An introduction to:

Online Markets...

Networked markets are beginning to self-organize faster than the companies that have traditionally served them. Thanks to the web, markets are becoming better informed, smarter, and more demanding of qualities missing from most business organizations.

...People of Earth

The sky is open to the stars. Clouds roll over us night and day. Oceans rise and fall. Whatever you may have heard, this is our world, our place to be. Whatever you've been told, our flags fly free. Our heart goes on forever. People of Earth, remember.

A small sample of 95 ideas that are changing your life, even if you don't know it.

Markets are conversations.

Conversations among human beings sound  human. They are conducted in a human voice.

The Internet is enabling conversations among human beings that were simply not possible in the era of mass media.

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

As a result, markets are getting smarter, more informed, more organized. Participation in a networked market changes people fundamentally.

There are no secrets. The networked market knows more than companies do about their own products. And whether the news is good or bad, they tell everyone.

Corporations do not speak in the same voice as these new networked conversations. To their intended online audiences, companies sound hollow, flat, literally inhuman.

Smart markets will find suppliers who speak their own language.

There are two conversations going on. One inside the company. One with the market.

In most cases, neither conversation is going very well. Almost invariably, the cause of failure can be traced to obsolete notions of command and control.

A healthy intranet organizes workers in many meanings of the word. Its effect is more radical than the agenda of any union.

As markets, as workers, both of us are sick to death of getting our information by remote control. Why do we need faceless annual reports and third-hand market research studies to introduce us to each other?

As markets, as workers, we wonder why you're not listening. You seem to be speaking a different language.

Even at its worst, our newfound conversation is more interesting than most trade shows, more entertaining than any TV sitcom, and certainly more true-to-life than the corporate web sites we've been seeing.

Our allegiance is to ourselves, to our friends, to our new allies and acquaintances, even our sparring partners. Companies that have no part in this world, have no future.

To traditional corporations, networked conversations may appear confused, may sound confusing. But we are organizing faster than they are. We have better tools, more new ideas, and no rules to slow us down.

Copyright © 1999 Levine, Locke, Searls & Weinberger.
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All rights reserved.

The full version of the Cluetrain Manifesto is available here