Happy Birthday, Doc

The first time I ever heard the word, “weblog,” it was from Doc Searls. And the first time I ever heard the word, “podcast” it was from Doc Searls (on September 28, 2004 — I blogged about it the next day).

I am a big fan of Doc’s and the things he says. Heck, I’ve listened to and internalized so much of what he’s said, I’m sure a lot of what I write here is merely channeling Docisms.

Doc also taught me to look out of the window when I fly. Because he takes incredible photographs out of the windows of airplanes, I look forward to his travels because — in “where’s Waldo fashion” — I can’t wait to see what geologic formation or natural phenomena he’ll record: I can recall photos of mud-slides, forest fires and, just recently, an awesome display of the Aurora Borealis.

I think Doc Searls sees lots of things the rest of us don’t because he looks while others don’t think to. His depth of curiosity is, fortunately, balanced by his gift for analysis and the ability to write in such a way as to convey perceptive — sometimes even radical — ideas in a provocative (but respectful and professional), non-technical and entertaining fashion.

One thing he said several years ago, when someone was commenting about all his accomplishments, was this: “Everything you know me for, I’ve done since I was 50.”

At the time, I was heading into that decade (I’m firmly ensconced there now), so I filed away that nugget and have thought of it many times since — especially when I hear about certain things that only “the young” can do.

Today, Doc turns 60. I can’t wait to see what he does this decade.

I can’t wait to learn what he discovers as he looks out the window while flying far above the rest of us.

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