To Be A Revolution, Yeah

The past couple weeks I've been reading an interesting book called The Cluetrain Manifesto. I just finished it, so I figure I'd offer my thoughts. I picked it up because I was researching a lot of SEO/SEM stuff, and one of the biggest names in the industry said it was required reading in an interview.

So how was it? Well, first of all, it's an old book. The copy I have was published in 1999, I think. But for being so long ago (and before the dot-com bust), it certainly has a lot of good stuff to say.

For the most part, it explains why traditional business is dead. With the rise of the Internet, there's no way to keep your company's critics quiet. The Internet is not about you marketing your company, it's about people having an open conversation about your company. Apple sure doesn't get it, because they keep their process up as tight as possible (and sue anyone who uses the Internet like one would expect).

Some of it sounded like a couple people who were just fed up with "business as usual" and just wanted to rip on their bosses. But most of it made sense. It made me think that we should be working harder to provide that interactivity and openess on our sites and not make it such of a one-sided conversation. Sure, nobody sends us e-mail unless they need to complain, but we should make it easier for them to comment on it.

The revolution is happening on the Internet right now and it is not being televised. Are you and your company involved in the open and free exchange of ideas, or are you shut up in your own little world, ready to be trampled upon by the competition?

I don't know what to decide out of this book, but it was good reading. Next I'm reading about how to use blogging to promote your company, so that should be a bit more practical application of the Cluetrain ideas.

If you want to read the book, I just found out the entire book is readable online. So, if you're interested, check it out.



While I didn't read the book, I did listen to the (abridged) audio book on (ugh) tape. The basic ideas really blew me away. I saw a book at Sam's today that was about companies not realizing they're no longer in control, that the customer is the CEO (not the king), and companies should be busting their humps to court the customer, partner with them, etc.

One of the biggest thoughts on this was how applicable to the church these ideas are. The evangelical church has become a propoganda machine. No interest is shown to people except as far as being a potential convert, a person to "win", another notch in the Bible. The lost person's ideas are irrelevant, as are wants, desires, dreams. If instead, we approach them as, say, people, engage them as a fellow human being in each others' lives, and drop the agenda off at the altar, perhaps we the church will stop offending people unnecessarily. (Yes, the gospel offends, but that doesn't mean we should be offensive about it.)

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