Brian Connolly on the ‘Cluetrain Wreck’

Socializing of property — be it real or intellectual — leads to bankrupting of the value chain. More insights from Strumpette co-creator Brian Connolly, as he takes on one of social media’s most respected works, The Cluetrain Manifesto. Run time (1:59)

Sorry to those who showed up earlier. YouTube sometimes throws a curve ball. It did this morning.

Links to information on people mentioned in this post:

Fred Wilson and “freemium economics”

Alan Patrick and “broadstuff”

Wednesday: The 6 Fallacies of Social Media


One Response to Brian Connolly on the ‘Cluetrain Wreck’

  1. OK – so now Connolly invokes “The Tragedy of the Commons” by Garrett Hardin, citing an 1833 pamphlet by William Forster Lloyd.

    The thrust of the argument isn’t necessarily that common ownership leads to a despoiling of the commons (though the examples it uses can be said to draw that conclusion), it’s a comment on Malthus’s belief that the world has a finite capacity of resources to sustain life.

    “The tragedy of the commons develops in this way. Picture a pasture open to all. It is to be expected that each herdsman will try to keep as many cattle as possible on the commons. Such an arrangement may work reasonably satisfactorily for centuries because tribal wars, poaching, and disease keep the numbers of both man and beast well below the carrying capacity of the land. Finally, however, comes the day of reckoning, that is, the day when the long-desired goal of social stability becomes a reality. At this point, the inherent logic of the commons remorselessly generates tragedy.

    “As a rational being, each herdsman seeks to maximize his gain. Explicitly or implicitly, more or less consciously, he asks, “What is the utility to me of adding one more animal to my herd?” ” Hardin’s article (from Science in 1968) ends with the declaration that permitting people to breed at will is the primary cause of the Tragedy of the Commons.

    It seems tenuous to link the Cluetrain ( ) to this idea. Doing so requires that we conceive of information as finite — in 1890, the patent administration declared that everything had been invented already — when all the evidence appears to contradict that assertion. Further, the first Cluetrain thesis is that “Markets are Conversations.” That thesis underpins the entire theory of the case — therefore, open, transparent and honest communication is the foundation of the future of marketing. Connolly seems to prefer the more elitist view that professionals will interact with other professionals to manipulate consumers of product and services– just as in Cult of the Amateur.

    The problem of separating wheat from chaff on the Internet is old – but from Daily Kos to Huffington Post to GM Fastlane to others, people are smarter and more discerning than Connolly gives them credit for.

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