Tuesday, May 16, 2006

WOM as Self Promotion?

All our discussion so far has been based around WOMM for products and physical things such as bicycle locks, cars, various product promotions etc. What about blog pages where people are basically just running a live journal or online diary type page? These people become highly popular through simple word of mouth because of either what they are writing in relevance to various topics or demographics, or because they provide entertainment. The two main sites that cross my mind (that I learned about through WOM --and as a warning use graphic language and situations) are Tucker Max and Maddox both of whom have just published books based on their blog sites/websites that are a continuation of the popular journals they write. My question would be then, is this considered WOMM with a person acting as the product? Or do blogs like this that are opinionative or simply stories about someone's life actually not market anything at all and remain as stories. Or is this the same thing?

The books that Tucker and Maddox have both written could become marketed by WOM through fans of their sites and amazon.com, but have these people also been marketed in the same way? Can the web and WOM make people a commodity? Have Maddox and Tucker Max's lives and opinions become valuable to American culture? By including the links to their site, am I promoting them, or their thoughts, opinions, stories, and books -- or all of the above?


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