The Cluetrain Manifesto nine years later; the Internet answers back

Lately, I re-read the Cluetrain Manifesto for the first time in about nine years. (I would recommend you to read it again too. Technology specifics aside, it’s as relevant and inspiring as ever.)

Kudos to Geir Bækholt for introducing me to it back in the days.

But people of earth, what I really wanted to tell you about is dog food and the conversation nine years on.

Reading it again made me want to order copies of the German translation of the Cluetrain for the German speaking/reading upper management folks I do wonderful business with. Much to my dismay, I found out that the German version is for some reason out of print [Out of print? Seriously, I thought we were over this medieval phase of media?]. Drat!

I thus turned to twitter – as you do – to vent my disappointment and asking for further clues to a possible procurement of a German translation.

One of the four authors of the Cluetrain Manifesto (Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls and David Weinberger – all on twitter) actually caught wind of my gay banter:

Rick Levine then looked up the German publisher and told me how to proceed.

I’ll let that stand as a confirmation of Rick, the Cluetrain Manifesto and last perhaps not least twitter.

And people wonder why I love the social Internet…

Rants, Social

Conversational Snake Oil?

There’s been some discussion about marketing and ‘the Conversation’ lately – or more perhaps more accurately an ‘ Anti-Conversation’ meme in the making.

Brian Oberkirch recently blogged about it too, which inspired me to share my take.


Personally, I think Bill Hicks nailed it with regards to marketing in general. ;)

On another note, markets are conversations. That genie is out of the bottle.

Marketing depts, product depts, and hired marketing agency guns must clue up and take a good honest look at their position – then enter the Conversation in an honest, professional, and constructive way – if it makes sense. Not to be confused with marketing like a chat bot for serving customers, that’s a marketing tool that uses conversation, not conversational marketing.
No doubt that there are a lot of companies that will not benefit significantly from – heck, should not even consider – ‘conversational marketing’, if there ever was such a thing. I guess I just can’t think of many right now, but I’m sure there are others than say personnel mines and cluster bomb manufacturers that should perhaps hold back on the conversation sauce.

The bottom line seems to me that it has taken nine years for the Cluetrain Manifesto to grow into mainstream marketing. That may be considered a lifetime in Internet years, but then again, marketing as we know it was never particularly quick to adapt.

To me it’s like this with every new concept, disruptive change or meme? It’s just the hype cycle gone full circle. At the end of it, you’ll have clueless snake oil peddlers on every street corner desperately trying to cash in on a saturated market. In the end we just can’t stand it anymore. Tired and wary from the multichannel onslaught of buzzword abuse, we welcome any change – perhaps sometimes too rash and noncritical – creating a situation ripe for fleeting counter trends and anti-movements. Alas, the circle starts anew.

On another further note, could this emerging anti-conversation ‘movement’ be a conscious self-serving marketing ploy snowballing from a handful of self appointed social media marketing prophets trying to (re)position them from the quacks and to the gushing edge of Intarweb marketing?

You tell me.

Plone, Social, Software

Plone is a Product ™

If there was a general theme to take home at the Plone Conference 2007 in Naples, Italy on the second day of the conference – beside from Plone now being officially trademarked – it has to be that “Plone is a Product” and “Plone is Democracy”.

Now everybody repeat after me… No, seriously – all together now! :)

I think “Plone is a Product” is a very important statement. It really helps to explain that “Plone is not technology” and it’s a helpful ‘tool’ to position and ‘sell’ Plone, both for the community and people new to Plone.

“Plone is Democracy” tells a powerful story with only three words. Plone is open for anyone who wishes to participate. Plone is you.

Plone, Social, Software

First day of Plone Conf 2007

It’s now the 11th of October and the second day of the conference so I’m sort of lagging, but here are my impressions from yesterday.

The next best thing I took home with me on the first day of the Plone Conference 2007 in Naples, Italy – after meeting a lot of dear new and old faces – was attending the “Top Ten Ways to Get Involved with the Plone Community” speech by Darci Hanning (Scott Paley has an excellent writeup on his blog) and the “How to market Plone the Web2.0 way” by Christian “MrTopf” Scholz.

The Plone community is amazing. It is Plone. That said, we can be somewhat insular. A lot of the time we are preaching to the already converted. I think we are all aware of that. However, we’d all like to see Plone spreading even further and bring more converts into the fold.

What I loved about Darci’s talk was the numerous points on how people who are not software developers can get involved in the community and make great and important contributions, really driving home point that the community is not just for code centric people. I think they serve as great motivational arguments to engage and motivate more people from the “outside” to join the Plone community.

Darci Hanning

I think Christian’s points about reaching outside of the community and spreading the word of Plone using web2.0 and social media was a healthy dose of long due common sense and I hope it will inspire more members of the Plone community to network on social networks, blog, screencast and podcast more about Plone. He’s also streaming talks at the conference.

Christian “MrTopf” Scholz

You can find the some presentations held at Plone Conf 2007 on

More images from me will be up on flickr later today. In the meantime you can see what others have already uploaded on flickr by searching for the official tag ploneconf2007.

3D, Business Ideas, Social, Software

Second Life in CGN

Currently I’m I was at a SecondLife Stammtisch in Cologne at a place called ‘4 Cani‘ on Thursday the 9th of August. As I arrived late after deciding first going swimming, I missed the introduction round and I’m currently I felt a bit isolated for a while (but it didn’t take that long before the conversations started). Thus I’m I was a tad bored and thought I’d blog to look important and busy keep me occupied until contact was initiated.

Here’s a picture taken with my crap webcam:

SL Stammtisch CGN 20070809

Thanks to Christian Scholz for the invitation!