The Cluetrain Manifesto Paperback – 30 Nov 1999
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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."See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Here's my rating scheme. 5 stars for useful thoughts. 3 stars for being incomplete in discussion. 1 star for writing style and organization.
Nevertheless, I do recommend you read the book. It strikes hard and relatively effectively at the kind of unemotional, dissociated, everyone-look- out-for-number-one thinking that amoral executives can be guilty of. Unfortunately, the book also slams the methods along with the lack of trustworthy purposes. For example, anything aimed at the subconscious mind gets condemned in this book. Unfortunately, one can communicate better by addressing both the conscious and the subconscious mind at the same time (that is what branding is all about). The Cluetrain authors seem to think that all subconscious communications cannot be trusted. I agree that they have to be watched carefully, or influence can be smuggled into our lives that doesn't belong there.
The best part of the book is its many ways of communicating how trust can be developed. The Internet isn't really going to develop properly until levels of trust among individuals and companies can be expanded, based on proper skepticism about the possible hidden agendas. Extended conversation is certainly a great help in this regard. Reputation is another way. Certification by some external process is yet another way.Read more ›
The book did ramble on occasions, though, and could have benefitted from more stringent editing. As it is, the structure of the book, with multiple authors, has given rise to a fair amount of repetition. This can be a good thing in order to drive vital points home, but they do overcook it somewhat.
Overall though, well worth the effort, and if you are in business you should have read this book, as it offers a simple and direct way to use the net to create and enhance those all important conversations with your market.
The authors clearly present a simple choice to businessmen. Ride the Cluetrain, understand that markets are conversations, and that customers and workers will have these conversations whether you like it or not, or lose your business.
Many people will read this book and think that from cover-to-cover it never understands real business. These people are precisely the kind that need this book the most, and need to understand it, before some young whippersnapper comes along and sideswipes their entire business.
The most important, intelligent, reasoned book you'll read this year.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Supplier advised that it had been shipped; didnt receive it although eagerly anticipated it. Waited a long time to see if it would arrive. Refunded.Published on 30 Sept. 2011 by Amazon Customer
I bought this because a friend in advertising told me to. It was supposed to be the best book about marketing in ages so I bought it. Read morePublished on 30 Jan. 2010 by Marcelo Carvalho
The Cluetrain Manifesto was one of the seminal books of the dot.com bubble era, but reading it now is like waking with a hangover and looking at all of the empty bottles, each of... Read morePublished on 15 Oct. 2003 by Rolf Dobelli
An easy to read, and extrememly enlightening book which allows the reader to understand the implications of communicating on the internet, not just the technological implications.Published on 16 May 2001
This book contains a lot of good ideas about better treatment of your customers. A lot of the ideas are simple (the I-knew-that kind) but that does not mean they are easy to get... Read morePublished on 6 Oct. 2000
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