Internet marketing is an ecosystem: Join it.

Ian Lurie

Crows amaze me. They’ve turned survival into an art form. How? They don’t fight the ecosystem – they join it. Watch Joshua Klein’s TED talk on the subject if you want proof. Make sure you watch from minute 5:25-6:08.
Crows learned to wait by the curb to cross the street and collect a nut. Seriously.
Crows could run into the street and hope the cars will stop. The result? Squish.
Internet marketing offers us a similar choice:

  1. Dash out among the customers (cars) and hope they’ll stop. This is old-style, interruption-based marketing. I think we know how well that works.
  2. Adapt to the new ecosystem. Watch what everyone else does. Maybe even contribute a little. Reap the benefits.

How to join the ecosystem

Learn to woo a blogger and get coverage. Then woo.
Learn to use Twitter. Send out stuff that’s actually useful.
Or, pick another service, like Reddit or Stumbleupon, and try that instead.
Comment on blogs in a way that actually contributes.
Most important, don’t expect the whole world to just stop in its tracks for you. In fact, don’t expect one single person to stop, unless you offer them something valuable enough to make stopping worthwhile.
Otherwise, squish.

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  1. Haha, “or squish”.
    Great analogy – you’ve it upon an important point I’d like to elaborate on. The difference between “being a crow” and flying head first into a car and being in a car driving alongside someone (or even in their car..) is building a relationship and RELATING TO THEM.
    PREselling if you like…
    The key then is to nurture that relationship and later direct (where appropriote) those ‘relations’ to your monetization places.
    Manipulative? Perhaps, but if you can genuinely help someone “How to become a Golf Pro in 30 Days” then they’re happy – therefore YOUR happy. And humans naturally recipricate such relationships.

  2. Greetings Ian,
    So far I have read three of your posts: 11 Things That Should Be Second Nature, 33 Books To Read, and now this one.
    All of them have been extremely helpful as I transition into this new phase of my life as a “student driver” on the information highway.
    Thank you for sharing your insight.

  3. In New York City, the pigeons stop at the intersections, wait for the light to turn green, and walk across.
    (They’ve learned the rules of car behavior, and have adapted to them).
    Some of them have also learned to hitch a ride on cars going through the tunnels and over the bridges.
    (A new blogger collaborating with a bigger, A-list blogger?).

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