Doc Searls's blog

Dependence vs. Independence. That's the choice.

The matter of Scoble vs. Facebook is not about either. It's about the deeper choice we face in all the relationships we choose on the Net: the choice between dependence and independence. more>>

Remembering Bruce Steinberg

I've known Bruce Steinberg since we met online, so long ago I don't remember. I'm guessing it might have been back when SCO was still a leading Unix company and Bruce was its VP of Marketing Communications. Or it might have been through Usenet, or some other pre-Web online service. more>>

Why Big Compute and Big Storage will meet Big Pipe at the Last Mile

The next big frontier for Big Linux Build-out will be at a back end that's as close as anyone can get the front lines of big video production. That is, to consumers who are now also producers. And the parties in the best position to pioneer that frontier aren't in Seattle or Mountain view. They're in your home town. more>>

Let's keep photography and mapping mashable

Many people have suggested that I submit some of my many aerial photos to Google Earth. I'd love to do that, but after looking at the instructions for adding photos, especially the "acceptance policy", I have to wonder if it's worth the effort, or even the Right Thing To Do. more>>

Show us your Chumby

is a wireless Linux-based stuffed plush box that can do pretty much anything you can hack it to do. That was the promise when we wrote about it in the September issue of Linux Journal. Now it's also reality: Chumby is shipping. more>>

What could be better than advertising?

The Economist asks, Will Facebook, MySpace and other social-networking sites transform advertising? Good question, but it's the wrong one.

The right question is, Can we equip customers to become independent of sellers and their controlling intentions — Including the unwanted crap that constitutes far too much of the world's advertising? For the good of both sellers and buyers? more>>

What does the Microsoft "partnership" with Facebook mean for users?

Here's the key fact: Facebook's users are not its customers. They're the targets to which Facebook's customers aim advertising. In old media this was no big deal. But Facebook isn't just a "medium". It's a vast walled garden where the social activity of members and visitors constantly improves the ability of advertisers to "target" both.

This is a Good Thing only if it works for everybody — including both those targeted as well as those doing the targeting. And if users are actually involved, they have some important questions: more>>

What happens to my identity-related information? How is it used, and by whom? How much control do I have over my data (or data about myself) — including what Facebook "partners" do with that data?

Maybe UCANN school ICANN on whois

Raise your hand if you use whois every day. Even if your hand isn't up, and you just regard whois as an essential sysadmin tool, this post is for you.

Because if you're interested in keeping whois working for the those it was made for in the first place, you need to visit the battlefield where whois' future is being determined right now. That is, you must be Beowulf to the Grendel that is the Intellectual Property Community. Worse, you must confront him in the vast cave that is ICANN. more>>

How about an Index of Openness?

Wendy Seltzer asks, Which is more open: the Nokia N95 or the iPhone? Regardless of the answer, I'm wondering if there's an objective way to score openness... perhaps a kind of in-the-wild folksonomic list of deal-makers and deal-killers.

Rather than bias the list, I thought I'd just put the idea out there to start with, and see what variables ya'll would like to see on the list. more>>

Looking for the next Net business

The Internet most of us experience is not the World of Ends suggested by the end-to-end system design concepts around which the Net was originally architected and built.

Instead we have something that is faster-than-dialup, and faster-than-it-used-to-be; but is not The Net. Instead it is the part of the Net that's left in a pipe that's optimized for television, for one-way few-to-many "content delivery" and for locking users into client roles, while servers labor somewhere else.

I just had FTTH (fiber to the home) installed. And, while it's way cool in some ways, it's also uncool in the way it prevents far more business than it generates for itself. It would be great if the carriers made it easy for businesses to grow on the Net, and then suppoted those businesses with services that helped those businesses thrive and grow. But the carriers would rather serve "content" to mass quantities of "consumers" while chaging prohibitive prices for "business-class" services. Hey, it's a mass media mentality, and they have every right to it.

But... more>>

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