I came across Tim O’Reilly’s post entitled Open Source and Cloud Computing today, and I was pretty happy to see that his thoughts reinforced what I was saying a couple of months ago about how I thought isolated, corporate-owned islands in the ‘cloud’ were not a beneficial model for the Internet long-term, despite the short-term convenience in today’s society.
I was also very interested to see from his links in that article that some in the open source community are already forming plans to address it. It’s early days yet, but I look forward to a day when we can have all the convenience of sites like Facebook provide without having to cede control of our data to a centralised corporate entity searching desperately for a way to dissect that data & our browsing behaviour for revenue opportunities.
It’s funny because when talking about this issue to a friend recently, I made the comparison between sites like Facebook now, and the ‘gated communities’ of AOL / Compuserve in the past, before the Internet took off. They too used their sealed community to generate revenue, but when people finally had the option to become free of that and get the same functionality, users deserted in their droves to the liberated environment of the Internet. Tim used the same analogy in his article, so maybe I’m not crazy after all.