Doc Searls

Senior Editor, Linux Journal

Technometria: The Giant Zero
67 minutes, 31mb, recorded 2007-03-06
Doc Searls

Craig Burton has said that the best geometric representation of the net's end-to-end architecture is a hollow sphere comprised of everything and everybody on it. Doc Searls, senior editor for Linux Journal, used this statement to describe the hollow sphere as a "giant zero” that it puts every point at virtually zero distance from every other point. He joins Phil and Scott to discuss his current work on the concept and how it has changed communication.

The group first talks about the negative aspects of Internet celebrities. Doc is particularly unhappy with rankings because he believes that who you know is more important than how well you are known. From this, Phil discusses the type of feedback he receives doing workshops and how individual comments are better than survey responses, which are needed as a justification to employers.

They review some of the early methods used to take advantage of new technology, as well as communications methods that were less successful. Doc also evaluates the importance of blogging in current communications and illustrates how bloggers can influence more traditional writing. It is difficult to get people who don't blog to understand the idea, but it is clear that relationships are now formed entirely by comments and articles shared from one to another. Doc clearly believes that the distance from one person to the next will continue to shrink.

Doc Searls is senior editor for Linux Journal and a leading figure in the Linux and Open Source software movements. He is co-author of the business best-seller The Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business as Usual. In the book, the authors suggest that the Internet has done two things that fundamentally change our way of doing business. First, it radically shifts the balance of power between supply and demand, giving the demand side (customers) far more power. Second, it turns markets into conversations, where supply and demand is only a handshake apart, emulating pre-industrial marketplaces. Companies that remain disengaged from their markets, and continue to assault them with unwanted "messages," are in trouble.

Doc also has an extensive background in publishing and broadcasting as well as marketing, public relations and advertising. The company he co-founded, Hodskins, Simone and Searls, became one of Silicon Valley's top high technology advertising and public relations agencies. Searls' work has appeared in OMNI, PC Magazine, The Industry Standard, The Sun, and many other publications. He has also appeared on ZDTV, CNBC and CNET Radio, along with many other radio and television stations, networks, and programs.


This free podcast is from our Technometria with Phil Windley series.

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