Below all the folksiness, the Cluetrain update is a call to arms against a trillion dollars and more

armadillo-doc-dw1_aboutDoc Searls and David Weinberger are very nice people. Doc I count as a friend. David I only met a few times, but he clearly is a nice guy, too. When they oppose something, they don’t do it lightly. When they call somebody by a less-than-flattering name, you know it’s important. And we all better listen.

So let me pick a few choice “clues” from the “New Clues” they published this week, and comment:

  • Now two more hordes threaten all that we have built for one another.
  • The Marauders understand the Internet all too well. They view it as theirs to plunder, extracting our data and money from it, thinking that we are the fools.

So who are those Marauders? It seems everybody who take anything we created for their own profit, without justly compensating us for it. Ever heard that before? This includes Facebook. Google. LinkedIn. The entire Web 2.0 crowd. Add it up, and their market value is somewhere in the order of a trillion dollars. Extracted from what we put on the internet.

I don’t like it either. This needs to stop.

Which is why the attack on the third group is spot on, because we all aid and abet the Maruaders more than we should:

  • But most dangerous of all is the third horde: Us.

We are letting this happen:

  • An organ-by-organ body snatch of the Internet is already well underway. Make no mistake: with a stroke of a pen, a covert handshake, or by allowing memes to drown out the cries of the afflicted we can lose the Internet we love.

Here are their principles:

  1. “The Internet is us, connected”: Oppose centralized ownership. Oppose centralized control of any kind, by governments, commercial interests, trade associations or whatever. Do not give consent to others taking over “in our best interest”, because it won’t be.
  2. “The Internet is nothing and has no purpose”: Keep the internet as a playground for all innovation. No”prioritization” or “optimization” of anything, by anybody with substantial power I should add. This is actually a different version of the first item: if nobody has control over substantial parts of the internet, this item #2 is actually redundant.
  3. “The Net is not content”: I feel the same way: those people who use the word “content” without quotes tend to be in the business of selling us that “content”, and we can’t let them few dictate what should happen to the rest of us many whose goal is not to sell “content”.
  4. “The net is not a medium”: I admit I don’t understand people’s focus on “medium”. The net is no more or less a “medium” as the air is when we speak to each other. Without air, we couldn’t hear each other. The internet is like that. I guess this point is for people who don’t like like me about this :-)
  5. “The Web is a Wide World”: Initially conceived as a set of hyperlinked documents, the Web has become a reflection of reality itself, and will become more so going forward. I expect that it will become a larger parts of our lives than physical reality some time in the future. So we need to stop thinking about “some strange new technology” and instead think of “what’s the world we want to live in?”

I stop commenting here. Their warnings and calls to arms you need to read yourself: http://cluetrain.com/newclues/

The world would be a better place if we listened better to people like Doc and David. Thank you for writing this.