can't do that, don't launch your site, your product, your non-profit or your career.
I'd argue that you understand how to tap into this need, Hugh. Lots of people don't like your work--screw them, we don't like them anyway. The people who do like, who find that it resonates... it's likely that we'll like each other. You lead us to a place we want to go.

To read the rest of the inteview, head on over to gapingvoid.
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Have a great weekend everyone!

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.