Yesterday I posted (If I called it writing, I’d have to proof) about the social graph — the relationship between consumers tied together online. Today I am going to see The Nightwatchman. The Nightwatchman is Tom Morello, lead guitar player of Rage Against the Machine, who may be rock’s best guitar player. Mr. Morello, in his spare time, wanted to teach himself to sing, so he decided to take his guitar to small venues and book himself anonymously as The Nightwatchman.
With rock, Tom, and word-of-mouth being what they are, people started to catch on. Those linked by computer (MySpace and Facebook,) those linked by cell phone, and those linked by barstool and coffee couch began to discuss this phenom with the guitar and gritty voice and now he has an album and big tour.
This is a perfect example of the social graph working. Tom is cool, he’s the “haps,” and someone easy to recommend, but what about other product categories that might not be as “social?” Cold sore ointment? Drunk driving lawyers? Wrinkle cream? How likely are marketers of these products to use the social graph to generated sales? Surprisingly, more than you’d think. Someone I know had a medical problem that was not particularly good social conversation. So she went on anonymous message boards and learned lots. That was social. It was just anonymous social. Over time this type of social media will be a good place to meet recommenders and friends. Online friends. What should call online-only friends? Any ideas? “Fronds?”