Reading the Cluetrain

Just another weblog

Part 2

 Work wise this has been a good week. One of my stakeholders had an interview with a big broadsheet on Wednesday and another interview he did with a trade has just come out too. The trade piece was good and after the broadsheet interview both the spokesperson and the journalist were really excited. It’s not often that a journalist tells you an interview was ‘fun’. Beautiful. Anyway, after that little PR insight I have picked out a few choice rules that I have questions and comments about.

Companies that assume online markets are the same markets that used to watch their ads on television are kidding themselves. Hmm, I’ve never really liked advertising. There are a number or reasons for this.

1.      I can never remember what they’re for. That is if I have figured it out in the first place. By which token they are rendered useless

2.      They assume that the audience is sitting there waiting like that bit in Little Shop of Horrors ‘feed me, feed me’ from my own experience I have never really believed this
3.      I think they create awareness but like when I get direct mail, if I want to car insurance or to ‘consolidate my debts into one manageable monthly payment’ then I will go and find out how to do this off my own bat. So my thought here is; are audiences really different or is it that the internet community have just had the chance to act differently. Maybe this isn’t what CT people are getting at. Dunno.Most marketing programs are based on the fear that the market might see what’s really going on inside the company.  Really? You know, I sit with the marketeers and like PR people they generally just want to take some new service and tell people the benefits in a creative fashion. I think that Cluetrain may be a bit too much on the conspiracy theory tip here. But then that’s just me.Learning to speak with a human voice is not a parlor trick. It can’t be “picked up” at some pony conference.  To be fair, do we even need to pick it up? We are human after all and have just been retrained in corporate speak. I think that sometimes C.S.  is necessary, is there really anything wrong with a corporate statement sometimes? I still don’t think so. But a lot more stuff could be written as we talk.

I have been doing a bit of internal comms recently (which seriously sucks btw and is not my normal job) and I really tried to make our communications human and sympathetic. I have heard that it went down well.

Companies must ask themselves where their corporate cultures end.
If their cultures end before the community begins, they will have no market.

Hmm, this is really interesting. I have never thought about it this way. But I suppose if I go back in the day when I worked in the world of gaming and Sony’s was the console de jour that the culture of PlayStation went way further than Sony’s offices in Golden Square. People loved, loved, loved it. I mean I have been given many a promotional T-shirt over the years but it was the PlayStation one I nabbed from ECTS that I wore with pride.

Phew, have to say I don’t feel very inspired today so I will stop now and reflect. There really are a lot of rules.Oh, hang on, one more thing, my mate, a PR mate sent me this link. Interesting.


November 30, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Part 1

I was going to try and do big blog entries on my journey through The Cluetrain Manifesto but its just not happening due to the usual distractions. However, Ian will kick my butt soon if I don’t do something and I really, really do want to so here we go. I thought I would start with the rules.There are a lot so I’m only going to get into the nitty gritty if I have an extreme reaction.  Also I am going to do it in parts as to be honest I am doing this at the end of the day at work, (I don’t have a computer at home – I KNOW) and I need to go to the gym as I am turning into a heifer.Markets are conversations.   – Yep, gotcha, sounds reasonableMarkets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors .  – Yep agree, a lot of marketers get stuck on demographics when their eyes and ears would tell them different if they just stopped to look, I mean who doesn’t lie in a survey 😉Conversations among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice.
Whether delivering information, opinions, perspectives, dissenting arguments or humorous asides, the human voice is typically open, natural, uncontrived .  – Yes they should sound human but I still don’t like it when spelling and grammar goes out the window, I should love it, I get told off often for my lack of grammar, (I was school in the 80s that seemed not to be on the curriculum then).
People recognize each other as such from the sound of this voice.   – Okay…
The Internet is enabling conversations among human beings that were simply not possible in the era of mass media.   – Yup.Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy .  – I have a real problem with this one. I get the meaning I can see how it would be useful and save time. I can see how not having to follow the desired flow of a corporation’s document/website/book etc or any document /website/book  means that it is read differently and that is good. However, if not very careful readers who never follow the “normal” flow will limit their world view. They will never really know the whole story, what is going on in aspects outside their normal frame of reference or interest and that is dangerous not just for individual companies but for society in general.  People who know a little…I can only liken this to my TV watching. Back in the day when there were only four channels I had to watch what was on them when the broadcasters deemed appropriate. Then we got Sky, instead of watching anything that would be considered worthy I watched MTV, E! or Sky One. If left to my own devices I am pretty much like that now until the Catholic/work guilt creeps in. So my world view, if left alone is only related to celebrity, fantasy and triviality. I don’t think this is good. I know nothing about emerging nations, wars and little about politics, what I know there is only because I lived with some political types for a while.Does it matter that I feel a little bit of a div at the odd party? No not really but it does matter that I sometimes don’t consider myself knowledgeable to make a decision when it comes to voting for instance.Where does the compromise come into this from both Cluetrain followers and those of the old stylee corporations? Hmm, something to consider me thinks. 

November 30, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 3 Comments