This post is part of a 95 post series discussing the 95 theses of the Cluetrain Manifesto as they relate to business in 2009. Read more about the series in the introduction post. And check out the rest of the series!

Thesis #10: As a result, markets are getting smarter, more informed, more organized. Participation in a networked market changes people fundamentally.

We know that participation in these smart, organized, and informed markets is changing people.

News breaks differently.

I cannot remember the last purchase I made without first checking consumer reviews.

I no longer have to ponder the risks of trying a new restaurant.

Talent recruitment has changed.

Even the latest US presidential election set new precedents, and the president elect continues that leading up to inauguration.

Unfortunately, businesses are still operating under the same old presumptions that information travels wherever they direct it.

Press releases turn into press.

Advertising dollars turn into goods and services sold.

Except they don’t.

I mean, they do, but people’s attention to their markets have fundamentally changed, now that they are participating in them.

Consumers’ participation in a networked marketplace means that less of what businesses pump out is being seen when .

People have direct access to information that’s been organized organically, by people they trust more than the companies that have old school expectations.

People no longer rely on the businesses press releases, advertising campaigns, etc for discovery.

Eyeballs are still there, and they are still important. But they’re looking someplace else. They’re looking at each other, instead of upstream.

Businesses are scrambling for tools, sources, any “magic” they can find. Those businesses are falling behind every day.

It’s not about the tools, sources, or magic. It’s about participation.

There is no way for businesses to experience the benefits of the changes their customers have undergone…without participating in those markets themselves.