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the cluetrain letters


Fortune: A Nation of Net Have-Nots? No
July 5, 1999 — Thomas A. Stewart

"Up on the Web is a polite [sic], in-your-face document called The Cluetrain Manifesto. The work of four longtime Web denizens, it's the subject of talk even in establishment places like the Conference Board."

Article is not on site. Available for payment through Northern Light.

the gluetrain manifesto: a cluetrain parody

"A powerful inter-galactic conversation has begun. Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to waste time at work, download naughty pictures, and build pipe bombs. As a direct result, things are getting really weird -- and getting weird faster than the parking lot at a Grateful Dead concert."

Really good and really funny! Highly recommended. Our hats are off to whoever did this.

WebPointers Online: Net Thinkers Tell Businesses: Get A Clue
Kitty Williams

"Established businesses that support the status quo will find it disturbing. Entrepreneurs and guerrilla marketers who thrive in changing markets will find it stimulating.... You want your thoughts provoked? These guys are provoking." Web Marketer's Guide to the Cluetrain
April 30, 1999 — Cliff Allen

"'s clear that the Cluetrain Manifesto will lead to increased communications with the wide range of people who make up a company's community."

ClickZ Network: The Electronic Connection
April 21, 1999 — Sean Carton

"It's a powerful vision and one that I think resonates with a lot of us whether we immediately 'get it' or not. The web and the Internet revolution hasn't been a loud, noisy one. Instead, it's been a gradual process of many of us figuring out how to best use these new tools we've been gifted with. Even though our corporate parents haven't figured it out yet, we've all begun to figure it out. The Cluetrain Manifesto's the first time its been put into organized sentences." Getting clued on Y2K disclosure
April 19, 1999 — Mitch Ratcliffe

"I had the good fortune to be the moderator of the first public discussion of the Cluetrain Manifesto, a document written by a group of rebel marketers who recognize that the way their profession has practiced its craft will be the downfall of companies that don't change."

Digital Banff: just a link
April 17, 1999

See if you can find it. Subtle but tasty.

The Vancouver Sun: Hot Sites
April 17, 1999

"Created by members of the Net Generation, this site is aimed at old-line corporations in the hopes of getting them to understand what the Internet is and does. In other words, it wants to give them a clue."

Makes us sound a little like the Pepsi Generation... but hey, we're grateful for the link.

The Guardian: Netwatch
April 15, 1999 — Jack Schofield

"If you are sorry you haven't a clue, it's time to read the 95 articles that Chris Locke and friends have nailed to the Web at It's a primer on Internet marketing."

The Mining Company: Computer Industry - Electronic Commerce
April 15, 1999 — Paul Epps

"Clues you can use to discover the human voices inside and outside your business."

Spring Internet World '99: The Cluetrain Roundtable
April 15, 1999 — Doc Searls, David Weinberger, Glee Cady, Jim Sterne, Mary Lu Wehmeier

"...join two of Cluetrain's ringleaders -- Doc Searls and David Weinberger -- and other industry notables for the first public conversation on the topic that's sweeping the net."

CompuServe Business Channel: Clueless on the Internet (members only)
April 12, 1999 — Mike Bayer

"Over the past two weeks, thousands have flocked to this Web site to read the 'Cluetrain Manifesto,' a creation of four marketing gurus who have renounced Internet marketing-as-usual. Word of the site spread quickly, and WSJ Front Lines writer, Thomas Petzinger Jr. ( called the site 'brilliant' in his April 9 column. The site is an example of how fast networked markets can get self-organized. It may be another sign that if Internet firms can't figure out what the Web is they may soon self-destruct."

The Institute for Developmental Relationship Marketing: Watermelon Seeds and the Cluetrain
April 12, 1999 — David B. Wolfe

"The forms [advertising] takes in broadcast media, print and other venues is still driven by attitudes and idioms that were shaped in an era when vendors did largely control markets. Those who create advertising messages must change their assumptions about and attitudes toward consumers. They need to learn new language styles, language styles that are authentic, empathetic, vulnerable, and above all, that are deferential, not insistent."

