Doc Searls — blogger’s blogger, journalist, author and deep thinker about how the world is changing and how we can be more effective participants — turns 60 today.
It wasn’t so long ago that 60 reflected a fairly old age, or something verging on that. No longer. It’s a passage — David Weinberger calls Doc an “elder” but definitely not an old man.
For many folks in this swiftly changing world, age 60 is just another year for new ideas and activities. Consider Doc, a friend and colleague whose work has inspired me for years.
At Harvard’s Berkman Center, where we’re both Fellows, he’s working at the moment on Vendor Relationship Management, the idea of making”markets work for both vendors and customers — in ways that don’t require the former to ‘lock in’ the latter.” It’s an enormously important idea, and could lead toward major changes.
I suspect that VRM could not have come from a young person. It’s one of those notions that takes hold slowly and requires experience, not just talent, to ripen.
The age of 60 came up recently in another context. I’m on a task force helping to rethink the John S. Knight Fellowships for journalists at Stanford University. These have been “mid-career” fellowships, but in the modern world the definition of mid-career surely must change. I know some 25-year-olds who’ve already done spectacular things, and some 60-year-olds who are just getting around to inventing new kinds of journalism products and projects. “Sixty isn’t old anymore,” I said in one of our meetings. (Doc is busy enough now, but I’d endorse him for one of these fellowships in a microsecond.)
From here, it looks like Doc Searls is accelerating, not slowing down. A good thing for all of us, but especially this brilliant and genuinely good man.
Happy birthday, Doc.
(Photo from Doc’s Flickr page)