The Cluetrain Manifesto by Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger was a fascinating read from cover to cover. When people asked me what is it you reading this week? Cluetrain…what? I proudly explained to them that this book is more than meets the eye. It is a instructional book that explores the purpose of the Internet.

Throughout this book, I learned that the Internet is more than a tool for the common man; it is a marketplace conversation and relationship at the same time. Nevertheless, it is place where “people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with binding speed (p. xiii).”

Naturally, this statement is very broad, so these colleagues and authors came up with 95 Theses to initiate this Internet Reformation. These theses have an uncanny parallel to the Protestant Reformation in 1517, which was started by scholar and German priest Martin Luther. Martin Luther posted these 95 Theses to give a voice to the people, and I feel these colleagues wrote up these theses in the same sense. Throughout this manual for using the Internet, these colleagues reiterate how the Internet has given a voice.

Nothing is more intimately a part of who we are than our voice. It expresses what we think and feel. It is an amalgam of the voluntary and involuntary. It gives style and shape to content. It subtends the most public and the most private. It is what we withhold at the moments of greatest significance. Our voice is the strongest, most direction expression of who we are. Our voice is expressed in our words, our tone, our body and our visible enthusiasm” (p. 114).

I absolutely love this quote. We all have different types of voices, and the Internet brings it out. I know I use a different voice when I am speaking to my World of Warcraft friends than my Facebook friends. Additionally, I am speaking an even more different voice when I am building a website, and it is more than an HTML code. The colors, photos, and even text tells a lot of about my design. On page 121, Rick Levine verifies this statement when he says, “every Web page we see has a person behind it. This is very true especially in the age of social networking, where people have to build profiles before engaging in interaction. As this book reiterates, this is a huge window of opportunity for marketers, and the Internet keeps it alive and motivating.  From page 34, Levine states “markets with multisided conversations, letting me hear multiple parties, not just one, are more interesting.” One hundred pages later, Doc Searls and David Wienberger discuss the power of conversation and its ability affect consumers, business, and products.

Market conversations can make – and unmake- and remake entire industries. We’re seeing it happen now. In fact, the Internet itself is an example of an industry built by pure conversation.”

People often tell me the Internet isn’t for everybody; I have to disagree. As earlier mentioned, the Internet is a window. Throughout my undergraduate literature-writing classes, I often wrote about the symbolism of a window. A window can be inferred as a transition into a new land. Likewise, the Internet gives us “an opportunity to escape from the bounds imposed by broadcast media’s one-to-many notions of publishing (p. 123).” The Internet allows people to find people like you and interact with them. As previous books for this class have mentioned, we are social creatures, we do not like to be alone. The Cluetrain Manifesto reiterated that marketing to people saying “we have recommendations for you!” (compliments of Amazon.com), creates a personal feeling and is winning effort in advertisement world. It creates a world for all individuals to interact and feel they are a part of something. It seals the generation gap.

Is the Internet nothing more  but a revenue for marketers? I say no but it doesn’t hurt them either. 🙂

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