This blog has been going since 2007, and continues one that began in 1999 and is mothballed here. On the social front, my tweetage is at @dsearls and I maintain  the customary pile of biographical jive here on Linkedin.

A few among the many hats I wear:

In 2005 I received the Google/O’Reilly Open Source Award for Best Communicator.

In 2007 I was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in IT by eWeek.

Since I’m always working on too many things, and will only stop when I’m dead, I want my epitaph to read, “He was almost finished.”

I can be reached by email through doc @ [my last name] .com or dsearls @ cyber.law.harvard.edu.

Copyright 2018 Doc Searls

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

  1. Geert’s avatar

    I’m not so into twittering myself, but apparently half of the world is. What is more interesting to me it the technology behind it, A proprietary solution is alway a dependent one… Maybe if there would be a twitter framework based on torrents. Say you could launch a torrent with you first tweet and after that your new tweets are delivered via the same torrent by torrent clients around the world. There would be a ‘cloud’ of people following/offering your tweets, And people could follow your tweets from one general proprietary free source. You only need a website to host the torrents, but they can be distributed even by email…There may be a time delay problem but as interest grows also the availability of your tweets grows. And it’s completely proprietary free!

    Just a idea, maybe there was already thought about this… I never heard about it, and it seems interesting to me…


  2. DaraBel’s avatar

    Once again love the content and ideas you have to offer. Big revelation of reading Cluetrain this year , I was only a kid when it originally came out. Many of us were thinking this as we were weighed down with the corporate cereal packet toys or yo yos (actually coke yo yo was alright) but you felt your identiity as consumer was stolen or silent.

    The Linux culture is big here in Europe too where I live so again thanks, I know you did not design but thanks anyhow. Hope the listening and conversational marketplace is alive this year. Hope this is a year of conversations.

    Dara Bell

  3. Ron Johnson’s avatar


    I am a student at Cal Poly Pomona in California, taking a website design class.

    My current assignment requires a “travel” website and I decided to build it for Baker, California.

    I would like to use your photo “DumontDunes.jpg” that I found in the Wikimedia Commons for the assignment. I cannot determine your attribution requirements. Please advise the proper for of attribution for the use of this picture.

    The usage is strictly non-commercial and the website will exist only until mid-June of 2010.

    You are welcome to reference my class website at http://www.csupomona.edu/~ronaldj/cis311/home.htm to review the work I have already done for this class. As you can see from the site quality, I would not qualify as a commercial developer.

    Thank you for your time,
    Ron Johnson

  4. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Ron, Please feel free to use any of my potos any way you like. They’re all Creative Commons licensed to permit that anyway.


  5. Christina Thielst’s avatar


    I heard you speak at SBCC in 2004 on blogs, wiki and pings and soon after started my own blog. Now I’ve even gone and written a book on the subject (for healthcare leaders) and have you to thank for getting me started. So,

    Thank you, Doc!


  6. Victor Sasson’s avatar

    You might be interested in my blog on The Record, formerly of Hackensack, N.J. I came across your entry on Borg’s Woods and Maywood.
    Victor Sasson


  7. Oliver Slezak’s avatar

    Hi Doc,

    Could you please also publish The Cluetrain Manifesto
    on http://changethis.com/. Just the “95 theses” with your ‘plug’ about the whole book.
    I think it would spread there.

  8. Browser Gamer’s avatar

    “He was almost finished.” – Man, that’s a good one! You sure have lots of achievements during your life time… 100 Most Influential People in IT. Wow! Although I cannot find your Twitter profile; someone mentioned here. Do you happen to have one because I would like to follow you? Keep up the good work. 😉

  9. Penelope Agnese’s avatar

    I am learning the art of blogging as some of your other readers are doing and it is always nice to find someone doing something inspiring in this arena as inspiration for me. I love writing the content, but the IT side of it can be overwhelming! Thanks for your inspiration and knowledge.

  10. Yuba City Photographer’s avatar

    Your epitaph says it all. I dread mine might end up a variation on the same theme. I’m also working on writing a book, which seems one of the slowest processes I’ve ever gotten involved with. I sure hope to finish it before that epitaph overtakes me…

  11. charles ross’s avatar

    Your Gilmore Gang link is now going to a wordpress demo site. Looks like GG moved here.


