How would you classify a book that begins with the salutation "People of Earth..."? While the captains of industry may dismiss it as mere science fiction, The Cluetrain Manifesto
is definitely of this day and age. Aiming squarely at the solar plexus of corporate America, authors Christopher Locke, Rick Levine, Doc Searls and David Weinberger show how the Internet is turning business upside down. They proclaim that, thanks to conversations taking place on Web sites and message boards, and in e-mail and chat rooms, employees and customers alike have found voices that undermine the traditional command-and-control hierarchy that organizes most corporate marketing groups. "Markets are conversations", the authors write, and those conversations are "getting smarter and faster than most companies". In their view, the lowly customer service rep wields far more power and influence in today's marketplace than the well-oiled front office PR machine.
The Cluetrain Manifesto began as a Web site (www.cluetrain.com) in 1999 when the authors, who have worked variously at IBM, Sun Microsystems, the Linux Journal and NPR, posted 95 theses that pronounced what they felt was the new reality of the networked marketplace. For example, thesis no.2: "Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors"; thesis no.20: "Companies need to realize their markets are often laughing. At them"; thesis no. 62: "Markets do not want to talk to flacks and hucksters. They want to participate in the conversations going on behind the corporate firewall"; thesis no. 74: "We are immune to advertising. Just forget it". The book enlarges on these themes through seven essays filled with dozens of stories and observations about how business gets done in America and how the Internet will change it all. While Cluetrain will strike many as loud and over the top, the message itself remains quite relevant and unique. This book is for anyone interested in the Internet and e-commerce, and is especially important for those businesses struggling to navigate the topography of the wired marketplace. All aboard! --Harry C. Edwards,Amazon.com
More Reviews (As if you needed any more encourgement to read this book!)
"These roublemakers are going to get what they deserve - a hug and enthusiastic following." Esther Dyson, Chairman, EDventure Holdings
"Should be read cover to cover before anyone embarks on an online venture." Internet Works, March 2003 "What if the real attraction of the Internet is not its cutting-edge bells and whistles or any of the advanced technology that underlies its pipes and wires? Thanks to the Web, the people who are the market are telling one another the truth, in their own voices, even if business isn't paying attention. "The Cluetrain Manifesto is the absolutely brilliant creation of four marketing gurus who have renounced marketing-as-usual." - Thomas Petzinger, JR., The Wall Street Journal
The Cluetrain Manifesto is a wake-up call to the corporate status quo. It presents a stunning tapestry of anecdotes, object lessons, parodies, war stories and suggestions, all aimed at illustrating what it will take to survive and prosper in the fast-forward world on the wire. "If you don't think you need this book to better understand your market - that's your second mistake" - Seth Godin (author of Permission Marketing)
Campaign Magazine August 2001 "Consumers are hitting back at uncaring and insensitive corporate cultures, and marketers who are worried about the effect on their brand's image could do worse than look to the Manifesto for some guidance." "The Cluetrain Manifesto highlights a growing sensitivity to the authenticity of brands and the meaninglessness of advertising products as different to what they really are......The Manifesto has made businesses realise that building relationships with customers is the name of the game. Without genuine dialogue you're dead." "The real test of the Cluetrain's impact though, will be its effect on marketing strategy. And already observers believe we're starting to see Cluetrain influences in recent high-profile work. Take Fallon's advertising for Skoda, which built on the premise that Skoda cars were perceived as having about as much style and engineering finesse as a skip....." "Such changes in strategy do to a certain extent reflect its preachings..." "Until big brands embrace more of the Cluetrain thinking, the anti-capitalist rioters might just have a point."