Christopher Locke

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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.[1] In Japan he also worked at the Ricoh Software Research Center,[2] and as a technical editor at the Japanese government's Fifth generation computer project.[3] His first publications in print were introductory articles on Lisp and natural language processing.[1]

In 1986 Locke was working in the marketing department of Carnegie Group, an artificial intelligence firm in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,[3] where he became vice president of corporate communications,[4] a position he also held at Intelligent Technology, another AI firm in Pittsburgh.

He was director of industrial relations for the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University before joining Cimlinc in a similar capacity in 1991.[2]

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.[5] His emphasis on respecting the norms of the "Internet community" provoked a disagreement over editorial direction with the publisher and led to his departure.[6]

In 1994 he initiated and oversaw the development and launch of MecklerWeb, an ambitious project of reinventing commerce on the Internet[6] which attracted much attention in the business press.[7] 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.[8][9]

Locke subsequently worked as editor and publisher of the Net Editors segment on internetMCI,[10] and as Program Director for Online Community Development at IBM.[10] In 1996, he launched Entropy Gradient Reversals,[8] a "strange webzine"[11] that specialized in "dissecting transparently clueless corporate Internet strategies"[12] and introduced RageBoy, Locke's petulant alter ego who likes to rant against business orthodoxy.[8] As of April 1999, the publication counted nearly 3,000 subscribers.[7]

After leaving IBM, Locke set up as an internet consultant under the name Entropy Web Consulting[7] in Boulder, Colorado,[8][13] practising an alternative to mass marketing he named 'gonzo marketing' after Hunter S. Thompson's gonzo journalism.[12][14][8] 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,[15] and that companies need to improve their communications with customers to improve the quality of their products and services.[16]

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[17] and became a business bestseller in an extended book version the next year.[18] He is also the author of Gonzo Marketing: Winning Through Worst Practices, a book that expands on the Cluetrain Manifesto's themes,[19] and of The Bombast Transcripts: Rants and Screeds of RageBoy, a compilation of Entropy Gradient Reversals pieces.[8]

In 1999, Locke was praised by The Economist for the "wisdom of RageBoy."[20] In 2001, he was named in a Financial Times Group survey as one of the fifty leading business thinkers in the world.[21]

In 2004 Locke accepted a job as consultant and "Chief Blogging Officer" for HighBeam Research.[22][23]

Locke has written for Wired, Release 1.0, The Industry Standard, Harvard Business Review and many other publications. Since 2005, he has been writing the Mystic Bourgeoisie blog.[24]


  1. ^ a b Locke, Christopher (1998-09-25). "Ticket to Write". The Industry Standard. 
  2. ^ a b Locke, Christopher (June 1992). "Making Knowledge Pay". BYTE 17 (6): 245–252. ISSN 0360-5280. 
  3. ^ a b Sorensen, Karen (1986-06-09). "Fifth Generation: Slow to Rise". InfoWorld. p. 35. 
  4. ^ Gannon, Joyce (1987-04-27). "Geisel Acquires On-Line Unit from Control Data". Pittsburgh Business Times 6 (37): 3. ISSN 0883-7910. 
  5. ^ Markoff, John (1993-09-03). "A New Information Mass Market". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-03-15. 
  6. ^ a b "How Hype Sank MecklerWeb". 1 (7). October 1994. 
  7. ^ a b c Petzinger, Thomas (1999-04-09). "Four Web Rebels Try to Make Managers Talk Like Human Beings". Wall Street Journal (New York). ISSN 0099-9660. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f Schofield, Jack (2002-05-09). "Rebel without a pause". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-03-12. 
  9. ^ Locke, Christopher (1994-03-01). "MecklerWeb". Retrieved 2015-03-12. 
  10. ^ a b "Displaytech People". Displaytech. 1996-12-11. Retrieved 2015-03-15. 
  11. ^ Locke, Christopher (1997-06-09). "End of your tether computing". Forbes. Retrieved 2015-03-14. 
  12. ^ a b Locke, Christopher (1998-07-16). "Fear and loathing on the Web: "Gonzo" marketing thrives". CNN. Retrieved 2015-03-12. 
  13. ^ Jossi, Frank (2000-03-15). "A Lesson From the Ancients". Wired. Retrieved 2015-03-12. 
  14. ^ Rosenstein, Bruce (2001-12-10). "Get personal to market on Web". USA Today. Retrieved 2015-03-12. 
  15. ^ Neuborne, Ellen (2000-04-27). "From One-Way Marketing to Cyber Dialogue". Business Week online. 
  16. ^ Locke, Christopher (2000-12-11). "The customer as co-developer". InformationWeek (816): 46. ISSN 8750-6874. 
  17. ^ Rosenberg, Scott (1999-03-30). "Why Bill Gates still doesn’t get the Net". Salon. Retrieved 2015-03-17. 
  18. ^ Rosen, Judith (2000-04-03). "Riding the "Cluetrain"". Publishers Weekly 247 (14): 28. 
  19. ^ Locke, Christopher (2000-02-14). "Gonzo Marketing: Winning Through Worst Practices". Release 1.0: 2–25. 
  20. ^ "Lost in cyberspace". The Economist. 1999-12-16. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 2015-03-19. 
  21. ^ "Top Fifty Thinkers". FT Dynamo. 2001. Retrieved 2015-03-17. 
  22. ^ Sullivan, Tom (2004-11-30). "A new title in IT: Chief Blogging Officer". InfoWorld. Retrieved 2015-03-14. 
  23. ^ Locke, Christopher (November 2004). "About Chief Blogging Officer". Retrieved 2015-03-14. 
  24. ^ Schofield, Jack (2005-08-18). "Web watch". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-03-12. 

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