Thursday, April 07, 2005

"Talk is Cheap"...? NICE, cause I only got $3.23 to my name and i was hoping to get 2 Bacon Double Cheeseburgers and a 5 Piece Nugget from Wendys

Upon reading the first paragraph of the third chapter of The Cluetrain Manifesto, I realized that Mr. Levine and myself share something in common. He spoke about how his father was a potter and he taught young Levine what it was to be passionate about one's craft. Growing up as a kid, my grandfather made a living as a metal worker. A couple of times I was fortunate enough to watch him mold that metal with his bare hands. To this day, I have a six inch statue that he made, bare handed, not even the slightest need for gloves, sitting in my room. His proudest achievement was knowing that he was a man. When I was 8 years old I was working with my grandpa and I told him how I wished to become a man like him someday. He replied, in his thick Slovakian accent "Know your job, do it well, and offer it everything you are..." Those were days of integrity, honor and pride. As I learn more and more about my generation, and the generations that surround mine, I don't really hear those words anymore. We've been born into Corporate America, raised to believe that money is akin to success. Those who disagreed would not be wealthy. And without money, they’d have no power. And without power, they’d have no control, no say. To the Corporate Leaders, they were just consumers. But now, with the maturing of the Internet, new forms of communication are spawning. The power is changing hands, from the corporations to the people, to the consumers.

Levine spoke on several new forms of communication that the Internet allows for. With these forms of mass communication, consumers don't need to rely solely on the information that the corporations supply. Corporations can and will survive. But they need to accept and make use of the fact that consumers no longer want to listen to "The Company." I agree entirely with Levine on this. People don't want cold formalities. People don't trust something that has no voice. Levine states "Voice is how we can tell the difference between people, committees, and bots. An e-mail written by one person bears the tool marks of their thought process... Much of what passes for communication from companies to costumers is washed and diluted so many times... that the live-person hints are lost." The times of PR, advertising campaigns, and corporate slogans seem to be coming to an end.

While reading I came across a lot of familiar "conversational modalities" as Levine put it. I eventually came across something that i hadn't heard of for some reason. Webzines and e-zines caught my eye right away. Simply put, they are publications that are mass emailed to their subscribers. In Elena's last blog, she discussed the benefits of mass emailing. Izines can be used as a very powerful tool. With relatively no production cost, anyone can create and maintain them. And since most of these are not for profit, and are normally written by someone who is more focused and more idiosyncratic than those major corporations, people trust and listen to what they have to say.

The people who have the most influence on consumers, thanks to the abundance and popularity of web blogs, are now the same people I opened my blog with. Honest people, who take pride in their work, are being sought out for their expertise and opinions. Miss M recently blogged about Rick Levine and Christopher Locke, two writers of the book, The Cluetrain Manifesto. She compared the two writer's materials and soon admitted to preferring Mr. Levine's selection. This is the result of Levine's tale of his childhood. Levine spoke of making pots with his father. He spoke of passion and he spoke from the heart, and that gave him credibility. Some companies are picking up with the trend. Bill Scoble continuously updates his blog from inside of Microsoft. Scoble is a mid level guy and he tells the good with the bad, so people trust him. Microsoft is making a brilliant move here by allowing Scoble to continue his blog. Since Scoble has gained the trust of his millions of readers, anything good that he has to say about Microsoft will be ten times more affective than any ad campaign that they could have mustered up.


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