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Me on mistaking Cluetrain

Ken Schafer of OneDegree and Tucows asked me at the Canadian Marketing Association meeting in Toronto how people misinterpret Cluetrain. I answer in this brief video. [Tags: ]

7 Responses to “Me on mistaking Cluetrain”

  1. ‘Give up control’ in conversations…

    Art is also a conversation.

    It’s time for self-publishing artists to ‘give up control’ in their conversations too.

    Artists do not need to send policemen (Copyright, DRM/DMCA) to accompany their work, nor commissionaires to charge admission to each viewing or performance.

    Art is conversation. Publishing art is speaking unto one’s audience, other artists. A conversation requires that you release others from manacles that would otherwise restrain any response.

    Divest yourself of copyright. Nullify it. Propose its abolition.

    It’s time artists started talking to each other, rather than over each other.

    Are you ready to relinquish the illusion of control that copyright grants you?

  2. That was good!

    I guess it’s not “misinterpreting” Cluetrain, but there also was a notable amount of talisman-izing Cluetrain in the web 2.0 era of a few years ago.

    I listened to a number of biz pitches where Cluetrain would be firguratively brought out, held in hand, and waved about to ward off any concerns about the sincerity and webiness of the would-be moguls.

    One way I’ve charactize this is:

    “Our business model is making money on ‘markets are conversations'”

  3. It’s funny; I was having a conversation yesterday with an Apple intern and telling him that Apple was too secretive and insular, and that Steve Jobbs needs to let go of control a little – and the intern kept arguing that it was control over the products and marketing that has made Apple so great. When I brought up Digg to him and the type of market interaction that Apple is missing, he said that Web 2.0 sites and Cluetrain thinking will not and cannot ever get rid of Command and Control thinking, because there’s too much uncertainty and risk in letting go.

    He’s not the only geek I’ve heard that from, sadly.

  4. It’s received a critical review (quoting the reviewer, who is not me:)

    “Markets are commercial activities, marked by competition and a transaction of some kind involving an exchange of something of supposed economic value. They are zero-sum transactions in the sense that if one competitor gets the sale, the others don’t. Perhaps they’re net-negative sum in that regard. The transaction between buyer and seller is supposed to be net win-win, but I think the economic evidence suggests that one side wins more than the other. Said economic evidence being the concentration of wealth into an ever smaller fraction of the population.

    Conversations are social activities which, in the main, are not usually marked by competition. Transactions usually involve the exchange of attention, and they are non-zero sum, except when competition enters the picture and some people are excluded from the conversation.

    Further, I would offer that the markets have done more to help inject competition into the social space, in order to manipulate and exploit people for commercial purposes. “All the cool kids have one…”

    Trying to make the case that “markets are conversations” has merely exacerbated the situation, made it worse, not better.”

  5. Hi David, I think a nice example of Cluetrain is TheBrain Technologies’ Harlan Hugh engaging enthusiasts of the latest version of TheBrain (PersonalBrain 4) at (which I and our Minciu Sodas laboratory moderate, actually most passively). Greetings from the Austrian Hospice in Jerusalem!

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