On The Way To WOMMA

by Marianne Richmond on June 19, 2006

I am in the Phoenix airport on my way to the Word of Mouth Marketing Conference(Wombat2) in San Francisco and just discovered that they have wifi so I thought I would take this chance to write a short post. I just had an interesting airplane conversation with some of those people that we call consumers. All the more interesting because of destination WOMMA.

A woman seated behind me on the airlplane tapped me on the shoulder as I was reading a research paper called How can we measure the influence of the blogosphere? written by Kathy Gill of the University of Washington which is notable for its conclusion that the mathematical formulas based on counting links are flawed. Gill notes this method is similar to asking the question, "who is the most influential scientist in the world" and counting citations to answer the questions. The devil is in the details and the blogosphere is still working through the details as posts from Mary Hodder and Onalytica indicate.

The woman asked me what I did for a living that I was reading an article about the biosphere. I explained that my article said "blogosphere" not biosphere. She then said that she taught 6th grade science and asked me what the blogosphere was. At the word "internet" she rolled her eyes and said that she didn’t really care about the blogosphere. At that statement the man seated in front of her turned around and said that his wife taught 6th grade and wondered why she didn’t care about the internet.

He then went on to say that he and his family had recently moved to a school district that didn’t have computers in the classrooms and that they had been working hard to get computers for the classrooms. Dell had donated 150 computers but they needed 600. I asked about Macs. He told me that Apple computers just couldn’t "do enough" compared to PCs.

The teacher explained that she didn’t know a PC from an Apple AND she didn’t see any reason for kids to have computers especially in the classroom. Well, no need to continue the story. The moral of it though for me is that regardless of the world that we live in, people that you meet on airplanes, often live in a very different world; call me crazy but this is important to remember as we call them consumers.

I will be live blogging at WOMBAT2 so I am sure I will have more to say on the subject. The other live bloggers are Olivia Blanchard and Jennifer Natsu who I am looking forward to meeting.

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