Thursday, 7 November 2013

I should Co-Co!

Anyone who works in marketing cannot have avoided the barrage of c-words that have characterised the marketer's vocabulary so far this century. Or more strictly said, Co-Words.

Thanks to the marvel that is the internet, we are all connected these days, cheerfully collaborating, co-creating and co-operating in our communities.

But is it all really so co-sy? If you just stick to the areas of the internet that you feel at home in, with like-minded communities, you probably feel co-mfortable most of the time. But under the co-ver, it's there. There are followers and leaders, there are hierarchies. And more often than not, if someone decides to do something that involves active participation beyond liking and agreeing, it will fall apart unless some of the participants actually meet face-to-face.

A recent book by Richard Sennett, Professor of Sociology and Humanities, called Together, is all about co-operation between human beings. Current politics (and indeed media) encourage tribes rather than cities, which is why co-operation, rather than being on the up, is a vanishing skill.

Because communities and co-operation are two very different things. Communities are a group of like-minded people, while co-operation describes working/doing together to a common end, often with people who are very different to oneself.

Next time I'm blithely buzzing those co-words around, I should remember that compromise and coalition also belong in that part of the dictionary.

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