Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - Doc Searls, The Cluetrain Manifesto, 10 Years Later

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Peter -

I knew this conversation would resonate with you. In fact, I was hoping you'd be able to give us your take, which I appreciate immensely.

To me, a conversation is also about holding many points of view in consideration and appreciation, seeing the people who bring them forth as humans, and moving our own thinking or being moved to evolve it of our own choosing.

We're terrible customers and we bring that attitude in organizations as sellers.

On the ideas front, good food for thought.

"Spend time with these ideas and think about how they'd work in your business. We won't have a two-way conversation until we both - customers and service providers - hold the tools to develop those relationships in terms we both want, not just we can live with"

I'm still doing my time thinking after 10 years (your post reminded me that I was one of those signatories to it.)

Where I've got to:

The buy side is broken - but not because consumer lack tools. I think the "problem" is that "we" have littke understanding of what it means to be a good consumer or a good customer.

The sell side of capitalism is driven by an industry of knowledge, expertise and continual learning. However, by and large, the same cannot be said for the buy side. Consumption is largely an amateur pursuit notwistanding that in Western Society its perhaps becoming our life long profession.

I'm all for better tools for consumers but these must include tools for thinking about what it means to be a good if not great consumer/customer.

For me this begins with the appreciation of the minor miracle that is the sell side. Money and demand just means a long que if there is limited supply.

However the lasting impression of Clue Train was that it spoke with a human voice. For me, it legitimised the idea of plain and honest speaking in business ( something you hear clearly in your conversation). Unfortunately, no sooner had the voice been liberated than it began to be commodified by those who saw a way to "sell" this voice to the sell side. For me, Clue Trail marked the steady commodification of the best of the human spirit (but more on that some other time) - .

Finally, persistance is a lovely virtue ( provided its mindful). Personnaly, I'm a fan of the concept of saying someting 1000 times before its heard (a view at odds with social media and its appetite for newness - (as an aside - I've noticed that human nature is such that only lesser ideas tend to be stolen - the really good ones are more likely to be ignored or derided))

Thanks for your post and sharing.


@Tom - thank you for the link. Conversations on jargon always peak my interest.

@Stuart - I don't use affiliate links, which I would disclose. My hard copy is well worn. good choice.

@James - indeed! I recall Jake's involvement there. Now thrilled to have your post to look forward to.

@Eric - thank you for reading, I do appreciate your time enormously. Clarity is a beautiful thing and he has it in spades.

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