February 12, 2008

News & Opinion: Update from Tools of Change Conference

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 4:43 PM – Filed under: Marketing & Sales, The Company

Yesterday Kate and I got to hear Douglas Rushkoff, author of Get Back in the Box, talk about how content context contact is king. He explained that what people are really looking for online is social currency, the opportunities to interact with and respond to other people. The predominant marketing model has been to get people to interact with products, to take them away from other people so that, as Doug said in an example, they buy their oatmeal from Quaker, and not from Joe at the local farmer's market. That's changing as marketing is shifting from the hands of producers to the hands of consumers, whose opinions are more valuable because they can be shared without bias (for the most part) directly with other consumers. The idea of social relationships in publishing has been a major theme at this year's conference. This morning I heard Gavin Bell from Nature Publishing Group talk about how your online services deserve the same degree of customer service your bricks and mortar business boasts. He talked about "Moderation" -- talking to people and finding out what's working and what's not, whether you're an online retailer or a blogger trying to join a broader conversation. One of the hardest parts of moderation is, Gavin explained, listening to what people say and accepting that they know what they want.

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.