The Berkman Center for Internet and Society hosts an event looking back at the Cluetrain Manifesto, 10 years after its publication. From the event description:
“The Cluetrain Manifesto, posted in April, 1999, immediately became a touchstone in the digital culture wars. Its four authors – Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger – denounced the mainstream media’s portrayal of the Web as an extension of business-as-usual into a medium cheaper than paper and TV time. No, said Cluetrain in 95 “theses” (a number chosen for its resonant overstatement), millions of people weren’t flocking to the Web simply because they so loved online catalog shopping. The Web was a place where each individual had a voice, and each of those voices could connect with any and every other voice. The Web is a conversation. And — in Cluetrain’s most famous formulation — so are networked markets.
Cluetrain.com and the subsequent book of that name are polemics. They express anger at the attempt of the old regime to co-opt the Web and joy at the possibility of building a new set of human connections, free of the dehumanization of the Mass Age. But, that was ten years ago. The Web has gone from millions to over a billion, from frontier to settled land, from unnumbered to Web 2.0, from home pages to Facebook, from laptops to iPhones, from email to Twitter. Entire industries and institutions have collapsed, and many more have been transformed. Spam, identify theft, cyber-bullying and killers leaping straight out of Craigslist are on the scene, as well as Wikipedia, a gift economy, and the online politics of yes-we-can.
On the tenth anniversary of The Cluetrain Manifesto, how’s all that freedom, that cyberutopianism, that Internet exceptionalism working out for you?”
The event is free but attendees are requested to RSVP online; information here.