Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I think that I shall never see...

Most of us are probably familiar with Joyce Kilmer's famous ode to trees that begins thus:

I think that I shall never see
a poem as lovely as a tree.

One of the few poems of greater fame in this century might be Robert Frost's Two Roads, or the schoolyard ditty, "I'm a poet, and I know it." Though I am not precisely sure where the rest of that one goes.

What got me thinking about Kilmer's poem was an article I saw titled 10 Reasons Why Social Is Your Future SEO Strategy.

You're probably wondering what the link is between SEO marketing and poems about trees, but it's not much of a stretch from where I sit. Let's step back and look at the Southwest. Ansel Adams comes along and is utterly fascinated by the play of light on the western hills. Another family comes along with four teenage boys who see it as a recreational playground for their off-road vehicles. Another artist paints, and yet another writes inspired poetry. Then the entrepreneur comes along with a team of geologists. "This looks like the kind of rock that houses copper," or whatever. He raises a team of investors and they do exploratory drilling.

In other words, different people bring different perspectives to nearly everything. Artists and entrepreneurs are often at opposite ends of the spectrum here, but the most famous artists were usually pretty good business people, or got in league with them.

So it is with the Internet. In the 90's (the Middle Ages of Internet) the lay of the land was being transformed rapidly as countless settlers entered cyberspace and built web pages. These explorers were soon followed by eCommerce entrepreneurs who indeed saw dollar signs and reaped a harvest of them.

In what is called Web 2.0, the social networking spheres have ascended to prominence. In 2004 these were spurned by many entrepreneurs as time wasting distractions... like doing business in a bar. (I suppose it would depend on what kind of business you were doing.) MySpace and FaceBook grew into giants and other social networking siblings like Plaxo, LinkedIn and Twitter followed. Most of the people on Facebook and MySpace were initially simply fulfilling a natural human need: to socialize. Many were looking for like minded friends and others serious relationships. Ultimately, entrepreneurs recognize a market when they see one and now we have a horde of them scratching their heads trying to figure out how to crack this new nut.

10 Reasons is a pretty good article for eCommerce professionals. It all starts with one critical component: Content.

Did I forget to mention the link between the article and trees? It was this. One man looks at a tree and sees a poem. Another gets inspired to paint a picture. A third wishes to climb it and hang a rope on it for a tire swing. The fourth chops it down to make rocking chairs. (Hopefully he is growing more in its place.)

In the meantime, don't lose touch with your aesthetic self. After all, we're human, with hearts and souls.... not machines.

by Joyce Kilmer

I THINK that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day, 5
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain. 10

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

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