Get on the Cluetrain

Would you like your very own, shiny copy of The Cluetrain Manifesto by Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger? Of course you do, it’s an awesome book, and I want to help you get it. And believe it or not, it’ll be FREE (as in beer).

Harry C. Edwards of writes about the book:

How would you classify a book that begins with the salutation, “People of Earth…”? While the captains of industry might dismiss it as mere science fictionThe Cluetrain Manifesto is definitely of this day and age. Aiming squarely at the solar plexus of corporate America, authors Christopher Locke, Rick Levine, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger show how the Internet is turning business upside down. They proclaim that, thanks to conversations taking place on Web sites and message boards, and in e-mail and chat rooms, employees and customers alike have found voices that undermine the traditional command-and-control hierarchy that organizes most corporate marketing groups. “Markets are conversations,” the authors write, and those conversations are “getting smarter faster than most companies.” In their view, the lowly customer service rep wields far more power and influence in today’s marketplace than the well-oiled front office PR machine.

The Cluetrain Manifesto began as a Web site ( in 1999 when the authors, who have worked variously at IBM, Sun Microsystems, the Linux Journal, and NPR, posted 95 theses that pronounced what they felt was the new reality of the networked marketplace. For example, thesis no. 2: “Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors”; thesis no. 20: “Companies need to realize their markets are often laughing. At them”; thesis no. 62: “Markets do not want to talk to flacks and hucksters. They want to participate in the conversations going on behind the corporate firewall”; thesis no. 74: “We are immune to advertising. Just forget it.” The book enlarges on these themes through seven essays filled with dozens of stories and observations about how business gets done in America and how the Internet will change it all. While Cluetrain will strike many as loud and over the top, the message itself remains quite relevant and unique. This book is for anyone interested in the Internet and e-commerce, and is especially important for those businesses struggling to navigate the topography of the wired marketplace. All aboard!

Fair disclosure: See, I picked up a copy of the first printing a while back. Shortly thereafter, I got a copy of the revised edition. Naturally, I don’t need two, so I’d like to pass on my copy of the first edition to one of our readers as a way of saying thanks for being awesome like you are. “So Michael, basically you’re just pawning your old junk off on us?” Yeah. I am. But I promise it’s totally in great shape, and the information is far from out of date. And regardless, did I mention free?

So, how do I get this little prize gem of a book? It’s darn simple, let me tell ya’ (that’s how we say “you” in Kansas-talk). Down under this post is a section for comments. Tell me why you want it and how you hope to use the information to help people become better at what they do, or make you better at what you do. Be sure to enter your Twitter handle or a valid email so I can contact you if you win. That’s it. And remember, if you lie in your answer, I probably can’t tell, so just make it a good lie.

At some point in the future, maybe this afternoon, maybe the next Groundhog Day (okay, probably more like in a day or two) I’ll pick one of the entries by some fancy criteria that involves randomness combined with non-randomness, and I’ll give that person the book. And look, I’m not saying that tweeting about your entry with a link to this post and the hashtag #wincluetrain will necessarily help your chances at winning, but it might help your chances at winning. #justsayin

I’ll ship the book anywhere in the US for free. For our international friends, I’ll ship it to you, too. I think that covers everyone, right? Extraterrestrials, sorry, my transporter is down for repairs.

6 Responses to “Get on the Cluetrain”

  1. Says:

    Happy to hear you are spreading the gospel of the Cluetrain. I refer to it as my “users manual” for my job. And coming soon to a conference near you will be my take on how the Cluetrain applies to higher ed:

    “The Cluetrain Stops at Higher Ed, Will Anyone Take Delivery?”

    The Cluetrain Manifesto is best described as a cross between In Search of Excellence and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Provocative, pretentious and brilliant, this seminal book describes how the Internet will mean the end of business as usual. And yes, it is directly applicable to the work we do.

    Part rant, part history lesson, part hope for the future, brace yourself for a wild ride as we explore the end of higher ed as usual, how the themes from Cluetrain provide a framework for our profession, and what this all means for us both individually and organizationally.

  2. Says:

    I am in the throes of redesigning/re-architecting everything about our institution’s web-facing stuff, and I need ‘ammunition’ from reputable sources to back up the changes I want to make in order to move our website into the 21st century.

    Not to mention that I myself could very well use a ‘clue’ as to what that even means, and how best to articulate that to the decision makers at my college.

  3. Says:

    I’ve been serving in the role of Web Content Coordinator at our University for about 6 months. Before that, I was a web geek in the TV business. Working in the non-profit business has forced me to re-evaluate content delivery- in a positive way.

    A fellow web team member let me borrow his “Cluetrain,” but I would love to have my own to mark up as a reference tool.

    Plus, I grew up in Joplin, MO, and I’ve been to PSU on several occasions. In fact, it’s where I took the GRE exam back in the day. So that alone should give me an edge, right? Show a home-girl some love.;)

  4. Says:

    I feel like I have basically the same response as Justin, but since he beat me to it, I’ll back his request :)

  5. Says:

    Since kraig backed my request, I would have to say that he has much more of a ‘clue’ than I do, so I must back his request in return.


  6. Says:

    At my school, I’m responsible for how we use social media in our communications strategy with alumni. Our alums are tech-savvy and spread all over the world. The companies they work for and interact with as consumers are all using the internet and social media more effectively than we are. If we want to “feel the love” from our alums, we need to get on the Cluetrain! Help me get on board, Michael!