Late last year I revisited the Cluetrain Manifesto in a post called Why the Cluetrain Still Rings True. I had not realised that we were nearing the anniversary of its 10th year in publication until I noticed that one of the authors of the Cluetrain, Doc Searls, was being joined in a one day conference by Josh Bernhoff (Forrester), Peter Hirshberg (Technorati), Ted Shelton (The Conversation Group), Jake McKee (Ant’s Eye View) and Thor Muller (Get Satisfaction). During his talk, Doc Searls updated some of the 95 Theses (via Josh Bernoff):
1. Advertising as we know it will die.
2. Herding people into walled gardens and guessing about what makes them "social" will seem as absurd as it actually is. (Facebook is his example.)
3. We will realize that the most important producers are what we used to call consumers. (Yup.)
4. The value chain will be replaced by the value constellation. (Many connections.)
5. "What’s your business model?" will no longer be asked of everything. (What’s the business model for your kids?)
6. We will make money by maximizing "because effects". ("Because effects" are what happen when you make more money because of something than with it.) E.g. search and blogging.
8. We will be able to manage vendors at least as well as they manage us. (Agreements between companies and customers shouldn’t be skewed in favor of the companies.) At Harvard Law they call this VRM — vendor relationship management — which is what Searls is working on (projectvrm.org).
10. We’ll marry the live web to the value constellation. (The Live Web isn’t just about stars. Relationships of anybody to anybody.)
As I suggested in this post, the Cluetrain still holds sway over our imaginations because its promises are yet to be achieved. This is not a criticism, but in fact, indicates its visionary nature. Ten years on, the culture, approach and technology of social media now provide us with the desire and mechanisms with which to begin the Cluetrain journey, but the distance to travel is vast and the dangers many. That is why I like Paul Downey’s picture … it shows a cosmology of technologies, ideas and companies. But it is we, the people, who traverse it in microscopic form.
More thoughts to come on this … but what about you? Has the Cluetrain affected you? What is your journey story? Mine tomorrow.