Emerging Systems VI: Conversations

Markets are conversations

First conclusion of the Cluetrain Manifesto

This manifesto is already from 1999 and with everything that has changed in the film, Cluetrain seems to be timeless, and even seems to be better understood now. The Theory of Jane Jacobs which spoke of cities with wide sidewalks where people could walk comfortably and greet each other, was published in 1961 The Death and Life of Great American Cities.

If markets are conversations, it means they are not monologues as they are now. Brands have to listen, and Twitter is a good place to listen, as demonstrated by the boycott of the controllers these days. The hotel where they were meeting, the association that convened them and the airline most affected were listening and responding on Twitter. This did not solve the problem, but it may have prevented greater evils.

Small conversations can have devastating effects because of the Internet's ability to amplify and distribute signals. The closer the impact is to our center of gravity, the more likely it is to be amplified. Let me explain: things from the head spread badly, things from the heart better, and when messages really fly is when they come from the gut. The visceral is amplified very easily.

Markets were already conversations in their origin, believe me, I know what I'm talking about, dispatching vegetables in a weekly village market is more like a conversation than a physical job. But the era of big business and Mass Media deprived us of the possibility of conversing with our customer or our supplier. In favor of a greater industrialization of the processes, these were massified, and now it turns out that the Man of the XIX Century is only convinced one at a time. Everything points to the fact that the brand that does not have a polite conversation will be left out of the game.


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