Sunday, March 8, 2009

All Aboard the Cluetrain, its been waiting at the station for 10 years

"Markets are conversations"
"These networked conversations are enabling powerful new forms of social organization and knowledge exchange to emerge."

"To traditional corporations, networked conversations may appear confused, may sound confusing."

The above perfectly describe what we now see through technologies such as Facebook and Twitter. These quotes also describe the challenge corporations are having in working out how to interact with the new phenomena of 'social networking' and how to converse with their customers in these new channels. The Skittles Experiment is an excellent example of how corporations are jumping into the new pool to see if they can swim or not.

The 'gurus' now talk about authenticity in corporate messaging if communication in these new channels is to be successful.

Here is the thing. Social networking is not new. The three quotes at the top of this post come from The Cluetrain Manifesto, written ten years ago before Facebook, before Twitter and before the term 'Social Networking' was probably even coined. The Cluetrain strongly advocates corporations to interact with customers as if they are human beings and not demographic cross-sections of society.

Here is the next bit of good news. The Cluetrain Manifesto is available to read on the Internet for free, here it is. To understand how to speak to customers or see how social networking had its seeds in the world we now call Web 1.0, read the Cluetrain Manifesto.

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