At the time it seemed unfair. I was just getting the hang of print when desktop publishing took over. And figuring out direct mail when the Internet went “bang.” It’s been like that for the 20+ years I’ve been a copywriter.

I couldn’t be happier. Because each time the status quo exploded, it got more interesting.

Now most of what I know about traditional interrupt marketing techniques amounts to nothing more than a thin, thin starting line. Not because it doesn’t work, but because traditional “interrupt marketing” techniques are quickly being subordinated to something new and interesting: engagement marketing and community building.

The idea? There’s a lot to wrap your mind around, but here’s the simple, one-gulp version: sell someone a widget, and you’ve made a widget’s profit. Engage someone, and you’ve made a profit on all the widgets they’ll ever buy.

Aha.

Suddenly – to someone who thought most advertising copy would get you slapped if you read it aloud to the people it was aimed at – the world made sense. Engage them – build a relationship – and your long-term marketing ROI just went through the roof.

It’s hardly a new idea. But one whose time had come, courtesy some new interactive online tecnology. Blogs, message boards, phone texting… the list goes on.

We’re going to explore some of the good work. Laugh at the bad. Try to avoid the ugly. And head off on some wild tangents. Here at the Writer Underground.