Christopher Locke (born November 12, 1947) is an American business analyst, consultant, journalist, author and speaker.
In the late seventies, Christopher Locke was working as a construction contractor. His interest in artificial intelligence secured him a job in Tokyo working as a documentation editor for Fujitsu. In Japan he also worked at the Ricoh Software Research Center, and as a technical editor at the Japanese government's Fifth generation computer project. His first publications in print were introductory articles on Lisp and natural language processing.
In 1986 Locke was working in the marketing department of Carnegie Group, an artificial intelligence firm in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he became vice president of corporate communications, a position he also held at Intelligent Technology, another AI firm in Pittsburgh.
In 1993, Locke founded Internet Business Report, an industry newsletter owned by CMP Publications. Serving as the publication's chief editor, he argued for the commercial use of the Internet. His emphasis on respecting the norms of the "Internet community" provoked a disagreement over editorial direction with the publisher and led to his departure.
In 1994 he initiated and oversaw the development and launch of MecklerWeb, an ambitious project of reinventing commerce on the Internet which attracted much attention in the business press. Locke's e-commerce concept was scuttled two weeks after MecklerWeb's launch by the site owner, who chose to turn the site into a conventional homepage.
Locke subsequently worked as editor and publisher of the Net Editors segment on internetMCI, and as Program Director for Online Community Development at IBM. In 1996, he launched Entropy Gradient Reversals, a "strange webzine" that specialized in "dissecting transparently clueless corporate Internet strategies" and introduced RageBoy, Locke's petulant alter ego who likes to rant against business orthodoxy. As of April 1999, the publication counted nearly 3,000 subscribers.
After leaving IBM, Locke set up as an internet consultant under the name Entropy Web Consulting in Boulder, Colorado, practising an alternative to mass marketing he named 'gonzo marketing' after Hunter S. Thompson's gonzo journalism. Gonzo marketing asserts that companies are ineffective in their use of the Internet as a marketing tool when they insist on lecturing instead of conversing, and that companies need to improve their communications with customers to improve the quality of their products and services.
Locke is co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto, a tract that admonishes businesses to join the "networked conversations" of the Internet. The Manifesto was first posted to the Web in March 1999 and became a business bestseller in an extended book version the next year. He is also the author of Gonzo Marketing: Winning Through Worst Practices, a book that expands on the Cluetrain Manifesto's themes, and of The Bombast Transcripts: Rants and Screeds of RageBoy, a compilation of Entropy Gradient Reversals pieces.
- Locke, Christopher (1998-09-25). "Ticket to Write". The Industry Standard.
- Locke, Christopher (June 1992). "Making Knowledge Pay". BYTE 17 (6): 245–252. ISSN 0360-5280.
- Sorensen, Karen (1986-06-09). "Fifth Generation: Slow to Rise". InfoWorld. p. 35.
- Gannon, Joyce (1987-04-27). "Geisel Acquires On-Line Unit from Control Data". Pittsburgh Business Times 6 (37): 3. ISSN 0883-7910.
- Markoff, John (1993-09-03). "A New Information Mass Market". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-03-15.
- "How Hype Sank MecklerWeb". Dot.com 1 (7). October 1994.
- Petzinger, Thomas (1999-04-09). "Four Web Rebels Try to Make Managers Talk Like Human Beings". Wall Street Journal (New York). ISSN 0099-9660.
- Schofield, Jack (2002-05-09). "Rebel without a pause". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-03-12.
- Locke, Christopher (1994-03-01). "MecklerWeb". Panix.com. Retrieved 2015-03-12.
- "Displaytech People". Displaytech. 1996-12-11. Retrieved 2015-03-15.
- Locke, Christopher (1997-06-09). "End of your tether computing". Forbes. Retrieved 2015-03-14.
- Locke, Christopher (1998-07-16). "Fear and loathing on the Web: "Gonzo" marketing thrives". CNN. Retrieved 2015-03-12.
- Jossi, Frank (2000-03-15). "A Lesson From the Ancients". Wired. Retrieved 2015-03-12.
- Rosenstein, Bruce (2001-12-10). "Get personal to market on Web". USA Today. Retrieved 2015-03-12.
- Neuborne, Ellen (2000-04-27). "From One-Way Marketing to Cyber Dialogue". Business Week online.
- Locke, Christopher (2000-12-11). "The customer as co-developer". InformationWeek (816): 46. ISSN 8750-6874.
- Rosenberg, Scott (1999-03-30). "Why Bill Gates still doesn’t get the Net". Salon. Retrieved 2015-03-17.
- Rosen, Judith (2000-04-03). "Riding the "Cluetrain"". Publishers Weekly 247 (14): 28.
- Locke, Christopher (2000-02-14). "Gonzo Marketing: Winning Through Worst Practices". Release 1.0: 2–25.
- "Lost in cyberspace". The Economist. 1999-12-16. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 2015-03-19.
- "Top Fifty Thinkers". FT Dynamo. 2001. Retrieved 2015-03-17.
- Sullivan, Tom (2004-11-30). "A new title in IT: Chief Blogging Officer". InfoWorld. Retrieved 2015-03-14.
- Locke, Christopher (November 2004). "About Chief Blogging Officer". ChiefBloggingOfficer.com. Retrieved 2015-03-14.
- Schofield, Jack (2005-08-18). "Web watch". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-03-12.
- Kat Herding/Facebook
- Chris Locke's Weblog
- Mystic Bourgeoisie
- Entropy Gradient Reversals
- The Cluetrain Manifesto Online
- Ad Hominem @ Corante
- Gonzo Engaged
- The EGR List
- The Cluetrain List
- Tony Goodson Interviews Locke 2009
- Frank Paynter Interviews Locke 2003
- The Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business as Usual
- Gonzo Marketing: Winning Through Worst Practices
- The Bombast Transcripts: Rants and Screeds of Rageboy