Weekly #1: Cluetrain, how many theses?

Webster’s dictionary defines a thesis as:

1.  a proposition stated or put forward for consideration, esp. one to be discussed and proved or to be maintained against objections: He vigorously defended his thesis on the causes of war.

2. a subject for a composition or essay.

The 95 Theses outlined in the Cluetrain Manifesto are hardly entirely all theses; in fact, I believe only ten of these theses are truly working phrases that are void of filler and/or simply commentary. My choices for true theses are numbers: 1,6,8,9,10,18, 23,34,35,53. I would also argue that 100% of the statements after 53 are truly just opinions and not reflective of fact. The statements are interesting and thought provoking, but not objective. My thoughts are as follows:

1. Markets are conversations. (I think the best thesis outlined.)

6. The Internet is enabling conversations among human beings that were simply not possible in the era of mass media.  (Also true, and examines a integral component to today’s communication methods)

8. In both internetworked markets and among intranetworked employees, people are speaking to each other in a powerful new way. (Another way for employees, investors, consumers, everyone to communicate.)

9. These networked conversations are enabling powerful new forms of social organization and knowledge exchange to emerge. (Information is readily available, 24-7)

10. As a result, markets are getting smarter, more informed, more organized. Participation in a networked market changes people fundamentally. (Corporate, non-profit, government- all business entities need to embrace and acknowledge social media and the new, networked environment.)

18. Companies that don’t realize their markets are now networked person-to-person, getting smarter as a result and deeply joined in conversation are missing their best opportunity. (Knowledge is power.)

23. Companies attempting to “position” themselves need to take a position. Optimally, it should relate to something their market actually cares about. (If the market is your conversation, the position is your message.)

34. To speak with a human voice, companies must share the concerns of their communities. (With #35 below)

35. But first, they must belong to a community.

53. There are two conversations going on. One inside the company. One with the market. (The question then becomes, which conversation will the company take part in, and what information will be shared?)


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