Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Open Web Is An Urban Myth!

Road Closed Ahead signImage via Wikipedia

Silicon Valley Watcher recently raised concerns about the open web and our data. The topic being social networks and third-party applications that want permission to aggregate our activity and publish through their services.

This is achieved through publishing an application programming interface (API) that specifies how other programs access our data.

Although the objective is to provide an open experience, competitors will always seek to restrict their competition. We saw this recently when Facebook acquired FriendFeed had access to the Twitter firehose terminated and replaced with a slower version.
Open APIs are a key foundation of Web 2.0. Yet this whole industry is being built on a very shaky foundation, one that can be closed at any moment.
Providing open industry standards that succeed is difficult because there is money in proprietary systems. Look at the success that the App Store has experienced recently for Apple as an example. It's the traditional way money is made in the computer industry.
Why should Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Microsoft, Salesforce, Google, or any other company with a valuable data stream, promise to give open access, to anyone, at anytime?
As mentioned competition threatens the entire Internet because proprietary systems or a closed web will restrict innovation and compromise the open vision! An urban myth is generally untrue but sometimes one that is merely exaggerated or sensationalized, are social networks and Web 2.0 applications in that territory?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]