My Cluetrain Manifesto Notes

It's been years ago since I read 'The Cluetrain Manifesto'. I think I maybe only read parts of it, back in 2001 or so. After leaving Oce I didn't have a copy of The Cluetrain anymore, so I decided to buy my own copy and read through it from beginnning to end. Now there's a 10th anniversary edition making it even more interesting to do so.

Man, what a ride it was. This book is just great. And amazing for the fact they captured what is going on right now so well. This book is a must-read for a social media enthusiasts. But also for all who just started using social media and are trying to understand if this social-thing is a hype or a trend.

I'm not going to summarize the book for you. But I wanted to share some nuggets with you. If you haven't read the book, I hope this will trigger you to go and do so. Please let me know if you do!

  • Start here and read through the 95 theses! If you like these and want to know more, read the book.
  • "... everything that happens in the marketplace falls into three categories: transaction, conversation, and relationship. In our First World business culture, transaction mattered most, conversation less, and relationship least. Worse, we conceive and justify everything in transactional terms. Nothing happens more than price and "the bottom line". By looking at the market through the prism of transaction, or even conversation, we miss the importance of relationship. We also don't see how relationship has a value all its own: one that transcends, even as it improves, the other two." (p.12)
  • "... most of the ones I come up with [that apply The Cluetrain well] are essentially small businesses, with simple organizational underpinnings and a scale made manageable by an intrinsic limit on the number of company participants in the conversation." (p.33)
  • "The internet was a force of disintermediation. ... The internet was disintermediating the sedimentary layers of increasing nonhumanity." (p.53)
  • "Indeed, conversation requires a broad base of agreement from which we then discuss relatively minor differences. Conversation isn't usually about finding the truth. It's a social activity and a way of building social relationships." (p.62)
  • "Whether in the marketplace or at work, people do have genuine, serious concerns. And we have something else: knowledge. Not the sort of boring, abstract knowledge that "Knowledge Management" wants to manage. No. The real thing. We have knowledge of what we do and how we do it - our craft - and it drives our voices; it's what we most like to talk about." (p.80)
  • "Markets are conversations. Trade routes pave the storylines. Across the millenia in between, the human voice is the music we have always listened for, and still best understand." (p.82)
  • "We don't know what the web is for but we've adopted it faster than any technology since fire." (p.115)
  • "People talk to each other. In open, straightforward conversations. Inside and outside organizations. The inside and outside conversations are connecting. We have no choice but to participate in them." (p.123)
  • "Companies can't stop customers from speaking up, and can't stop employees from talking to customers. Their only choice is to start encouraging employees to talk to customers - and empowering them to act on what they hear." (p.144)
  • "The long silence - the industrial interruption of the human conversation - is coming to an end." (p.154)
  • "Here's some advice on entering the conversation: loosen up. Lighten up. And shut up for a while. Listen for a change." (p.173)
  • "We're all learning to talk anew. We're all going to get it right and get it wrong." (p.183)
  • "The web, in short, has led every wired person in your organization to expect direct connections not only to information but also to the truth spoken in human voices. And they expect to be able to find what they need and do what they need without any further help from people who dress better than they do." (p.188)
  • "Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy. Hyperlinks subvert Fort Business. Business is conversation." (p.230)
  • "Via intranets, workers are already speaking among themselves. Via the internet, markets are already speaking among themselves. The convergence of these two conversations is not only necessary, but inevitable." (p.236)
  • ""Follow the money" may still apply, but to find the money in the first place, follow the conversation." (p.248)
Well, those are my highlights! Hope they help. What part(s) of The Cluetrain did you like most?

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