Happy birthday Cluetrain

By Tom Wood @Foolproofer

2009 is the tenth anniversary of the Cluetrain Manifesto.

If you’ve never come across it before (or if it’s been a while since you read it) take a look. Follow my link then scroll down the page a bit to find the 95 ‘theses’ about the future of the internet as imagined in 1999.

It’s worth remembering that the Cluetrain Manifesto was launched into a world where Google was only a few months old and things like social networks, wikis and all the other web 2.0 stuff were still five years away from popular use. Nevertheless the authors understood that the internet was going to change society – and particularly the relationship between companies and consumers.

Great though it is, at times the Manifesto is a little overblown in its rhetoric (I suspect the authors were fuelled by more than a little Napa Valley Merlot). So for a sober analysis check out what Wikipedia has to say on the subject.

The revolution that the Cluetrain authors foresaw has been longer arriving than they hoped. Advertisers and their agencies have been fighting a very effective rear-guard action against the social power of the web. But it is a losing battle. I’d like to think that Foolproof is a friend to both sides, helping companies to find a more appropriate and valuable voice in their conversations with consumers.

Tom Wood

I’m one of the two founders of Foolproof. Within projects I usually take a role both in planning our approach and in the generative phases of design. I’m also active in gathering client and customer needs into the design space. My particular talent is helping senior stakeholders see and understand the customer’s world in richer detail, and helping them work out how to respond.

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