Reading the Cluetrain

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‘Too many have never spent any serious time online.’  This sentence which refers to corporate managers charged with building a corporate intranet is I find intriguing probably not for the reasons that the C.T.’s authors want me to however. 

 First observation is yes it’s probably true. I know this because during my career I have been asked to do a lot of things to ridiculous deadlines that I know Jack about. The reality of the situation is I don’t have time to learn about what ever it is quickly so I have had to knock something out to please The Man that frankly I would not want to put my name to in real life. This I know is very bad but unfortunately although I am a great believer in delayed gratification, (thank you to my Sociology A Level for teaching me that little phrase) unfortunately in the world of pleasing the corporate viper that’s not the case. It’s all about pleasing people NOW so they don’t get bollocked by whatever Man’s shouting at them so they can then shut themselves in a board room and get on with their next tiresome job.  

However, do you not think you can sometimes spend a little bit too much time online? Like anything if you get too into it you tend to get a little blinkered.  I have found in my dealings with those that spend a great deal of time online that they know how to talk to each other but the ability to communicate to those who are new to all things Internet are a bit lacking. This is a great shame.  

I was part of an Internet related event last year the second day of which was to supposed to communicate to a non-techy, non online savvy audience the beauty and importance of being part of the online community. From someone who I guess sits in the middle of this I was kicking myself and others at the result. If you didn’t have a Scooby about this stuff it was like joining a conversation half way through. Then because it was a room full of people who aren’t often the ones that don’t know what they are talking about they go a bit annoyed. It could have been a great opportunity to get some influential industry people into the fold, instead I think it did exactly the opposite.  

The thing is as The Cluetrain says to move things on you have to talk in a human voice and at that time I don’t think we used that many words those particular humans could understand. Six of one half a dozen of the other I reckon. Compromise, it’s a beautiful thing.

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January 11, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

2 Comments »

  1. Related to this is the concept of tact.

    http://www.mit.edu/~jcb/tact.html

    Comment by Dave | January 12, 2008 | Reply

  2. Hello Dave, I just had a look at this and I totally get what it is saying.

    When I first started here I had some quite heated battles with some of my spokespeople who are part of that community. I just didn’t understand why they didn’t get where I was coming from. I think at one point to the amusement of our colleagues I just stormed off with a ‘Well just do what you want then’, (I wouldn’t have got away with that in the PR agency that’s for sure).

    I found myself more than a bit defeated, I was after all only trying to help. I was all for giving up to be honest. Then I thought, nope, not happening started to listen more and have realised that these guys just approach things a bit differently. I am a determined type and as a management trainer once tried to teach us when I was at my old job, to communicate with people who aren’t exactly like you ‘borrow a bit of their colour’. I am going to try and talk a bit ‘internet’ and have noticed definitely with the some of the guys I work with that they are now recognising that what I do is not just about pushing the lies of The Man.

    Comment by readingthecluetrain | January 14, 2008 | Reply


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