So what did this guy do to deserve all of this attention? He started one company back when I was wearing diapers and sold it to yahoo. He wrote one book that was a runaway hit. And now people treat him like the Marketing Messsiah for scribbling oft- borrowed common sense marketing lessons down in story form.
This madness has to stop. This guy gets way too much attention for one person. He posts a two word blog post and people actually link to it. He's been blogging for less than a year and Technorati tells me that more than 1700 people have linked to him over 2400 times and he hasn't said anything half as insightful as the Seth Go[ldstein]. He writes a book and it is instantly a best seller before anyone even gets a chance to read it and review it. People jump at a chance to ask him questions on their blog. He doesn't just get one interview, he gets a freaking tour of blog interviews.
Yesterday, a marketing guy who will remain nameless emails me to ask me whether Seth Godin was serious about a post he wrote or if it was a joke. I said, "I don't know. How the hell should I know?" People just assume because I write about marketing that I must read Seth Godin's blog. Come on. That's crazy.
A 30 year old consultant I skype today tells me he applied to be Seth Godin's intern. Come on here! This job pays what? A few thousand dollars for a few months of work.
And I have to put up with this Seth Godin reference reverence every day. Isn't anyone else tired of hearing his name?
Seth Godin does seminars and charges people a few thousand dollars for a few hours of his time. That's not even one on one time. It is with a group of people. The guy makes more in one of those days than most McDonald's workers make in 6 months. If Britney Spears sold her celebrity this way, we'd be ripping her an eighth hole. But Seth Godin does it, and we give him a tour of the blogosphere. Woo hoo... Seth wrote a book. Let's make it "free press for Seth month" in the blogosphere.
So, I am fed up about it. I could take a few paths:
1. Scream and drop kick anyone else that ever mentions his name to me again. OR
2. Start the Anti Seth Godin Society. OR
3. Issue a small challenge to Seth.
I am choosing the more [borderline] sane approach. So, here's my challenge to Seth:
What have you done to prove your marketing prowess lately? Have your insights really helped anyone achieve something great? Yes, we all do permission marketing and try to find those connectors. We know that embracing change is better than fighting for market share alongside the status quo. But, wouldn't we have known to do that because of Malcolm Gladwell, Clayton Christensen and the email marketing software we use that forces us to be permission based?
I for one, have had enough storytelling. I've got enough paperback marketing bibles to rot in the drawer, enough blurbs linked in my aggregator to your blog and enough pre-excitement in my IM client about your upcoming podcast project.
So, here's my challenge: Please put away the intern-rigged podcast equipment. Put your mouth where the money is (or could be), Mr. Godin.
The most remarkable thing that I've seen you do is tap your legions of fans for more book sales. I'd like to see you roll up your sleeves and show a few of us how to do some word of mouth, viral, permission based, purple cow, non-lieing story telling, change embracing, big red ideavirus marketing.
I am heretofore challenging Seth Godin to intern his summertime at the next potential YoYowhatever that is trying to break through the clutter. Wouldn't it be game changing if you applied a little of that marketing genius to ourmedia or Creative Commons? Or maybe hold a contest that lets entrepreneurs win you as their intern, instead of holding a contest where 30 year old consultants take on the role as your intern. There are plenty of entrepreneurs down here on the Long Tail that could use a little love. And I for one, would like to see if you have what it takes to market more than yourself and some dead trees?
(And now I will go prepare my penance for the Marketing Blasphemy I just committed. Please recite two IdeaViruses and one Big Red Fez for your penance. Yes, Father Godin.)