In the new edition’s introduction, I list a bunch of ways the world has become cluetrain-y, many of which we take for granted. The fact is that I think Cluetrain was pretty much right. Of course, at the time we thought we were simply articulating things about the Web that were obvious to users but that many media and business folks needed to hear.
But Cluetrain also got some important things wrong…and I don’t mean just Thesis #74: “We are immune to advertising. Just forget it.”
Part 1: Will our kids appreciate the Internet?: Will the Net become just another medium that we take for granted?
I love the Internet because even now, fifteen years into the Web, I remember what life used to be like. In fact, give me half a beer and I’ll regale you with tales of typing my dissertation on an IBM Model B electric, complete with carbon paper and Wite-Out. Let me finish my beer and I’ll explain microfiche to you, you young whippersnappers.
The coming generation, the one that’s been brought up on the Internet, aren’t going to love it the way that we do…
Part 2: The shared lessons of the Net: The Net teaches all its users (within a particular culture) some common lessons. And if that makes me a technodeterminist, then so be it.
In my network of friends and colleagues, there’s a schism. Some of us like to make generalizations about the Net. Others then mention that actual data shows that the Net is different to different people. Even within the US population, people’s experience of it varies widely. So, when middle class, educated, white men of a certain age talk as if what they’re excited about on the Net is what everyone is excited about, those white men are falling prey to the oldest fallacy in the book.
Of course that’s right. My experience of the Web is not that of, say, a 14 year old Latina girl who’s on MySpace, doesn’t ever update Wikipedia articles, isn’t on Twitter, considers email to be a tool her parents use, and â€” gasp â€” hasn’t ever tagged a single page. The difference is real and really important. And yet …
Part 3: How to tell you’re in a culture gap: You’ll love or hate this link, which illustrates our non-uniform response to the Net.
Part 1: Transparency is the new objectivity: Objectivity and credibility through authority were useful ways to come to reliable belief back when paper constrained ideas. In a linked world, though, transparency carries a lot of that burden.
Part 2: Driving Tom Friedman to the F Bomb: Traditional news media are being challenged at the most basic level by the fact that news has been a rectangular object, not a network.
Bogus Contest: Net PC-ness: What should we be politically correct about in the Age of the Web?
Categories: Uncategorized dw