Saturday, February 27, 2010

Rant on, RageBoy (aka Chief Blogging Officer)... and do it again! By JargonTalk

Do The Bombast Transcripts and The Cluetrain Manifesto mean anything to the ‘Net as we know it today?'

I've liked reading Chris Locke (aka Rageboy, aka Chief Blogging Officer) since he and fellow authors Rick Levine, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger showed how the Internet was turning business upside down with their original 
publication of The Cluetrain Manifesto a decade ago. They had argued that commerce should be about conversations, no matter what the medium, and should not be about transactions. This was pretty heady stuff a decade ago, and this book did cause a number of CEOs to examine their own businesses... but maybe not enough of them.

I was working for a now-defunct "Internet Super Carrier" (And here's Christine's partial addition)
ASHBURN, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 13, 2000

PSINet Inc. (Nasdaq:PSIX), the Internet Super Carrier, today announced that in response to customer demands for greater bandwidth, it has increased its network capacity with OC-192 circuit connections on the U.S. East Coast and entry points into Canada.

Four OC-192 wavelengths, or an aggregate of 40 gigabits per second speed, will connect four PSINet hosting centers located in Toronto, New York City, Herndon (VA) and Atlanta. The upgrade was necessary to satisfy…

located in Northern Virginia about the time of the paperback release of that title

2001: My associates and I quoted regularly from our copies as we watched our 'Net worlds sinking around us in that strange financial collapse of so many of the telecoms and ISPs during that year.

Shortly after getting and reading my original hardbound copy of Cluetrain, I found that Chris Locke had a number of regular online journals to be found, especially his Mystic Bourgeoisie and his Entropy Gradient Reversals. (The author of these is also the Chairman Emeritus of The Titanic Deck Chair Rearrangement Corporation NASDAQ:TDCRC, but that's another story in itself.) Chris was already quite experienced at publishing on the Web when some were asking "What's a blog?"

He provided diversionary enlightenment to a number of us as we watched the collapse our so-called 'Net empires that year. Many of the thoughts that the author was noting on his various Web pages and blogs proved to be prophetic.

When The Bombast Transcripts: Rants and Screeds of RageBoy came out in early 2002, I bought my first hardbound copy, one that became the merciless victim of a yellow highlighter and numerous Post-It tabs as I furiously noted sections that I felt were worth referencing for future use. All of this was taking place during a frantic search for a new IT project management leadership position and a complete personal domestic relations meltdown.

That book was "borrowed" by a colleague last year and never returned. As it's a critical one on my IT reference shelf, was pleased to find it still also listed here as a Bargain Book. I grabbed it, and reading it again has proven to be a pleasure as I've become quite accustomed over the years to RageBoy's gonzo-journalist style.

As Publishers Weekly once put it, "Resurrect William Burroughs, Charles Bukowski and , add a dash of Dilbert and that's RageBoy." I'll add a dash of Hunter S. Thompson to that, though Kat Herding may have other points of view.

But now authors Chris Locke, Rick Levine, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger have released The Cluetrain Manifesto: 10th Anniversary Edition, with a new introduction and chapters by the original authors, and commentary by Jake McKee, JP Rangaswami, and Dan Gillmor. A decade after its original publication, their message remains more relevant than ever. The Cluetrain Manifesto began as a Web site ( in 1999 when the authors, who have worked variously at IBM, Sun Microsystems, the Linux Journal, and NPR, posted 95 theses about the new reality of the networked marketplace. Ten years after its original publication, their message remains more relevant than ever.

I am personally finding this new book to be truly essential reading for anybody interested in the 'Net and e-commerce, and it's especially vital for businesses navigating the topography of the wired marketplace.

If you want an even broader understanding of Cluetrain, try The Bombast Transcripts: Rants and Screeds of Rageboy as a companion volume of sorts. It's not for everyone, and some may even find him irreverent and slightly offensive. This reader did not. He'll either charm or alarm you, but Chris has a way with words that is unforgettable. And just be aware that despite the fact that he lives in Boulder, Colorado, he has never recanted anything.

I'm calling this one a 5-star read. And apologies to the author for again bringing up the TDCRC.

1 comment:

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