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‘Less Fit for Reflection Than a Fight’ and Influency

President Obama Reveals Himself in Amazon Kindle Interview

This week, President Obama sat for a short interview with David Blum, the editor of Amazon.com Kindle Singles. My compliments to Mr. Blum for conducting a back-and-forth with the leader of the free world that was actually interesting (you can get it here).

It wasn’t the interview itself that was interesting, though, so much as a short part of David Blum’s commentary against his latest work at Kindle Singles. Here it is:

Asked repeatedly to reference personal, life-defining moments as a means to distill his mission into human terms, I was surprised to see President Obama — the author of two touching and deeply affecting memoirs before he became our President — deflect any attempt at self- analysis or narrative building. He instead dove into battle with those who would thwart him, and seemed fit less for reflection than for a fight. I wondered why the man who once saw hope as “audacity” — a personal mission — now viewed it as little more than a slogan. At the end of our interview, he read aloud an Amazon leadership principle painted on the wall behind him — “Vocally Self-Critical” — and muttered: “Huh … I guess.”

That’s what I found interesting personally. I supported President Obama’s two campaigns for his current gig, have revealed that here before, and also said that I’ve been more than a little bit disappointed in the way the Obama Presidency has gone. Again, that’s a personal statement. I like reflective people better than cowboys and President Obama’s recent lack of reflection and display of that during the Kindle/Blum interview makes me all the more sad and inclined to think about what “could have been”. Now, let’s talk about Amazon Kindle, Influency, and what all of this means to you.

If you own a bookstore you hate that the President visited Amazon to begin with. That’s fine; just as I can have an opinion, booksellers can hate that The President of The United States ‘does business’ with their Death Star. But that won’t stop or even slow down the move from paper books to Kindles and other e-readers, and won’t stop President Obama or his successors from communicating through photo ops at big, successful companies like Amazon.

But however you feel about the participants, a lot happened in the Obama/Blum interview, and most of the ‘win’ went to Amazon Kindle (and Kindle Singles).

Amazon, a huge (H-U-G-E) company, showed again just how good it’s becoming at pervading more and more aspects of our lives. Seriously, Google has more to fear from Amazon that Facebook or anyone else. And at a high level they’re following the same marketing plan: get you paying attention, all the time, and figure out the real application of revenue production associated with their actions, later.

So forget the infamous Kindle Censorship kerfuffle of 2009. Understand—as you already did, of course—that Amazon isn’t a bookstore anymore, anyway. The stakes have become much bigger and the score for Amazon and Kindle Singles in the Obama/Blum interview wasn’t revenue, it was mind share. You can get the Interview for free—and then you’ll have Kindle software, an awareness of Kindle Singles, and a growing stream of Amazon marketing things at you, pretty much every day.

And that’s real Influency.

Trying to figure out how to make your Influency efforts work? It’s why I’m here.

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