Reading the beginnings of Chapter Three of The Cluetrain Manifesto, I found a connection between the author of the chapter, Rick Levine, and the previous writer, Christopher Locke. Both men have a deep bond with society and the technology that binds us. However, as much as I enjoyed Mr. Locke's bluntness in telling readers how the Web is indeed spinning its threads around us, I took a better notice to Mr. Levine.
In the first few paragraphs of Chapter Three, Mr. Levine goes back in time to reflect on his apprenticeship with his father in the family' s shop. He talks of molding the clay, bruises evolving, and strength tested as he threw pounds of this mud. Despite the blood and sweat that arose, Mr. Levine looks fondly at the results. "Pots are made by people," he says, "...Smaller things -- mugs, cups, pitchers -- touch me as well. They're fitted to a potter's hands, reflecting their measure." No matter how tough this craft seems to be, Mr. Levine spoke of it from the heart. Like everyone who has a passion for something, whatever you do on the side, the passion lives on. Those who want to be athletes or actors
know the power of their craft. As in Levine's case, his fingers spending more time stroking plastic keys than smooth clay, he still refers to himself as "a potter's kid". That is true humanity unshielded.
Mr. Levine proceeds into a discussion of the Web, using his title as a craftsman in pottery as a craftsman of all things used in his work and life. In the Web, there is always someone behind the digital curtain. The masked wizard who edits and processes countless web pages so that they are suitable for the unsuspecting Web cruiser. However, the "raw" content on the Web appeals to us more and more. Those who use the Internet often can tell if something doesn't sound as to the point as it should. This is where chat rooms and e-mail come in, the forums to which we vent our disagreements and solutions to this obstacle course known as life on the Web. I feel about e-mail as Mr. Levine does. If I write to you, write back NOW so we can keep the conversation going. Whereas normally if I receive a phone call, I take six months to return it. It seems like picking up the phone takes so much effort. E-mail is the only natural and fast solution.
Briefly tapped upon by Mr. Levine was the subject of spam. My AOL screen name has "Dr" in it, indicating doctor. So it's no surprise that I get countless e-mails on Botox, Prozac, and Zoloft among others. The wizard who controls the web pages also wants me to get cheap skin injections. The discussion of chat rooms was really of interest to me. I hardly go in there anymore, but I was always baffled by getting the opportunity to talk to someone beyond the sea so easily from my suburban home. My best friend and I (quick story here!), entered a Britney Spears chat on AOL six years ago, when she was at the "height"
of her career. Miss Spears was live and answering questions posed to her by her adoring fans. My friend and I asked her the obvious question at the time, "Who's your favorite Backstreet Boy?" The chat was coming to an end, my friend and I feeling cheated by Brit for not answering our question. But then, the last question posted for her, was, drum roll, ours! We felt like we talked face to face with the pop tart. And the next day at school, we shared our moment of glory with everyone. It might be just a "chat room", but people can get to know each other better and feel more close-knit through that rambling chat progression. By the way, her favorite Backstreet Boy was Howie.
With the subjects of chat rooms and e-mail in a common swirl, the benefits of them are more than just finding someone to talk to. Lyndsay's post what's that i hear?
states that even though we will always be in a company's hands, as consumers we can join together with fellow buyers and "exchange ideas" with the various products that the company throws at us. And I loved Elena's fabulously titled post Look, everybody! We Have Our Voices Back!
because she simply puts down the definition of "self expression" and its relation to the Web. Once we search within our imagination to show people our true selves, the outlet that welcomes us with open arms is our friend Internet.