Cluetrain #9: Trust is the key

Ten years ago, in April 1999, The Cluetrain Manifesto was published.

This seminal work introduced 95 separate theses based on the concept that “markets are conversations.”

cluetrain10Pretty radical stuff for many people in many companies to think about at the time.

I remember reading Cluetrain for the first time in 2001, not really agreeing with much of what I read beyond the broad concept that markets are indeed conversations, although very willing to be persuaded on new perspectives.

So ten years on, how does Cluetrain look today?

Well, I’m contributing some thoughts to one of the 95 theses as my contribution to cluetrainplus10, an effort organized by Canadian Keith McArthur.

My thesis to comment on is number 9:

9. These networked conversations are enabling powerful new forms of social organization and knowledge exchange to emerge.

Rather than write words you’d read on a screen, I decided to record an audio commentary, a podcast.

You can download the MP3 file (5.3Mb, 11:30) for offline listening, or play it here and now if you prefer:

To give you a sense of what’s in the podcast, here are the notes I used as the focus for my commentary:

The Cluetrain Manifesto
"Markets are Conversations"
Published in April 1999.
- 10th anniversary edition due July 2009

95 theses.

Mine is number 9:
“These networked conversations are enabling powerful new forms of social organization and knowledge exchange to emerge.”

What are ‘networked conversations’?

– go back to thesis #8
“In both internetworked markets and among intranetworked employees, people are speaking to each other in a powerful new way.”

– that leads straight to thesis #9:
“These networked conversations are enabling powerful new forms of social organization and knowledge exchange to emerge.”

– which links directly to thesis #10:
“As a result, markets are getting smarter, more informed, more organized. Participation in a networked market changes people fundamentally.”

All has to be in context.

So, how do networked conversations enable “powerful new forms of social organization and knowledge exchange to emerge”?

It stems from “people are speaking to each other in a powerful new way” as thesis #8 says.

The 4 Ts:
Transparency
Timeliness
Truthfulness
Trust

Trust is key, an essential foundation to building genuine relationships with others, personal or business. That’s how powerful new forms of social organization and knowledge exchange will emerge.

You must make the mindset shift that’s essential for this to happen, especially if you’re in a large organization. You don’t have to shield yourself with corporate camouflage that’s what you typically experience in your interactions with too many people in organizations today.

These new forms of social organization and knowledge exchange have their basis in the fundamental truth of honesty between people. It can be done.

Do it today – embrace the 4 Ts.
Transparency
Timeliness
Truthfulness
Trust

The podcast contains some cool music from the Podsafe Music Network: Orgasmic Waves by Sonic Mystery.

If you have any thoughts, comments, alternative ideas, etc, on what I’ve said, I’d love to hear them: leave a comment here or, better still, record something and let me know the link to it.

By the way, the book-cover image you see above is from the 10th anniversary edition of The Cluetrain Manifesto book, to be published in July 2009.

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Communication Leader, Social Media Leader, Consultant, Digital Change Agent, Speaker with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

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