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Aerobic Learning
Monday, July 19, 2004
This evening I escaped the office while it was still light out and drove over to Tilden Park for a walk in the woods. Tromping alongside a little stream for 40 minutes was just enough time for me to listen to Doug Kaye interview Doc Searls on my tiny mp3 player.

Doc talked about the genesis of the Cluetrain Manifesto, how he got the name "Doc," his early marketing career, and his most recent campaign, DIYIT or "Do It Yourself IT."

The most visible action in the IT marketspace is what Doc calls "vendor sports." These are the supply-side vendors like IBM or HP duking it out in full-color magazine ads.

The underappreciated part is the demand side, where programmers scratch their own itches. They most often use Open Source software but they're not necessarily part of that culture, with its emphasis on licensing, development protocols, and so forth.

The DIY crowd just want to build things. The closest analogy is to the construction industry. They share a common language ("builds,""tools,""builders"). Linux is the DIYers' lumber, a raw material for virtually any job. Neither software construction nor building houses locks you in to a particular supplier. The housebuilder doesn't say, "We're building this house on a Weyerhauser platform...."

Doc set up IT Garage as a home for DIYIT. He'd like it to grow and morph into a magazine (since it's usally the other way around).

The fact that Open Source code is free delegates decision-making lower in the organization. You don't need a purchase order -- or official approval -- to use it.

If you want to follow what's going on in IT, I recommend downloading some of Doug Kaye's marvellous IT Conversations.


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