Since 1996

March 28, 1999

I've seen references to the Cluetrain Manifesto in several places now, so I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon myself. Seriously, though, the manifesto raises a number of good points about company/customer relations. It sums up my feelings on the matter pretty well: "We are not seats or eyeballs or end users or consumers. We are human beings--and our reach exceeds your grasp. Deal with it." I for one have long been dismayed by the tendency to refer to web surfers as "eyeballs". It's dehumanizing, and dehumanizing a group of people is the first step towards exploiting (or killing) them. Even calling us "consumers" implies that we have no role beyond purchasing products. Jacob Nielson is concerned that large companies simply won't listen and predicts that most Fortune 500 companies will be gone in 10 years (although he's not certain which ones).