Business - Written by Mike Dover on Tuesday, August 7, 2007 11:28 - 1 Comment
Facebook: A call for openness
Interesting blog posting today from wired.com about whether Facebook and it’s ilk are moving the Internet in the right way? Or is it setting up more walled gardens.
From the article:
Damn the Facebooks and the MySpaces. The last time we checked, there was this thing called the internet that had 6 billion users. It’s time to take our personal data out of Mr. McGregor’s little gardens and put it back where it belongs — free and open on the open web.
Social networks like Facebook and MySpace are taking the web by storm because they make it easy to manage your personal data and keep in touch with people you know. But to get value out, you have to put something in — photos, contacts, appointments, lists of your interests and your blog musings.
Therein lies the rub. When entering data into Facebook, you’re sending it on a one-way trip. Want to show somebody a video or a picture you posted to your profile? Unless they also have an account, they can’t see it. Your pictures, videos and everything else is stranded in a walled garden, cut off from the rest of the web.
Like locked cell phones and copy-protected music, Facebook is on the wrong side of the open-network debate. Facebook is a sealed bubble. Facebook users are locked into Facebook, just as iTunes locks music fans to Apple’s iPod.
This serves companies’ business interests, but not the wider interests of consumers. AOL, Yahoo and Microsoft have their own, proprietary instant-messaging systems. They’re all good, but they’d be better if they worked together. The iPhone would be better if it could also be used on Verizon’s and Sprint’s networks, and Facebook would be better if you could link to friends’ pages on MySpace and Bebo. Social networking should be based on open standards, just like e-mail.
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