Seems like websites are still mimicking broadcast media. They are still speaking at their visitors and treating them as mass markets.
There are some exceptions: blogs and news sites that let you comment, forums that are all about discussion, retail sites with user reviews, and finally social sites like Facebook and LinkedIn that are all about 2-or-more-way communication.
We’re trying to figure out how to let users become part of the typical website so it is not so much a brochure as a conversation. We would really like to deliver on the promises of the Cluetrain Manifesto by making websites a two-way Q&A between all the participants. Here are the first ten of 95 theses:
- Markets are conversations.
- Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors.
- Conversations among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice.
- Whether delivering information, opinions, perspectives, dissenting arguments or humorous asides, the human voice is typically open, natural, uncontrived.
- People recognize each other as such from the sound of this voice.
- The Internet is enabling conversations among human beings that were simply not possible in the era of mass media.
- Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy.
- In both internetworked markets and among intranetworked employees, people are speaking to each other in a powerful new way.
- These networked conversations are enabling powerful new forms of social organization and knowledge exchange to emerge.
- As a result, markets are getting smarter, more informed, more organized. Participation in a networked market changes people fundamentally.