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((((((((((((((((( WEBREFERENCE UPDATE NEWSLETTER ))))))))))))))))) March 2, 2000


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http://www.webreference.com http://www.webreference.com/new/ http://www.webreference.com/new/submit.html New this week on WebReference.com and the Web:

1. CONTESTS: Submit & Win!, Subscribe & Win is Won 2. FEATURED INTERVIEW: Jumping on the Cluetrain with David Weinberger 3. NET NEWS: * DoubleClick Deals With New Security Flap * Sun Bridges the XML-Java Gap * Time Running Out on Kid Email, * Senate Panel Asks for Hacker's Counsel

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1.CONTESTS: Submit & Win!, Subscribe & Win!

>Submit & Win!

The article submissions are pouring in, but it's not too late for you to submit yours! Every Thursday the Update features a new article contributed by our readers through our Open Publishing Initiative. You get fame, hits, and the respect of your peers... and now, writers published in the newsletter also get a brand new copy of Adobe System's PhotoShop 5.5!


This week, Maura "Chip" Yost returns for her second open publishing article. This time around, Maura interviews David Weinberger, one of the co-authors of the popular book "The Cluetrain Manifesto". Thanks to both Maura and David!

>Subscribe & Win is Won!

We'd like to thank everyone that entered into our latest "Subscribe & Win" contest, and congratulate all of the winners. Our final winner is Becky Delbridge of Jackson, MS, and like all of the winners this time around, she'll receive a super software bundle from SoftQuad Software Inc and Ulead Systems Inc. Prizes included HoTMetaL PRO 6.0, PhotoImpact 5, and COOL 3D 2.5. Enjoy the software, Becky!

Thanks again to SoftQuad and Ulead for providing the software, and keep your eyes peeled for future WebReference giveaways, with all new prizes!


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****************************************************************** ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2. FEATURED INTERVIEW: Jumping on the Cluetrain with David Weinberger

How can businesses tap into the power of the Internet? The answer may surprise you! In the "Cluetrain Manifesto", a quartet of visionaries explains what draws people on-line and how business can connect with them. Called "the most important business book since 'In Search of Excellence'" by InformationWeek, the "Cluetrain Manifesto" candidly redefines Web marketing in a highly readable, sometimes poignant, often hilarious book. Co-authored by Rick Levine, an engineer at Sun Microsystems, Christopher Locke, formerly of IBM, MCI and Carnegie Mellon, Silicon Valley publicist Doc Searls, and David Weinberger, Web publisher, consultant and National Public Radio commentator, the book insightfully and provocatively reminds us of how business and humanity work best. Join me for a chat with co-author David Weinberger.

Question: How did you all meet and decide to collaborate on the Cluetrain Manifesto?

David Weinberger: We each knew at least one other of the four of us. I think the longest relationship is Chris [Locke] and mine; we've known each other for 10+ years in various capacities. We shared the sense that the importance of the Web was being missed by most of the media coverage. The media were focusing on the dot coms and ecomm and Internet gazillionaires but were missing why we (the 100M of us) were on the Web. It's not to do e-catalog shopping. It's to connect with one another. To talk. In our own voices. About what we care about. And to make bad jokes. We're having a party and the news reports were missing it entirely - like covering the Mardi Gras by reporting on the gross profits of local liquor stores. So, we wanted to put up a site that said some of those things plainly: the Web turns both markets and businesses into conversations. Yeah, it seems so obvious now. Duh!

Q: Ford recently provided access to computers and the Internet for its 350,000 employees. Do you think they get the message of the Cluetrain Manifesto?

Weinberger: Either they get it, or they'll get it. They've unleashed forces they can't control even if they want to. It's the opposite of Taylorism because they're putting 350,000 people out on the Web to browse, a highly undirected activity, hugely inefficient from a micro level. But, in fact, one that will make the company far more efficient - hmm, is that the right word? - in the market. These workers are being told that in order to be a good worker, they need to engage with the community, they need to listen, they need to speak. They are NOT being given playbooks and stacks of messages on 3x5 cards to recite. They're being set loose to talk. Hence, every employee now is a spokesperson. What trust that evidences, and evinces! And what a great understanding that companies aren't the things behind the walls but are the people who live in the community (now the global community).

This is very much in line with what the CTM is about. Markets are conversations - literally people talking. And businesses are conversations. And by "conversation" I don't mean anything fancy. Conversations are people talking. But what's interesting about them is the set of values they embody. A conversation is open- ended, creative, among equals, and requires listening as much as talking. And they're about something that the people talking care about; they necessarily have passion of some sort. The Web is enabling conversations on a global scale. They are encouraging us to talk in our own voice, rather than in the "professional" and "business-like" voice and vocabulary we've been trained to use at work.

It's this promise of freedom and authenticity that is responsible for the sense of fire people have about the Web, I believe.


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Q: What can Web developers do to facilitate these conversations?

Weinberger: Obviously, there are many many different types of Webs and many more that have yet to be invented. Yet, most business sites fall prey to the old way of thinking about their relationship with the market. Businesses have been able to control - or at least have the illusion of control - their markets by engaging in messaging: "We'll come up with a tag line and a jingle, and that's all we'll ever say to the market. And whatever the market wants to ask us about, we'll sing the jingle back to them. And over the course of 25 years, when they hear our name, they'll hear the jingle." Which works, unfortunately, because of a trick of human psychology. But the Web enables us to talk with one another, and we talk about INTERESTING things, things we care about. And we talk in our own voice. Not jingles.

