“Big world-changing ideas have had three cycles. The first cycle was that you could change the world by building a factory the way Henry Ford did. If you could put productive people to work and make money producing something that made change, then people like Henry Ford and Andy Grove could cause world-changing things to occur.
The second cycle had to do with advertising and TV and media and promotion. The idea that if you talked about an idea enough and pushed it on people enough, it could change the world.
The third idea, the one that I think is really available to a large number of people now without a lot of resources, is this idea of finding and connecting like-minded people and leading them to a place they want to go. You can use Barack Obama as an example, but you can also use Blake Mycoskie of Tom’s Shoes. The internet means geography isn’t so important, so if you can find the 1,000 or 5,000 or 50,000 people out there who want to make a certain kind of change and can connect them and show them a path, they want to follow you. And you can use that tribe, that group of people, to make change that matters.”
It’s the third idea that Godin mentions that motivated us to start a Web Development for Advertising Agencies group on LinkedIn. We believe that our best shot at gaining influence and succeeding as a business is by actively sharing and educating the people whom we most want to work with. We really don’t need (or want) to withhold anything, because our expertise is both in strategy and implementation. Our goal is to not just be the people agencies trust to guide them in web strategy, but to also be the people they trust to get the job done in the end. One of the things that Godin is hinting at above (he was actually being interviewed at this year’s TED conference, so this applies to more than just business) is that effective marketing today looks more like educating and sharing than what most people think of when they hear the word “marketing.” And believe me, it’s not exactly one of my favorite words in the world.
So far I’ve been really impressed with the activity of our Web Development for Advertising Agencies LinkedIn group. Here are some stats: Since setting up the group at the end of November, 2008, we’ve assembled 121 members, 14 in the last week alone. I was glad to see that since I wondered if we’d see a spike in membership and then have the numbers plateau. But I’m less interested in the membership numbers than I am in the actual participation. Like any group, the number of active participants is going to be much lower than the total number of members. So far, five of the twenty-five total discussions have been started by non-Newfangled participants, which is actually more than I would have expected for this early in the game. Including our employees, 11 different members have started discussions. That’s more diversity, even from our own team, than I would have expected, too. Also, in the last two weeks, 13 different news stories have been posted- that’s just about one per day.
It’s free to join. As a member, you can participate as much or as little as you want. There’s no harm in just hanging out and benefiting from the free info being shared by all the smart people from all over the world who are members. Check it out.