Thoughts on the Cluetrain Manifesto

The Cluetrain Manifesto and its 95 thesis, written in 1999, are worth a glance with or without my following commentary:

As a medium of communication and influence, the internet leads (think: recent events in Egypt. think: wikileaks). However, since 1999, corporations have "caught up" with the internet market; sluggishly at first, now at full speed. Using techniques taught in this class and elsewhere, corporations now know how to manipulate the new medium. Due to contrived positive/negative reviews, blogs, multiple web sites, viral campaigns, and other tactics of misinformation, it is often hard to tell what is legitimate information. The vision created in the manifesto is called into questions as the internet, not the corporation, bends (think of all the legislation since 1999 that has regulated the internet for corporate benefit).

These developments leave the Cluetrain Manifesto as an optimistic but irrelevant article in history-- a "could have been".  The manifesto is reduced to a model of good customer service for all but the most progressive company-- albeit, a good model. Customers are no longer impressed by size and professionalism. They want personal response and human interaction. Create customer dialogues appropriately. Scrap business jargon. Scrap form letters and scripted on-phone conversations for a touch of humanity and personality and the customer will respond.