New Clues for the Post-Cluetrain Era

What would be different if a Cluetrain Manifesto-like list of observations, explanations and beliefs were created today? How would 15 years of reality override these prophecies?

“Markets are conversations.”

If you are an internet-marketing trivia master, you may recognize that quotation as Doc Searls’ prophetic observation that appeared 15 years ago as part of the Cluetrain Manifesto. Cluetrain began as a list of 95 theses posted on the website that captured the sentiments of Searls and three other tech-industry marketing veterans.

The Cluetrain Manifesto quickly evolved into a best-selling book that provided many early online marketers with a foundation for understanding and predicting how buying and selling would change when buyers have access to the same, or greater, data and insights previously controlled by sellers.

What would be different if a Cluetrain Manifesto-like list of observations, explanations and beliefs were created today? How would 15 years of reality override these prophecies?

We can now find out…

(Continue reading on the Hammock Blog.)

Don’t do this: Hand out your PowerPoint sales presentation deck

Why is a PowerPoint presentation called a deck? See the “Special Extra Sidebar below.”

After posting the previous item about the White House PowerPoint Deck, I wrote a post for the Hammock Inc Blog called, “3 Reasons Why you Should Not Use a Sales Presentation PowerPoint Deck for a Leave-behind.”

Here are the reasons why – but you’ll need to jump over there for the explanation of each:

  1. A presentation deck is not a leave-behind – it’s not even the presentation
  2. You lose all message continuity in a “second-degree” (as in Kevin Bacon) presentation
  3. Your deck is the wrong medium for the right opportunity

av-clubAV-Geek Sidebar Extra for the 12 Readers of RexBlog

In writing the Hammock post, I did some research on the term deck, as used to describe the slides in a PowerPoint presentation. I decided my favorite (Warning: I am not a linguist) explanation was the “playing card” metaphor I used on the Hammock post.

While some people claim that the term deck predates PowerPoint and was used to describe a stack of Kodak slides used in presentations, I’m not buying that.

Why? Well, as a couple of people I’m going to personally ping to read this post can attest, some of the most outrageously funny — and outrageously awful — experiences of my life as a young media geek involved the trainwrecks that could happen when you are overseeing a multi-projector, multi-screen, instantly produced, closing ceremony presentation that will be viewed by several hundred customers from around the world — and you’re stuck in a room for what seems like 72 hours straight with an extremely talented producer, photographers, an AV-guy, an account executive, and did I mention, the client?

According to this Kodak “source book” guide (PDF) from that era on, the word “deck,” in reference to slides, was never used.

That lines up with my foggy memories of those days.

However, if you add a moustache, I did favor the guy in that picture.

Greetings from the XOXO Festival

Today and tomorrow I’m in Portland, Oregon, for the innaugural XOXO Festival. According to the website, “XOXO is an arts and technology festival celebrating disruptive creativity….We’re bringing independent artists who use the internet to make a living doing what they love together with the technologists building the tools that make it possible.”

While those words are inspiring, I doubt I’d be here if that’s all I knew about the four-day event (although I’m here for just two days).

So why am I here?

That has an easy answer: Andy Baio.

Andy conceived the event and organized it with Andy McMillan, creator of Build Conference, an annual event in Belfast, Northern Ireland, that is similar (but different) to XOXO.

I know Andy primarily through his link blog, a steady stream of links to things I initially think may be “cute” or “clever.” And then, months later, it hits me they were precursors of something disruptive or mind-blowing.

Andy lives in the future (and helps create it) — but it’s a future where creating new technology and starting a business or expressing ones creativity don’t begin with trying to learn how to raise angel financing or appeal to venture capitalists or get on TechCrunch or is obsessed with trying to package the “top ten ways to do anything.”

It’s a future where creative talent and personal expression connect, unfiltered, with those who are moved by the talent and expression. It’s a future where do-it-yourself is called “making” — and is worthy of celebration even if there will never be an IPO. (Although there may be some acqhiring.)

XOXO is a celebration of idea entrepreneurs who, only later, discover they are business entrepreneurs.

So, I’m here because on the day Andy announced via Kickstarter (which is on a platform he helped build) he was putting on a conference, and that it would be limited to the first 400 or so people who paid $400 to register (and others who volunteered to help), I didn’t hesitate. (I also am lucky that I have enough frequent flyer points, I’m good to go anywhere Southwest can take me.)

So I’m here because of Andy, and he’s put together the kind of event I hoped it would be:

Today (Saturday), the topic of the conference is: “Creative people of all kinds — musicians, filmmakers, illustrators, game designers — who creatively used the Internet to find their audience, build a community, and make a living doing what they love.”

And tomorrow, it’s “creative technologists who’re creating the platforms being used to rewrite entire industries, from filmmaking and music to publishing and fine art.”

And in a few months or years, who knows?