Two words for “Cluetrain Manifesto”: Dense Reading.


The book, Cluetrain Manifesto has in-depth content on the Web, and, the author writes in a manner that allows the reader to absorb the material on different levels. It’s almost rhetorical with assertions that make the reader think about their self and their power in corporate America.

The thesis I thought stood out was number 22: “Getting a sense of humor does not mean putting some jokes on the corporate Web site. Rather, it requires big values, a little humility, straight talk and a genuine point of view.”

Corporate America can be dry, serious, cut-throat and promote an individualistic culture that the United States is infamous for. I’ve worked for these companies. I’ve dealt with these withdrawn drones that produce work and lack interpersonal skills. To some, professionalism means falseness and an alter ego; to me, professionalism means being a little more careful with conduct yet retaining your personality and its traits. I can still make jokes and remain humorous as long as I don’t over-step my boundaries imposed by human resources.

Companies have sold me their sales pitch: “We take care of our employees.” Yes, and when it’s time to ask for the day off, I receive grief or another workday.

Fortunately, I currently have a job that I enjoy, and a boss that is the epitome of the cool boss.

The reading (chapters one and two) basically emphasize the innovation of the Web and its new influence on the business infrastructure. How short-sighted businessmen and women across the nation laughed at the idea of the Web gaining control over several markets. They really do mean the World Wide Web; the Web is pop culture, it’s business, it’s life in the 21st century—it’s oxygen to most.

Some companies remain in an ice age by not altering their strategies to incorporate the change with the Web or its new clientele. And they wonder why they go bankrupt.

Side note:  I had to print out the dense reading because if I continued to read online, I would have turned my eyes to stone from the monitor’s weak lighting. Plus, I had to re-read many sentences in order to tackle comprehension. I do think the author is incredibly talented and his finesse with words is uncanny; however, after a few pages, I would have to take a break. But in the end, it was worth it because the reading was enlightening and stimulating.


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