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Idea: New Clues for the Post-Cluetrain Era

“Markets are conversations.”

(See update) 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 Cluetrain.com 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?

Well, we’re soon to we can now find out: Two of the original Cluetrain gang, Doc Searls and David Weinberger, are about to post on have posted on Cluetrain.com a 2015 version of a list they are calling “New Clues.”

Marketers will benefit by spending time with the new list. (Our CEO, Rex Hammock, was among the veteran digital marketers asked to review and react to the list before its launch.) New Clues calls for a higher level of respect for customers as people—not data that can be sliced and diced to seem like people. “Personal is human. Personalized isn’t,” they write.

New Clues is provocative, and you won’t agree with all that’s included. But given the track record of the Cluetrain Manifesto and how its observations and prophecies played out so accurately, it’s a smart idea to start off this new year by reading it and joining in the conversation.

(Update: This post was updated on 1.12.2015 after “New Clues” was posted.)

Photo by Yosemite

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