“social objects” is what makes the internet work, what makes the internet possible

[The Cube Grenade I did for Shit Creek Consulting etc.]

Traditional advertising doesn’t work very well.

Sure, it tries, and tries hard, but most of the time, it fails.

It fails far worse now than it ever did during the golden era of TV or print. Those days are gone. We live in The Internet Era now.

Old, traditional advertising was all about creating messages for the media, not about creating social objects for the people using the media.

“Social Objects” is what makes the Internet work, what makes the Internet possible.

Without the social objects, there would simply be no World Wide Web.

Social objects are part of the Web’s very  DNA.

In The Internet Era, an ad that isn’t first and foremost a social object, is useless waste of money. Even if we’re not talking about the Internet, per se.

Which is why I invented Cube Grenades: social objects in cartoon form, designed to star real conversations between people.

To me, Cube Grenades aren’t just about cartoons. Cube Grenades are  about something far more important- they’re about doing something that creates real change between people, that creates something that actually matters to people.

Social Objects: I use cartoons. What do you use? Serious question.


  1. I use cartoons too! – http://goo.gl/Ty7Fy

  2. We created an unbook, a self-published Fieldbook that we can publish on demand (Lulu), use for workshops, give to clients and leave with friends & contacts. Nobody throws a book away immediately, as they might a brochure. It’s great for bloggers and writers who have lots of content already.

  3. A while ago I actually made a Squidoo lens dedicated to objects of sociability based on your original blog post on the topic.


    I’m going to have to add some of your prints to the page the next time I get a chance to re-edit it!

  4. I play music on an iPad. Kind of crazy, sure. Today I was interviewed on the radio here about making music on an iPad and tonight I performed on an iPad at a “social media” event. It got people talking and, interestingly, it was connected to a bunch of chats about doing/selling/sharing music in fresh ways.

  5. I scribble haiku and poetry about whatever strikes me.

    Didn’t think anything of the scribbled versions until friends starting latching on. Now I post them (and, occasionally, sell them).

  6. Can I just say how much I love this cartoon. Although my version is, “After the Big Boys fuck it up completely, feel free to not give me a call.”


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Hugh MacLeod, Hugh MacLeod, George Howard, mccauley, MrSolis and others. MrSolis said: RT @gapingvoid: new blog post: "social objects are what makes the internet work, what makes the internet possible": http://bit.ly/fQh8HF […]

  2. […] On the night I was following Casey Lau’s presentation on music and social media – showcasing the different kinds of platforms and services available to musicians today. Casey’s talk was refreshing and cut to the point, perhaps because he doesn’t come from a music business background. He is approaching this from the perspective of a digital entrepreneur. Welcome to the future of the music business, Fernando. where musicians stop emulating stadium-era rock stars, and start emulating web-savvy entrepreneurs. Hugh MacLeod responding to my comment on Social Objects […]

  3. […] the stories behind the albums many of us love so dearly, and why I believe in the anecdote as a social object is so powerful.  Also, I’d like to not be so deadly serious all the […]

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Hugh MacLeod is a genius.  Genius.

Seth Godin
Best Selling Author

His work acknowledges the absurdity of workaday life, while also encouraging employees to respond with passion, creativity, and non-conformity...   MacLeod’s work is undeniably an improvement over the office schlock of yore. At its best, it’s more honest, and more cognizant of the entrepreneurial psyche, while still retaining some idealism.

The New Republic
Lydia Depillis

Last year my State of the College address was 76 slides loaded with data. This year it was 14 cartoons that were substantially more memorable.

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Former President, Babson College

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Tony Hsieh
CEO, Zappos

In moments of indecision I glance at the wall [to Hugh's work] for guidance.

Brian Clark
  • Seth Godin
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