So, the first question Web designers should ask is: Am I building a site that's trying to open a conversation or one that's trying to shut one down? Am I putting up glossy brochureware in order to keep people from getting a peek into the reality of the company? Am I trying to avoid ever having a customer talk to an employee? Am I channeling people into the pathways that WE want them in? Or, am I building a communication site, a site where conversations of various sorts - real ones, among real people - can occur?

Q: e-commercetimes.com recently reported that personal television technology is likely to radically reduce advertising revenue since consumers will be able to record their favorite shows and skip commercials. What about reaching consumers through banner advertising?

Weinberger: Well, we already have the means to obliterate TV advertising, and we use it incessantly: the channel changer. Click click. It certainly has meant that ads have had to become more entertaining to keep us. (On the other hand, they've brought back Mr. Whipple.)

There's equivalent tech for the Web: intermute.com. It strips the ads off Web pages before you see them. Works very smoothly. But, ads may still have an effect on us even if we think we're immune. At least now we have a type of antidote: we can find out in an instant if Saturn cars are really made by friendly people and if Maytag washers really never need repairing. We can ask one another.

Q: How can we tell if the voice we're listening to on the Web is real or is a corporate shill?

Weinberger: Ack, tough question. But here's a type of answer. There was a site, dunkindonuts.org, put up by a dissatisfied customer as a gripe-and-whine board for other disgruntled dunkers. At one point, a number of people wrote in to say how much they prefer KrispyKreme to Dunkin Donuts. After 7 of those messages were posted, someone else wrote in saying, "Hmmm, these people seem a little too happy about KrispyKremes, a little too enthusiastic, and the language sounds like it comes straight from their marketing copy. I think we're being infiltrated by the KrispyKreme company." So what's the point? First, yes, companies will try to subvert the conversation. Second, there's some hope that they will be discovered. And we can only hope that this is seen as a basic betrayal of trust and a cardinal Web sin.

Q: Overall, what's been the effect of the Web on the way that businesses work?

Weinberger: The Web is re-making business in its own image. The Web is by its nature decentralized, anti-hierarchical, unmanaged, hyperlinked, self-organizing and driven by people who are there to talk in their own voices about what they care about. The Web, in the form of intranets, is enabling workers to route around the org chart. They "hyperlink" themselves together based on their skills and personalities, regardless of what it says on their business cards. These hyperlinked teams frequently have more in common with the customers than with the management structure - they share a passion for the product. All this can be more than a little scary to a management culture brought up on the idea that Control is Good. The business organization is now spinning out of control - and organizing itself in new, unpredictable, and highly responsive ways. We're hearing people speaking in their own voices for the first time in ages in business. Real connections. Lots of jokes. And gigantic opportunities for success for companies that stop hiding under their desks and get out and play.


SEARCH ENGINE STRATEGIES SEMINAR 2000 Moderated by Search Engine Expert, Danny Sullivan. March 9th in New York City at the Hilton, the seminar is presented by www.searchenginewatch.com and hosted by www.internet.com. Don't miss the definitive event for understanding search engines and how to make them work for YOUR site. To register or sponsor this event visit http://seminars.internet.com/sew/ny00/


About the interviewer: Maura "Chip" Yost's interest in computer began when she received a Commodore 64 for Christmas, which at the time she considered the electronic equivalent of a lump of coal. She worked for over 11 years as an employment specialist and workshop presenter, and holds an advanced degree in training. You can reach Chip at: john@dataplusnet.com

About David Weinberger: David Weinberger publishes an influential Web newsletter (JOHO: The Journal of the Hyperlinked Organization) and is a technology commentator for National Public Radio's All Things Considered. He writes frequently for Wired, Knowledge Management World, Intranet Design Magazine, and others. For more information on JOHO: http://www.hyperorg.com/ For more on The Cluetrain Manifesto: http://www.cluetrain.com/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3. NET NEWS: DoubleClick Deals With New Security Flap, Sun Bridges the XML-Java Gap, Time Running Out on Kid Email, Senate Panel Asks for Hacker's Counsel

>DoubleClick Deals With New Security Flap

Financial software maker Intuit Inc. Thursday was moving to plug leaks on its popular Quicken site, after it was revealed personal financial information users entered on the site was being sent to DoubleClick Inc., which served the ads on the site. http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article/0,1087,3_314221,00.html InternetNews.com, 000302

>Sun Bridges the XML-Java Gap

Sun Microsystems Inc. this week released its Java API for XML Parsing, an application programming interface it hopes will serve as a common interface for developers using XML. Sun released JAXP in an attempt to bridge Java to XML and expand appeal to e-commerce sites by ensuring compatibility across various XML parsers. http://www.internetnews.com/wd-news/article/0,1087,10_313511,00.html InternetNews.com, 000301

>Time Running Out on Kid Email

Email companies are scrambling to adhere to a new U.S. law that forbids the collection of info for kids under 13 without parental permission. Some companies, like NBCi, have decided to it's easier to ditch the kids. http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,34453,00.html Wired.com, 000229

>Senate Panel Asks for Hacker's Counsel

In a bizarre twist to the federal prosecution of infamous hacker Kevin Mitnick, a Senate panel on computer security asked him to explain ways hackers infiltrate sensitive computer systems and to suggest solutions to lawmakers. http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-1562611.html News.com, 000302

That's it for this week, see you next time.

Andrew King Managing Editor, WebReference.com update@webreference.com

Eric Cook Assistant Editor, WebReference.com ecook@internet.com

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