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Let me start by saying that I have now heard Don Tapscott speak on the topic of Wikinomics twice and he is a brilliant speaker with a very interesting and polished message on where the world is headed for marketers and their brands. The latest chance I had to see him was at the Canadian Marketing Association‘s National Convention and Tradeshow in Ottawa this week.
Don’s model is interesting. His books and his speaking engagements are all based on great research guided and produced at New Paradigm where he is CEO.
I would not label Don a futurist as much as a keen opportunist that superbly understands “now”. He has been called a “web guru” and “thought leader” and has authored some notable books. The uniqueness of Don is that he has the swagger and slickness to secure large funding and significant resources to get to the answers around the questions he poses. No simple task – one to be envied.
And, he obviously has the ability to ask all the right questions and then frame the answers in a context that makes him an authority – in the way a curator collects pieces of art within a theme or period and weaves it into a collection much bigger than the sum of it’s parts. All with a smooth delivery that non-believers can buy into.
So what is my issue with Don? Well, when he mentioned in his speech that one of his staffers created his avatar for him in Second Life. It posed a bit of a disconnect for myself and others who understand the culture of the virtual world enough to know this is not very kosher. It screams of corporate dude in our midst.
That tactic may be all well and good for the CEO of IBM, but you kind of expect more from a web guru and thought leader to do this rather mundane task himself rather than assign it to a staffer. Shouldn’t Don know that the purists would see that as a faux-pas when the walk did not match the talk?
It was undoubtedly missed to the untrained eye and ear in terms of the audience. However, can this be seen as the SL equivalent of ghost blogging? Or, is this a non-issue?
Don was totally transparent about not creating his avatar, but seemingly unaware that the purists and pundits could have found some issue with the fact that he had his avatar designed for him. Perhaps I am just jealous that I was not able to delegate the design of my avatar. I still have no shoes!
Anyhow, if you have a chance to hear Don speak go for it, he is great. And, check out Wikinomocs – it is a good read. Although, for those reading this blog it will not be anything new, just what we already know put into a very nice frame.