Cluetrain leaves me at the station

I finally finished The Cluetrain Manifesto. And about two-thirds of the way in, I just wanted to get off. As far as I was concerned, that train had run out of steam long before that. (OK Thomas, the rail puns have stopped.)

The book was repetitive and frustrating. The authors infused the prose with way too many cutesy metaphors (‘storm Fort Business’) which felt like a forced attempt to be edgy and cool.

Sure it had an interesting premise and it set the stage for the blogosphere. But there was just too much ‘I think it’s so groovy now that people are finally getting together…’ type of sentimentality. (Which, I might add, was wonderful in that song but not in this book.)

And OK, I get the thesis: markets are conversations.

This sounded quite reasonable the first few times I read it, but they kept ramming it down my (or any reader’s) throat. To the point where it became clichéd and stale really fast.

From where I blog, I don’t think markets are conversations at all.

In a very literal sense markets are places. Places we go to buy and sell things. (What a pastime!) It’s an exchange, yes, of goods and services in the broadest sense of the words. But let’s call it what it is and not get all pretentious about it.

People go to markets. People have conversations. Conversations are things people have at markets. (With apologies to Dick and Jane.)

Person, place, thing. Different concepts that work together, complement each other and give reading, writing and yes, conversations style, substance and pizzazz. But they’re not interchangeable, not the same at all.

Sounds like basic grammar to me.


One thought on “Cluetrain leaves me at the station

  1. I thought I was the only one bored to death by the junior high school repetitiveness of Cluetrain. Of course, a lot, a LOT, of the books out there could easily be reduced to 25% their length and still have all the information in them.

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