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Friday, March 10, 2006

Behind eBay soul selling: provoking conversation

Michael Esordi of Connecticut is selling his soul on eBay, and so far there are 13 bidders, with the highest bid being $47. The auction ends tomorrow.

What’s up with this guy? Is he some kind of religious nut? Apparently not. His real purpose is to provoke discussion, and get more people thinking about spirituality. Another example of just how much people want to have a say and engage with others to understand ideas. The more complex a concept, service or product, the more people want a dialog to make their own meaning of the idea. That’s why effective marketing is a conversation, not a one-way lecture, advertisement or sales presentation. We need to talk to make sense of many ideas, perhaps none more so than existential understanding.

“My idea is to put the idea out there and step back,” Esordi told Providence Journal writer Bryan Rourke. “It gets people to think and maybe believe in something. Souls are sold in small and large ways every day. Often, it’s something that happens little by little, almost unconsciously because we’ve become inured. ”

Aside from buying a certificate of Esordi’s soul, the winning bidder gets the opportunity to explain the reason for wanting to buy a soul certificate on Esordi’s web site, aptly named canitbesouled.com.