"There are no masses"

[update: I took a visceral dislike to the former title of this post, so it may be titled differently in your feed or elsewhere on the Web. Thanks for clicking on it anyway! - Wayne]

Attending the Annenberg Public Policy Center conference on the Hyperlinked Society, Ethan Zuckerman quotes Jay Rosen, publisher of one of my all time favorite blogs, PressThink, as saying "there are no masses, just ways of seeing people as masses."

Johnnie Moore has also been blogging much of the 2006 Innovative Marketing Conference and comments on the long running - and largely one-sided - marketing battle between Burger King and McDonalds. Couple of quotes from Russ Klein of Burger King as reported by Johnnie:

  • We can't wage war in the marketplace anymore
  • Get used to being occasionally disappointed - fail fast.

Reading the whole post, it certainly appears that Burger King has gotten a clue.

In marketing and other creative endeavors, I keep returning to the idea that a willingness to fail - and the skill to fail gracefully - is a crucial success strategy. What I find fascinating is that technology, by increasing opportunity, now makes each failure economically less risky. And from a business and creative stand point, more opportunity is a net positive.

Economically speaking, hyperlinks don't subvert hierarchies so much as expose them. They put the lie to mass economies.


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