The Cluetrain Manifesto

I’ve just finished reading The Cluetrain Manifesto, which dates back to 2000 and the website to ’99. It was written as a response to perceived changes in the way that business-as-usual operates, thanks to the influence of the Internet.

It’s all about conversations. The Internet is one big conversation.

Basically, this book outlines, in a slightly rambling way, how the divide between companies and their customers – sellers and buyers – which was anyway a creation of the Industrial Revolution and economies of scale, is being blown away by the Internet. The Internet is not just another marketing channel, it is a channel for conversation, between anyone, anywhere. The reason this is so scary for companies is that it allows people to reach right past the blank face of product marketing and company press releases and get in touch with the people behind it all. Companies are being forced to open up, admit they are really just a bunch of humans that make mistakes, and start to communicate with their customers again.

It’s either that or die a slow death as customers flock to competitors who are willing to have the conversation.

It’s a great book, although as I said, it does ramble. Do read it, but if you’re short on time, just read the manifesto, the first chapter and the last. That pretty much covers it.