A conversation with Doc Searls, Senior Editor of Linux Journal and co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto, about the relevance of the Manifesto for the pharmaceutical industry in today's social media world. Doc will preview the keynote presentation he plans to make at the upcoming Digital Pharma East conference. (See guest bio.)
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How Can Buyer Reach Exceed Seller Grasp? The Cluetrain Manifesto is best known for its first thesis, "Markets are conversations," which Doc Searls wrote.
But Doc still believes Cluetrain's most important claim is the "one clue" that precedes all 95 theses, and was written by Chris Locke. It says, “We are not seats or eyeballs or end users or consumers. We are human beings and our reach exceeds your grasp. Deal with it."
Doc believes, however, that buyer reach still does not exceed seller grasp -- and won't until buyers become fully independent of sellers. This means buyers will need their own tools of engagement, their own ways of expressing preferences, their own "terms of service" and their own means for asserting demand for products and services -- all in ways that don't yield private information or feed seller's promotional guesswork mills.
For the last four years, an international group of developers have been working on these tools for buyers, led by Doc and ProjectVRM at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Some of these tools are coming to market in the next year.
How markets are still not conversations
Why "loyalty programs" are exercises in self delusion for sellers
What's still not "conversational" in today's markets
Describe how new tools will make Cluetrain's first claim real
Doc Searls is Senior Editor of Linux Journal, co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto, and holds fellowships with both the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and the Center for Information Technology and Society at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
In The World is Flat, Thomas L. Friedman calls Doc "one of the most respected technology writers in America." J.D. Lasica, author of Darknet and proprietor of OurMedia, calls Doc "one of the deep thinkers in the blog movement." In 2005, Doc won the Google O'Reilly Open Source Award for Best Communicator.
At the Berkman Center, Doc leads ProjectVRM, which has the immodest ambition of liberating customers from entrapment in vendor silos and improving markets by creating a productive balance of power in relationships between supply and demand. At CITS his work centers around study of the Internet as a new form of infrastructure.
Doc serves on the board of directors for PlanetEye, and on the advisory boards of Jabber, Inc., Ping Identity Corp., SocialText, SpikeSource, Krugle, B5 Media and Technorati.