Last week while attending SXSW I was invited to the party being hosted by The Small Business Web. While there I was given a copy of Gary Vaynerchuk’s new book, The Thank You Economy. Most people will know of Vaynerchuk as the hugely successful new media proponent who has leveraged social media to build a huge brand, both personally and for his business, The Wine Library.
Anyway – Vaynerchuk’s latest book is a treatise about what he sees as a return to the situation of old where businesses built genuine relationships with their customers and engaged with them in meaningful ways. I’ve been pretty impressed with the book – lightweight business tomes tend to verge on the evangelical, Vaynerchuk is certainly passionate about the opportunities that social can bring, but he articulates this value without resorting to a kumbaya type approach.
Anyway, after an evening spent reading Vaynerchuk’s words, I opened my laptop to check out the national news on New Zealand site nzherald.co.nz. Seeing an article about a shoe store my wife used to frequent in Wellington I decided to email her the link to the article. There began a process which would have been justified if I had been opening a bank account perhaps, but was extreme overkill for a simple sharing exercise. In order to email the link through the site – I had to provide my name and email address, my wife’s email address and fill in a fairly complex captcha.
This from an organization that is struggling to maintain relevance in a society where traditional media channels are rapidly being disrupted – come on Herald, if you really want to spread the word that you’re a good source for timely and accurate journalism, at least make it easy for me to actually spread the word.