Seth Godin spreads stories, wears them.

Seth Godin plays with words. He practically owns the phrase “permission marketing” but now has a better way of describing the lack of it – “TV thinking.” He makes fun of YAA (yet another acronym), but isn’t averse to throwing in his own: BA, DA and AA. They stand for Before Advertising, During .. you get the idea.

But it’s not just his words and his books –with funky titles (Purple Cow, Meatball Sundae) — that etch their way into the marketing lexicon, but his delivery and style.

So when Seth told a packed room of communicators at the IABC conference last week to pull up their socks to face ‘the new industrial revolution,’ he got their attention. He put it bluntly that “communicators have trained people to ignore their message,” and “no one built the internet for you!” You can’t fight clutter by adding more of it. It’s more important to be storytellers, not messengers or interrupters he says.

You can’t bend the internet to suit your story, he went on. You have to play to a different set of rules –the rules set by Google, and bloggers, and ordinary people uploading videos like that of a Comcast technician who fell asleep on a customer’s couch. It means building something remarkable, and finding a way to get others to spread your stories.

To illustrate, Seth pulled up the cuffs of his pants to reveal his brightly colored socks that happened to be mismatched. They are from a company called Little Missmatched that gives kids –and keynote speakers — permission to express themselves and thereby spread the story. We didn’t get a chance to ask any questions because he was off and running. But it’s safe to assume Seth is telling their story over and over again, on his dime, to his audience.

As a backgrounder to his presentation, you could listen to a pre-conference podcast of Seth interviewed by John C. Havens on BlogTalkRadio.