Is the Cluetrain Manifesto, “a spectre haunting the Internet?” Some of it is very funny, some of it bloody obvious. It’s only the retards that thought the ’80s would last forever and that Gordon Gecko was a philosopher that will find some of this hard or revolutionary — the fact it’s all in one place is very good though, and its clearly written in a language that “entrepreneurs” can get!
Is it revolutionary? Not as much as it likes, but to be fair, the book was published in 2000, and the conversations that created it took place the previous couple of years. We’ve had time to catch up. They don’t and won’t adopt an anti-capitalist line and at the turn of century who would, but some of what they say and their polemic states that the human spirit is at the heart of co-operation and the corporation and shareholder value are in contention with it. They argue the internet is on the side of the people and angels.
I also really like the idea that the industrial revolution ( and its current day aftermath) is an aberration. Doesn’t that just give you hope? This reinforces the idea that information is a factor of production, and although the book doesn’t look at knowledge in this way, it strongly argues that People are people and not! Human Resources, they’re not Markets, nor are they Labour. The internet has enabled people to discover themselves again and (re-)establish themselves as Customers/Clients, as people not markets. This is quite counter-intuitive as massive amounts of software R&D dollars were spent on personalisation software to allow vendors to drive human resource/cost out of the distribution channel and increase direct communication. Has it paid back? I don’t think we care (or know) if our suppliers are using Seibel or not, not even through improved customer services! 😛
I think the book is too long. This is probably as a result of the way in which it was assembled over time through e-mails & forums & newsgroups and blogs, so if you get bored towards the end, you won’t be missing much. Like all good internet revolutionaries they created a web site which is here…. Its claimed to be a relic! 😉
The Manifesto does not create a compelling story as to how value is moving from marketing/legal departments to conversations between staff and customer, so who’s at the centre of the…