Friday Five: Cluetrain leaving the station edition

Five signs that some institutions have yet to get their ticket for a ride on the Cluetrain:

1. From OK Go Ditches Label Over YouTube Embedding Rights. You’ve probably heard of the band OK Go because of their insanely popular (and clever) music videos that have spread like wildfire on YouTube. The latest example is the amazing video for OK Go’s song “This Too Shall Pass.” But as Fast Company’s Dan Nosowitz reports, OK Go’s label, EMI, “in a misguided attempt to wring every penny out of the band’s success, decided to block embedding on the YouTube videos — meaning the videos were unable to disseminate out through music and pop culture blogs, news sites, and personal blogs the way they did before the restriction. And that’s not a minor detail: the band saw a 90% drop in views when that restriction went into effect. As in, 100,000 views one day, 10,000 views the next. … [W]hen the label makes their videos less popular, it means, in no uncertain terms, that less people out there know about OK Go.” And that translates into fewer album and ticket sales.

2. Worst social media “strategy” ever. A news and media company is trying to get into the social media consulting business by offering a cookie-cutter program. For a fee, the company will set up Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts, promise one blog post a week, five to eight custom tweets a day, etc. The author of this post on calls it a “copy and paste social media marketing strategy” that also flies in the face of journalistic ethics. If this isn’t the worst social media strategy ever, it’s got to be close. (Via @NewsSocialMedia.)

3. How to screw up the higher education system in Ontario. See? Not even higher ed is safe from missing the Cluetrain. Best part of this blog post for me was discovering a new word: “mediocracy.” (Via @tsand.)

4. The truth about Twitter users. Yikes. Could even Twitter, which was all the rage in 2009, be standing at the station when the Cluetrain pulls away? As the above-linked Mashable story points out, most Twitter users are not active. According to Brad J. Ward, these stats further signify Twitter’s “growing irrelevancy”. Of course, he said that on Twitter, so take it for what it’s worth.

5. For kicks, here’s one from the days of steam-engine cluetrains: An essay by Clifford Stoll (remember him?) from 1995 on why “no online database will replace your daily newspaper.”


Author: andrewcareaga

Higher ed PR and marketing guy. Communications director for Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) in Rolla, Missouri, USA. Slow runner, mediocre guitarist, lover of music and puns, and an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan. I blog and Tweet about #highered, #music, #gocards and #random stuff.

3 thoughts on “Friday Five: Cluetrain leaving the station edition”

  1. I love the reference to Cluetrain, a book which has been my “web manual” since it was first published in 1999.

    I’ll be giving a talk at the 2010 Penn State Web Conference called “The Cluetrain Stops at Higher Ed, Will Anyone Take Delivery?”. This will be part rant, part history lesson, part hope for the future as I explore the end of higher ed as usual. As I told @robintogo on Twitter a couple of weeks ago, I expect the backchannel to EXPLODE with this one. Should be fun

  2. Mark – As you know, I’ve been a big fan of Cluetrain for a long time as well. It ought to be required reading for anyone interested in marketing, communications and PR these days.

    When is the conference? I’d love to tap into the backchannel when this occurs.

  3. Maybe I need to read it again, because I really did not like Cluetrain at all. I’m not even sure if I finished it… Maybe I’ll give it a try again over spring break!

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