I don't dislike Doc Searls but I've never been his biggest fan either. He's one of those guys that get off by "feeling" like they're making a difference without making any attempt to "actually" make a difference.
So you get things like the Cluetrain Manifesto which everyone pays a lot of lip service to but which is entirely impractical and which has never gained any real traction. Some people like to site changes made by companies like Ebay and Amazon but the truth is these companies were on their current track well before Doc Searls et. al ever typed a word.
In the end the Cluetrain Manifesto was just a few guys throwing theoretical and completely unsustainable ideas out there and then patting themselves on the back for having been "visionaries". So I'm understandably unimpressed when I read this in one of his posts…
For too long we’ve lived with “relationship management” that’s asymmetrical and one-way. Creating the grounds for symmetrical relationships cannot be the job of Facebook, Google, Microsoft or any big company. They can’t do it, and they won’t. We can’t petition those lords with prayer, blogs, or anything else. (Well, we can, but it won’t be enough.)
We need to create our own new rules — ones that protect our privacy while making us better members of the social and business systems we create together. I say “better” because that’s what we’re bound to be when we cease being eyeballs and start acting like whole human beings.
My reaction…"Oh Goody, Doc Searls' is going to write another useless Manifesto to make himself feel good". Now let me make my point clear, I'm not against theoretical discussions nor am I against people putting their ideas out there. What I AM against are people who make no attempt to subject their ideas to real world Scrutiny. That's where the attitude above comes from, "we're the users and we'll decide what we want and force the companies to do it that way"
Well no, you won't….
If you really want to bring about change you need to bring the companies you want to change into the fold and find a way to create a situation that serves them too. Change is made from Compromise not random pontification on one side's part. No problem was ever truly solved by one side bullying the other side into submission and Doc Searls certainly isn't going to be the first to make that happen.