Filed under: Reflections | Tags: Alvina Antonio, Change, Internet, OrCom, Organizational Communication, UP Manila, xkcd
The basic idea of Christopher Locke’s Internet Apocalypso is this: markets are conversations, a quality richly found on the Internet; should a corporation want to succeed, working nicely with the Internet is necessary. To act otherwise would be fatal for the corporation.
Ranting like the RageBoy, Christopher Locke
But before I calmly reflect on what Christopher Locke wrote, allow me a few paragraphs to rant.
Christopher Locke’s Internet Apocalypso was written earnestly, like a true Internet advocate. I have nothing against people who come off as dogmatic when expressing their thoughts–but I do have issues with several ideas he stated in the first chapter of Clue Train Manifesto.
One, Locke wrote that he “discovered PR doesn’t work and that markets are conversations.” Because he chose to converse with media practitioners about anything, instead of selling the company’s products, Locke thought he wasn’t doing PR work. Now this kind of claim makes me want to sigh heavily. As an almost PR practitioner, I know that there are many strategies and tactics one can employ to be successful at work; chatting up media practitioners, and actually enjoying the conversations you make is a PR strategy. PR works, should the practitioner be smart enough to know what to do and how to do it.
Two, Locke whines about how “Yahoo now describes itself as a ‘global media company,’ thus claiming a closer spiritual kinship with Disney and Murdoch than with the culture that originally put it on the map. To this mindset, the Net is just an extension of preceding mass media, primarily television.” For Yahoo to call itself as a global media company does not seem detestable–what is the Internet but a medium for communication? The Internet exists to provide users better communication experiences, the kind traditional media were unable to give. In this sense, the Internet can be seen as a drastically improved version of mass media. The Internet can be mass media’s well-endowed relative—but why Locke said that the TV will appear to be the Internet’s direct ancestor, I do not understand. There was no logical link established by Locke to support his claim.
Three, Locke talks about how corporations would benefit from allowing the public in significant parts of the company intranet. Breaking the intranet-made barriers can create relationships with your market—that is the rationale of Locke. Why must a corporation break down its “intranet barriers,” especially when the public does not necessarily need to know every little detail being talked about in the company? My naïve, almost-PR practitioner self feels that exposing parts of the intranet is unnecessary. For example, assuming a company treats its employees well, and does good business, then the company’s employees can always spread the good word in other fora—publicizing the intranet is not the sole key (assuming it’s even a key) in building client trust.
Reminders for When Alvina Becomes Something Corporate
At this point, I must be ranting more crazily than Locke did. Let me move on to my more constructive material:
- There is no point in fighting the Internet. China, with all its communist glory, tries to prevent its people from exploring the Internet fully. But China’s censorship attempts are met with much open anger and criticism from not only its citizens, but also the world. Currently, states and institutions are taking actions against China’s Internet censorship; once push comes to shove, I hope China withdraws its censorship tactics.
- I have a voice. This awesome voice can be listened to online, and I can make conversations with just about anyone. To not use my voice would be a shame—especially since this voice brings out the human touch which many corporations lack.
- Create and sustain relationships with people. From relationships, I can know what people think, why they think that way, what will change their minds, and just about anything that may possibly be useful for the company. More importantly, these are thinking consumers who can hurt the business if offended, so honesty should be practiced.
- Resiliency is necessary for life. Resistance to change is normal, especially since change is not always for the better. How can I accept something I know nothing about? Regardless of the outcome, I should be tough enough to: a) live fantastically with the change; and 2) manage the change in my organization. The second requirement is very important—employment in an organization that cannot handle change would be terrible; the company might end up in shambles.
Reading the last few paragraphs I’ve written, I’m not so sure if Christopher Locke’s Internet analysis taught me anything new. Still, I am not going to complain again—I’ve already released my gripes about the Christopher Locke’s teachings.
A note: So yes, I didn’t extol the Internet’s virtues in this entry. I assume that you, reader, are already acquainted with the Internet–enough to know why working with the pervasive medium that is the Internet is better than acting against it. If you still don’t know why, well… You can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment here to request for such an entry. 😀
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