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The Abridged Clutrain Manifesto – Weekly #1

February 3, 2010

The (Abridged) Cluetrain Manifesto

The revolutionaries at Cluetrain have amazing thoughts – getting those thoughts down in a pithy format, not their strong suit.

So, in an attempt to recapitulate the revolution, without losing “site” of their vision, I’ve winnowed the 95 Thesis down to 11.

It may not have the historical significance they were after, but I  think it’s a more manageable number for today’s busy reader.

The 95 11 Theses

  1. Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed.
  2. Markets are conversations, made up of real people talking to each other in a human voice that is natural, open, honest, direct, funny and often shocking. This voice cannot be faked.
  3. Networked markets are beginning to self-organize faster than the companies that have traditionally served them. Thanks to the web, markets are becoming better informed, smarter, and more demanding of qualities missing from most business organizations: real information, a human touch, respect and equality.
  4. As more and more people participate in networked markets, they change fundamentally: they figure out that they get far better information and support from one another than from vendors,
  5. This newfound flux of information and support creates a powershift away from corporations to consumers and employees: they are the ones that have the best access to information and resources, and thus now the power.
  6. Networked markets have no respect for companies unable or unwilling to speak with concern, respect, and a human voice. Most corporations only know how to talk in the flat, humorless monotone of the mission statement, marketing brochure, and your-call-is-important-to-us busy signal.
  7. These corporations are getting it all wrong: they give lip service about “listening to customers” and spend thousands on ineffective advertising, but fail to empower real human beings to speak on their behalf, ignoring the public outcry for genuine knowledge and social responsibility.
  8. Markets want to talk to corporations, and want to talk within corporations to customers and each other, but they feel corporations are not listening because they are preoccupied with control and paranoia. Corporations need to stop impeding these external and internal conversations.
  9. Consumers and employees want service, transparency and access to real information.
  10. Markets will not wait for corporations to “get on board” – conversations will progress regardless of corporate resolve. Smart corporations will benefit; Antediluvian bastions of secrecy and control will fail.
  11. Corporations are invited, but it is now the individual’s world. Even at its worst, the newfound conversation is more interesting, more entertaining, and certainly more true-to-life than anything promulgated by corporate media. The markets are speaking, and if corporations get involved it will be the most exciting conversation business has ever engaged in.
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