Who needs emails anyway, rise of Egommunication

August 13, 2008

It was with much amusement that I read the post by SaulK on “the outlet” on 6 things you did not know of rafiq.

Two interesting things stand out for me, 1) This post is less malicious then tickling a puddycat and is clearly a clever ploy to attract some attention, which is by no means a bad thing (or are their some thinly veiled frustrations hidden Saul? 🙂 ) , 2) It presents a very interesting experiment as to whether the one provoked will respond quickly.

And yes .. he did. In fact he muti’d it himself within a couple hours.

This had me thinking .. let’s say you wanted to get hold of some lofty techy type celeb, fairly ensconced in the web, can this be a more effective means of communication than email? Email is so nasty nowadays, what with spam and the amount of it, that it has become a fairly ineffective medium through witch to get hold of the cognoscenti (eliciting that *damned spammer* response is easier than one might think) whereas a post on a blog or twitter referencing one name seems to not carry that same problem (perhaps the cognitive filters are differently applied, reading a blog post at ones one accord is different from having an email shoved upon oneself afterall).

As I’m writing this though I release that I have read these exact same thoughts somewhere else before, and I have found it. In July Doc Searls responded on a similar call via a blog by Rohit Bhargava.
Rohit has also seen and acknowledged this trend and his even coined it, “Egommunication”.

Ego Searches, also called Vanity Searches. Shallow or Human Nature? We like to know what people are saying, good or bad (we hope more good). We don’t like to feel people are talking behind our backs, but we don’t like getting sold to. Is this an opportunity for gold diggers and spammers employing clever tricks to have us view their wares? Perhaps.

To tack onto this idea I would like to add another observation, take a look at the number of comments at the end of Saul’s piece, normally he garners somewhere between null and two comments on a piece, this one had 9 comments at the time of writing this. What does this tell us? Link baiting works, lol. No but more importantly, people track themselves and those that they feel close, or involved with. Basically Rafiq’s groupies and enemies where also checking in. Thus sending out a certain proposition to a certain person might get you in contact with others with a similar interest around there, perhaps even a competitor in the space you never may have known about.

What’s your take on this? As a developer I have to ask, is there a place for a tool here? I reckon so, I wouldn’t mind a tool where I can slot in my name and have it feed me an RSS feed of new items found out there on the web, Facebook, Flicker, Twitter, Blogs, Web Searches wherever. Call it a vanity aggregator, perhaps one already exists? The idea of the Vanity Folder is not a new one.

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5 Responses to “Who needs emails anyway, rise of Egommunication”

  1. rafiq Says:

    Geekspin meet @brandseye http://www.bradnseye.com maybe it should be renamed the egommunication tool of choice* ?

    How do you think i find all these mention?

  2. Conrad Says:

    Oh yes I forgot about that one. Why not free for bloggers? At $1 it may as well be free?

  3. Lester Hein Says:

    Great post Conrad, I’ve used some of the same tactics in the past and it worked. In keeping with my “whatever works” philosophy, I have to say that I’m an egommunication fan.

    Technology such as Brandseye will take this a step further in the not too distant future, i think. Brandseye is at the cutting/bleeding edge of the ORM market at the moment and is a great, easy to use tool.As the market catches on, there will be followers and copy cat services available to Joe Blog which will be free, so anyone can now see how to attract attention online by name dropping.

    Something that I think will become commonplace in this future is for the media to get called out in this way. A journo is only as good as their rep, so it would make sense for them to keep a hawk eye on their ORM with a brandseye type service. Anyone looking to attract the attention of a particular newso will then only have to drop their name.

    That is until the service gets saturated and we’re back in the email/spam scenario.

    Lester Hein

  4. Dave Says:

    This is such a great way to reach out to hard-to-reach people and companies.
    I have inadvertently picked up two corporate clients by writing about them in the past.

  5. Doc Searls Says:

    New tools are always good.

    As it happens, I have a folder called “Vanity” in my RSS feed aggregator. That’s where syndicated Technorati, Google Blogsearch and Blogpulse searches for my name show up. Also where searches for my various blog URLs show as well.

    But the reason they’re all there has nothing to do with vanity and everything to do with ordinary conversation. I like to hold up my side of conversations that I’m in, and I can’t do that if I don’t know I’m in them.

    It also helps to know if topics I bring up are interesting, or if I’m participating productively in topics others bring up. Vanity feeds are one way of doing that.

    So are subject searches. I keep feeds for any number of those as well.

    In any case, we have a long way to go. Thanks for pushing us in the right direction.


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