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Substitute the Word "Customer" for "Consumer"

Doc Searls just posted his reaction to Walter Mossberg's Personal Technology column that appeared in last Thursday's edition of The Wall Street Journal. Searls says, "I like DigitalConsumer, but I'd like them a lot more if they called themselves DigitalCustomer. Same goes for Walter's last word as well."

Good point. Educated Americans are more than just passive consumers of media content. Many of us think about what we want to watch/listen to/experience and make informed choices. If mass marketers thought about the people they sold to as customers, rather than "consumers" of their product or service, attention to the customer's needs and desires would be quite different.

What if the recording industry thought of people who download music as their customers (instead of as thieves)? How would this change the way they communicate with them? How would the offers they make to the public be different from what they are today?

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