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E25. Lou Reed’s Nephew, Thought Concierge
"How does one effectively promote the idea that not promoting things is the most effective method of promotion?”
Lou Reed’s nephew’s appearance took me by surprise as he stood awkwardly in my cube opening, emanating an unusual self-consciousness. He was wearing a jacket and a tie, and he was encumbered with a backpack covered in logos. A lanyard hung around his neck, off which his name and Twitter handle hung like twin albatrosses.
“Another workshop?” I asked, kidding him in a way I knew he wouldn’t appreciate. He was suddenly much in demand.
“Afraid so,” he said, rolling his eyes. “It looks like I might have been a little too successful at the last one. The brand named me is taking off.”
After months of aimless wandering, Lou Reed’s Nephew had stumbled into what he had seemed to be so carefully avoiding: success. De-optimization was the buzzword of the day and he was its face.
“Yes, yes, I’ve seen,” I said, enjoying his discomfort with his newfound fame. “The ‘influential young mumbler’ of the ‘shy content’ movement, I’ve read.”
“‘Coy content,’” he corrected me. “I didn’t come up with that,” he said. “That was Mashable.”
“What are you off to today?” I asked.
“DEOCrunch,” he said, fingering his enormous, laminated badge.
“Delivering the keynote,” he said.
“And DEO, what is that?”
“It’s what they’re calling de-optimization,” he said. “Like SEO.”
“And it stands for …”
“Nothing. It just rhymes.”
“So, tell me: How does one effectively promote the idea that not promoting things is the most effective method of promotion?”
“It’s awkward,” he admitted. “I’m not showing slides, and I intend to speak softly, perhaps in a whisper.”
“Have you thought about not showing up at all?”
“I have,” he said.
“Far too effective. Might cause a riot.”