Alex Barnett, an International Program Manager at Microsoft, has an interesting post reinforcing the concept that markets really are conversations. The phrase was first coined in Chris Locke, Doc Searls and David Weinberger’s book, Cluetrain Manifesto.
With blogs, the concept has really come to life. Businesses develop the role of products and interact with purchasers & blog publishers in online discussions. All of this discussion is archived on the Internet and available to review when it comes to purchase a product or service.
Alex referenced one case where he posted about the problem with splogs – spam via RSS feeds and blogs. Within 24 hours, the founders of the major aggregators each responded with comments to his post. Another case blew Alex away. Marc Andreessen (of Netscape fame and fortune) responded to Alex’s inquiry as to Andreessen’s business model on his new product, Ning. Alex also mentions FeedDemon founder, Nick Bradbury, commenting to Alex’s post on the product’s latest release.
I have had similar responses from leaders at LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbel and Thomson FindLaw when I posted entries about their products on my blog.
Law firms and other professional services have so much to gain from the fact that markets are conversations. We can get out of our ivory towers and speak with real people. Speaking with people provides an opportunity to showcase the knowledge we have to help people and businesses.
Listening to the Internet conversation and publishing a blog posting your thoughts and/or referencing other’s blog posts and commenting on posts on other blogs is so easy to do. Start taking part in the conversation. There is so much to gain.