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Doc Searls Speaks: I think Kerry is outahere…

     Metablogger Doc Searls votes Liberal, bets Conservative, and in both dimensions picks Howard Dean to win the presidential campaign in 2004.  “The hyperlinked underdogs are going to subvert the isolated overdogs every time,” Doc forecast in our conversation this afternoon.   The only real question is whether the citizenry will be effectively networked by the end of next year.  But even now, Doc said, the Web is the place to find the action and passion of the 2004 race, and the best information on it.  Doc Searls’ bet on Dean sounds like an extension of The Cluetrain Manifesto and the famous Searls marketing mantras therein, starting with “markets are conversations.”  Furthermore, “hyperlinks subvert hierarchy,” the book argued.  And “networked markets get smarter faster than most companies,” or, in this case, than the richest campaign organizations.  “I don’t see Kerry in the networked world,” he said.  Or much of George W. Bush either, for that matter, though a “wartime president” with some smart and militant blog lances is harder to dismiss.

     I was looking to the genial Doc Searls for clues to network building.  And I was eager to admire him for the intuitive leaps–the diagnostic imagination–of his own celebrated pages.  He is a news and radio guy who has graduated, by acclamation, to guru standing; but I see Doc in a white coat, with a medicine bag.  Blogs are his scope on the soul and spirit of the country.  He said his own blog feels more like prophecy than commentary.  He is trying to see where the country is going.  He thinks, as I do, that the blog boom and the war in Iraq are somehow entwined.  Blogs were far the best forum for argument in the run-up to war–far better than Congress, say, or the newspapers, not to mention network television.  Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit reminded Doc at moments of the Catch-22 character, the former mail clerk PFC Wintergreen, who seemed mysteriously to be running World War 2.  The “blog-guard,” notably Reynolds and Andrew Sullivan, “defined the war,” Doc Searls observed.  But the left-out opposition is finding its feet and growing everyday in the sorry aftermath.  The Internet, in any event, “is becoming the Commons on which democracy depends.  We’ve always needed this Commons, and now we have it.”  Listen in

{ 12 } Comments

  1. Anonymous | July 22, 2003 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Chris for Doc’s interview. His blog serves as a model, at least for me, on how to utilize this agreement/space whatever you want to call, most effectively.

    I think blogs are at their weakest, and I’m guilty of this when they try to be predictive and oracular. It’s the hardest thing to pull off, but it stimulates nonetheless.

    Without getting too political let me suggest that we begin to look at the US populace online as a resource for finding creative solutions for the current set of problems. Instead of waiting for the “government listening to RSS feeds” we can begin to try to reach a consensus through debate about issues regarding healthcare, resolution in Iraq, homeland security. Don’t you think that the blogosphere can work more efficiently in synthesizing information toward coming up with solutions than the government bureacracy can? Afterall, we’re not burdened by the onslaught of lobbyists, special interest groups or the need to get re-elected.

    To a great extent the gov’t should expect its citizens to work to find the solutions, now that they have the tools to network. (Just as newspapers must look to the Web see what people consider newsworthy.)I don’t think it’s so important that political candidates start blogging, but that they realize that the citizenry can share in the role of leadership. We love our heirarchies, they’re simple to comprehend and diagram, but there’s no reason to believe that creative solutions should drop down from the isolated, centralized bodies that are elected every 4 years or so. The blogosphere is a mess and imperfect, but protean, which is it’s real value.

  2. Anonymous | July 23, 2003 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Chris – please interview a non-blogger.

    An open letter to Chris Lydon (posted here as a “comment” and over at my blog.

    Yet another great interview with Doc Searls. I learned a lot from the interview even though I got to meet Doc in person at Dave’s Cafe Bombay meet-up after Jupiter’s Business Weblog event. But you have to start interviewing non-bloggers. Up to this point, you’ve been “preaching to the choir” with Winer, Cone, Searls, etc.

    May I suggest that you take your BlogRadio portable studio over to the Harvard’s Kennedy School of Management and find out what their thoughts are on blogging, the web and Election 2004. A good start might be Matthew Hindman, a fellow over at KSG, who has gotten a couple of op-ed pieces in the NY Times recently. He wrote a piece entitled How the Web Will Change Campaigns <> back in Dec. 2002 in which he concluded that candidate websites would not be a deciding factor or even a significant factor in election 2004. Given that Dean now leads the Democratic pack in fund raising and his primary fundraising channel is his website, I wonder whether Mr. Hindman has modified his opinion.

    If Matthew is in town, you might invite him to the next “Thurs. at Berkman meeting.” We might even try to record the meeting for BlogRadio although I realize this might be a little ambitious at this stage. But, hell, you have to try a group interview at some point, right?

  3. Anonymous | July 23, 2003 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Cut up and blogged Chris’s conversation with Doc Searls here:
    ::we can fact check your ass at the door::

  4. Anonymous | September 16, 2005 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Very interesting blog!

  5. meubles de cuisine | November 18, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    HI DOC
    devis cuisine en ligne

  6. dizi | May 15, 2011 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    I think blogs are at their weakest, and I’m guilty of this when they try to be predictive and oracular. It’s the hardest thing to pull off, but it stimulates nonetheless.

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