Notes on cluetrain after 15 years

I have been asked, or chosen, to get involved in planning a social media presence for a campaigning organisation. It made wonder how useful cluetrain was, and remains and the extent to which it has been superseded. Here are my links and notes …

My take on Cluetrain was that it was an optimistic forecast of how people, particularity customers and their prospective designers/engineers could talk, and that customers could talk to each other and that lawyers and marketeers would be left out of the conversation, improving the liquidity and honesty of the pre- and post-sales conversations. (It was clearly too optimistic, it’s been captured and corralled.)

Links

  1. A Barometer for What Has Changed in the Last 15 Years by Kent Anderson, I am not impressed, this is IMO focused on the wrong things, although the new clues document is too long; I don’t get the criticism of religiosity.
  2. New Clues, perhaps it needs to be this long to refresh the manifesto, but I think not. The points gathered under “Gravity’s great …” are important, the stuff on privacy not so much. It’s all a more libertarian than the original.
  3. From blog, tagged ‘cluetrain’
  4. https://www.cluetrain.com/ , the original site.
  5. https://www.blogtyrant.com/is-blogging-finally-dead/

This is my analysis, when I first came across it,

Make it something interesting for a change

I argue the book is not anti-capitalist, although it come close to recognising the alienation of workers and commoditisation of customers. I argue the central insight is that the internet allows the disintermediation of corporate lawyers and marketeers. It’s why they argue that blogs and comments are more powerful than a news feed; more recent experience has suggested that those who have experimented with it, the New Statesman & Guardian have stepped away form this, although Facebook & Medium remains wedded to this (i.e. posts and comments) architecture. Obviously, the newspaper sites want to preserve an editorial line which open comments made/make difficult and my experience of unmoderated responses i.e. Facebook is deeply unhelpful.

I proposed something, which might have been an architecture,  as open web blogs were being attacked by walled gardens and the ‘statussphere’. It includes an architecture, performing four distinct roles, publication, distribution, aggregation and consumption. No-one ever quoted me, and the corporate swallowing of the solution space may mean that this is no longer feasible, particularly if you consider wordpress to be part of the problem.

Are blogs losing their infuence?

The key influence measure of blogs back then was Technorati, and re-reading this, made me ask, “why did technocrati fail”, I found these articles,

  1. https://www.inc.com/magazine/20060201/handson-casestudy.html
  2. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-06-24/department-of-blogging-extinction-technorati-rankings-are-dead
  3. Technorati – the World’s Largest Blog Directory – is Gone, a contemporary whinge.

I am not sure how central this is to my current research, but it was a feature of the open web which failed.

Was blogshares part of the distribution layer? An interesting reference in the Wikipedia article was the idea of an attention economy., and it also has some citations which look interesting.

Did google & alexa kill the blog directories? Does it matter?

So to finish,

  1. Is publication, distribution, aggregation and consumption still a reasonable model?
  2. How does one get found?

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