Thursday, April 28, 2005

Open Source Marketing


On the highly recommended “ChangeThis” site (“a forum, not a publisher!”) James Cherkoff, a marketing consultant based in London, writes about Open Source Marketing, arguing that more and more mainstream customers fall for the values of the open source movement.

Some examples:

- P2P file sharing, in particuclar Napster
- Howard Dean’s presidential campaign that raised more than $25m, changing the face of US politics
- The Creative Commons license, a new type of copyright (nicknamed copyleft) created by an Open Source community that gives artists the flexibility to collaborate. Its fans include Chuck D, the Beastie Boys, David Byrne and Gilberto Gil.
- Wikipedia, an Open Source encyclopedia (recently recognized by the Press Association) containing 1.3 million articles in eight different languages, all written, developed and maintained by regular people around the world.
- Ohmynews, an Open Source Korean newspaper written by more than 40,000 individual citizen

- Flickr (now Yahoo!) or the concept of folksonomy vs. taxonomy in the organization of images

- Blogs

Open source marketing is marketing’s response to this trend. Cherkoff lists its eight principles:

1. Back to the source
2. Spot brand fans
3. Be a brand host
4. Are you listening to me?
5. Get real
6. Your customers are cleverer than you
7. Let go
8. Open minds

Others call it “brand hijack” – the main message for marketers is the same: Brand and let brand. Persuasion is out, collaboration with customers is in.

Cherkoff’s text is – of course – open source as well, which is why you should indeed read the full version.


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