Cluetrain Manifesto


here is a little unknown gem in social media land, that shined well before social media hit the business communities. Its called the Cluetrain Manifesto. The manifesto was written in 1999 by Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger. The Cluetrain Manifesto is a set of 95 theses organized and put forward as a manifesto, or call to action, for all businesses operating within what is suggested to be a newly-connected marketplace.

The authors assert that the Internet is unlike the ordinary media used in mass marketing as it enables people to have “human to human” conversations, which have the potential to transform traditional business practices radically. A single paragraph summarizes the essential position taken by the writers:

“A powerful global conversation has begun. Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed. As a direct result, markets are getting smarter—and getting smarter faster than most companies.”

the original core material stands up remarkably well. Depressingly, the book describes all the ways that big companies get the net wrong. They’re still making the same mistakes. There’s a lesson in there: it’s easier to predict stupidity than cleverness. Now, a decade has gone by, an eternity in Internet time, and Basic Books has brought out a “tenth anniversary edition” of the Manifesto, with new chapters by all four original authors and a handful of guest authors.

Check this video with a summary of the best theses in the manifesto.