Saturday, December 22, 2001

Ah--I see our own Jack Reed has posted a wonderful retort to the bag-o-wind on Amazon who thinks Gonzo Marketing is not book worthy. As good as the review is (and it is), it's even better that Amazon has somehow managed to post it twice in a row, nicely boosting Gonzo back up to four-and-a-half stars. Nice gonzo goin Jack!

Text below:
Sweep Away the Cobwebs & See What's Behind Them, December 19, 2001
Reviewer: Jack Reed from Bay Area, CA

I disagree with the recent review that thinks this subject only deserves an "article" instead of a book. The reviewer seems to think that because Locke does not provide a nice neat little well annotated map of the future of the Net as it relates to business and marketing that he hasn't done a service worthy of "book" status.

Just because you recognize that something is wrong doesn't mean you know precisely what right is. We all know that the torrent of spam that we are daily assailed with is the wrong way to market on the Web (how many of you have really bought anything that was so advertised). But while Gonzo Marketing does not spell out the precise ABCs of what is developing in this New World, he does a very exemplary job of talking about it's roots and realities. I think perhaps the most important single word that is used in both Gonzo Marketing (and The Cluetrain Manifesto) is "voice". The Net and it's derivitive, the Web, are forums for the individual voice to speak quietly but to a huge audience. It is this voice, this individual human communication that matters, because while we'll all trash a spam email within milliseconds, most of us will responed to a truly individual message from another human being. This takes the market back to what is originally was before it was usurped by corporations to mean masses of blank faces, and present it as the simple aggregation of people who wish to have discourse about their daily needs and perhaps exchange a few items for a few other items. Never mind that we're not really a bartering economy anymore, the character of that ancient market place is still deeply embedded in our psyches and most of us feel comfortable on that more personal basis. Locke even points out that Amazon is participating in his view of the current Net market by the very fact that it lets it's buyers review the books they purchase and thereby pass on to others a personal account of the value of the product.

So I say that you should buy the book if you are prepared to think for yourselves and project what Locke says onto whatever micro world you live and make money in. There simply are no books that can tell you extactly how to do it, although many claim to, but this book reminds you of lots of truths that you may have let slip into the sub-conscious realm, and once you have brought them back into view it is quite possible that you can apply Gonzo principles to whatever it is that you do with your life.

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