Looking at a Blog as the Center of the Universe Offends Mr. Copernicus


Planisphere_of_Copernicus

I'm a big believer in blogs. It's a great place to show-off your hub
activity and express things in long form. It's a living room for your
tribe
, where they can talk, consume content, and interact (both with you
and fellow tribe members).

But looking at a blog as the center of the
universe offends Mr. Copernicus. The customer is in the middle. Everything
else, including the customer's outposts, revolves around the customer. Looking
at our media outreach in another fashion is inherently unhealthy.

Why?

Context, for one.

People want different things at different times and in different places. I
was thinking about this recently — I do different things on Twitter, FriendFeed, Facebook, and I mingle with different groups, consuming and sharing different content in each network.

I'm chattier on FriendFeed and starting to use Facebook that way, too. I'm more information-driven
(both as a producer and consumer) on Twitter. So companies and brands should go where
the people they are seeking to attract and meet are, and package content and behave accordingly.

Because your product is always going to be one of the many (and we're talking very many for sure) a person sees in a day. Looking at a blog as the center of the universe offends Mr. Copernicus — and it may turn off your ability to connect with customers on their own terms.

Think mobile, think Foursquare and other location-based services — be where your customers are and earn permission by being useful.

***

Bonus reading: since we're talking about astronomy, I thought you'd enjoy this old post of mine on astrology how many bloggers does it take to change a lightbulb? Find out who you are.

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0 responses to “Looking at a Blog as the Center of the Universe Offends Mr. Copernicus”

  1. What if your business is a professional blogger, or blog designer? Would it be the centre then? 😉
    But you’re right – it is a key part of your arsenal, but not everyone wants to read a blog. Some prefer Facebook, some Twitter, some LinkedIn, etc. Get friendly where your friends are.

  2. Hi Valeria,
    What offended Copernicus was that the wise men of his time persisted with theories that were utterly out of touch with what was observed. In his words the science of astronomy had become hopeless. But he was the only one who knew it at the time.
    The preface to De Revolutionibus captures his dispair with his contempories:
    “Nor have they been able thereby to discern or deduce the principal thing – namely the shape of the universe, and the unchangeable symmetry of its parts. Within them it is though an artist were to gather the hands and feet head and other members for his images from diverse models, each part excellently drawn, but not related to a single body, and since they in no way match each other, the result would be a monster and not a man”
    In my view, we live in the age of Copernican Monsters. Whether its corporate strategy and governance ( my field) or social media, the knowledge in these fields is marked by an inverse relationship between increasing complexity and accuracy.
    Copernicus defeated his monster with a theory. By the way I don’t know if he believed the sun was at the centre of the universe – quoting again from De Revolutionibus “The hypothesis of this book need not be true, nor even probable. It suffices if they make possible calculations which fit with observations.
    I guess that’s what I’m left with reading this post – does a customer centric model based on context explain the world better or is it a self realising belief. Not saying one is better than the other just they have different work to do.
    Though I’m mindul that Copernicus was only concerned with a handful of planets and a star that all behaved like clockwork. You on the other hand, are dealing with people, language, communication, capitalism and technology which individually are unpredictable and on mass all but unfathomable (except to Gladwell of course). He (Copernicus) had it easy.
    Nice to drop by your room for the living.
    Peter
    By the way Kuhn’s the Copernican Revolution is a really good read for anyone interested in understanding the crisis in communication we’re currently in.

  3. Very thought-provoking. The customer is at the center of his/her own universe, we are each at the center of ours – or, to mix the analogy as you have, we each have our houses and living rooms. Perhaps we need to continue to make that living room as appealing and comfortable as possible for people to come and converse – but with all these other media and places, find ways to be a good and helpful guest in the customers’ houses (or the neighborhood meeting places). Then they’ll be more inclined to come visit in ours.
    The blog is a really nice living room in the house. But it’s a means to an end, which is to move together into closer orbit…

  4. @Danny – splitting hair are we? Maybe Copernicus and his contemporaries used the diagram as a back of the napkin kind of brainstorming. I like to use relationship analogies when it comes to social. You would hardly “manage” your spouse, or ask them to make it all about you.
    @Peter – you captured precisely the sense of despair for abridged impulse saying that is out of touch with reality. Complexity is the product of everyone adding their own word or sauce to the recipe. On the other hard, simplifying is not making simple and leaving out the very part that makes it a complete framework. A customer-centric model is business reality if it wants to sell. Indeed there are other economic models. In this one, customers have plenty of choices and when they don’t they can still support those who work t create them. Great tip on further reading for crisis. Good having you visit.
    @Steve – indeed, and as the center of one’s universe, the moral compass is the only instrument that keeps us from rationalizing away some of the less noble products of our thinking. I’ve been hosting these connective conversations for the good part of this incarnation in any context and room available. Many, I built with my own hands over years.

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