IIW2005: Doc Searls


Doc is leading out today giving a foundation for why identity matters. Markets are places where people meet to exchange things and make culture. Free markets are not "your choice of silo."

Doc notes that the difference between "content" and "speech" is critical. Congress can't regulate speech, but they can regulate the movement of content (his example is the FCC broadcast restrictions on obscenity). The 'Net needs to be a place for free speech and where free enterprise happens. This is an example of an issue that is not about left or right, Democrat or Republican. It can be non-partisan.

Independent customers need independent developers. The 'Net is a place where demand supplies itself. Big brand companies don't innovate here. Big companies aren't bad, but this isn't what they do.

Our wallets are examples of market silos. The silos in our wallets haven't been federated. Companies are figuring out how to silo their data, but customers need to be able to initiate relationships on their own between the silos in their wallets.

Our founding problem is that industry won the industrial revolution. Crafts were replaced by jobs, work was reduced to labor, occupations were reduced to positions, somewhere in the organization. whole notion of "human resources" says that we are fodder to be interchanged at the will of the company. Our names, often were related to our craft. We've lost the meaning of our names.

Doc's use case for this is renting a car. Airlines have federated with rental car companies, but if you go to the "partner page" on an airline site, its a the land of silos. They've replicated the airport experience on the Web. How lame is that? Wouldn't it be better if the rental car companies had to compete for your business. CRM systems don't "relate" Like all CRM systems, they're an instrument of marketing BS.

Thoughts for the workshop:

  • Commercial vendors aren't the only ones with silos. Standards and open source projects can be silos too.
  • Let's look past interoperation. Let's help each other out, if we can. Reach across boundaries of judgment.
  • There are good reasons for every product and project.
  • What "building material" do we have that we can offer to each other--stuff we can use.
  • Let's leave here with commitments to do stuff we hadn't even thought of before we got here.