Some interesting thoughts about what the net is doing to marketing.
What replaces mass market, broadcast advertising is Locke’s “gonzo marketing”, which is not really marketing but “market advocacy” through participation, sponsorship and support. The internet replaces the us-and-them relationship (creative people broadcasting to couch potatoes) with a network of conversations, which is all markets are, really.
Photodude has written some interesting commentary on trying to pitch gonzo marketing to the average company.
For me personally it hits home with the relationship I see between the Flash community and the companies making their living with products and services targeted to the community and the regular customers. I miss a more thought-through relationship with the community from the likes of Macromedia, the related software houses, book publishers and the big Flash conference makers.
I think these people should read up on Gonzo marketing and try to figure out how their relationship to the Flash community sites need to be. There is a need to become more aware of the fact that many people are contributing a large amount of their time and money to be able to support these companies and their products, and that the companies need to provide back to the community helping them out. In more ways then what I see today. Its great to see Macromedia providing the community with more information and insight into their products, but at the same time – shouldn’t that be expected when someone is delivering a for-pay product?
I have a feeling we will continue to see many good resources go under because of the lack of thought these companies have put into how they support the community. Even the largest Flash resource site today, Flashkit.com, has been struggling for a long time, and is only keeping its hair above the water because of the backing from their owner Internet.com
Will the large Flash resources survive in a climate where banner ads no longer pays the bills, and where the companies that are actually making money aren’t backing them up with sponsorship and other important support?
I am not optimistic for the future of the Flash community sites. I hope that some of the big players will start to think about how they can contribute back to the community and help out the community resources, so that we can continue to have access to this broad range of high quality resources.
I would appreciate others insight and suggestions for how the community sites should handle their need to pay the bills, and at the same time be able to provide high quality to the community.