Gladwell Denies Social Media Any Tipping Point

Malcolm Gladwell Mal­colm Gladwell’s been wrong before, when he dis­agreed with Chris Anderson’s the­sis in his book Free: The Future of a Rad­i­cal Price. But this time, it’s a lit­tle stranger… this time I have to won­der what he’s think­ing in his lat­est piece, “Small Change: Why the rev­o­lu­tion will not be tweeted,” where he dis­counts social net­works, say­ing they can­not prod­uct the kind of pas­sion nec­es­sary to drive social change because they really only affect weak ties issues.

I guess I’m not the only one who’s baf­fled. In Guardian arti­cle respond­ing to Gladwell’s, Clay Shirky is quoted as call­ing it “a weird arti­cle,” say­ing that

Setting A Book Free

Some­times a book needs to be set free. tribes_cover When I received my sec­ond copy of Seth Godin’s Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, it was with the pro­viso that it be passed along. Any­one who pre-ordered the book and joined Tri­i­ibes (as I did, though I don’t hang there much) was sent a sec­ond copy of the book as a gift and told to pass it along to some­one who needed to start a tribe.

I did this, and it’s a good exam­ple on Seth’s part of giv­ing some­thing for free in the inter­est (at least par­tially) of increas­ing sales. More expo­sure to your mes­sage, even for free, in the short term will mean more ongo­ing sales in the long term. It’s Seth Godin putting his money where his mouth is (before the fact), and I agree with him on this one. Appar­ently, so did his publisher.