Gonzo Marketing:Winning Through Worst Practices The Bombast Transcripts: Rants and Screeds of RageBoy
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Saturday, December 15, 2001
JOHO reviews Gonzo Marketing
"This book is like Locke: brilliant, funny, over-the-top, purposefully erratic and more full of ideas than most Fortune 500 companies." OK, David, because you said I was brilliant, I will spare your life. This time. Even though you dared to take isuse with me, you bastard! Actually, it's a pretty damn fine review. And the JOHO blog is getting really good. Who knew that the inscrutable Dr. Weimeraner would turn out to be so good at this shit? (Though I suspect he is still afraid to be taken unseriously.)

10:24 PM | link |

Friday, December 14, 2001
EGR: One Possible Explanation
Back to fundamentals then, here's how it goes. Echo of thunder, the cadence of waves and rain and waterfalls. The syncopation and counterpoint of fire. The howls and shrieks of animals. The cries of birds. Before beginning, a place to begin. Vox. A calling. A vocation. Vocal attention to what needs attending to.

Between the silences, a certain rhythm, swelling, shifting. Staccato dawn surprise, news of day returning through forest and jungle, desert, tundra, steppe. The music of heat, the beat of the heart, of the blood, of hunger and desire. Before drums there were patterns of voices, the weaving sounds the drums would fabricate at nightfall. Trying to remember something once heard. Trying to hear beyond memory.

Then naming the sounds: fa, ka, bo, ro. Ma, re, lo, tu. However many tongue and lips and breath could form in endless permutations. Magic and mimicry, signal, song. Just for the hell of it. Just for the joy of joining in, the combination of tones and harmonics. In the right sequence, you could dance to it. Under the moon, under threat of death, you could move to it, groove to it. You could begin to get the picture.

And semaphore: connect picture to sound. Solfege with semantics: cast spells. The spell for stone is "stone." The spell for sky, "sky." Vox. A calling, then. An invocation.

But still, that was just the beginning. A map into which we wandered. Into which we wondered. The naming of things by their sounds and spells was only the start. Because the names grew deeper meanings, shifted too, like the light, like day and night, found their own rhythms and rivers in some larger and unimaginable imagination. No one is here. No one calls to us: come.

Vox populi, vox dei, someone said, and getting the equation backwards, we were lost in gods. For a thousand years or a million. For as far back as we can remember. Unimaginable, they must have dreamed us, we dreamed. Must have dreamed these sounds and these maps and these endless rhythmic meanings. And even then, it was only starting. Only then it was getting even with itself. Catching up with what had already come. Been said, been mapped, been vocalized, been spelled. For once called, it cannot be unbidden. Such is the way it takes.

And the way it takes leads where it likes. Whether we like it or not. Whether we continue or try to go back. Back to what, exactly, it might taunt. Whatever calls, whatever asks such things. There is only onward, only more. Combination and recombination. Names unhinged from the things they once named, set free, gone native. Simile, metaphor, idea, abstraction. Fa, ka, bo, ro. Ma, re, lo, tu. But modulated, shifted up a couple octaves. Natural languages, natural musics. Natural wonders of the world. And naturally, what is called, if called often enough, eventually replies. Be careful what you wish for.

Coca Cola, CIA, schedules for the London Underground. At first light we broke camp and made our way South along the border. Carbon-14 and messenger RNA, radio telescopes in Arecibo. It seems we're getting something here, Inspector. Taps on the telephones. Requiescat in pace. The delicate pastels of morning, hieroglyphic scarabs, clockwork toys. Aurora borealis over microscopic islands of gallium arsenide. SETI coming up empty, shutting down. But what do you make of this? Every 200 minutes, it repeats. Must be some kind of code. Jaguars in the windows on the 45th floor. You can see them if you shade your eyes. Right there, across the ravine. Quantum geography? Yes, we've been meaning to check. And in Cairo tonight, a fire, 12 deaths. According to our latest intelligence, the moon has permanently disappeared. Deadlines and bloodlines, lapis and turquoise in Chiapas. So many sorties. So many stories. Getting harder and harder to keep track.

And beneath it all, bass line and grace note, the sounds from which it all began: echo of thunder, cadence of wave and rain and waterfall. Syncopation and counterpoint of fire. The music of heat, the beat of the heart, of the blood, of desire. Vox. A calling. A vocation. Voice. Looped through six billion minds a hundred trillion times. Entwined and elevated. Modulated, shifted up. Weaving. Rising.

Listen: maybe trying to tell us something.

1:11 AM | link |

Thursday, December 13, 2001
The Bombast Transcripts: Rants and Screeds of RageBoy
I am holding the very first copy off the press in my hot little hand. It's been a long-time dream to see EGR come out as a book, so this is pretty cool. Here's a bit that appears on the Amazon page: "Wandering barefoot on the Lower East Side of New York, over a thousand dollars cash in my pocket, looking to score, bring back for the holy freaks the one good thing. Odysseus adrift. Also in my pocket, the Tarot, the Waite deck I'd just bought that day. I went into The Eatery on Second Avenue and my waitress saw the cards. 'I was raised by Gypsies,' she said. 'I will tell you about the trumps if you like.' I had just dropped another tab and had little time left I knew, but she sat with me and pointed to each of the major arcana, the Lovers, the Fool, the Tower, Death. Then stopped. 'You have two Magicians,' she said...."

