Sunday, September 11, 2005

Remarking on the "Remarkable" Book The Big Moo

I recently received a complimentary copy of The Big Moo which is an edited volume of essays about the importance of being remarkable in a competitive marketing landscape. The book is edited by Seth Godin and has a number of business thinkers as authors of short, motivational essays on how to do things that others would want to comment on.

I am about half-way through the book and so far I've found it to be a mixed bag: some of the essays accomplished their objective and gave some fresh insights and ideas, while other essays seemed a bit trite, and I think I just missed the point of some others. I imagine that most readers will have a similar response in that, like all things, what is insightful to one person appears hackneyed to another. The key thing, though, is that I think any reader will get inspired by at least one of the essays.

A few neat things that I really like about the book iunclude:

1) The philosophy behind the book understands the fundamental principle that individual and organizational activities generate conversations among their stakeholders and organizations need to pay attention to the value of these conversations so that they can be effective and sustainable.

2) The authors of each particular essay are not identified. At first I found this frustrating because I found myself looking first at who wrote the essay before I decided if I was going to read it or not. This way I was forced to read the essays based on the title and then had the added mystery of trying to figure who might have been the author.

3) All of the authors agreed to contribute to the book without any compensation (not uncommon in the academic world but somewhat remarkable in the business world) and all proceeds go to one of three charities listed in the book. The goal is laudable: to spread the word and help light a fire under people to think in ways that help make themselves and their organizations more remarkable. Readers are asked to buy copies of the book and give it to people who they think could benefit from it.

The book was provided compliments of the Word-of-Mouth Marketing Association to its membership. Those who received the free, advance copy were asked to comment on it.

By the way, the editor, Seth Godin, and some of the authors will be speaking at WOMMA's latest conference -- Word of Mouth v. Advertising: Consumers in Control -- in NYC on Sept. 28th. Those interested can receive $75 off their membership by using "eventalum" when they register online.