God Needs Followers (But Friends Will Do)

The Salvation iPhone AppI have to admit, I love the MeaCulpa iPhone app. For only a couple bucks, it delivers a lot of penitence. I’ve been using it to confess all sorts of things, like that last slice of pizza I ate, the trip I took with the kids where I forgot to bring their shoes, the yogurt I stole from the office fridge…

Okay, some of my foibles aren’t included in the app, which tend to run more toward Leviticus than Seinfeld. “Have you harbored hatred in your heart?” the app asks. “Have you led anyone into sin?” It’s like a medical questionnaire for the spiritually ill.

But I’ve got to admit, the app is fun. MeaCulpa does help me bear the burden of being such a douche. I wonder if there will be a Facebook app. “Prayerville: Clara wants to share an Our Father and two Hail Mary’s with you. Accept?”

I bet I can build such an awesome Prayerville layout that eternal salvation is guaranteed.

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Does Auto-Fill Kill Lead Quality?

Does Auto-Fill Kill Lead Quality?It’s weird, but it looks like I agree with Malcolm Gladwell again.

In his January article, Gladwell states that a social media follower is just about the weakest kind of brand-consumer relationship there is. In the hierarchy of lead quality, the link between a brand and its followers is strongest at purchase, and we do everything we can to bring consumers from the very first step to purchase as smoothly as possible.

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Malcolm Gladwell is Right

Malcolm Gladwell is right. When the famous pop psych theorist posits the theory that social media (and by extension the Internet) are not necessary for movement-building and revolution, he is right. Revolutions have occurred in the past, without the aid of iPhones, Twitter, Wikipedia, WordPress, or Facebook.

Gladwell rightly points out that Mao, East Germans, and French peasants did not have such tools, and yet were able to bring about radical and profound change in their societies using other means of communication.

But Gladwell is also wrong. He misses the primary point being made by those who repeat the conventional wisdom – that revolutions like the one in Egypt and the 2009 protests in Iran are different from revolutions in the past because of social media. Today, social media is doing for political activists what passwords, secret handshakes and flyers did for revolutionaries in the past – providing a way to communicate that gets around the machine.

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