Book Review – “Tell Me Something Good”: Cluetrain and Conversations

Review Citation:

Levine, R. (2000). The cluetrain manifesto: The end of business as usual. Cambridge, Mass: Perseus Books.

“The Cluetrain Manifesto” is a collective work written by Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls and David Weinberger and published in 2000. Its tagline is “the end of business as usual”. The specter of this book is the Suit. The Suit is the Executive VP, a “fat cat”, closed-minded person who sees markets and consumers as on the receiving end of whatever his company wants to say or sell. The “end of business as usual” is this person’s organizational demise, and the social effect of the Internet (and company intranets) is what causes his crumbling.

An overarching topic throughout this book is the conversation: between the members of communities of the marketplace, the members of communities within the workplace, and, best of all, among them all. When I think of what I am looking for from a conversation, the first phrase that comes to mind is “Tell Me Something Good”, hence the bit of collateral entertainment by Rufus and Chaka Khan!

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Review – Wikinomics: "All Together Now…"

“Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything” by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams is a bit of a departure from the other books read for this course. While “The Long Tail” and “The Wealth of Networks” are primarily about how the networked information economy has evolved, directions it may take and their impact, this work is more about collaborative economy and production not necessarily tied to the network as scoped by Anderson and Benkler.

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Review – Wikinomics: “All Together Now…”

“Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything” by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams is a bit of a departure from the other books read for this course. While “The Long Tail” and “The Wealth of Networks” are primarily about how the networked information economy has evolved, directions it may take and their impact, this work is more about collaborative economy and production not necessarily tied to the network as scoped by Anderson and Benkler.

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Review – The Wealth of Networks

Yochai Benkler’s book “The Wealth of Networks” is a wide-ranging work that presents an encompassing ground of thought and evidence to support his premise: that the radically distributed and peer-produced network information economy being enabled and encouraged by Internet technologies is showing our society a positive direction of possible evolution. This evolution is from a one-to-many, relatively passive consumer, and industrial production model to a many-to-many, engaged participant, and commons-based production model.

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Review – The Long Tail: Atoms and Bits

The Long Tail, the title of the book by Wired magazine’s editor Chris Anderson, is a phrase that has entered the popular business lexicon with nearly as many interpretations as there are people quoting it. The term describes a graph showing very high sales and demand on the left (the head) and the rapid decline of the same on the right (the tail). This decline, while initially radical, flattens out and goes on to the right without ever actually getting to zero. Anderson’s book is about:

  • what is significant about this tail
  • what enables it to be important today with digital distribution, social means of production and effective filters and search capabilities, and
  • what makes this a game-changing opportunity for businesses, consumers and society.

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