Social media marketing turns 10

clueThe rather clumsy Wikipedia entry for social media doesn’t provide a date for the birth of the idea, but 1999 is as good a year as any.

That’s the year that Chris Locke, Doc Searls, David Weinberger and Rick Levine published 95 theses that they called the cluetrain manifesto, an outline of how they felt businesses needed to change in a wired world. Ten years later, these theses remain simple, elegant, profound and extremely relevant. When I’m teaching marketers about the philosophy behind social media, I often point to the manifesto and witness my clients as they experience their own little social media epiphany, the way so many others did 10 years ago, around the same time as Seinfeld aired its season finale.

The world has changed immensely over the past decade, especially the online world. But cluetrain remains relevant. In the leadup to the 10 year anniversary of cluetrain this April, I’m going to devote a few posts to the manifesto and how it applies in today’s world.

I’ll leave you with the paragraph that sums up the cluetrain philosophy:

“A powerful global conversation has begun. Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed. As a direct result, markets are getting smarter—and getting smarter faster than most companies.”

5 Comments

  1. I think I need to dust off my old copy and read it again, but I must say for the most part what they wrote about was not that impressive.

    I still think the best line in the book is the description of how he came up with the title.

    Good Hunting,

    Reply

  2. I’m with you Keith…in fact, I just bought another copy and gave it to a journo mate of mine for Xmas…sorry Tim, Cluetrain really gave my PR perspective(s) a real shot in the arm! Best for 09 all, Gerry

    Reply

  3. Keith – if you are just talking about the 95 these (which I just glanced at again before posting this) then yes, there are some timeless principles there which should stand the test of time.

    As for the pages following the 95 in the book, I just remember forcing myself to finish that book. I was unimpressed. But now that I’ve pulled my copy and dusted it off, I’ve put it back on my reading stack to see if either I or the book have improved! 8)

    Good Hunting,

    Reply

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