Cluetrain Manifesto

by

The most impressive aspect of this book is that it’s available free on the web. That being said, who wants to read a whole book on a computer screen? Not the slightest bit fun.

As I got further into the book, the author’s ideas became increasingly familiar, as if I had heard it before. It turns out that I did.

The book was published in 1999, about the time the dot com bubble was popping. Business developers had already perfected their tap dance routines for venture capitalists. So how do you get investors to give you money without a business model? The Cluetrain Manifesto.

The authors promise success through strict adherence to their ideals. but their ideals are amorphous, taking whatever shape successful internet businesses take.

Is the web static?
Yes.

Is the web solid but malleable?
Yes.

Is the web fluid, subject to change at a moment’s notice?
Yes.

Is there growth potential for business ventures?
Only if you use us as your media consultants.

The Internet’s potential ability to connect people is truly inspiring as its potential to create revenue. One aspect of human nature, or American nature, is its passivity, is juxtaposed to the internet’s innate interactivity. People are active members of discourse. But what if the public is too lazy to seek out information and discourse. How many of you have left a review on Amazon or Ebay?

The Cluetrain Manifesto is just like a guy on prom night. He’ll tell you the most amazing things like, “You will corner your market because you are so unique!” or “Together we can revolutionize the industry!” It’s easy to fall in love with what the authors preach in Cluetrain, because you want it so much to be true. But fostering a relationship with your market is difficult. They tell you what they want, tell you how inadequate your products are, badmouth your services to their friends but never tout your positives. In the end they’ll stay with you because you’re familiar and they fear change.

Just make sure you have virus protection when you go out on the Internet.

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One Response to “Cluetrain Manifesto”

  1. ssloansjca Says:

    Excellent analysis! Yes, maybe you are right, but maybe so is Cluetrain. The jury is still out on what the final result of all this is. I think there are way too many variables to resolve the issue as yet. Not all markets are equal. On one hand we have seen the power of Cluetrain make a big difference in something as big as our university, but if we were at an institution that sold a bulk commodity Cluetrain might not have any impact. Customers vary in their degrees of passion and a few passionate customers can make a huge difference, so can passionate employees and enlightened management. But, never loose sight of the fact that the business of business is to maximise return on investment.

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