The Intention Economy

July 29th, 2012

Our relationship to the things we buy and the companies we buy from, is constantly changing. David "Doc" Searls, co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto, argues that to date, it’s been a kind of master/slave relationship. Think of the rhetoric. Merchants "capture" customers, they want "to own" customers, they want to gather data on customer, have cookies follow them around. All so as to ostensible make our experience better. But is it?

From the perspective of the seller, John Wanamaker used to say that he knew that half of his advertising expenditures worked, he just didn't know which half.

Given the internet and the free flow of information, shouldn't the experience be more empowering for the consumer and less so for the seller? Yet it’s evolved in a way that is just the opposite. Doc Searls wants to change that, as he explains in his new work The Intention Economy: When Customers Take Charge. My conversation with Doc Searls: