Jeff Jarvis, What Government Could Do?

15 Mar

What Would Google Do? is the first book by Jeff Jarvis.

In the book, Jarvis looks at the one company that he feels truly understands how to succeed in the internet age and then take the lessons that google would do and apply them to a number of industries, companies, and institutions, from carmakers to restaurants to universities to government. I grabbed a very quick chat with Jeff about the latter, during his book signing at SXSW.

Read below where the idea for the book came from.

In July 2005 Jeff Jarvis posted on his BuzzMachine blog that Dell Sucks.

The post took the form of an open letter to Dell Chairman Michael Dell and Chief Marketing Officer Michael George, in which he recounted his struggles with their customer service department.

At the time BuzzMachine frequently received more than 5,000 visitors a day, within 24 hours Jarvis open letter was the third most linked-to post on the blogosphere.  It also triggered dozens of other bloggers and hundreds of commenters to publicly complain about the service they too had received from Dell, linking back to Jarvis’s original post in the process.  Through tagging and the power of search engines like Google to pick up these conversations, people wanting to talk about the same things, in this case, how much Dell sucked, were connected online.  The response to Jarvis’ post showed that the internet was giving customers a public platform in which to have their complaints heard. The viral spread of the criticism was made worse as at that time, Dell had yet to learn how they like their customers should be using the internet to listen to and respond to conversations which were taking place about them online.

What Would Google Do? is a great book that not only captures the massive changes the internet is having on marketing and advertising but in how people consume and respond to information and the effects of this on our culture.

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