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Cluetrain Manifesto Hardcover – Feb 1 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Collins Canada; First Edition edition (Feb. 1 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738202444
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738202440
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.9 x 23.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 726 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #168,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

How would you classify a book that begins with the salutation, "People of Earth..."? While the captains of industry might 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 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

From Publishers Weekly

Experienced technology users with a history of communicating over the Web, Levine (Sun Guide to Webstyle), Locke (who has worked for MCI and IBM and written for such publications as Forbes), Searls (a senior editor at Linux Journal) and Weinberger (a regular commentator on NPR) want nothing less than to change the way the world does business. Commerce, they argue, should not be about transactions, it should be about conversations, no matter what the medium. The artifice that frequently accompanies buying and selling should be replaced by a genuine attempt to satisfy the needs, wants and desires of the people on both sides of the equation. Despite their long digressions, the authors occasionally succeed in making solid, clever points that reveal fundamental flaws in the structure of traditional businesses. Consider this comment about business hierarchies: "First they assume--along with Ayn Rand and poorly socialized adolescents--that the fundamental unit of life is the individual. This despite the evidence of our senses that individuals only emerge from groups." So far so good. But their apparent assumption that everyone in upper management, along with anyone who does not embrace every aspect of their utopian ideal, is a dolt may not be the best way to raise an army in support of their cause. Similarly, ignoring examples of companies that are already doing business differently--the magazines Inc. and Fast Company are filled with examples every month--and glossing over the specifics on how to implement their business model undercuts their credibility. (Feb.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
I have mixed feelings about this book. At the beginning, it makes a lot of sense, with discussions about markets and the power of the Internet. Here it succeeds. The problem is that it runs out of steam. A lot of concepts are repeated over and over and some of them make less sense the more they are repeated. There are some good ideas about using the technology to reconnect with customers, co-workers and the world at large. The case histories are also quite illuminating. These guys have clearly been there and done it. The problem I have is that they think the Internet is somehow a magic cure for a lot of these problems. Technology by itself never fixes anything and I say this as someone who is an IT professional.
I found it an interesting read, but was left wanting more from it in the end. Some of the observations about organisational hierarchy and culture I think are over simplified and at times plain wrong. As a companion to the book, I would recommend readers try "Good to Great" by Jim Collins, which deals with how some organisations make the jump and some don't. It's an interesting counterpoint, as it focusses a lot on effective management of people, any organisation's most valuable asset. Cluetrain is worth a read, but keep some salt handy....
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Format: Paperback
If you prefer Hotwired to The Economist, James Carville to David Brinkley, and Tom Peters to Peter Drucker, you will probably enjoy this book. It cheers the power of the Internet to create productive informal relationships between people.
The book's primary message is "Markets are conversations." It should have been "Marketing is a conversation."
Economic transactions are the exchange of information as well as economic goods and money. The authors are right to condemn the traditional tendency to focus too much on the exchange of economic goods for money. By overstating their case, the authors imply that we can safely ignore the exchange of economic goods and money. As many dot.com investors learned the hard way, dominating a particular conversational niche on the Internet does not automatically lead to success in business.
As a book about marketing over the Internet, this book deserves four stars. As a book about Internet economics or information age management, it deserves none.
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Format: Paperback
If you prefer Hotwired to The Economist, James Carville to David Brinkley, and Tom Peters to Peter Drucker, you will probably enjoy this book. It cheers the power of the Internet to create productive informal relationships between people.
The book's primary message is "Markets are conversations." It should have been "Marketing is a conversation."
Economic transactions are the exchange of information as well as economic goods and money. The authors are right to condemn the traditional tendency to focus too much on the exchange of economic goods for money. By overstating their case, the authors imply that we can safely ignore the exchange of economic goods and money. As many dot.com investors learned the hard way, dominating a particular conversational niche on the Internet does not automatically lead to success in business.
As a book about marketing over the Internet, this book deserves four stars. As a book about Internet economics or information age management, it deserves none.
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Format: Paperback
So The Cluetrain Manifesto begins with 95 theses.
I get it, like Martin Luther's 95 theses against the Catholic church in 1517 started Protestantism.
Perhaps these authors mean for their treatise to be equally revolutionary. The format begs high expectations. I just can't help thinking, "Shakespeare said, 'First thing, let's kill all the lawyers.' You'd have to do that for this Openness in Business to work." So where are the lawyers in this groundbreaking philosophy for businesses?
It seems like businesses double-talk & obfuscate to protect themselves against liability. And I notice that none of the authors of this philosophy are lawyers.
And as for openness inside the company, we all know how long that would work. I don't see this book as revolutionary or practical. How do the authors tie in these exhortations to any current management philosophy?
Authors: Come down from your ivory tower and conduct some research in the 8-5 world.
If we need a parable, we'll turn to "Who Moved My Cheese?"
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Format: Paperback
This thought-provoking book actually was one of the catalytic influences which dynamited me out of my complacency in terms of my own existing web site. Just like Dr. Martin Luther, posting his similarly disruptive "95 theses" on t"he Power and Efficacy of Indulgences" in 1517, Mssrs. Levine, Locke, Searls, and Weinberger put a definitive stop to the notion of "business as usual" in the newly "wired" world. It kind of reminds me of a next door neighbor I used to have: he predicted that the internet would be "a fad just like CB radio." In a pig's eye!
The co-authors assert that "markets are converstaions" and that they "consist of human beings, not demographic sectors." Much like this site, with the numerous hyperlinks, connecting YOU, the user with more information, logically organized, than you would be able to construct yourself, the authors also assert that "hyperlinks subvert heirarchy." In other words, if the shortest distance between you and the knowledge that you need is a short clickable link on the world wide web, executed by the 1/10th of an inch movement of your index finger on a mouse, the "priesthood of experts" fall.
This is an "in your face" book that should be read by EVERY entrepreneur, EVERY fee-for-service practitioner of ANY profession, and EVERYONE connected with modern networks and the internet. You will never look at the world, or business, the same way afterwards. And you will recognize that "eye candy" web sites with the same old advertising messages will no longer work.
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