Re: cluetrain, derailed. New engine?

Subject: Re: cluetrain, derailed. New engine?
From: Sean Wheller <sean -at- inwords -dot- co -dot- za>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2006 20:06:46 +0200

On Monday 12 June 2006 18:07, Peter Neilson wrote:
> Awwright, here's a comment, possibly worthwhile...
> Not only is the stuff old, it consists of a whole bunch of disconnected
> comments that attribute human desires to inanimate objects, to software
> or to "the market." The number 95 was clearly selected in emulation
> of Martin Luther, and because the authors had only half a dozen things
> to say that were possibly worthwhile, much inflation was necessary.
> Maybe the 95 was also supposed to invoke thoughts of W95, in which case
> they should have added three more when W98 became available.

Interesting response. Does the age mean that there is nothing to learn from
the intent of the work? Perhaps this truly a case of cultural differences.

BTW, Cathedral and the Bazaar was last updated over 10 years ago.
The bloat in there is huge. Would you have the same opinion of this work as
you do the cluetrain.

I sometimes like to read "Tom Peters." He is notorious for only writing
something when he is as mad as hell. Yet, I find his works jolt my numb brain
and help me to reconsider my perceptions. Amazing thing. When I analyse
something he says and compare it will my own thoughts on the subject, I find
that what I thought I knew is merely a perception and no longer stands true.
Time has changed reality, but my mind never revisited the subject so it could
be updated, instead it clings to my ego which tells me, "You know

> Perhaps it would be good to end discussion of this stupid topic and
> return to the main business at hand, which is How Do I Convince Possible
> Clients That They Need Tech Writing and that they need *me* to do it
> for them?

You see, I am not that dismissive over the cluetrain. Especially when I have
paying customers who recoil at using traditional business models and look to
works such as cluetrain for a new spin and new attitude.

My clients have explained that they do not want their corporate communications
to sound like most corporate talk. Ring any bells, "in the soothing,
humorless monotone of the mission statement, marketing brochure, and
your-call-is-important-to-us busy signal."

They want to connect with their community in a "human voice" that is
"unmistakably genuine".

Consider this.

Should I have been as dismissive as you suggest this list should be, I also
would be in the position of convincing them that I am the person they can
rely on to give them the voice they want.

You see, it's not about me. I am just a nameless individual. End customers
know me only as a reflection of what I write as they read aloud in their

Thanks anyway for sharing your perception. The one provided in your first
paragraph. I do value it, really.

If it is any help, I think you will find it easier to secure clients if you
tried speaking to them instead of convincing them. Discover what their
customers and what their company needs. Understand what they know and how
they see life, their product and customers. Try see it from their side and
then see whether or not you can help in some nice way. They may relate to you
better in this way and you may learn a thing or two along the way.

Just a suggestion, hope it helps.

Ask me about the Monkey.

Sean Wheller
Technical Author
sean -at- inwords -dot- co -dot- za

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RE: cluetrain: From: Combs, Richard
Re: cluetrain, derailed. New engine?: From: Peter Neilson

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