A bonfire that keeps on burning

“If advertising is a firework, social media is a bonfire”.

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve written that over the past two and a bit years.  It was something I worked up for IPA Social list of principles.

For the sake of the story, I sometimes wish it had been something I’d come up with on a chilly evening in early November, huddled around a bonfire, rather than on a hot August day on a train to London.  My digital data comet informs me it was August 4th.  Perhaps in times less precise and exact in their remembering ability, I could have hidden that fact, perfected the tale.  Ach well.

“Bonfires and Fireworks” as an idea, a line, a concept, has taken on a life of its own since then.  It crops up in various interesting places, quoted by people I hold in the greatest of esteem.  That still surprises and delights.  Thank you, all of you.

Then of course, there are whispers of corruptions, misunderstandings.  Which is fine too, because it’s always been something to share, something people can take and do what they like with.

Though… I did wonder, when I heard of someone writing a brief using the advertising fireworks half of the story without any of the social bonfire bit, what they thought they might achieve… the point of the opposite forces in the analogy is that neither means that much without the other.

Again, ach well.

Anyway, I’m not just sitting here reminiscing,  the story brought back to mind by the closing darkness, the preparations on bonfires outside, the arranging of fireworks.

I’m delighted to be heading back to Oslo in December, at the invitation of Thomas Moen, to talk about Bonfires and Fireworks at the Social Winter event.

It’s such a lovely idea for an event, and a unique format for me (no slides, just talking for 20 minutes), that I’m putting a lot of thought into what, at the end of 2011, bonfires and fireworks means now; to me, to you all too.

So, if you’ve any thoughts to share, please please either do so below, or email me (details on the contact page).

Right, I’ve got a fire to light and some rockets to let off….

Happy bonfire night, everyone.