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Read the Freakin’ Blogosphere

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Change or die. We hear the phrase all the time. In fact we hear the expression so often that it’s become a drumbeat cliche. Still the change or die mantra is the anthem of the Internet age, like it or not.

Did you know there are 200,000 Google results for the phrase “change or die?” I thought it would be higher. Well, make that 200,001 now that this post is out there. Understand I have no idea if adding my voice to the chorus will make any difference. Nevertheless I am here to say to every single client-side and agency-side marketer that unless you change and help your organizations change, your career is in trouble.

Now, many of you might say “Steve, our ads are working. We’re the talk of the press and our sales are up. Go jump in a lake. What do you know, Mr. Loosah 2.0. Go back to your blog ashram.” Fair enough. But I am telling you, old marketing is dying and fast thanks to social computing.

Change starts with preparation – what Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan calls “adult homework.” Tonight I did just that. I engaged in a deep read of Forrester’s outstanding Social Computing report. Although it’s $295, this report is worth it if you work in an agency or a big company. Maybe if you work in a group you can chip in and buy it. Your career will thank you.

I already blogged about it here, but there’s one graphic that really jumped out at me that I felt I should show you. Take a look at this chart …

Picture 1-69

Now, if this doesn’t make your stomach queazy I don’t know what will. As you can see, the marketing disciplines we know and love – the very ones that carried our careers forward – are dying. Why? Because there’s too much information. So if media is a commodity, what does that mean for advertising and PR? Exactly.

Although some call me a guru, I fear becoming obsolete. When I look at the above chart it gives me the hebes. Why? Well, I don’t know a lot about IPTV so I see that I better read and study.

Mark Cuban is one of my heroes. I am getting a once-in-a-lifetime chance to spend some time with him this weekend when he comes to town with the Mavs. This is an incredible thrill for me. When you read Mark’s accounts of how he became successful it’s no secret. He read the freakin’ manual again and again. First it was the computer manual, later it was the Internet manual and today it’s the HDTV and social media manual. He always keeps up with the changing world and recognizes the trends early.

Today the “manual” is living. It’s the blogosphere. Read it and stay curious. Don’t be complacent. Be like Mark.

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Steve Rubel is a PR strategist with nearly 16 years of public relations, marketing, journalism and communications experience. He currently serves as a Senior Vice President with Edelman, the largest independent global PR firm.

He authors the Micro Persuasion weblog, which tracks how blogs and participatory journalism are changing the public relations practice.

Read the Freakin’ Blogosphere
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