  12. Edson Luís Rosa’s avatar

    Hello Doc! Nice to meet you. I think you are a great guy. I’m from Brazil and, at this moment, I’m finishing the translation into Portuguese of your book titled “The Intention Economy”, under demand of a brazilian publishing company (Editora Campus) from São Paulo. Congratulations, Doc, you’ve written a very interesting and complex book, which signals your total support for the open source moviment and for the freedom everywhere on the business and networked world today. I’ve learned a lot with you, thanks!

  13. Susan Lindsay’s avatar

    Loved your piece in the WSJ on Saturday about Vendor Relationship Management (and wrote about it for Brick Meets Click). Retail fans of CRM need to not get caught out like the guys who couldn’t imagine housing prices might decline. CRM is fine, but not the only way the retail world will work. Am also writing about Big Data these days, and totally laughed out loud at your wondering why people would be pleased to be hunted down through their data so they could be targeted for capture! Prey? or Customer? Hmmm . . . .

  14. Peter’s avatar

    Too much to comment here, but for a start… I came across the VRM project quite recently when it was brought to my attention in a meeting. My partners and I are building what I can now call a VRM service (trovi.co, check out the site if you like, make comments, suggestions, join in…) but wouldn’t have before that meeting. We have similarities. As a 20 year vet of the ad world – who founded & ran his own agency – I have completely flipped in the last 7 years from what I call a “coercion” economy to a personally empowered economy. No point going into what a mess ad revenue-based commerce has made of the web, including search. In a world where people now mainly want to find what they want where and when they want it, on their terms, and mainly locally, the ad revenue driven model absolutely fails, and, more importantly, necessarily has to, on its terms. Because, simplistically put, in order to send you a “targeted” ad they have to work in the erroneous world of demographics and then privacy invasion – tracking, so-called “relevance”, etc. But even all that cannot deliver an active buyer customer to the merchant who has want they want. So we flipped it on its head, put the customer in charge, and charge a miniscule offer fee to the vendors to put their service/product in front of a real customer who really wants to buy what they have now (or whenever the customer specifies). What’s interesting, as a startup, is to see, not only how difficult this actually rather simple (if you’re willing to paradigm shift for a second) concept is to the ad-rev driven folks – which is every major search & community app – but how difficult it is for the angel/VC community to comprehend as well. They all want to know immediately about capturing customers, competitive barriers (IP protection, etc) and profits – the normal trappings of a “castle corporation”. We talk about open collaboration with those who would use trovi, what I call a “permeable membrane” company that invites the creativity of the world, and our 3BL giving structure that empowers community members to create, vote on, and participate in projects that give-back money from trovi powers. With most money folks, I don even go there…it’s a new world to those to whom it’s a new world. And to many, particularly established money, it’s the same old world – they can’t even see the new economy building itself far from their control. I’m delighted to discover you, Doc, and the VRM movement. Thanks!

  15. vapigiena’s avatar

    The Linux culture is big here in Europe too where I live so again thanks, I know you did not design but thanks anyhow. Hope the listening and conversational marketplace is alive this year. Hope this is a year of conversations.

  16. Eija Honkanen’s avatar


    What if the internet was a real marketplace?

    After reading The Cluetrain Manifesto I was left with that one question.

    What would happen if we all started buying things from each other?
    Basically everyone has skills and knowledge that can be translated into electronic form, be it music, text, pictures, video, etc. Everyone is also on the market for news, entertainment, education and a myriad of apps to make life easier or funnier. Anyone can open up a stall (web shop) and put their wares on show. Why aren’t we already buying, selling and discussing directly with each other?

    Here someone will argue for the web’s free nature and how it’s all about sharing and not for profit and blah, blah, blah. Frankly, and excuse my bluntness, file sharing is for the filthy rich. It’s the worst kind of capitalist exploitation of the little guy and it turns us all into slave owners. Metallica wouldn’t be where they are today if they had been forced to share their music for free when they were still playing in someone’s garage. File sharing kills.

