Doc Searls's blog

Aaron Swartz

Picking Up Aaron Swartz's Dropped Flags

My first quality time with Aaron Swartz was at the last Comdex, in the Fall of 2002. He had just turned 16, but looked about 10. His old Mac laptop featured a screen with no working backlight. Only he could read it, which he rationalized, with a smile, as a "security precaution." When I asked him about school, he said he had moved on. more>>

Biggest Data

Turns out maps matter.

That's always been the case for me. I'm a map freak. I own hundreds of paper maps in various specialties, plus many atlases, books on geography, geology and other geo-obsessions. But I'm no longer an edge case, because maps are proving to be essential on smartphones, which today approaches a billion or more people. Digital maps on phones are now among the core portfolio of smartphone apps, alongside voice, text, calendar and contacts. What could be more mobile about a phone than a map to help the user look things up and get around? more>>

Playing Value Subtraction Games

I'm writing this in an Amsterdam apartment we rented for the weekend through AirBNB. The main reason we chose this place wasn't comfort or convenience. It was connectivity. This apartment was relatively cheap (about a quarter or a third of the price of a three-star hotel), but reports said the Internet connection was good. more>>

Looking Past Search

Can we make search organic again? Or should we look past search completely? more>>

Can we help AT&T solve its mobile data problem?

I'm in midtown Manhattan, connected to the Net over my hotel's slow but costly wi-fi connection. Normally when I'm traveling — at least here in the U.S. — I avoid lame hotel connections by using AT&T's cellular data system, usually through my iPhone's "personal hotspot." more>>

The Near-Death of Blog Search

The first blog search engine was PubSub in 2002. It was inventive and strange in some ways (and took some getting used to); but it was fast and did a good job of searching through syndicated postings, mostly from blogs — at least until blog spam became an epidemic that nearly killed the whole category a couple years later. more>>

Ghandi

GandhiCon 4.x

Searches for the word "linux" have been trending downward since early 2004, according to Google. Searches in mid-2011 are about a quarter of what they were in early 2004. On the other hand, searches for "android" more than doubled those for "linux" by mid-2011. So, what should we make of that? more>>

A Way off the Ranch

As entities on the Web, we have devolved. Client-server has become calf-cow. The client—that's you—is the calf, and the Web site is the cow. What you get from the cow is milk and cookies. The milk is what you go to the site for. The cookies are what the site gives to you, mostly for its own business purposes, chief among which is tracking you like an animal. more>>

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