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The Cluetrain Manifesto

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  3,929 ratings  ·  137 reviews
This nationally acclaimed best seller is a spirited, original, and wonderfully irreverent conversation that will challenge, provoke, and forever change your outlook on the digital economy. A rich tapestry of anecdotes, object lessons, parodies, insights, and predictions, The Cluetrain Manifesto illustrates how the Internet has radically reframed the seemingly immutable law ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 10th 2001 by Basic Books (first published January 1st 2000)
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Nov 20, 2008 rated it liked it
I have a love/hate relationship with this book. On one hand I am a believer in the basic messages of the book. Corporations are shells, corporate speak is a joke, people need to be themselves and the web provides a platform to do so on a scale never before available.

On the other hand the writing is arrogant. It comes off as we know better than the world and people who like to use spell-check or make decisions are sheep. The following paragraph I read while on a plane. I wanted to absolutely scr

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I have no idea who recommended The Cluetrain Manifesto, but it ended up on my Goodreads “want to read” list, and it arrived in my local library a few days ago. I honestly thought it was a fiction book from the title, something along the lines of The Monkey Wrench Gang, perhaps.

Turns out The Cluetrain Manifesto is a breathless paean to the Internet circa 2001, about how the internet will revolutionize business (though the version I’m reading has been updated with some sobered hedging by
Oct 28, 2012 rated it did not like it
A few technocrat rebels & geeks got together and wrote a blog about the changing terrain of business and organizations with the advent of the web. Someone, thought it was a good idea to craft a book out of all this … I certainly don't. A few decent thoughts here but they should have stayed in a blog because the book, in totality, is painfully boring. It's too hostile, too repetitive, poorly states the problem and offers very little toward a solution. Written in 1999, before Blogs, Facebook & Twi ...more
Richard Seltzer
May 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
(The first of two reviews of this book.)

This article was heard on the radio program "The Computer Report," which is broadcast live on WCAP in Lowell, Mass., and is syndicated on WBNW in Boston and WPLM in Plymouth, Mass.In the beginning was the voice.

The authors don't use that phrase, but that's the sense of what they have to say.

By voice, they don't mean sound, rather they mean personal expression, the kind of self-revelation that comes when you speak candidly or type rapidly and the words just
Oct 01, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Expanding on their website launched in 1999 (actually, expanding on the book published that expanded on the website), the four authors add additional commentary to their original work(s) and review how the Internet has changed business.

There are some good nuggets aboard this train.

First, you have to get past the voices. Oh, the writers are very proud of their voices. They explain how humanity hid its voices for The Corporation. They explain how the Web will free voices - has freed voices - and h
Kurt Gielen
Oct 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Oh! My! God! I have no idea what the long term impact of this book is going to be on my life as I just finished it. I do have a gut feeling it is going to be very profound. What I can say is that it has already made an impact in the short term in that I redefined my job role because of it. I used to be a Marketing Manager, now I "have and facilitate conversations. It just happens to be through different communication channels."

As a punk and anarchistic who just happened to stumble into the corpo
KungFu Drafter
Aug 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably one of the quintessential collaborative works of the Internet age. Long before Web 2.0 was a term being used by the mass media, these four men envisioned the future. What makes this 10th anniversary edition so exceptional is the return these authors make to re-examine their original work.

Having read the book I can now count myself as one of the many who say "Cluetrain verbalized a sentiment I've had for many years in a way that just made simple sense." From business to business relation
Jun 20, 2018 rated it liked it
First 1/4 of the anniversary edition is very interesting. For someone to predict community centric organizations on the internet in 2000 is amazing.

Unfortunately the book itself ends up dry, as most of the examples are not relevant.
Sep 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Even though this book was written over 10 years ago, the majority of it is still relevant today. In the 10th Anniversary Edition the authors take the time to evaluate how their work has held up.

One of the great things about this book is how it suggests that the internet is a conversation and that markets are made up of human beings. It is easy to see in today's world how the internet has leveled the playing field between business and the consumer. One example of this is the ability via Twitter f
The problem w/ updating a book like this w/ new content by the authors 10 years later is that it almost makes reading the original book unnecessary outside of some classroom like exercise. The first half of this new edition of CLUETRAIN basically involves all the authors returning to discuss what they got or wrong on their original manifesto of 10 years ago. So by the time you finish reading that material up front, it's pointless to go back and read the original stuff: they basically tell you th ...more
Jan 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Richard by: John Roberts
Shelves: business
Think you understand the power of the web? Read the Cluetrain to set your compass.
Apr 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's held up well, but so much has changed. One line continues to echo in my mind, "All marketing is word of mouth." ...more
Aug 15, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: own
"Sort of smart but definitely annoying." ...more
Yevgeniy Brikman
This book is dated. I'm guessing that when it came out in 2000 (and the website that inspired it in 1999), it might have been groundbreaking, but now, with 17+ years of Internet usage behind us, almost everything in the book seems obvious or naive, and it's not worth reading.