InfoWorld: Companies get a clue about the Net: It's not just business as usual
April 12, 1999 — Dylan Tweney

"A small band of provocateurs calling their project "the Cluetrain" issued a challenge to corporations late in March: Wake up to the fact that the Internet is anarchic and beyond your control, learn how to use the Net to talk with your customers and employees like real people, and lighten up a bit."

The Wall Street Journal: Web Rebels Try to Make Managers Talk Like Humans
April 9, 1999 — Thomas Petzinger, Jr.

"GET A CLUE, corporate America. Your Web strategy stinks...."

"Fortunately, there's still time for clueless companies to get clued in. The shortcut begins at Over the past two weeks, thousands have flocked there to read the 'Cluetrain Manifesto.' Hundreds have sworn to the document by signing their names. Some of the signatories are probably your customers. A few may be your employees.

THE MANIFESTO is the pretentious, strident and absolutely brilliant creation of four marketing gurus who have renounced marketing-as-usual. They are Doc Searls, a former flack from Silicon Valley who now helps publish Linux Journal; David Weinberger of Boston, a consultant, Web publisher and frequent National Public Radio commentator; Rick Levine of Boulder, Colo., a top designer for Sun Microsystems; and Christopher Locke, an Internet visionary who runs a one-man shop called Entropy Web Consulting, also in Boulder."

Read the transcript of the April 9 cluetrain chat with Tom Petzinger.

TechSightings - Andover News Network: The Cluetrain Manifesto
April 8, 1999 — Robin Miller

"I've been looking for something like The Cluetrain Manifesto for a long time. If you have a moment, please read this piece I wrote in early 1998 for David Hudson's, then come back. I'm not going to say The Cluetrain Manifesto is exactly what I had in mind back then, but it's not far off. It makes some important points about how Internet-based 'flat' communications are changing the world by destroying hierarchies and opening new channels of communication."

Netsurfer Digest: The Discourse of the New Marketplace
April 7, 1999

"The preamble of the Cluetrain Manifesto (CM) reads: 'We are not seats or eyeballs or end users or consumers. We are human beings - and our reach exceeds our grasp. Deal with it.' This message, and the 95 Theses that follow, aim squarely at the coquettish corporate world and companies who continue to squander their online communication opportunities. The CM feels that inevitably, naturally, the relationship between consumers and employees of the companies that serve them will evolve as the two factions - gasp! - talk to each other. The CM tells corporations to encourage this discussion, to remove stale market positioning claims and hackneyed mission statements and instead foster discourse - in short, get out of the way or be squeezed out."

San Jose Mercury News: Manifesto on 'global conversation'
April 5, 1999 — Dan Gillmor

"...the document is aimed primarily at corporate America, old school, from Internet-empowered customers. Here's the above-all-others point: 'We are not seats or eyeballs or end users or consumers. We are human beings -- and our reach exceeds your grasp. Deal with it.'

....the Cluetrain work is moving swiftly around the Net. Call it word of mouse or whatever, but the quartet of Cluetrain authors -- Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls and David Weinberger -- has created something noteworthy."


Business and Economy > Marketing

"Cluetrain Manifesto - urging corporations to speak in a human voice and join in the global conversation that the internet enables. Advocating openness and other changes in corporate body language."

PC World News: The Speed of Naught
April 2, 1999 — Eric Bender

"The real insider story of Microsoft would be a genuine thriller. But to learn the changing rules of business, you're better off shelling out for FastCompany, The Industry Standard, or your other favorite business publication. Or even skimming the ads in any newspaper, or just cruising the Web for thought-provokers like the Cluetrain Manifesto."

ZD Journals: The Daily Buzz
April 1, 1999 — Darrell Ray

"But all these [new-age management advice books, Blur, The Road Ahead, ...] pale in comparison to the Cluetrain Manifesto."

