The sub-title of this book is "the end of business as usual".
Well, maybe. The premise here is that the Internet and Open Source are going to change everything, that most corporations don't have a clue (hence the "cluetrain" title), and that indeed society itself will be changed by by sweeping forces we are only starting to experience now.
I'm not at all adverse to this idea. I sympathise with it to a large extent, and more than that, I want the existing corporate structure changed: corporations are too powerful, have too much callous disregard for individuals (customers and employees both) and I think it would be just wonderful to see some of that power get beaten back.
I just really don't think it's going to happen. Oh, I don't think that these forces will be completely ineffectual, but I'm sure not thinking that we are about to see a new Golden Age for humanity where individuals don't have to subordinate themselves to the demands of the ultra-powerful. One of the authors says that the Internet is "digesting" business; I would say it's the other way around, and that the large and the powerful will continue to be large and powerful, and will continue to abuse individuals, smaller corporations and, of course, our planet itself. The Internet will let some individuals and small groups compete more effectively with the giants, but the overall effect of that will, I think, be quite minimal. I'd be very happy to be wrong.
As to the book itself, because of the multiple authors, there is an awful lot of repetition. Still, I wasn't bored, and I do recommend it.
Order (or just read more about) The Cluetrain Manifesto from Amazon.com
Got something to add? Send me email.
More Articles by Tony Lawrence © 2015-03-31 Tony Lawrence
When someone says: "I want a programming language in which I need only say what I wish done", give him a lollipop. (Alan J. Perlis)