Doc Searls

Editor/Fellow/Writer/Author/Consultant, Harvard University/UC Santa Barbara

Reframing the Net: Moving Past the Language and Concepts of Telecom
21 minutes, 9.7mb, recorded 2009-03-03
Doc Searls

Noted author and thought leader Doc Searls thinks that outdated language used in the telecom industry is stopping it from thinking creatively.

The language we use in everyday life is unconscious and based on our experiences.  The main ways we describe the Internet are in shipping terms, publishing terms and terms related to place.  For example, we use language like "deliver", "address" and "route" to describe emails.  We build on "sites", we use "domains" and "addresses".  Terms like "authors", "pages", "files", "editing" and "syndicating" are all language we use about the Internet.  Those words mirror our experiences there.  The same is not true about the language used in the telecom industry.  Terms like "broadband", "backhaul" and "loop" are not based on what we experience when we telecommunicate.  

In this thought-provoking presentation, Searls closes with the notion that not all things on the Internet are owned and that there are combustive powers in ideas.  

Doc Searls is a fellow at both the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and the Center for Information Technology and Society at UC Santa Barbara. At the Berkman Center he heads ProjectVRM, which is at the center of a growing international community developing Vendor Relationship Management tools -- which will make customers both independent of vendors and better able to engage with them.  Doc is also --

- Senior Editor for Linux Journal, where he has been covering open source software and business trends since 1996.

- One of the world's earliest and most widely-read bloggers. J.D. Lasica, author of Darknet and proprietor of OurMedia, calls Doc "one of the deep thinkers in the blog movement."

- Co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto, which stirred up a storm of comment when it was posted on the Web in 1999 and became a bestselling business book in 2000 -- and continues to sell well. Today Cluetrain is sourced in almost 700 other books: a number which, according to Google Books, increases by about a book per day. (An updated 10th Anniversary edition is due out in July, 2009.)

- A business consultant who has been working with companies in Silicon Valley and around the world since the 1970s.




This free podcast is from our Emerging Communications series.

For The Conversations Network:

  • Post-production audio engineer: Robb Lepper
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  • Series producer: Sathyaish Chakravarthy