Doc Searls Closes Syndicate Conference

    May 18, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The close of the Syndicate Conference in New York came with Searls’ keynote address, where he touched on the issue of “The Return to Producerism.”

Doc Searls Produces Conference Wrapup
Doc Searls Speaks About “Producerism”

Our dynamic WebProNews duo of Rich Ord and Mike McDonald joined the attendees of Searls’ conference closing chat on producerism, the phenomenon major content companies have enabled due to their stranglehold on homogenized content like entertainment and news.

Searls noted how Google and Yahoo have their web search and blog searches separate. One can see Yahoo’s blog search in news results, while Google has a separate site for searching blogs (although Google does include blog posts in Google Finance and Google News.)

The two companies mainly search the static web, but blogs are part of a live web. Searls described the difference, saying “the static web is about spaces and places” while “the live web is about time and people.”

The live web is supplying itself with content. He commented on having time to blog as the time needed to write an email, only in the case of a blog entry one is cc’ing the world.

He also passed along a tip on becoming an “alpha blogger”: say quotable stuff.

On the themes of attention and intention, a common couplet in the syndication discussion, he restated what other sessions have observed, that marketing and PR will be changed by the “attention economy” where users control the attention they pay to companies.

Searls also noted how the intention economy works backwards, in that the vendor comes to a consumer who is ready to make a purchase. “We tend to think of the customer as something that needs to be scooped up,” he said.

“Branding is for cattle. Respect is for human beings. Branding was borrowed from the cattle industry by Proctor and Gamble.”

He also made some predictions and comments about technology. Searls said television is dead, radio is being resurrected by the listeners, and the liveliest parts of the live web are on cellphones.

High-definition will be cheap and standard by the end of 2006, and the majority of desktops and laptops will run Linux in five years.

What the live web has done is connected people in a way that makes them a powerful influence on the economy. “Everybody is already an influencer. Now they are getting networked,” said Searls.

Our take on this – TV isn’t dead, and won’t be because it’s too dead simple to use. Radio won’t change unless the FCC reverses the decisions that led to massive industry consolidation in the first place.

The cellphone ‘liveliness’ won’t happen in the US until pricing for Internet and multimedia from wireless companies drop significantly.

As for Linux, it had five years to make bigger inroads against Microsoft as Vista development languished. It didn’t happen. If Microsoft hits its projected release dates in 2007 for Vista and the new version of Office, they should maintain their market share without difficulty.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.