- Hardcover: 190 pages
- Publisher: Harper Collins Canada; First Edition edition (Feb. 1 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0738202444
- ISBN-13: 978-0738202440
- Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 13.3 x 24.1 cm
- Shipping Weight: 726 g
- Average Customer Review: 137 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #713,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Cluetrain Manifesto Hardcover – Feb 1 2000
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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.
Top customer reviews
This book demonstrates how the Internet is bringing people back into the commercial process. Technology has frequently been perceived as dehumanizing our world. That's why it is especially ironic that it took a technological revolution in communication to bring back the human side of commerce. We are seeing a sea change where commerce is moving from a seller's market to a buyer's market.
Read this book. Pass it along to your boss. Give it to your employees and your customers. Buy copies for the heads of your engineering, marketing, manufacturing, corporate development, or whatever group. The brave new world is here, but Big Brother's not in charge. We are.
I was surprised at the content, however. To me it was much less about how the Internet is changing the economoy and business, and more about how it is changing how people connect. Far beyond a clinical explanation (this is a Manifesto after all), it postulates about the changes this newfound, hyperlinked communication has made in employee, customer, and vendor expectations.
I happen to agree with almost every message. Down with empty happy-talk and command and control management...long live capability, knowledge, and real, heart-felt communication.
This book would certainly have received full marks from me had it been less repetitive.
So finding the on-line Cluetrain Manifesto last year was a real pleasure. Here were these four guys with 95 wild-eyed idealistic theses for overthrowing the business world order--and setting up a new paradigm based upon (of all things) human interaction and conversation. I signed right up.
So you can imagine my delight when I found "The Cluetrain Manifesto" book had been published. I bought it in a millisecond.
Inside, you'll find the reflections of the Cluetrain's originators--in more detail, with more reflection than their Website provides. The Manifesto's background and philosophies are brought into a clearer focus--*not* crystal clear, mind you, but clearer than before. And it's a *very* enjoyable and provocative read.
It's not a flawless work. There's redundancy, for example, in the multiple essays within. Some chapters (Chapter 1 especially) are outstanding, others are so-so. One might even be called elementary. But there's always food for thought.
And don't expect to find some kind of "formula" or "strategy" or "plan" to prosper in the brave new world we live in. It's not there. In fact, such a plan, the authors remind us, would be *counter* to the Manifesto's assertion that honest human conversation is the key to success in the future.
But you will be stirred to find your voice and to add it to the voices of the revived marketplace called the Internet. Heck, you might even be inspired enough to try to help your company find *its* honest, human, authentic voice (rather than brochureware and doublespeak). And I think that's what would delight the Cluetrainers most.
This book is one of several that dramatically affected my life and career. I heartily recommend it!
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Most recent customer reviews
Markets are conversations. This is good.Read more
I get it, like Martin Luther's 95 theses against the Catholic church in 1517 started Protestantism.Read more
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