I came across this interesting letter on Katie Chatfield’s blog. It purports to be an open letter from “Brian” to the marketing industry. But whether it actually IS from a real person or not, the sentiment certainly resonates with people.
Now, because I hope/expect/want people to participate in the programs or marketing that I put together, I try to participate where I can. I contribute content and content, I comment and retweet and share. Sometimes I even do a mashup. But I do that out of a sense of reciprocity – not necessarily out of a sense of fun. Unless, of course, someone else puts the fun “in” – a good example being the @oldspice campaign. But I am predisposed towards participation – many people are not. And as “Brian” suggests, sometimes a social activation for your brand is either not relevant or (at worst) lame, but the same can be said of microsites lovingly built for the dozen or so people who actually visit.
So, the question we should ask ourselves is – have we taken participation too far? Is “Brian” right? Or are we just not trying hard enough?