[internetworkers] What's up (with) Doc?

Edward Wesolowski edwes at idisplay.com
Thu Sep 9 09:23:36 EDT 2004

 >I couldn't make it to the Doc Searls presentation yesterday. Any 
comments, impressions?
...impressions, here are a few:
DS opened with a quote, "English is the preachers language because it 
allows you to talk until you think of what to say." (G. Keillor)
I enjoyed that!

He said,  "Markets are conversations."
How do you get your arms around a change (sea change) as fundamental as the 
Internet is? (I'm asking this, not Doc Searls, at least not in this talk.) 
I heard his talk as suggesting ways that could help in thinking about that 
...and ways that weren't helpful. .(...he had an interesting discussion of 
metaphors in the language we use to talk about certain topics, e.g. 
Marketing=war/combat, ...targeting,

DS talked about organization structure. I read into what he was saying as, 
a top-down structure doesn't make some much sense with something like the 
peer to peer internet communication. He showed a graphic of a sphere with 
nothing in the middle and network interconnections on periphery and 
suggested that attempts to mediate conversations on this periphery was like 
AT&T wanting to mediate the internet! ...pretty disastrously awful!

Doc likes "The Matrix," doesn't like the sequels so much, doesn't think 
they're as profound as the initial Matrix film!

I liked the quote from Stewart Brand (I'm a fan of SB), "form follows funding."

He cautioned (maybe "cautioned" isn't strong enough of a word!) against 
using words like "consumers" and "producers."
"Markets are conversations."

I watched an interview w/Joe Trippi, Howard Dean's campaign mgr responsible 
for Dean's internet campaign. Trippi predicted that by 2008 we could have a 
third party, people fed up with the existing two parties, a third party 
that organized over the internet and was able, via the internet, to raise 
"$" sufficient to outdo the traditional parties and traditional party 
fundraising. His characterization of the type of person who'd front this 
effort (...the internet candidate) was interesting, the persona he 

I mention because the same thing DS was talking about enables the 
traditional political party structure to be superceded.

I think there was a tacit admission on DS's part that language (OK, I'm 
reading into this here...) is a tool that hinders as well as helps with 
understanding. So he was using language, his talk, to suggest some things 
to think about for trying to get a grip, I mean, a handle on what this sea 
change means to the "consumer" society that came with the industrial 

Since markets are conversations, the concept of the "consumer" reduces, 
sort of bypasses the conversation. Producers produce; consumers consume, 
done. The conversation, the relationship's really what's most important!

The "Cluetrain Manifesto," which DS co-authored looks interesting. Hence,
"Cluetrain..." and Joe Trippi's book, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised 
: Democracy, the Internet, and the Overthrow of Everything" .are next on my 
reading list!

Ed W

At 10:08 AM 9/8/2004 -0400, you wrote:
>I couldn't make it to the Doc Searls presentation yesterday. Any comments, 
>   =jimA=
>. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 
>. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
>Jim Allman
>Interrobang Digital Media
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