Well worth ready both the initial Scoble post and Jeff Sayre's response.
Is The Open Web Dead?

I missed this interesting post /by +Robert Scoble's in my #Stream yesterday. Instead, it resurfaced this morning thanks /via +Jonathan Schofield.

Robert argues that it is too late to save the "common Web", that the fight for the Open Web is long over. In his post, he states:

I’m just a user and I grew tired of this fight back in 2008. That was the year we could have done something about it. Today? No, sorry, most of this argument doesn’t make any sense to real users. My wife doesn’t care and, even, doesn’t like being in the open web for a whole lot of reasons.

Whereas I did not start publicly blogging about the need for an Open Web as early as Robert did (he began his battle slightly more than four years ago), I have been a a vocal advocate, promoter, and developer in the field for almost three years. I published my first articles about the need to keep the Web open more than two years ago.


Privacy in the Facebook Era (http://jeffsayre.com/2010/01/11/privacy-in-the-facebook-era/)

A Flock of Twitters: Decentralized Semantic Microblogging (http://jeffsayre.com/2010/02/24/a-flock-of-twitters-decentralized-semantic-microblogging/).


The point Robert is making is that the big, monolithic, social-netwoking behemoths have already won the war for our attention. The average -- and even not so average -- user is not too interested in the arguments for the need of the Open Web. They were enticed into the closed data silos and enthralled at what they discovered. The social-island nightclubs came around at the right time and grabbed the attention of the masses. They offered an easy interface to a global communication network that made it easy to find, friend, and interact with others in a real-time fashion.

The vast majority of private-island nightclub patrons are either complacent to the fact that their privacy is out of their control, or are oblivious to the consequences. Robert shows that he has come to terms with this last point:

And next time someone tries to point out that the “data black holes” of these big companies are something that should be fought against maybe you’ll be there with a better protest than what you put up.

It’s too late. Now, excuse me, while I crawl back into the trunk that Google, Facebook, Amazon have locked me in.

Is The War Truly Over?

As long as there are Web standards and Web Standards bodies that are truly independent and autonomous, then there will always be the chance at creating a true Social Web (see my article, The Web is Not (yet) Social http://jeffsayre.com/2011/01/04/the-web-is-not-yet-social/). There are still a number of active, distributed, Open Web projects that dream of offering alternatives to the closed data silos.

But why have these projects failed to delivery to the masses? Could Scoble be correct?

Two answer this question, we need to ask and address two other questions.

First, have we truly finished fighting the Open Web war or have the Social-Web Minute Men just lost another battle in a significantly protracted War?

Second, even if the war is not yet over, is it practical to think that Social-Web advocate can rally the troops, inspire the masses to mass migrate to a decentralized system of social networks?

I believe the answer to these two questions is that the technical war is not over but the battle for the hearts and minds of users is not going very well.
Note: If only there were a way to subscribe to certain channels in G+ then Robert's post would have been waiting for me today. BTW, I do not mean subscribing to a person, but to their Content Channels. See my G+ post, Content Channels For Filtering, Not Circles (https://plus.google.com/112526081195315983895/posts/bCJuCAMZcQM).

/cc +Jeff Jockisch +Gideon Rosenblatt +Kingsley Idehen +Henry Story +Gregory Esau and others...

#SocialWeb #SocialMedia #OpenWeb #SocialNetworking #ClosedSilos
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