I read the 10th anniversary edition of the book, which has a ridiculously long foreword from each of the authors. The intro is almost as long as the rest of the book, which is a bad thing, because the intro seems to meander
Lori White
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I should re-read this. I bought it when I was self-teaching myself digital marketing. Tara Hunt recommended. Really good look at how early internet thinkers wanted the internet to be. Good ideas but somehow a LOT of them didn't happen. But for a little bit, they were happening and it was exciting. This was a manifesto but now it's probably a history book. ...more
David Fossas
Good for people that are new to the internet. Anyone here new to the internet?

Jokes aside, I can see how this was new thought when it was originally published. Doesn't hold up 20 years later if you've been involved in the marketing or technology industries, or are a consumer that remembers what business was like before the 2000s.
Nov 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
Simplistic, patronising, arrogant, snarky, dumb.
Jeffrey Plummer
May 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Bit dated...
Jim King
It is all about people relationships
Dec 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
A brilliant work. Hard to believe that it was written ten years ago since it applies so well to today. These guys must be prophets!

Tons of amazing insights that are spot on. The authors do have an arrogant tone in their writing which becomes annoying at times, but generally makes the reading more enjoyable.

My biggest problem with this book is that the authors have a flawed view of human nature that invalidates many of their conclusions/solutions. They make great insights about the problems in bu
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Expanding on their website launched in 1999 (actually, expanding on the book published that expanded on the website), the four authors add additional commentary to their original work(s) and review how the Internet has changed business.
Dec 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This 10th anniversary edition contains the original book with new introductions from the authors. In the introductions the authors provide a "where are we now" and reflect on their differing opinions on the success of the Cluetrain message over the last decade. Some are more optimistic than others. The book also has appendices which seem to intended as case studies on the application of the Cluetrain approach but are disappointing and add little to the book.
The main book remains relevant even af
Jun 17, 2008 rated it liked it
This book is another one of those suggested by my techie wife who keeps trying to get me to understand the Internet and the Web (what's the difference?). This 'business book' was written about eight years ago and it's basic thesis seems to be that business has been turned upside down by the creation of the Internet (or the Web?), which the four authors claim is a 'plot' that has turned businesses into conversations and has humanized the work place. And Lord help those in the corporate world who ...more
Mar 04, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's interesting to read a book that fancies itself as innovative and to read it years after its (fleeting) relevance. Makes me feel like a prophet from the future. The internet has most definitely revolutionized the way business is done, but - having been written before smart phones, Twitter, and any form of social networking whatsoever (even Friendster) - it's not nearly as clairvoyant as it thought it was. There are some interesting points in this book, but the sum of the parts are better tha ...more
Ron Arden
I finally finished reading this over the Labor Day weekend. I noticed how relevant this book is almost 10 years after its publication. The book and the manifesto itself address how business is changing in the Internet age. Back in the dark ages, before computers and mass media, commerce was done through conversations between people. The village bazaar with its hustle and bustle is where people met, talked, gossiped, spread news and generally got things done. It was chaotic and informal. It was h ...more
David MacDonald
Dec 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Cluetrain is certainly essential reading for anyone studying new forms of community and business and culture on the web. Sometimes it gets a little caught up in its self-righteousness with a little help from circular reasoning. You can find some sound principles here, but you may have to dig a bit. There are certainly some quotable gems, some of which have become almost cliché in the web-culture literature, like "Markets are conversations." For a book written over ten years ago about the web, Cl ...more
May 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: readfromlibrary
This book is about how the connectedness of the internet will change the way businesses interact with their markets. Reading it almost ten years after its inception, it seems cliche and obvious, but there are a lot of good insights into the power of online conversation. Much of it is about the importance of sincerity, natural voice, and openness when dealing with customers, since they are more and more able to discuss the bullshit that PR departments sell as communication. As a person not partic ...more
Sep 18, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Reg by: TWiL podcast
This is a must read for anyone in business or in the internet age. Of course, the whole manifesto is available online (I expect nothing less of the authors of this book). The content itself is slightly repetitive. I think this comes from the fact that it's a collaborative effort and each author is telling his own story (and each is very similar) about realizing the value in the internet and what it brings to markets/business. For the generic Manager Of A Business, this repetition probably serves ...more
Ravi Warrier
A brilliant book that must be read by every businessperson, marketer and advertiser. If you are starting a business and/or planning to sell your goods/services online - read this book.
This book wonderfully explains who the internet consumer are, what they are like and what they like. A definite eye-opener.

I only wish that the author's update the book with the changes that the web has brought about in business and the way it is conducted and marketed today. While I do sense a lot of what the auth
Nov 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
More than ten years later, this collection of essays has aged well. I read it because I kept seeing references made to it in podcasts and other books. The Cluetrain Manifesto offers good advice for individuals and companies on interacting in a hyperlinked world. They stress really engaging with customers online, being genuine people within an organization rather than nameless, faceless representatives, and communicating real strengths rather than just marketing a concocted position. It was inter ...more
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