Keep Trying

Thursday, July 14, 2005

LM Second Principle - Most People Think They are Right Most of the Time

I'm still working on the second principle of the Longtailers' Manifesto which is an attempting to provide a useful perspective on the blogosphere for Longtailers, who are not entangled in the Life is Marketing viewpoint of the Cluetrain Manifesto.

I think that the second principle of the LM (Longtailers' Manifesto) goes something like this:

Most people think they are right most of the time.

It seems obvious, but I find that when I don't understand where a person is coming from, invoking this principle helps. A person often says and does the things they do, because they think they are right. On many occasions trying to understand the person's perspective is called for, but sometimes it is better to just move on. In general it is difficult to convince a person that they are wrong, if they think they a right.

In the recent Technorati duststorm, Dave Sifry is trying to do what he thinks is right. Making a useful service more useful is certainly a laudable move and I applaud those efforts.

But for all Dave's good intentions, Technorati is now a company with VC investor backing which means their primary objective better be (from the investor's perspective) to make a significant amount of money.

An illustration would be the amount of money they will charge companies for their blog filtering services. If this is truly good for society at large, then getting it in the hands of more companies would be a worthwhile goal. However, the price and profit side of the equation will probably keep it out of the hands of most companies.

This is neither illegal or immoral, but it puts significant limits on the public good Dave and his company can accomplish as long as making significant money is a major goal. This is of course my perspective, and it's probable safe to say that Dave and Doc would disagree, because as the first LM principle says - we see the world from inside our own heads.