The Cluetrain Manifesto is a book I heard about so much that I pretty much understood it before reading it; maybe it's just that I've never really been a corporate drone before. I recently "picked it up" (err... started reading it) on its website. These things seem obvious to me, but when I read about SCO and its incessant non-sensical attack against the "new era," I can start to understand better how these corporate cultures can (strangely) exist.
I just came upon the book again recently when fumbling around Doc Searls' book list. Following the link to the website, I couldn't help but to stop reading.
The book basically speaks of things we already know. That is, we, folks who've been on the Internet and have felt the power that it held since its beginnings as an incredible way to network people together into communities. I felt it the first time I opened up ntalk on my first Netcom UNIX shell account and started chatting with my good pal Rulon Anderson online in 8th grade. And then his brother joined the conversation. People come together here and they together hold power.
Joe Trippi understood it, even if maybe Dean never really did. And the old dinosaurs of corporations won't be able to survive without understanding it. That means understanding and not controlling it.
Get on the Cluetrain!
I remember when I was your age I worked for a Dean of some school at Sacramento state and we had free paper mail avaiable to staff. So during slow times I used to sit and write letters to my friends. I mean letter upon letter and mail them. People liked receiving them and I was famous for it. My point is though that that was unusual as hell. And it kept me in touch, NOW of course I have email. Which not only keeps me in touch with peope i know, but yeah is like this market place to meet new people. I dont find it impersonal like others do. And yeah look how it influenced this election!
Hehe, that's totally awesome what you did. I really love getting snail mail from folks, and I always try my best to reply back with my own handwriting too (and one time I was pretending to be a bohemian and made an intentional coffee stain on my letter). That's great!
I've been reading more of Cluetrain, and it just keeps getting better. Really, what it just keeps hammering at is that people want to communicate and be communicated with, and they want to do it freely and in a voice that they are friendly with, not a corporate plastic smiley face. And business has to begin understanding this is what people need: that they want to be free as human beings. The Internet is giving people the humanity that cities and 9-5 cubicle jobs have pulled away from them, but now they're remembering again. To businesses that are still beating the old drum, people are telling them, "Hey, we're smart, and we're not just your lackeys, and we can understand how things work because we're communicating with each other and learning from each other."