Seth Godin, marketer extraordinaire, was just interviewed on CBC Radio’s program Spark by host Nora Young. Here’s the link to the uncut interview. http://podcast.cbc.ca/spark/plus-spark_20110504_sethgodindominoproject.mp3
Seth rolled off a steady stream of ideas and observations. He is very convincing — and right about the huge changes happening in publishing. Still, it is daunting to think about needing to create a 15,000-person “tribe” so you can sell a “book” (or “content”), and sad to witness the decline of literary merit as at least part of the basis for publishing success.
Scale — and the compounding effect — make Seth’s theories rather elitist even though he no doubt feels his approach is very egalitarian. What’s happening is there is a switch in elites. No longer will it be the top editors and publishers in the 6 largest NY publishing firms calling most of the shots. Instead it will be the 100 or 200 most popular expert/blogger/speaker/tweeter/social media elite/self-promoters. Seth advocates individual authors establish their own “tribe” of social media followers to have a “platform” for selling your ebooks and other content through Amazon Kindle, print-on-demand and Apple’s iBookstore. Seth says his Domino Project has 15,000 followers.
However, you can’t have all 15,000 people in Seth’s “tribe” of followers (most of whom likely have hopes of selling stuff themselves) ALL having 15,000 followers themselves, and so on. If that scenario happened, pretty soon everyone in the entire world would be devoting 24-hours a day to being influenced by and influencing others. What works for Seth can’t be scaled up infinitely… unfortunately for those of us who were — and still are — hoping for a free ticket onto the gravy train.
Seth talked about authors making a fortune being a relatively recent phenomenon (I think he said it began in the 1950s). I don’t know any basis for that idea. Being an author was VERY lucrative (for a few) ever since Gutenberg’s time.