2:13 PM | link |

Monday, December 10, 2001
The full USA Today review of Gonzo Marketing
At least it will be at that URL for a couple days.
Page 9B

Get personal to market on Web
By Bruce Rosenstein

Christopher Locke may think big business is clueless, but he doesn't think it is hopeless.

Locke broke into the big time last year as one of the co-authors of the surprise hit The Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business As Usual. Now he is out to show you again that, as the Firesign Theatre comedy album says: Everything You Know Is Wrong.

Locke's vehicle now, the thought-provoking Gonzo Marketing: Winning Through Worst Practices, examines Web marketing.

Guess what? Conventional advertising doesn't, can't and never will work in cyberspace.

He has barely hidden contempt for big media companies and their CEOs, particularly Rupert Murdoch of News Corp. and Disney's Michael Eisner. He likens merging AOL and Time Warner to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

Yet beneath the sometimes sneering tone, this is a dead-serious book. Locke claims that mass markets and mass marketing are as good as dead because people spend more time on the Web. Once online, the eyeballs are not headed for sites with TV-size audiences, but into micromarkets -- small sites built around shared interests.

His solution is Gonzo, borrowing a term associated with over-the- top journalist Hunter S. Thompson. (If your pop-culture references are hazy, think back to the early 1970s Rolling Stone and such books as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Putting Thompson's spirit behind Web marketing isn't that far-fetched, given that Thompson is now writing a weekly column, ''Hey, Rube,'' for ESPN online.)

Gonzo involves passionate engagement, not detachment. It means getting to know the people to whom you are marketing -- literally talking to them (or at least exchanging e-mail).

The concept of worst practices has shock value, but there is also a point behind it: Best practices, or what are conventionally thought of as best practices in marketing, don't cut it in cyberspace. Instead of conventional advertising, such as buying banner ads on sites (pretty useless, he says), Locke urges companies to get into underwriting sites.

It is more subtle and cost-effective, he predicts, and more tasteful than bombarding audiences with your message. Underwriting must be tasteful and not too intrusive. He cites the Medici banking empire during the Renaissance, bankrolling the likes of Michelangelo and other artists whom we revere to this day. Subtlety is key. Picture, he says, underwriters insisting that the Sistine Chapel blare Bank With Medici!

Get your employees to find primo sites to underwrite, similar to A& R (artists and repertoire) scouts employed by record companies.

Employees play another crucial role in this scheme. They get involved with internally run sites on all sorts of subjects -- even some with a tenuous link to your company's business -- that link to your company's site. The employees use conversations with potential consumers to possibly steer them to your company site. All this work, by the way, is done on company time. It is to become an integral part of your marketing and personnel strategy to turn marketing over to everyone in the company, not just the marketing department.

What people want from companies on the Web are not just product messages, but ways they can hook up with like-minded people. As Locke writes: ''Do I want to obey my thirst and glug down a Sprite? Do I want to take the Pepsi Challenge? Do I care if you got milk? No, no and no. But I might care if some company offered to hook me up with a bunch of interesting people who think sorta like I do and have similar or complementary tastes and interests.''

Locke praises Amazon.com for its online marketing -- though, of course, that is its whole business. He discusses ''collaborative filtering.'' That's a fancy way of saying Amazon tells you what other people who bought the item your looking at bought. And he looks at the power of customer reviews of books, which allow people to talk to each other in a roundabout way. As an example, he notes the thousands of reviews on Amazon for the four Harry Potter books.

Gonzo Marketing: Winning through Worst Practices

By Christopher Locke

Perseus Publishing, 240 pages, $25

11:15 AM | link |

USA Today reviews Gonzo Marketing
It doesn't seem to be on the site as I write this, but it probably will be up later. Haven't even seen it yet myself but a friend read it to me over the phone -- and it's killer. Finally, a reviewer who actually read the book! Anyway, worth a look if you can grab a copy of the paper...

10:18 AM | link |

US public �disappointed� by Afghanistan anti-climax
Such is the concern at the White House that the American people have grown bored of Afghanistan that the State Department announced this morning it has given the green light to a Warner Brothers film about the war, provisionally titled Bin Laydown and die.

The film, starring George Clooney, Will Smith, Samuel L Jackson, Russell Crowe and a digitally-recreated Abraham Lincoln will follow a crack group of Navy Seals as they steal into Afghanistan, capture Mazar-e-Sharif, Kabul and finally Kandahar while handing out razors, Jimi Hendrix CDs and America flags.

Osama bin Laden proves a tricky nemesis, who the squad narrowly miss three times - once in a Kabul brothel - before finally catching up with him and the effeminate Mullah Omar in a dramatic final shoot-out in a cave where both Will Smith and Samuel Jackson meet a tearful, speech-making and violin-accompanied death. One of the white actors gets injured but doesn't die. The film will be directed by Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino and Tony Scott.

A State Department spokesman said at the press conference: "We will make the full resources of the United States Army available to Warner Brothers so they can make this film about our boys' bravery as realistic and widely available as possible. All we ask for in return is a completely inaccurate and biased version of the War on Terror� so our brainwashed citizens can go back to their little lives while we fuc*k over the rest of the world."

7:54 AM | link |

"RageBoy: Giving being fucking nuts a good name since 1985."
~D. Weinberger
28 October 2004

Chris Locke's photos More of Chris Locke's photos

Until a minute ago, I had no photos. I still have no photos to speak of. I don't even have a camera. But all these people were linking to "my photos." It was embarassing. It's still embarassing. But I'm used to that.

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The Bombast Transcripts

Gonzo Marketing

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