Reading the Cluetrain

Just another weblog

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 |


  1. Nice post Sarah, you inspired a thought that I had been mulling over for some time now:

    It’s different now and I can only watch from the sidelines because there’s a language that I don’t speak no matter how I try. Here are a couple of examples:

    “hey hw u been. hw is uni n stuff goin?yh im so so not feelin so well atm. i got a job aswell lol! anyway call me soon we need a gd ol chat. love u lots like jelly tots x x x”

    “lol so 4 da l8 reply, u knw hw i am wit da wall tingz, ye ye workz iz ayt stil lol. yeh im all gd wat abt u? wen u bak in endz? tke it eazi!”

    These are actual posts from the (Facebook) walls of university students in England. It is real conversation in the fact that two people are communicating. No less valid than any other language on the planet. The English we speak today is a bastardization of Latin, French, German, Celtic and some other dialects thrown in.

    Like this new foreign language, there is a whole generation that is growing up in a Cluetrainesque world. They don’t know any different. The word ‘computer’ is now redundant. Phones are mobile phones. MySpace and Facebook are the new shopping malls. And they take in broad swathes of information by grazing everything.

    They also understand how to reveal themselves online without giving away critical information – in the same way a bi-lingual child effortlessly and appropriately hops between languages.

    Whether we are in business, education, media or organized religion, if we want to communicate with this group of people, we should take this into account.

    Thanks for reading, please keep your Cluetrain journey postcards coming.

    Comment by Gammydodger | December 2, 2007 | Reply

  2. Thank you for your post. I know exactly what you mean about the new language and not being able to directly relate anymore. Back in the day I could say that I knew about games for instance because I played them and even if I didn’t I was sitting in the back of a smokey room watching my bro and his mates. Nowadays I’m watching my mate Dan’s seven year old whoop his dad at San Andreas, (mind you think that was last year). He also smses like a demon!

    Comment by readingthecluetrain | December 4, 2007 | Reply

  3. Hyperlinks do subvert hierachies. The answer to the problem of people not seeing the whole picture is for the people at different levels of the hierachy to link more so that there are more links and the full picture is revealed.

    See this

    Comment by nickreynoldsatwork | December 5, 2007 | Reply

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