Mobilizing the enterprise community on the subject
of e-knowledge is the most important of the ten immediate actions.
Before this can occur successfully, we must understand the art of
communication and change in the Internet culture. Its not
about pushing a powerful message and strategy, fully formulated
and ready for action. Its about storytelling, adding value,
and changing how people feel about change and the future.
The reason so many change initiatives
fail is that they rely too much on data gathering, analysis, report
writing, and presentations instead of a more creative approach aimed
at grabbing the feelings that motivate useful action.
John Kotter, 2002
The Cluetrain Manifesto
This book with the peculiar name was written by four
practitioners specializing in new media and communicating via the
Internet. It started out as a Web site, attracting interested participants
who offered their perspectives on how the Internet was changing
the rules and routines of business communication. Eventually, the
Cluetrain Manifesto Web site grew to contain 95 theses about
communication and commerce in the Internet world and a wealth of
insight about how practices are changing.
The book was merely a printed version of the nuggets
that were found in the stream of conversation that ran through the
The Cluetrain Manifesto offers a simple thesis:
The Internet is a throwback to the days when commerce was conducted
in the bazaar. Commerce was about the conversations through which
everything was discussed and negotiated: the nature of the product,
its value, its price, and its terms of exchange. Over the course
of time, the conversations shaped and personalized product offerings
and what individuals thought of the products and those whose mark
was upon them. Voice the authentic expression of the individual
that is present in the work of our hands and our minds is
as present in the Internet as it was in the commerce of the bazaar.
The work of the Internet is carried on through conversation
Web pages, e-mail, discussion groups, blogs, klogs, product offerings,
and communities of practice that give new forms of expression
to the human voice in our organizations, be they colleges and universities,
corporations, trade associations, government agencies, or philanthropies.
We dont know what the Web is for
but weve adopted it faster than any technology since fire.
To be effective, communication in the Internet Age
must engage people in authentic conversations through which they
discover meaning, especially for new ideas and concepts. These concepts
can be put to work in our enterprises, to understand the potentials
of e-knowledge. The liberating impact of Internet culture is not
limited to peoples interactions via the Internet; it influences
other interactions as well.