Cluetrain and blogging

I’m very glad Hugh MacLeod shared his notes from a presentation he gave today in London at Edelman PR about blogs and post-Cluetrain reality. It sure will save me lots of time the next time I speak on the topic.

Says Hugh:

“To me, (The Cluetrain Manifesto) is the most important book about the internet ever written. Why? Because it was the first book that talked about the internet the way it REALLY is- i.e. people talking- as opposed to the way business and the media pretend it is- i.e. people buying.

Interesting fact: I agree with Hugh that Cluetrain is the definitive book on what the Internet means for business. And for me, it is still the book about blogging. However, no where in the book do the words “weblog” or “blog” appear*. In 1999 when the book was written (it was published “officially” in February, 2000), even though Dave Winer was helping Doc set up a weblog on weblogs.com in 1999, the word hadn’t quite broken through. I recall that in 1999, two of Doc’s co-authors, Chris Locke and David Weinberger were regularly publishing things that quacked and waddled like blogs, but I think we used to call them something like email newsletters or websites back then.

(via: Doc Searls. Come to think of it, pretty much every thing I think on this topic is via Doc Searls.)

*Amazon.com’s Search Inside this Book.

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  • Thanks, Rex.

    Missed ya at SXSW this year. Missed me too. Stayed home.

    About blogs and Cluetrain: Dave Winer was urging me strongly to blog during the whole time we wrote Cluetrain, which we finished at the end of August, 1999. I finally relented in October-November of that year, when Dave successfully helped me set up the blog I still have. It was originally supposed to be the “Cluelog,” and written by the three of us. But it became clear that blogs are essentially personal, so it turned into mine alone. Blogs by the other guys followed soon thereafter.

    I still regret that none of us started blogging before finishing the book.

    The thing that quacked like a duck was Dr. Weinberger’s JOHO, which goes back to 1997: http://www.hyperorg.com/backissues/backissuehome98.html

    The thing that waddled like duck was Chris Locke’s EGR, which goes back to… not clear. The Beginning, I guess:http://rageboy.com/bakissues.html

    My own nearly dead duck was Reality 2.0: http://searls.com/r2.html fwiw, etc.

  • Whoa even Doc reads ya, I feel like I’m part of the community or something. I guess I should get around to reading the Cluetrain. Been hearing about it since the Gilmore Gang…oh how I miss that show

  • Thanks for the kind words. Yeah, it’s Doc’s world, we just happen to live in it…

    Re. the use [or non-use] of the word, “blog” in The Cluetrain…

    The amount of people that had blogs, or used the word, “blog” back then was tiny. So using the word may not have been the best idea. Secondly, even had blogs never been invented, the Cluetrain’s basic message would still be true.

    Two things back before 2005 drove the blogging phenom: goodwill and faith. Not a bad driver to have.

    Love your blog, btw. Well done.

  • Rex Hammock

    Thanks, Hugh. Couldn’t agree more with your comment on the universality of Cluetrain’s message, with or without blogging.