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3.8 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-10 of 14 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
As a public relations practitioner of 17 years, I have watched the Internet blast away at PR/Marketing-101 in recent years. I have watched email, website communications, streaming video and audio and the electronic transfer of images turn my business on its ear in less time than it took to study all this stuff in college! And it took the unholy rantings of Cluetrain to put this revolution into some perspective.
Sure, Cluetrain repeats itself, stumbles over some facts and is light-on when it comes to practical examples. However, it's a sea change that works! I have gone back to chatting with journalists, jumping into newsgroups and forums and generally TALKING (as advocated in this book).
And guess what? It works!!
Expect this book to be the forerunner of others determined to show the shortcomings of traditional PR & marketing -- and how to turn these around in the years ahead.
What are you waiting for? Jump in, and enjoy the conversation instead of spinning around the block!
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on February 24, 2001
There is one great thought in this book, i.e. that the Web makes it possible for everyone to participate in the "great conversation", and that it is the summing and slicing of these conversations that will drive business in the 21st Century.
The authors are quite correct, and helpful, when they point out that in the aggregate, the combined preferences, insights, and purchasing power of all Web denizens is vastly more valuable and relevant to business decisions about production, quality, and services than any "push" marketing hype or engineering presumptions about what people might need.
Sadly, the authors' neither provide an integrated understanding of the true terrain over which the great conversation takes place, nor do they provide any substantive suggestions for how web content managers might improve our access to the knowledge and desires that are now buried within the web of babel. Their cute "tell a story" and equally cute advice to have big boxes for customer stories in the forms provided for input, simply do not cut it with me.
This book is a 5 for the one great idea, a 2 for beating the idea to death, a 3 for presentation, and a 4 overall because it was just good enough to keep me reading to the last page.
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on July 2, 2000
I have found the book as a place where the old business thinking collides with the new breed of business people and not only those related to e-commerce but in general.
The work summarized in the Cluetrain Manifesto finds many supporters as well as many detractors. The attitude towards the book is directly related to the environment where the reader has developed.
In my mind the controversial work in Cluetrian is a signal of a major change going where the sincerity, the honesty and the consistency of any business in the world will be one of the defining factors in the success or failure of any company or new venture.
I have rated 4 stars because the authors put too much blame in people which grew business when the rules where different. However it is very inspiring from the central thoughts repeated along the book.
As readers, our home work is to distill the wisdom associated with the basic ideas of the book and to implement them appropiately for practical and profitable applications.
I strongly recommed its reading.
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on June 8, 2000
I enjoyed reading this book...the authors had a lot of very enlightening points and they presented their material in a much more "down to earth", magazine style way than the average business book. Also, I felt that they spoke for the lower echelon of workers as much or more than they spoke for very tip of upper management. Their description of worker motivations and customer reactions was quite accurate.
They captured the idea of the Internet being a tidal force in the marketplace very well...
HOWEVER - they authors beat the dead horse WAY too much after the first 75 pages or so. I feel that the book could have been made much stronger by heavier editing - truly 20% of it could have been completely axed and we'd have all been better off for it...
Overall, though, I highly recommend reading this book for its unique perspective on the Internet and how it may change business from both the customers' and employess' vantage points. When you feel that you might have read something before, you probably have...
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on June 8, 2000
The rise of the internet has enabled people to restart conversations in a global world, conversations which were interrupted by the rise of giant bureaucracies which were able to use their special knowledge, the power of advertising and public relations and sheer distance to suspend true market conversation.
That is the basic message of this very unusual book. Its corollary is that the balance of power is shifting back to articulate, well informed and, above all, well linked consumers. The large suppliers will try to ignore this at their peril.
The book starts with 95 theses which constitute the 'Manifesto' - presumably a direct reference to Luther's famous 95 theses against the sale of indulgences (in 1517) that marked the start of the Reformation in Europe. One senses a bit of a stretch to get to the full 95, but the seven pages of the Manifesto are well worth reading (and deserve a place in many Boardrooms).
