Cluetrain 2003: The Second Superpower

Chris Lydon with Adam Curry, Doc Searls, Dave Weinberger, Elizabeth Spiers, Jim Moore. Chris: How is the transformation proceeding?

Doc: The revolution started with the personal computer and is continuing. Look at RSS-Data, I was talking with Jeremy Allaire on the web.

Adam: I see weblogs a little differently, they’re just a tool. We use them like the telephone used to be used, to call ahead and let them know a telegram has arrived. It’s already totally transformed broadcast and radio. I wake up in the morning and the latest Chris Lydon interview is on my iPod.

Chris: What is this revolution bigger than? The Internet? The TV? Human speech?

Adam: It’s like we’re transmitting brainwaves to each other; direct routers. I said I was out of power on my blog, Doc saw it, and passed his power adapter down to me.

Elizabeth: I’m a navel gazer. I started in 2000 and stopped, and then in 2001 I started again… and I said that “oh, blogs will never get into the media.” But now the media are working on figuring out how to incorporate it. Chris: I saw you quoted somewhere saying that having a blog in a few years would be like email.

Jim: This is huge. The idea was that the blogosphere was the second superpower countering the Bush administration. Not an original idea, but I started to think about how it could be done. I think we’re thinking about how to do it in this room.

Chris: So you’re a 10? I want to take it beyond 10. I’ve drunk the Dave Winer Kool-Aid one too many times. He cites Emerson, universal spirit …we are all connected to it, for which the Internet is a perfect electronic metaphor.

DocEmerson? What about Ben Franklin? What about Thomas Paine? I think we’re dismantling the Matrix—which I think is a metaphor for the media. There’s a lot more going on in the Blogosphere than in the mass media.

Chris: I think we want to be a lot more vocal about what we’ve discovered. Jim, explain how we implement it. Where is the power of the second superpower?

Jim I think it’s a mistake to think of it as an individual phenomenon. I think a lot of the power is in the collective phenomenon, all the metadata and the links as everything. Howard Rheingold talks about smart mobs, but we need wise mobs. I think we had the war correct, that the war couldn’t solve the problem of peace in the Middle East…and we’re seeing that now.

Adam: It’s like Network. The network itself yelled out the window, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” Doc: Back in 1974, that was the only choice we had. I think a lot of people are still withholding judgment. I think we need more bloggers in Iraq, in the troops… But I think the trick is to connect (differing opinions), to treat it with respect.