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Godin Rants and Intro to Reading

June 18, 2009

When I read Seth Godin, I frequently notice that his theorems are exceptionally useful when cross-hatched over other people’s writings from other disciplines. His principles usually apply far beyond the scope of his marketing-oriented observations.  (I’m sure that’s by design, and part of his genius.)  My most popular post to date was a riff I did laying Godin’s ideas about “tribes” (along with Mark Penn’s Microtrends) on top of the idea of retailing.

And I’m not the only one.  Donor Power Blog, for instance, frequently quotes Godin applying his ideas in the non-profit world.

Here’s another.  Take Godin’s Textbook Rant from a few days ago and run it up  beside Bill Croke’s lament at the American Spectator that kids just don’t read like they used to.  Godin rails against the education establishment’s practice of forcing expensive, out-of-date, and boring marketing textbooks on marketing students–calling the practice “theft or laziness”–when so many other creative, less expensive alternatives are available.  Croke, on the other hand, longs for the pre-personal computer good-ole-days when “good literature” sprung from dead authors and 50-cent paperbacks from Scholastic, and seems to believe that the way he was taught to read is the way it should still be today.

Croke would be well-advised to read Godin before he complains.

But you read the two posts for yourself.  What think ye?  Clearly, whatever the literary canon is for middle and high schoolers doesn’t inspire reading particularly much these days.  Is the solution to go back to the Good Ole Days?  Is the reason kids give up on reading in middle school basically the same reason Intro to Marketing sucks?

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