August 16, 2004

Kill Your Manifesto

I'm a manifesto, you're a manifesto, he's a manifesto, she's a manifesto, wouldn't you like to be a manifesto tooooooooo....?

Seth Godin [[has kicked off an idea]] that takes the form of pretty pdfs called manifestos and he's encouraging bloggers to "spread the word" (viral joojoo). Many will. In return ChangeThis links to those mouthpieces in an "as seen on Oprah" fashion, which, since this idea is Seth Godin's, should be enough for any blogger.

The design of these pdflettes is slick. No doubt. They're pretty. They are digestible--unlike the dreaded sugar discussed in "Kill Your Children," which, as a manifesto, could be summarized in 1 item: "Sugar's really bad."


Not exactly a manifesto, if you ask me, or, which will tell you that a manifesto is "a public declaration of principles, policies, or intentions, especially of a political nature."

Or, more concisely, something of substance.

Although the ChangeThis Customer Evangelist Manifesto, which is, and I quote, "a must read for any consumer-heavy business" (huh?), ought to make Southwest happy, the assumption of the document -- "in the new world of marketing, evangelists act as key influencers on future customers" -- is not news. It's not "the new world of marketing." It's a proven strategy most companies already use. Call 'em champions, call 'em evangelists, call 'em Bob who'll say anything as long as he gets to fly down, play golf, and hit the Cheetah once a month.

It's NOT a manifesto and it's not revolutionary and it's not particularly moving.

Except for that snazzy design... that fancy packaging... that sweet look & feel... makin' me woosy with the power.... gettin' me a little bit high...

Kind of like sugar.

[[editor's note: Oh I was pretty hard on this bunch. Especially now that I know that these revolutionary Business Manifestos were done by summer interns...enthusiastic, smart young folks who are undoubtedly savvy and "cool" (their word), but, um, maybe okay, I'm going to get in trouble here, a bit, um, young, I mean, to be writing the coolest hip thing in business manifestos? Now I get it. Seth had an idea. The team is good at design. Seth wins. They win. It's a win-win.

But does every single idea that hits the Web and uses (abuses) the word "blog" deserve our unconditional Love? Optimism? Kindness?]]

Um, no.