p2pnet view P2P | Freedom:- Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the man who’ll go down in history as the Father of the World Wide Web and who is, not at all incidentally, also one of its most vociferous supporters of online privacy, has strongly criticised sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Friendster “and others” which “typically provide value by capturing information as you enter it”.
The web “evolved into a powerful, ubiquitous tool because it was built on egalitarian principles and because thousands of individuals, universities and companies have worked, both independently and together as part of the World Wide Web Consortium, to expand its capabilities based on those principles”, he says in the Scientific American.
But “Each site is a silo, walled off from the others”, he says. “Yes, your site’s pages are on the Web, but your data are not. You can access a Web page about a list of people you have created in one site, but you cannot send that list, or items from it, to another site.
This isolation, he says, occurs because “each piece of information does not have a URI [Uniform Resource Identifier].
“Connections among data exist only within a site”, says Berners-Lee in the post, going on >>>
So the more you enter, the more you become locked in. Your social-networking site becomes a central platform — a closed silo of content, and one that does not give you full control over your information in it. The more this kind of architecture gains widespread use, the more the Web becomes fragmented, and the less we enjoy a single, universal information space.
A related danger is that one social-networking site — or one search engine or one browser — gets so big that it becomes a monopoly, which tends to limit innovation. As has been the case since the Web began, continued grassroots innovation may be the best check and balance against any one company or government that tries to undermine universality.
GnuSocial and Diaspora are projects on the Web that allow anyone to create their own social network from their own server, connecting to anyone on any other site.
However, the Status.net project, which runs sites such as identi.ca, allows you to operate your own Twitter-like network without the Twitter-like centralization, he stresses, adding:
“Allowing any site to link to any other site is necessary but not sufficient for a robust Web. The basic Web technologies that individuals and companies need to develop powerful services must be available for free, with no royalties. Amazon.com, for example, grew into a huge online bookstore, then music store, then store for all kinds of goods because it had open, free access to the technical standards on which the Web operates.
“Amazon, like any other Web user, could use HTML, URI and HTTP without asking anyone’s permission and without having to pay. It could also use improvements to those standards developed by the World Wide Web Consortium, allowing customers to fill out a virtual order form, pay online, rate the goods they had purchased, and so on.”
Scientific American – Long Live the Web: A Call for Continued Open Standards and Neutrality, November 22, 2010
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
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