Well, I Know I Conversed with People About the Book.

For the last week or so, I’ve been deep into reading The Cluetrain Manifesto, and I will admit specifically to being late to the party on this one, as much of it was published back in 1999 on the Web. I’ve found it to be one of the most interesting collections of essays I’ve read in years, and to be truthsome I believe that, if I had read it back in college, I would have approached a few things in utterly different ways.

Does it have anything to say about ministry or about anything specifically Lutheran? By no means. But it does have some very specific and very pointed things to say about doing business—and doing business well—in an Internet-enabled world.

Part of what it has to say must be taken in the proper context. I had been pointed in the direction of this book by a podcast I was listening to this past week (though I had heard about it before). This book was composed between 1999 and 2001. It is, in hindsight, prophetic. I believe that it accurately predicted the results of the dot-com crash of the early 2000’s, and that the authors saw things happening that many, many other people did not.

There are, on the flip side of this, some things they could not have foreseen. The rise of Google as the preeminent provider of search and context-sensitive advertising had not yet happened, and I seriously doubt that the authors saw the meteoric rise of blogging as a publishing paradigm, as neither is really mentioned. Much focus is heaped on corporate intranets, which in many cases don’t exist anymore—IMO due to atrophy more than anything else. They banked on markets being more interconnected and organized than they appear to have become.

But some things in this book are very, very right. And we would do well to listen to them.

Continue reading

It Never Feels Much Different, Except for the Whole Time Passing More Quickly Thing

Yes, only a few short hours ago, I officially turned twenty-eight years of age. Thanks to all the people who left messages and/or e-mails for me or threw something up on my Facebook wall, or similar actions.

A whole lot has happened in recent memory, and it’s only now that things seem to be calming down to the point where I can take my time and make decisions without needing to worry that a situation is going to change drastically or circumstances will be altered enough for me to worry about it.

You’ll notice that with my birthday, I’ve altered the theme used here for a while. There’s no banner at the moment (I haven’t installed anything I can use to work with images yet on my new computer), but I hope to have that up and working sometime tomorrow. This will be my new launching point for a redesigned look and an attempt at something different. I have a “plan b” in place as well, so don’t be surprised if the final effort looks very dissimilar. Most of what will happen is a question of how far I can successfully stretch my CSS editing skills.

This post isn’t really for catching up or anything of the sort – more like checking in. The combination of the new year and my birthday lend themselves quite nicely to trying out new habits, one of which is more frequent posting here (more than just funneled tweets from Twitter).

I’m also working on a nifty little project for those of you who are Lutheran Service Book users, one which I think you’ll enjoy and (hopefully) use to the fullest. I’ll have more to post on that sometime this week.