Neil posted this splendid mini-rant at the end of last week, over on his blog, which you should go and read now.

(I appropriated his image too… for use in future presentations, stapling to the backs of folks shirts and so on.)

It’s another call to stop using the word ‘consumer’ when we actually should be thinking about people; real, gloriously different, irrational people of every shape, size and attitude.

I talked about what I thought the issues of using ‘consumer’ were before.  But it boils down to:

i) if you think of a group of homogeneous ‘consumers’, you’ll try and create one big homogeneous ‘one size fits all’ plan to affect the all because ‘they’re all the same’

ii) you’ll find it harder to think that you might actually be able to talk to them like you would other people… so you’ll keep on just broadcasting messages at them

iii) …so by changing the language you use to describe the people, you’ll actually help yourself create more compelling, conservation connections with them

It’s a change in language, yes.  But one that should affect a positive change in thinking.

But if we want a real change, let’s do something about it. 

Yes, that means you, the person reading this.

If you believe we should stop using ‘consumer’, then post a tweet that contains #StopUsingConsumer, and the reason.

For instance: #StopUsingConsumer – Because me and me mum and me dad and me gran are NOT ‘consumers’

And then, if my rudimentary HTML understanding is up to scratch (god, please work), it’ll appear here:

<script> /* widget config */ var jtw_divname = “StopUsingConsumer”; /* unique id of the widget */ var jtw_search = “StopUsingConsumer”; /* keywords or phrase to send to search.twitter.com and display */ var jtw_width = ‘190’; /* width of widget in px, %, or auto */ var jtw_height = ‘300’; /* height of widget in px, %, or auto */ var jtw_scroll = ‘yes’; /* add scroll bar to widget, ‘yes’ or ‘no’ */ var jtw_widget_background = ”; /* background style of whole widget */ var jtw_widget_border = ”; /* border style of whole widget */ var jtw_center_widget = ”; /* center widget horizontally in container if ‘yes’ */ /* tweet styling */ var jtw_tweet_textcolor = ”; /* text color of the tweets */ var jtw_tweet_linkcolor = ”; /* link color of the tweets */ var jtw_tweet_background = ”; /* background style of the tweets */ var jtw_tweet_newbackground = ”; /* background style of new tweets */ var jtw_tweet_border = ”; /* border style of the tweets */ var jtw_tweet_margin = ”; /* marin in px for each tweet */ var jtw_tweet_fontsize = ”; /* fontsize in px or em of each tweet */ var jtw_big_img = ”; /* display big avatar instead of small avatar */ var jtw_hide_img = ”; /* do not display twitter avatar if ‘yes’ */ /* display config */ var jtw_pre_html = ”; /* html code to display at the top of widget */ var jtw_post_html = ”; /* html code to display at the bottom of widget */ var jtw_mid_html = ”; /* html code to display inbetween each tweet */ var jtw_widget_style_misc = ”; /* misc css style for the widget */ var jtw_results_style_misc = ”; /* misc css style for the results */ var jtw_tweet_style_misc = ”; /* misc css style for each tweet */ var jtw_num_tweets = 10; /* number of tweets to display in widget (up to 100) */ var jtw_tweet_lang = ”; /* language of tweets to display (2 letter country code) */ var jtw_widget_refresh_interval= ”; /* the frequency (in seconds) to look for new tweets*/ </script> <script src=”http://tweetgrid.com/widget/widget.js” type=”text/javascript”/>

Widget-tastic, eh? Now, I’m going to past that at the side of Feeding The Puppy, if you want to do the same, then grab the HTML code from here.

(Oh, and the widget is from TweetGrid here.  Learn how to build your own for anything, it’s pretty easy.)

By the end of the year, let’s StopUsingConsumer