Friday, May 20, 2005

Pepsi and the danger of preaching to the choir. "PepsiCo had better hurry. Scorn, and lost loyalty, won't wait for McKenzie & Co to come up with a report."

If you haven't heard about PepsiCo's CFO Indra Nooyi's "America is the middle finger" speech, you may be one of the few in the blogosphere who hasn't.

My only comment (at this late hour) is how surprising I'm sure it is to Ms. Nooyi that I"m sitting in my pajamas blogging about a speech she gave at Columbia University last week.

She no doubt thought that she was saying things that would be well received by her audience and that her audience was limited to those in her hearing.

This is the sea change of information technology that is upon us.

Blogs have made public comments, truly public. It's just as likely that persons in College Station, TX would "hear" Ms. Nooyi's speech as those souls seated in attendance at the graduation ceremonies of Columbia's School of Business.

I feel confident that this fact, if appreciated by Ms. Nooyi, would have perhaps caused moderation of her remarks to make them more palatable to the millions of potential Pepsi drinkers across America who don't share her view of America's role in the world.

I imagine she had no idea that her words were accesible, at the speed of light, to the rest of us.

Now ask yourself this question: How long until your local Public University Professor (read: Ward Churchill) has the contents of class lectures readily available to alumni via bloggers or other new media?

I think this kind of feedback loop would be very healthy for Higher Education.

PepsiCo is getting feedback this week. As is Newsweek.

They can't just feed anymore. Now it's feedback.

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