Seth Godin’s First Law of mass media:

Organizations will work tirelessly to de-personalize every communication medium they encounter.

Email used to be honest interactions between consenting adults.
Facebook pages (and Wikipedia, too) were built by people, not staffs.
Twits came from real people, and so did instant messages.One by one, the mass marketers have insisted on robocalling,
spamming, jingling and lying their way into our lives. The pronoun
morphs from “you” to “me” to “us” to “the corporation” …

The public works tirelessly to flee to actual interactions between
real people, and our organizations work even more diligently (and with
more leverage) to corporatize and anonymize the interactions.

Fascinating observations found here. At this stage I am working with organisation try to persuade that social media is about the individual and the personal. I’ve not yet thought that if/when I win that battle there will still be substantial forces of de-personalisation trying to undermine that work. I’m hoping that the right way will be so liberating and so transparently useful that only a lunatic would want to go backwards. Umh….

Hattip. See also.


  1. Jon Bounds says:

    Yeah, I read this it’s very true. It’s tied up a little in the way that it’s very difficult to scale interaction — if you’re the public face of an organisation on twitter for example, what happens when the interactions get so numerous that you can’t handle it on a one to one level? Or when you go on holiday? Try to automate it and it immediately fails.

    The answer partially lies in the idea that everyone is a public face, but not everybody wants to do that — some people like to separate work and play completely.

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