    Now, if there happens to be a decent metal band in your neighborhood and you think the world should know, don’t send me a file with their best songs, send me a link to their website so I can BUY a song directly from the band. I’m also on the market for a daily news podcast from Burma/Myanmar. It doesn’t matter if the English is a little shaky, just as long they tell me the truth. Would also enjoy a travel show from China, what would a Chinese person go see in their own country? Do it in Chinese, I bet there is some ex-pat in LA or Canada, who can subtitle it. Peruvian woolen sweaters, anyone there have a knitting pattern for sale?

    I would happily trade with the people of the world directly. Every dollar spent goes straight to regional street level economies where it does the most good in the shortest time. How many private content producers it takes to upgrade a Delhi slum into suburbia? I don’t know how to calculate it, but there is surely going to be an app for that.

    A real market place has room for wholesalers (corporations), farmers (us) and free samples and gifts (funny cat videos, all the Harlemshakes, memes and educational works). Imagine the resulting conversation. Whoa…

    The reason I picked up The Cluetrain Manifesto in the first place is research into my BBA thesis, Private web shops and Taxation (in Finland). It isn’t that the authorities here are in any way stopping anyone from making a living on the Internet, but the outdated rules and regulations are so discouraging and out of touch with the real world. Only the most tenacious manage to wade through all the legal speak and still have a will to live afterwards. So we aren’t setting up stalls and flogging winter survivalist guides to the rest of the world. Yet.
    What’s stopping the rest of you?

    Oh, why pay taxes? Someone has to, the corporations definitely aren’t interested in the easiest kind of social responsibility. So what if…

    Best Regards and a big Thank You for a very thought provoking book.
    Eija Honkanen, Mrs

  17. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Thanks, Eija.

    Lots has happened since we wrote Cluetrain’s first edition, more than fourteen years ago — and also since we wrote the expanded 10th Anniversary edition four years ago. Chris Locke has written two books since then, David Weinberger three and me one. Mine, The Intention Economy: When Customers Take Charge, looks toward the possibility you open here. Once we really are in charge, there’s no reason we have to always go to and through governments and large companies to do business on the Net.

  18. Pavel’s avatar

    We just started our first project: Drivemotion Animator (driver-to-driver communication system, fully programmable)
    What should we do to spread it out fast?

  19. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Well, this seems like a low percentage shot.

  20. Atul Upadhya’s avatar

    Hi Doc,

    I am writing from Bangalore, India.

    A couple of days ago, I bought your book “The Intention Economy” and have been reading it since then.

    I represent a group of people who have been working on a project for the past few months and which is likely to get ready by the end of June 2015. I now realize that our project, which is specific to one industry, is aligned to the thoughts expressed in your book.

    Would you or any of your associates be interested in associating with us? It could be a win-win for both sides. For us, it will provide insights that we might have missed and for you it will be an opportunity to see consumers get in charge.

    It is a very interesting project.

    I am covered by an NDA so am unable to disclose further details. However, if it interest you, I will be happy to share details of our group members as well as my personal references, both in USA & India.

    With best wishes,

    Atul Upadhya

  21. Benjamin’s avatar

    Hi Doc,

    I am actually writing because I found one of your old posts through a google search. It’s about magazine subscriptions. I’m considering subscribing to The New Yorker for the print and digital and I’m trying to figure out the price after the 12 weeks for $12. Unfortunately the screenshot that you put in your post is broken so I can’t see the price after the promotion. This is one of the few google results that might answer my question. I was hoping you could respond and tell me what they were charging you for the digital plus print edition.

    Thank you,

  22. Doc Searls’s avatar

    I’m traveling now, at an airport with thin connectivity and about to board a plane. I don’t recall the details, but I’m pretty sure I ended up calling the New Yorker, and that got me the best deal available.

  23. daveed’s avatar

    Doc, I’m severely cyber-impaired; I really don’t grok most of what you’re talking about on this forum…..but you and I share some interests, it seems.
    Like radio. I love it that you can rattle off the the wattages of the various ‘public’ radio stations and how the terrain affects reception etc. Have you ever experienced ‘Summerland Syndrome’? And, yes, I think NPR saturation is a serious problem (weren’t we discussing that?). It’d be fun to chat sometime.


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