I happened to notice a fairly informative blog today: Consumer-generated Media, by Pete Blackshaw.
The posts are on precisely what you’d expect: the read/write web, pinko marketing, and so on. But I have one beef with the site, and that’s the word “consumer” in the title.
The blog’s subtitle is “Did you get the memo? The consumer is in control!”
My question to Blackshaw is: didn’t you get the memo? It’s been right there in the Cluetrain Manifesto for years now.
Straight from the Cluetrain website:
If you only have time for one clue this year, this is the one to get …
We are not seats or eyeballs or end users or consumers.
We are human beings, and our reach exceeds your grasp.
Deal with it.
As I mentioned recently, Doc Searls has coined a new term: producerism. I like it. I like it a lot.
I’ve always hated the term “consumer.” How denigrating to be referred to only as some entity with an enormous mouth, eating mass-produced, mass-marketed products 24/7. We’re moving beyond that. People are rediscovering their innate urge to create, to produce, to share.
“Consumer” is a recent term, historically speaking. I’m struggling to remember my university Communications courses, but I believe it originated almost simultaneously with modern mass media (radio, TV) and mass marketing. Before then, people were citizens. or workers. Or producers. Anything but “consumers.”
I think it’s about time we sent that term back to the trash can of history.
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