So I'm going over some previous posts and I realise that I promised to go over the SLOT machine in more detail last week and I only kind of barely touched on it. And I hate doing shit like that, so here I am covering it now.
If you'll recall, I mentioned that SLOT stands for Site - List - Offer - Tribe, and actually this is the perfect time to discuss it because we just finished going over the initial roots of a tribe. There's more to it than this, of course, but the groundwork is laid.
There's one very critical element of any community which has to be established early on, and that is precisely what it is you stand against.
Oh, don't get me wrong, you definitely need to stand for something. But standing for something is not enough. Standing for something gives you an "us."
But you cannot create a long-term sustainable group without also having a "them." Someone else whose values do not match yours, and indeed are antithetical; someone whose viewpoint is not only different, but actively wrong. You need a group which stands against you, and all you stand for, so you have something to fight.
In order for people to rally around you on the internet, or anywhere else, you need to be perceived as an authority. And being perceived as an authority is kind of right there in the word.
Basically, you have to write a book. It's never been easier to write a book; between CreateSpace and Lulu and Xlibris and Vervante, you can go from the same sort of PDF you might use to create your product to a physical published book - with just a few hours work and a couple dollars of investment.
So as I mentioned yesterday, there's a way around the problem of wanting to be around people who don't want to be around you, and that is to solicit volunteers.
Remember when you started up your list, so you could talk to your people? This is the other side of that, where you create a space for your people to talk to each other. This is the core of a tribe: they need to have a reason to communicate, and a means of communication.
There are dozens of ways to set this up. Forum software. Skype groups. Facebook groups. Fan pages and social networks and Twitter lists and who knows what else. But the key element - the thing that sets this apart from a cult of personality, like a blog - is that the people are here to talk to each other. They post comments to talk to you. They join your list for you to talk to them. But they join your tribe so they can talk to other people in it.
So we've got some behaviour that maps pretty closely to the behaviour of (very) primitive tribes, and what better to represent it than a monkey?
We all kind of grasp that the average company is full of monkeys. That you go to work, and all your co-workers are running around screaming, jumping up and down, and just generally not being very useful. They perceive that they have jobs, and that those jobs are different from other people's, and that they don't need to "compete" for their space anymore. But they still pretty much only care about themselves, in any reasonable fashion.
There are two parts of the brain that form what we refer to as our "higher" brain function, which has absolutely nothing to do with drugs. Well, actually, the whole brain has to do with drugs. It's just that your brain tends to manufacture those drugs itself. Technically, serotonin and dopamine are the only two things you enjoy, but you associate them with whatever caused them to be produced.
The parietal lobe is still back in what I call the "animal" part of the brain. It's not that animals don't have a frontal lobe (which we'll be discussing next week), or indeed that humans aren't animals, but that I use animal descriptors for them. And the parietal lobe is where we start to see developed social behaviour, which we still find among animals.
About a year ago, I published this massive rant about how the marketing industry is full of cocksuckers who don't really want to help you and aren't really trying, because they're playing a certain game.
See, here's the way it works. You tell people the same shit over and over, just in slightly different ways, because it doesn't matter what you tell them. Most of them are beetle-brains anyway, so you tell them "go do this" and they do nothing because it's not right in front of them. The lizard-brains look around and go "I don't see that" and do nothing. And the dog-brains play fetch. They miss the point.
You throw the ball in the form of a product that says "go do this," they run off and fetch it, and then they come back. They don't do anything with the ball. They just run off and come back. That's it. And you say "good dog!" and pat them and rub their head and they wag their tails and wait for you to throw the ball again.
If you're still following along, you're probably sweating bullets and going "how the fuck am I supposed to have a blog and a list and a product in three weeks?!"
Well, you're not. Each of these things is a matter of one to three months. You can pull out the stops and git-'r-done in a month, or you can just kick back and relax and take a quarter of the year to put stuff out there, but if you spend an hour a day on each of these things you'll have something worth holding up and saying "I did this shit" in about sixty days.
This was the whole point of the now-discontinued System Sixty series. Sixty minutes for sixty days is enough to build something stable and reliable. But nobody wanted to promote that series, because... well, the excuses varied, but my translation was that nobody wants to sell things that actually work. I'll talk about that on Sunday, but today I want to talk about the overall thrust of this series.