Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Cluetrain @ 10: Doc Searls, et. al., Talk About How Conversational Markets are Evolving

When Jim Hirshfeld rang a few days ago to chat about his move back into the content business he BTWed that there was a neat session being held by the originators of the groundbreaking 1999 book The Cluetrain Manifesto to start a new conversation on the future of online content and its role in markets and society as a whole. The book rocked my world, and I've been babbling about markets as conversations ever since. After much of the USD 20 billion being pumped into the early online economy wound up in the bit bucket a lot of those early lessons in online content were derided by the media "experts," but nevertheless there were key concepts from Cluetrain and other ground-breaking thought leaders that are still the foundation of online publishing.

Doc Searls kicked off things with a chat about the early environment on the Web, when tools like the Pointcast screen saver were chewing up bandwidth in search of passice audiences, Cluetrain suggested to the world, "We are human beings - and our reach exceeds your grasp. Deal with it."
The places in Silicon Valley where the "cluetrains" showed up every day but where there was never a delivery inspired Searls, Chris Locke and David Weinberger to pop out their ideas about the significance of online marketing when traditionalists in technology and media weren't - dare I say it - "getting it." The Wall Street Journal picked up on the online posts, a book deal followed and they've been collecting royalities ever since.

Ten years later, what's the significance of all this? I'll be posting item on Content Nation throughout the session and help you through the answers. Will post links here as things progress.

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