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the Big Blog Company | Doc Searls
“Who yer callin' a sparrow, you schmuck?!”
The bird on the back.
April 27 2005
Doc Searls
Adriana Cronin-Lukas • lesblogs 
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Although this was the last session and people were fading fast after a steady flow of blogging juicy goodness, Doc’s presentation was given some serious attention. Even the backchannel went quiet for a moment. These are very brief notes as Doc was talking fast and consistently relevant stuff which makes it very hard to catch up and write them down. You can find the slides of the presentation here.

Would like to make people think and challenge the way they see things
FCC – Federal Communication Committee would like to run the net and came up with ‘decency’ rules. First amendment protects freedom of speech and press but broadcasters are not protected. How do you reconsider?
Broadcasting moves content thought channels but speech happens in a place. Content isn’t protected but speech is.

The real Matrix is metaphors – cognitive linguistics 101.
We think in terms of other subjects
We borrow vocabularies for subjects
Every metaphor is a box of borrowed worlds
Two examples:
Time is money - we waste it, save it, spend it, invest it, lose it, set it aside.
Life is travel – birth is arrival, death is departure, crossroads, choices and careers are paths.

Use the War box – attack, campaign, command, defend, dominate, entrench, flank, forces impact etc. There is a war going on between metaphors for the web and for blogging. We move content through the medium with a transport protocol. If we think of blogging as content for consumers in an audience we lose. Were not consumers anymore but producers – users are not longer outsiders. That’s why people talk using jargon –nothing to do with decency.

Syndication is what makes web a live writing and publishing.

So blogs are about writing rather than content. Blogs are journals – not sites, not content, not media, not here to deliver experience, not emergent synchronisation mode. Who are journalists?

Blogs are by readers and writers for other readers and writers. They are by artists, experts and other artists.
Blogs inform, not deliver information and the difference is critical. Information is commodity, content. Yet, the verb to inform comes from ‘to form’, meaning that we actually form each other.

We are all authors of each other. Authority is the right we give certain others to form and shape what we know and that authority is earned and granted, not delivered.

Vast and growing meritocracy. Demand side supplying itself – oldest argument, demand side, will supply. No big brand invented blogging. If blogging had been let up to the Big Boys, never would have happened.

Blogging grows through new protocols, standards and practices (mostly from the demand side) – not by raw numbers of participants. Blogs don’t have to be sticky - leaving is more important than staying because what’s sticky are ideas not bounded by any blog. [ed. quote of the session]

Blogging is about rolling snowballs downhill, not about pushing rocks uphill. Blogging is about making and changing minds. Most ideas worth sharing are not finished. What is more important? Being right or being interesting or being useful or becoming authoritative?

This was the best session and that’s saying a lot after a day of talking and listening about blogging. Doc’s perspective is the one that is of most interest to me, as it tries include blogs in a wider understanding of communication and interaction between human beings. It also make is possible to differentiate between other forms of communication and industries and see the long term implications of blogging clearer. And most importantly, I got to meet the man after years of reading his blog.


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