Friday, March 17, 2017

Conversations and empathy

Markets are conversations, remember? In 1999 this was the central thesis of the great book The Cluetrain Manifesto. The book is just great. It's a must-read. I'm surprised how many people in the digital marketing and communication market know and have read it. Not to mention that I think we still have a lot to learn from the book - so don't just read it once!

Markets are conversations. We know and feel that deep down. But are we as humans and are companies actually doing accordingly? There is so much in marketing, communications, advertising, selling, etc. that has nothing to do with a conversation...

Maybe there's something more fundamental that we are not getting here. I'm about 90% through Sherry Turkle's book Reclaiming Conversation. And what a great book it is. I love books that really make you think. And this is one of those books. When your a 'digital' fan and junkie like me, you almost want to put it away. The book is a mirror and what you see then is ugly. Or at least it makes you wonder. Turkle is not against 'digital'. But she warns we are loosing fundamental human things by not purposefully using 'digital' and the devices that go with it. The thrust of the book is to help us understand this and 'reclaim conversation'. Because, says Turkle, 'digital' and its devices are unlearning us to really listen and talk to each other. We are losing our ability to empathize with the other.

To be honest I see this happening in my personal and work life. So consumed with 'all things digital' and so little time to sit and listen. To yourself, to your loved ones, to your colleagues and to nature. I'm looking for ways to do things differently. Curious to hear if you are too.

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