Weekly Blog #1: The Real Number of Cluetrain Theses

Hello, everyone! I am excited to be starting my own blog about social media (and other interesting things). I have been working in communications for more than five years, and have learned a lot about blogs and how they can help organizations grow their business; I have even created strategic blog recommendations for my clients. However, I have never explored blogging on my own — so it’s about time! Here I go! 🙂

Last week in class,  we discussed the Cluetrain Manifesto, and how it is basically the document that serves as the overall foundation for today’s social media movement, if you will. This was really interesting to learn about because I sort of always thought of Facebook as the “beginning” of social media, since that was the first social media tool that became really popular. But Cluetrain was really eye-opening as the true base for all social media.

One thing I had doubts about regarding the 95 theses was the fact that there WERE 95 theses. It seemed like so many, and some were repetitive in different ways. So I was happy our blog assignment for this week was to determine how many theses there really could be.

I thought about two different answers to the question of how many theses there really were. My first thought was that all the theses in the Manifesto could essentially be boiled all the way down to the 1 big, main thesis: markets are conversations. In a way, it fits, because the remainder of the theses are just the details and descriptions of how markets are conversations.

On the other hand, I was thinking about which theses really stood out to me as actually defining what the manifesto really IS and stands for: the foundation of social media. Given that, I would say that the document should really consist of 6 main theses that serve as the most important “foundation” theses:

1. Markets are conversations (most important)

3. Conversations among human beings sounds human. They are conducted in human voice. (second most important)


People in networked markets have figured out that they get far better information and support from one another than from vendors. So much for corporate rhetoric about adding value to commoditized products.


Companies can now communicate with their markets directly. If they blow it, it could be their last chance.

83. We want you to take 50 million of us as seriously as you take one reporter from The Wall Street Journal.

89. We have real power and we know it. If you don’t quite see the light, some other outfit will come along that’s more attentive, more interesting, more fun to play with.

While number one is considered to be the most important, number 3 is my favorite because I think it really defines what social media is supposed to be all about and what it actually IS all about. It will be super helpful to keep it (and the others) in mind when thinking about and implementing social media tools  –both for myself and for my clients, as well as moving forward with this semester.

Until next week-






About Jessie Gillman

This blog was created for my social media class as part of my graduate program in PR and communications at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. In addition to being a grad student, I am a PR/comm professional at Environics Communications where I focus on clean energy/environmental issues, education and women's health. I am also a huge book lover, an avid traveler, a big Philly sports fanatic, and I love Yoga.
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