RIDING THE CLUETRAIN
March 14, 2008
I just started reading The Cluetrain Manifesto, a book with a title that's a bit too clever for the content.
Several months back, one of the executives at my place of work mentioned the book, and recommended it to anyone who was interested in disturbing the cultural complacency of typical corporate life. He said that there were ideas in the book that would make most executives uncomfortable, hinting that the book suggested a shifting of the balance of power and influence away from high-level executives and into the hands of your typical employee.
Of course, having read Chris Anderson's The Long Tail and Kevin Kelly's Out of Control, these ideas are nothing new. The idea of moving away from the traditional top-down leadership style and towards a style that leverages the knowledge and experience of the people on the ground by way of technology (specifically, the user-generated content on the internet) has been talked about for the last ten years now.
It wasn't until a couple of chapters into the book that I looked at the book's publish date: 2000. In technology years, it's ancient. I suppose that when it was written, it explored relatively uncharted territory, and the irreverent style (swearing... in a book on business and leadership?!) of the writing lent to a "we're boldly blazing the trail" attitude, which perhaps made it a compelling read.
Currently, I'm just trudging through it. I hate abandoning a book while I'm still in the middle of it, but I'm tempted. The book has become repetitive, and I feel like the entire message of the book was summed up in the first couple of chapters. Maybe I'll read a few more and see what happens. But I may very well drop this book for the next one on my list.