Saturday, May 22, 2010

ClueTrain Manifesto - 10 years after ...

As I promised almost a year ago, I read the new edition of „The ClueTrain Manifesto” issued as 10 years anniversary edition in 2009 with the introduction written by the authors of original Manifesto. This very introduction is exactly what makes this edition so interesting.

Let me however, start with short summary about the original book. When it was first published in 1999 it was like a storm for corporate marketing strategies. Long before Web 2.0, and starting with 95 thesis it predicted the revolution brought about by blogs, forums and all open communication platforms that started to appear.


We were reading it and holding our breaths — it had such a powerful impact. We were almost certain that the ominous slogan: „The end of business as usual” will come true in the next 2-3 years ...


So ... what has happened after these 10 years... Certainly we do not yet see the end of business as usual ... and as one of the authors asked: „Did the original edition of CLUETRAIN commit the Fallacy of Hyperbolic Subtitle?”


As it usually happens, the answer is not straightforward and simple. From one point of view we do have Web 2.0 and socionomics, on the other hand „Huge corporations still stalk the earth. We still report to hierarchical structures that cut us paychecks in exchange for obedience” (DW)


The events of last 10 years show that the path to the new way of doing business is paved with obstacles — and the delicate interplay of successful prophecies with false once is the essential content of the reflections upon the decade after Cluetrain...


If I was to summarize, what are the authors feelings, I would probably say:


David Weinberger — is positive and full of hope and optimism. However his matured optimism knows that we must fight to defend optimism. It is certainly not automatic...


Doc Searls — is positive, but with a grain of salt. He admits the value of growing number of relationships, he sees the potential of his VRM vs. old CRM — yet he admits that „attention economy” still grows in power — only with changed medium: „Transaction we already have. Conversation we are only beginning too develop. (...) Relationship is the wild frontier. Closed "social" environments like MySpace and Facebook are good places to experiment with some of what we'll need, but as of today they're still silos. Think of them as AOL 2.0”


Chris Locke — seems to be less optimistic. „Between the Bubble and the Towers, business cooled considerably in its fanatical whoring after e-commerce billions”. He mocks of certain events of the decade (like Oprah Winfrey and some of her almost occult programs) . He ends his sarcastic essey by a quote from Bob Dylan song: „Don't follow leaders. Watch your parking meters” :-)


Rick Levine — is perhaps also a bit moderate. „How does it taste”? He asks — because he knows we can't ask such questions easily other the net. While he notices the positives (access, data scale, usability and participation) but as he expresses it: „The details we neglected (in Cluetrain prophecy — note by MS) to address were manifest”. It seems Rick rediscovered the power of physical relations between people — and knows well that this is unattainable in the Web...

So — 100 years later — and we have quite mixed impressions...

And we must fight for optimism...

BTW, the 10 years edition finally explained the name of the original book:

„Doc was reminded of a Silicon Valley company about which a friend had said, „The clue train stopped there four times a day, and they never took delivery” :-)


No comments:

Post a Comment