the self-select few?

sheep sign

Monday’s feed your curiosity post got lots of visitors, and many of them clicked through to the featured sites.

I was really pleased about that, because the post’s purpose was to share their great content.

However, somebody made a really interesting observation:

“I looked at those blogs you linked to. They were all really good and all, but their blogrolls all link to the same sites. They all seem to reference each other too. Are you all part of some secret club? Is this just a clever ruse to promote your particular way of thinking?”

It’s true.

We’re all linking to each other.  We’re all connected on twitter too.

I’ve always seen that as a good thing: the evolving group discussions help to sharpen my own thinking.

The community aspect is very important too.

But is this ‘clique’ healthy?

Does it really improve our thinking, or are we in danger of becoming a homogeneous planning ‘cult’?

It would be great to hear your thoughts.


6 Responses to “the self-select few?”

  1. 1 John V Willshire September 24, 2009 at 17:56

    As deputy-vice-president (weights and measures) of the secret club… damn, rumbled… send out the hit squad…

    No, seriously, it’s a good point… are we just defending and reinforcing the views that, well, we came up with in the first place? Is it too cliquely, too niche, too small? A self-perpetuating system of belief?

    As Simon says… a ‘cult’?

    I guess the thing about cults is that they are based on beliefs which by and large are unprovable (the same is true about religions, but let’s not go there…)

    So in order to stop it looking quite so ‘culty’, the onus is on the people who believe, repeat, and build upon the theory to offer tangible, tested examples and fact.

    There’s a lot of noise being made about the NEED for proof and evidence, which is a good first step (the realisation is clearly there).

    But only by sharing, openly, the results we have (much as scientists must when validating new theories) will a lot of the things we propose actually start to gain traction in the world.

    If we can prove our philosophies and theories, only then can we lay to rest accusations along these lines.

  2. 2 neilperkin September 24, 2009 at 17:59

    Hi Simon. It’s a thought I’ve pondered on before now as well, but overall I think it remains a productive characteristic – in the networked world like minded people (or people with similar interests – like those in the same industry) naturally gather and whilst the danger is inherent that it all might become a bit introspective, I think there’s a couple of things that prevent that from happening – one is the fact that each of us brings unique connections with us (so the ‘plannersphere’ community for example touches on many different disciplines including PR, Digital specialists, DM people, tech people, clients, trends people, social media specialists), and the other is that I believe our reading/sources of inspiration reach far outside of just advertising – I have architecture, art, publishing, design, politics, and psychology blogs for example that form part of my semi-regular reading list, and there is always the serendipitous discovery of new stuff that the web is so good at providing in spades. There’s some good discussion that happens around ad blogs, and in general I think most (though I accept not all) of it helps to move the debate forwards

  3. 3 Gretchen Ramsey September 24, 2009 at 19:33

    We have developed a cult of thinking, not consensus. The conversation and sometimes disagreement evolves the thinking, makes us collectivey smart-er. What’s so exciting about this tech-enabled community is the reach of the cult — I’m based in the US outside of NY (talk about a homogenous cult of thinking), but my brain trust extends now to Finland, Gautemala, South Africa, England, and many more cultures. It’s amazing to see the similarities of our thought, but even more exciting to see the nuances in perspective based on cultural influence of where we sit on the globe.

  4. 4 Mateus September 24, 2009 at 22:05

    Hi Simon, I am a art director from Brazil and sincerely what keeps me going at this profession is the “new” line of thinking(I don’t really think it’s new, it’s just society growing up, getting more mature) I read everyday at those blogs. Some creatives in the world are still fighting against an old and reluctant generation of corporate creatives (our bosses most of the time) and thanks to you guys we have enough examples and argument to start some change in the way we see and perceived communication… sorry for any “bad english”

  5. 5 faris September 25, 2009 at 06:04

    yeah kind of. group think exists.

    although at the same time maybe we hang out because we think similar.

    i’m not sure you can discern cause from effect.


  6. 6 John Barton September 25, 2009 at 11:53

    A clique? It doesn’t seem that way to me. I’m not an ad planner, but I’m interested in some of the topics on your blogs. The way I look at it, friendships and conversations happen all the time outside the blogosphere and a great deal of knowledge is kept within the confines of small groups. Here, however, the world is invited to eavesdrop, perhaps see a different perspective and even chime in.

    Not everyone can be on everyone’s blog roll, and for me, I’m happy to have the privilege to read, watch, listen and think.

    Thanks for doing what you do and sharing it with us.

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