Marketing Person Not a Geek

by Marianne Richmond on October 3, 2005

Toby Bloomberg at Diva Marketing conveyed a discussion she had regarding Blog Tags with Stowe Boyd from Corante. Toby’s point was that as a marketing person not a geek, tagging was a challenge. Boyd’s point was that she should get over it and that not knowing how to do something was not "a badge of honor".

Well tagging is way up there on my list of things I know I need to understand but in spite of an ongoing search for a simple enough explanation, still don’t understand. Also on list, HTML. I too would say that I am a marketing person, not a geek. But, in my defense (and Toby’s also, should she chose to accept the defense) I don’t believe that my non-understanding of modern Geek is worn as a badge of honor. I wish I could just look at some of the this and just get it and get over it….I just don’t. It’s a brain thing.

Conversely, over at Creating Passionate Users a recent post with the title, You are a marketer, Deal with it directed engineers and product designers to "get over it"….no more it’s Geek to us badges regarding marketing. In another post, they direct the spotlight on all of us and ask, Who’s in charge you- or your brain? They then go on to say, "Everyone should know how their brain really works, because it–not you–is running the show!" Much of what they write about is about dealing with that. Ok, maybe my "it’s a brain thing" sounds a little lame when viewed in this light. Can I just whine a little and say there are just certain things that are really hard for me to understand?

OK then…so back to tagging and wouldn’t you know it but Rashmi Sinha wrote a cognitive analysis of tagging and explains it as a 2 stage process: The first stage is the "computation of similarity" between the concept and the"candidates" for related semantic concepts. The second stage is the decision regarding which category is the right one which involves various cognitive processes and much angst. However, Sinha’s theory of tagging is that the really great thing about tagging is that it eliminates step 2. You simply take your concept, subject, or object…and then do a kind of Freudian free association list of concepts, subjects or objects that come to mind, write them down and call them tags.

I get it…but I still don’t get de-licio-us.


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