The stumbling block to “markets as conversations” for most companies is that they see a world in which only one of the participants in the interaction is open to change. This would be the customer, by default — they are the ones who are putting their money down and making room in their lives for your product. The company providing the product has historically not been open to change in the process.
The next step for Cluetrain, as this article discusses, is companies willingly allowing themselves to be genuinely disrupted by the process.
Johnnie Moore also has some good thoughts on it:
There’s a parallel at work for bloggers – the value may not be the immediate impact of their words on the market, but how the conversation changes the blogger.
The best example I can think of is how Robert Scoble and his blogging colleagues are changing Microsoft internally.
But Microsoft is a tech company. What I’m not seeing is more non-tech companies following their lead. I guess it’s not surprising.
A year ago, I was very excited by the idea of corproate blogging, spreading like wildfire. But the more I’ve talked to large companies over the last 12 months, the less I’m convinced they actually want to get into the process.
For all the “Blaze New Trails” rheotoric the corporate PR machine likes to feed the media, most corporate types don’t like rocking the boat. And good blogs rock boats- they can’t help it.
So what comes after The Cluetrain? Companies gladly and willingly allowing themselves to be actually changed by The Cluetrain. But don’t hold your breath.
[FURTHER READING:] “Disrupt Or Die.”