Category Archives: Assignments

Response#1: 95 Theses are better than 17?

Cluetrain‘s  95 Theses projected a new world order that in 1999 came eerily close to what we have today.  But why the wink-n-nod to Martin Luther? Can anything be more pretentious than comparing the internet revolution to the Protestant Reformation? I’m trying to convince myself that high-irony is a fine art, but what’s the difference between pretension and high-irony if you still sound like a jackass?  A cursory scan of the 95 dispels that the reference was anything but coincidental.

34. To speak with a human voice, companies must share the concerns of their communities. 35. But first, they  must belong to a community.-Really? That couldn’t be one sentence? ‘Companies must belong to and share the concerns of a community’.

Did the authors really need to dice up their theses to make the magic Martin Luther number? No. But this doesn’t diminish how spot on their 95 Theses are in totality: that the many-to-many conversations the internet and social media trade in is the new paradigm that business must adapt to or likely fail.

Wikipedia’s post on CM breaks it up into eight sections, which to me might be overkill. Also, I don’t agree with its numeric sectioning.  My take:

  1. Markets are Conversations (1, 38, 39, 40, 61, 62, 63)
  2. Markets Consist of Human Beings (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 33)
  3. These new markets are getting smarter (9, 10, 11, 12, 30)
  4. The False Construct of Business (13, 14, 15, 59, 60)
  5. The Company’s Dilemma (20, 21, 22)
  6. Hyperlinks Subvert Hierarchy (7, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56)
  7. The Fallacy of the Corporate ‘Voice’ (16, 17, 18, 19)
  8. The Company must speak in a human voice (31, 32)
  9. The Company is Talking and Not Listening (23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28)
  10. The Company must question their false construct (36, 37, 41, 42)
  11. The Company must talk to themselves and to us (8, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48)
  12. The Company is there but the new Customer is here (71, 71)
  13. The Smart Company Should . . . (57, 58)
  14. These New Customers Expect More (64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70)
  15. The New Customer Can’t be tamed (74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86)
  16. This is what the new Customer wants from the Company (87, 88, 89, 90)
  17. Companies need to shape up or customers will find someone who will listen (91, 92, 93, 94, 95)

29-Was omitted (because it’s dumb though it could be clumped with Thesis 7)

The 10th anniversary ‘addition’ brings down some of the high-minded Lutheran references to earth though Locke has managed to have grown more pop-apocalyptic and egotistical in ‘Obedient Poodles for God and Country.’  And the Web did become more than what companies and the media thought it was in 1999, but they also found ways to game the Web (Google Ads, Bing, etc).

P.S. Any significance to number 17? Yes mathematically, culturally, and in sports.  But I came to it arbitrarily. Or did I? -ns

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