If you’re a Cluetrain Manifesto fan there’s a chance for you to meet a hero in March 2018.
Practitioners of modern public relations, computing, media and digital marketing divide into two camps: those that have read The Cluetrain Manifesto, and those that haven’t.
The book, written in 1999, by a foursome including Dr David Weinberger, Rick Levine, Christopher Locke and Doc Searls, has had the biggest single impact of any book on my career.
I’m a Cluetrain obsessive. I’ve written, taught and lectured about it extensively. In fact I own one of only a handful of first editions signed by the entire team.
It’s exciting to see that the CIPR has persuaded Dr Weinberger to deliver the inaugural Sir Stephen Tallents lecture as part of the CIPR’s 70th anniversary celebrations in 2018.
He’s earned global notoriety for his incisive perspective on how technology has revolutionised the business, culture and wider society.
Sir Stephen was one of the founders of the CIPR in 1948. He would have found a lot to agree with in The Cluetrain Manifesto, written 50 years later.
The four authors set out 95 theses for how they believed the internet would impact public discourse.
The basic premise is that both organisations and markets are people, and that the internet enables us to connect with each other directly without the need for formal structures.
It calls on organisations to be human, because the internet brings about unprecedented levels of transparency. It’s an issue that still challenges large organisations.
The Sir Stephen Tallents lecture, 20 years after the book was published, and 70 years after the CIPR was founded, provides an incredible opportunity for reflection.
In 1998 dial-up internet was the norm, broadband was just starting to be rolled out, and mobile internet consisted of WAP. Most service providers operated wall gardens.
Google was a start-up, and there was no Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.
“Cluetrain predicted how important it would be for organisations to have an authentic voice, strong values, a genuine point of view and to belong to and share the concerns of their communities,” said Sarah Hall, President, CIPR.
“I defy anyone to read their 95 theses – written in 1999 – without recognising how visionary they were and yet how little has changed.”
It makes it all the more incredible that everything set out in The Cluetrain Manifesto has come good but we’ve still long way to go.
The lecture takes place in London on 14 March, 2018. Tickets are priced £45 for CIPR members, and £60 for non members.
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