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15 years down the virtual road, it’s time to take the Cluetrain Manifesto to the next level.

cluetrain wordle, created by Tobias Dennehy on wordle.net

Back in 1999, it predicted “the end of business as usual”, caused by “a powerful global conversation [that] has begun through the Internet.” Talking a lot about why “markets are conversations and getting smarter”, “markets that consist of human beings”, conversations that need to be “conducted in a human voice [which is] unmistakably genuine [and] can’t be faked.”

About the fact that these “markets [actually] want to talk to companies.” And about the genuinely human constituents of these markets who will only talk to any company or institution on one condition:

“If you want us to talk to you, tell us something. Make it something interesting for a change.”

Tacitly accepting the risk of redundancy and repetitiveness here: I truly believe that this “something interesting” is the core of the Cluetrain Manifesto. A core without which the conversations that these markets are about, would be impossible.


Thesis 75 not simply states or claims something, or tells corporations what to change, which many of the other theses do in an at times slightly patronizing way; it actually hints into the direction of how to solve the corporate dilemma posed by the internet and social media paradigm shift.

This “something interesting” is, has always been, and will always be: STORY.

The right story told to the right people at the right time and in the right way will create open ears, open minds, loyalty and stickiness on the sides of the people you’re talking to. Even if it’s just one single person who is more open and susceptible to what you have to say than before you said it, and that’s the one single person you want to reach – isn’t that a beautiful thing?

I mean, let’s be honest: It’s not always about the mass of anonymous, meaningless Facebook friends or the 10 million views on your YouTube video that makes communications efforts successful – even though we all love to pretend otherwise in our “Oh my project was such a great success” power-point attacks on human intelligence. It’s what happens AFTERWARDS that proves if there’s any meaningful outcome to what we said, wrote or showed. [Side note: Do you know how long you need to watch a video on YouTube before the platform counts your action as a ‘view’? FIVE seconds. So much for that as a relevance KPI! Ha!]

So, what does it take to make your train of stories not only leave the station on the right platform and the right track, but also pick up passengers along the way who really like the direction you’re going and actually want to follow you?

A Storytrain that ideally never reaches its final destination, but gathers many a compelling story and fellow storytellers and passengers along the way?

A Storytrain that never returns home, but bit by bit is actually driven by its passengers to destination unknown, merely aiming at never-ending on a dead-end track?

Find it out when you jump on the bandwagon of The Storytrain Manifesto RIGHT HERE at storytrain.org.

Become a passenger, blind or seeing. Be my guest. My co-pilot. My chief guard. Help me make this work! Thanks. 🙂