The blogosphere is buzzing after Seth Godin’s announcement of his newest initiative, Brands in Public, which intends on becoming a ‘social signals aggregator’ for BIG brands.
Some are angry , other’s want to see how it plays out and I actually think this is a good move by Seth.
If it wasn’t him somebody else would’ve figured out a more open approach to aggregating ‘social signals’ for brands and make it completely available for the world to see, this isn’t bad because it promotes openness.
Although this seems like extortion to some think about it this way if he asked brands for their input first, which any smart person would do, and they saw some value in it then that’s enough of a good reason for Seth to create Brands in Public and why it’s up.
I don’t think he just created the pages without asking for their ‘permission’ first.
Remember, there is a NEED for this as a BIG brand you can only be in so many places plus $400 bucks is peanuts for them.
The BIG deal is his perceived aggressive approach, which is textbook Microsoft strategy. Brands can choose to buy, if not it’s still open for everyone to see including competitors. Great!
This is good business strategy, it’s not beautiful but it’s good strategy nonetheless.
Another thing that is being overlooked is the fact that if the brand doesn’t want to pay up it still gets to see where the mentions are coming from, it’s basically making some ‘listening’ work easy for them all they have to do is just engage that audience at that specific place.
Also let’s consider that the internet is in desperate need of a ventures that actually make money from something other than advertising, in that sense this is going to be very interesting.
The real question is, does this really create value for the brand?
Although brands can use tools to do this for free, it does make the monitoring a little easier. On that note this could end up just becoming a short term experiment, smart brands (especially the one’s who know him) will happily (read happy) shell out $400 bucks for a few months to see how it works out for them.
Guess we’ll just have to wait and hear from the brands themselves.
If you’re a brand manager at one of these BIG brands I’d love to hear your thoughts.