Like Luther, the authors of this book want to change things. They are serving notice to big corporates (today's equivalent of the early 16th century Church) that they had better start human to human conversation and a bit of old-fashioned listening. Advertising, 'PR statements' and similar tools are becoming counter-productive. (The whole genetically modified foods debate is a fascinating example of the effect of people power on large corporates.)
This is a book to browse. It has a serious and important message about the impact of global conversation on the way business will be done. It is discursive, very funny in patches, and highly informative about the incredible variety of ways in which conversations can now be maintained. Its main concern is the impact of these conversations on business. I found myself speculating about their impact on politics, which is becoming at least as profound. It is a fair bet that within the next few years, elections will be won or lost on the internet and the sterile 'machine politics' of so many democracies will (hopefully) become an endangered species.
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on May 12, 2000
You've undoubtedly been to the website and seen and read the manifesto. The book is an expansion of the 95 or so 'commandments' targeted towards corporate America and how they perceive their customers (and the public as whole). I wasn't disappointed by the book, however, I expected the book to further expand on the ideas that are posted on their website. However, what you will get is a collection of anecdotes and examples that support, rather than extend, the principles outlined in the ClueTrain Manifesto. Regardless, this book is a valuable tool, make that a bible, that every corporate slave should read and begin to incorporate into his or her views towards the people he or she is dealing with on a daily basis. Also, this is a necessary read for those in the marketing or advertising fields as it will remind them of what exactly they're here to do: to communicate more effectively. Better yet, to be able to carry a conversation for longer than five minutes without a cosmopolitan in one hand. Read the book and be in touch with how business should be doing business.
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on May 1, 2000
This is one of those books that people either love or hate. My guess is that its the delivery people don't like, not the message. Personally, I tend to think its just plain common sense but I won't pretend I had a clue before reading. After reading, its painfully obvious.
There are several extremely valuable realizations about how the internet changes business (and much more) which you likely ought to consider as you think about your business.
If you want better insight into what is so exciting and empowering about the internet for customers this is worth the read. Some of you can probably get enough by just reading the manifesto. Status quo corporations, you need to be on your guard (chances are you're not reading this anyway).
I would have preferred a little less 60's "revolution is in the air" hype. If you're looking for a revolution, take another hit of acid and wait. This book simply describes what inevitably happens when better communication and information is available in a free market economy.
I also think the book could have been written in about 30 pages but those 30 pages were powerful enough to deserve 4 stars.
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on May 23, 2000
While this book was a little too earnest and revolutionary for my taste, I no longer rate books on their overall style, delivery, etc... If I get one or two ideas that turn on a lightbulb in my head, that's good enough for me. And this book more than did that. This book was like music for the soul. I had long ago realized I was burned out on empty, disingenuine sounding marketing rhetoric and that the idea of conducting business without decency and ethics just did not work for me. So this book was like balm for the soul in that it a) reassured me I was far from alone in the deaf ear I had developed toward 'marketsy speak" b) convinced me that a new age of business is dawning - one that will promote honesty in how an average company conducts its affairs internally and externally and one that will restore dignity to the average worker. The book left me feeling very optimistic.
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on March 13, 2000
It's true that the authors of The Cluetrain Manifesto aren't saying anything new to those who've believed in the power of the Internet from the first time they launched a web browser or read a newsgroup. But they've enumerated those beliefs in a very compelling and awe-inspiring volume of the truths of operating in the Internet Economy. Namely that doing business in this world means opening up your organization to the scrutiny of your customers and every member of your organization; that markets are conversations and those who can best facilitate communication will triumph; that information yearns to be free. If you're looking for a how-to book or a silver bullet to reinvigorate your business, look elsewhere. But if you believe in the power of technology to connect you to your customers, or desperately want to believe, get on board the Cluetrain.
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on February 20, 2000
Yes, it's wonderful; Yes, it's true. The best thing about this book for me was that it vindicates things I have been saying and feeling for years, and feeling unheard and discounted at best, and ridiculed at worst. Moreover, it says them in an accessible way (for most) with humor and insight. Now you guys have to get out on the road and get those who don't read books into workshop mode so they hear it, too! And let me know when you're ready to do the higher education version, where they're REALLY behind the times.
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