The Cluetrain Manifesto by Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls and David Weinberger, published by Pearson ISBN 0273650238


Storage space for downloaded files. Web browsers keep the data they download from a server in storage on the local machine. This caching speeds up access to frequently visited pages.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

A development of HTML (the language used for creating web pages) that allows a designer more control over the look of a page and enables them to specify and change styles across an entire site.


The rate at which users leave a service or a site. It is a preoccupation of e-commerce sites frantically looking for the holy grail of "stickiness" which guarantees low churn rates. Likely to increasingly feature in firms' new media musings as more of them create similar online services only a click away from each other.


The number of times a banner advertisement is clicked on and the user taken to the advertiser's site. Clickthrough is likely to be significantly less than the number of times an ad was seen. But many sites sell advertising based on it – the CPM or cost per thousand.


The system where one computer program sends a request to another which fulfils that request. The way in which networks can be so efficient, enabling the exchange of information without keeping the channel open all the time.

Clip Art

The last refuge of a digital designer.


The most overworked, or over-hyped word in new media. It is either an organically grown collection of online users who have built, adopted or more likely grown a corner of cyberspace, or a buzz word thrown into the business plan or PowerPoint presentation.


The situation where distinct media technologies begin to fit together. Similar to hi-fi separates. Something to bear in mind when building a new media strategy based on someone accessing the internet through a PC rather than a product or service that can migrate across convergent media.


The unknown quantity in any new media strategy. Either the ones who ask difficult questions and are not afraid of giving unpopular answers – or not.


From the Greek kybernetes meaning steersman or governor. The term moved from computer science through science fiction to popular culture. Now a prefix attached to any word to signify a certain cultural familiarity or business potential.

The Cluetrain Manifesto by Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls and David Weinberger, published by Pearson ISBN 0273650238

Don't read this book. If you've gone through the long and painful process of developing e-awareness and finally taken a first tentative step online with a new service or just a new look website, leave The Cluetrain Manifesto on the shelf and pass along to one of those "Ten ways the internet can change your business" books.

If your consultants have just delivered their PowerPoint presentation showing how you can integrate the new technologies into your global development strategy, don't open this book. If you want to believe that you can exploit new technologies the way you took control of the old, this is not the business book for you.

In fact, this isn't a business book at all. It offers no solutions, quick fixes or reassurances. It blatantly tells its reader (any business or service running as a business or any company or partnership that is trying to run like a business) that the writing is on the wall – power is changing and unless you get it, you're doomed.

The Cluetrain Manifesto, which started as a website and is now the talk of new media and marketing mailing lists, flatly states that when internet-worked markets meet intranet-worked workers, there is a revolution. Workers and clients can see, feel and create the new power relations and will not stand for the arrogant, uncommunicative, top-down business of old.

The authors' central metaphor is that the new economy (facilitated but not determined by the new technologies) is fundamentally about conversations. "You have two choices," they say. "You can continue to lock yourself behind facile corporate words and happy talk brochures… Or you can join the conversation."

This is a business book with a sense of humour and a sense of the absurd. It is a book about technology and its impact on society, its businesses and its markets. But it does not narrowly focus on business or technology. It denies its reader the security blanket of ghettoising the issues it highlights into either area or company department.

Don't read this book if you're looking for a guide to developing the new media section of the next firm strategy document.

But if you're looking for something to inform the whole document… go ahead, read it.