The Cluetrain Manifesto
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The most amazing thing: you can tell whos talking by listening to the voice.
People are beginning to sound like themselves again.
You may not hear any of this at your place of work. But if the Web has touched your business — and it has — then the sound is there.
The odd thing is that you almost certainly have to be making some of the new sound to hear it. Otherwise, it passes for noise, like an overtone of the 60-cycle thrum of modern business at its automated, time-slicing best.
You hear it or you dont. You get it or you dont.
The gulf that has opened in companies is about the size of the human heart.
Thats what makes the situation so ripe for humor.
And anger. And absurdity.
. should that even be done? Shouldn't if you have a preantr in real life, play the game with them and preantr with them? Behind every Av, and computer is a real person that may or may not take everything serious And to me if you are saying things that you should say to your other rl gf or bf, to me is wrong, because you are saying those things to rl people. I think if you play the game then you should keep you rl out of it, especially when you in a rl relationship.
Consider this: from the other side of the gulf opened by the Web, virtually all of the structures that management identifies as being the business itself seem to be bizarre artifacts of earlier times, like wearing a powdered wig and codpiece to the company picnic.
The gulf the Web opens is, ironically, that of connection. Without anyone asking for it, the Web has given the people inside an organization easy access to one another in a rich variety of ways.
They can send e-mail to one person, to a steady group, to a dynamic team, to the entire sales force, or "just" to the board of directors. They can post creative, informative pages that express their interests, correct the mistakes in the official technical documentation, or point to the industry analysts report the company doesnt want anyone to read.
They can write a zine that parodies the company line savagely and without let-up. They can play backgammon online or blow up their colleagues in a ruthless game of Quake in which the guy who never speaks at meetings routinely turns his manager into animated meat chunks.
They can also find every piece of information about the company and its competitors, shop for a car, or learn how to play the blues like Buddy Guy.
The Web, in short, has led every wired person in your organization to expect direct connections not only to information but also to the truth spoken in human voices.
And they expect to be able to find what they need and do what they need without any further help from people who dress better than they do. This has happened not because of a management theory or a bestselling business book but because the Web reaches everyone with a computer and a telephone line on her desk.
So, the gulf opens between those who are connected and those who think an office with a door is a sign of success. The gulf is one of expectations, and expectations always guide perception.
As a result, the company thinks its doing one thing while accomplishing the direct opposite with its connected employees. For example:
- The company communicates with me through a newsletter and company meetings meant to lift up my morale.
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In fact, I know from my e-mail pen pals that its telling me happy-talk lies, and I find that quite depressing.
- The company org chart shows me who does what so I know how to get things done.
In fact, the org chart is an expression of a power structure. It is red tape.
It is a map of whom to avoid.
- The company manages my work to make sure that all tasks are coordinated and the company is operating efficiently.
In fact, the inflexible goals imposed from on high keep me from following what my craft expertise tells me I really ought to be doing.
- The company provides me with a career path so Ill see a productive future in the business.
In fact, Ive figured out that because the org chart narrows at the top, most career paths necessarily have to be dead ends.
- The company provides me with all the information I need to make good decisions.
In fact, this information is selected to support a decision (or worldview) in which I have no investment. Statistics and industry surveys are lobbed like anti-aircraft fire to disguise the fact that while we have lots of data, we have no understanding.
- The company is goal-oriented so that the path from here to there is broken into small, well-marked steps that can be tracked and managed. In fact, if I keep my head down and accomplish my goals, I wont add the type of value Im capable of.
I need to browse. I even need to play.
Without play, only Shit Happens. With play, Serendipity Happens.
- The company gives me deadlines so that we ship product on time, maintaining our integrity. In fact, working to arbitrary deadlines makes me ship poor-quality content.
My management doesnt have to use a club to get me to do my job. Wheres the trust, baby?
- The company looks at customers as adversaries who must be won over.
In fact, the ones Ive been exchanging e-mail with are very cool and enthusiastic about exactly the same thing that got me into this company. You know, Id rather talk with them than with my manager.
- The company works in an office building in order to bring together all of the things I need to get my job done and to avoid distracting me. In fact, more and more of what I need is outside the corporate walls.
And when I really want to get something done, I go home.
- The company rewards me for being a professional who acts and behaves in a, well, professional manner, following certain unwritten rules about the coefficient of permitted variation in dress, politics, shoe style, expression of religion, and the relating of humorous stories.
In fact, I learn who to trust — whom I can work with creatively and productively — only by getting past the professional act.
Somethings gone wrong.
Or maybe something now is starting to go right.
Whats wrong isnt trivial.
It isnt fixed with dress-down Fridays, health food in the cafeteria, or learning to pretend to look into the eyes of the trembling subordinate youre condescending to chat up on the way in from the parking lot.