Here's something I've been thinking about for some time now.
You see, there is this company.
It publishes over a hundred RSS feeds and several email newsletters, but not a single blog.
The only conversations this company entertains are the ones it starts itself or is subpoenaed into.
Conversations it doesn't like, it tries to silence.
It has sued some of its biggest fans.
It is not known for responding to online complaints about its products.
On MySpace, the profile that should have belonged to this company is occupied by a DJ.
On Flickr, it's someone from Japan.
Last month, it has opened several accounts on Twitter, which it uses to broadcast product news. Four of them follow exactly four other accounts; the fifth one follows twelve.
It has two Facebook pages and no applications.
It doesn't have a channel on YouTube to post viral videos.
Its website has a "Share" link. The link opens a pop-up window with two fields: your email address and the recipient's.
It runs an affiliate program.
Once, this company liked a student video so much it re-shot the video into an 30-second ad. A search for "crowdsourcing" among its press releases returns no matches.
You know that quip about how advertising is the tax you pay for being unremarkable?
This company spends nearly half a billion dollars on advertising every year. Much of this money is spent on 30-second spots, full page newspaper ads, huge billboards and station domination, online banners, and search ads.
This company thinks so different it must have fallen off a cluetrain.
People dress up as this company's ads for Halloween.
This company sits on the top of Fortune's list of most admired companies.