Suck: Hit and Run No. CLXV
April 1, 1999

"...a ringing denunciation of corporatese and an updated version of Luther's 95 Theses for people who don't have any serious papal abuses to worry about. Frankly, we're big fans of Clue Train's brand of anti-pabulum pabulum"

Salon: Why Bill Gates still doesn't get the Net
March 30, 1999 — Scott Rosenberg

"By coincidence, the week that Gates' book hit the stores also saw the arrival on the Net of a funny, insightful manifesto against just the kind of impersonal corporate language in which "Business @ the Speed of Thought" speaks. The Cluetrain Manifesto is the work of a quartet of Internet provocateurs who argue that the Internet is rapidly transforming not just the speed but the tenor and content of business communications." ...

"What the authors are saying is that the very voice Bill Gates uses in "Business @ the Speed of Thought" is being rendered obsolete by the technology he espouses. Though predictions of the demise of marketing-speak often prove to be wishful thinking, there's plenty of evidence out there to back the Cluetrain argument."

Comcast Online: Ok, Sparky, here's the deal - Manifesting net savvy to the excessively well-groomed.
March 30, 1999 — Thomas Matrullo

"What could possibly get a bunch of Geeks ventilating to this extent? ...[cluetrain] - an in-your-teeth look at the misfire we call marketing on the Net."

Nice juxtaposition of "in-your-teeth" and "misfire" there, Tom. Love that blow your brains out or get on board now implication.

Rocky Mountain News: Sharpening The Company: 95 Theses alert corporations to power of customers online
March 30, 1999 — Lisa Greim Everitt

"While the Internet creates information conduits overnight, corporations are hiring more publicists and hiding behind more marketing jargon and legal disclaimers than ever before. 'Our point is not to go up against companies,' Locke said. "Our point is to help companies get it, to surface the conversation, to get it in play. Here's market research you're not getting from Meta, Giga, Forester.'" Get a clue!
March 29, 1999 — Dylan Tweney

"I'll admit, I was starting to get a little jaded about Internet business since the beginning of this year.... Reading this manifesto swept all that away. It was like getting hit on the head with a Zen stick." Spotlight link
March 27, 1999 — Jakob Nielsen

"The ClueTrain Manifesto lists 95 reasons Internet business is different from traditional business. Much overlap with my own comments on Web design over the last five years. Despite the fact that this manifesto and my own writings are online for everybody to read, I predict that most big companies will still not get it because their internal management structures are too well built and capable of resisting customer-centricity until it's too late. 80% of the Fortune-500 companies will be gone in ten years (unfortunately I don't know which will be the 100 companies to change in time)."

Tasty Bits from the Technology Front: TBTF for 1999-03-26: Clue train
March 26, 1999 — Keith Dawson

"David Weinberger, Chris Locke, Doc Searles, and Rick Levine are troublemakers in the same way Martin Luther was. They aren't so much creating a revolution as announcing one. They have nailed 95 theses to the door of worldwide business. The message is: networked markets are conversations; business can join the party or become roadkill."

Arts & Farces: Cluetrain Pulls Into the Station
March 25, 1999 — Michael Fraase

"Get a great big pile of sand and put it on your kitchen table. Notice that when you add more sand the pile begins to collapse around the edges. All it takes is a single grain of sand to start an avalanche. Such is the state of business today: a pile of sand and one more grain is going to make it topple.

Cluetrain is that one grain of sand, and the business avalanche is coming so strong that it will make any Y2K problems seem like a day at the beach."

Paradox Cafe
March 25, 1999

"For possibly the most important thing that you will read and see this year... the spark that could ignite a huge change in business... the last paradigm of the millennium... we strongly urge you to visit The Cluetrain Manifesto."

Geek Nation:

"Clue train getting louder.. hop on the cluetrain..."

Comcast Online: Slouching toward nowhere on Earth
January 28, 1999 — Thomas Matrullo

"A key premise [of the cluetrain manifesto] is that a shift is already transforming the commercial landscape with unprecedented speed. Unless titans of industry rethink their entire marketing strategy, they say, those mega-companies that thrive on size, volume and economies of scale, are about to find themselves outpaced, outmarketed and outmaneuvered."

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