Well – I finally finished The Cluetrain Manifesto. My turnaround wasn’t that bad, although cryptonomicon is not faring as well. Hi. Ho. At least I’m getting better in my old age – Godel, Escher, Bach was in the queue for something like 10 years.
Anyway, I wanted to like The Cluetrain Manifesto. I really did. Overall, I’d recommend it, with some reservations – the most glaring being its western-centric view of the world. I’m sure the author’s realize it, but half the world hasn’t even used a phone yet. I’m also not a big fan of the tone of the book with its big spurts of ‘cheeseball radical’. That said, I don’t disagree with its core theses and its sense of optimism:
Imagine a world where everyone was constantly learning, a world where what you wondered was more interesting that what you knew, and curiosity counted for more than certain knowledge. Imagine a world where what you gave away was more valuable than what you held back, where joy was not a dirty word, and where play was not forbidden after your eleventh birthday. Imagine a world in which the business of business was to imagine worlds people might actually want to live in someday.” [p.183]
It’s hard to argue with a grand vision like that, although my cynical side would certainly like to give it a run for the money.