Tim O’Reilly on the future web wars @ david ascher

I agree with Tim that “If you don’t want a repeat of the PC era, place your bets now on open systems. Don’t wait till it’s too late.”  I think he’d also agree that we need to think beyond code and copyright.  That’s like going to war with trucks but no tanks.  For the open, distributed, heterogeneous web to thrive, we need to incorporate thinking from a host of other fields, such as contract law, design, psychology, consumer behavior, brand marketing, and more.  Figuring out how to engage thinkers and leaders in those fields is likely one of the critical, still missing steps.


I can’t resist pointing to this nice follow-up to the Tim O’Reilly post I talked about earlier this evening. I suggest following the link to David Ascher’s post to read all of it.

The War For the Web – O’Reilly Radar

One of the points I’ve made repeatedly about Web 2.0 is that it is the design of systems that get better the more people use them, and that over time, such systems have a natural tendency towards monopoly.

And so we’ve grown used to a world with one dominant search engine, one dominant online encyclopedia, one dominant online retailer, one dominant auction site, one dominant online classified site, and we’ve been readying ourselves for one dominant social network.

But what happens when a company with one of these natural monopolies uses it to gain dominance in other, adjacent areas? I’ve been watching with a mixture of admiration and alarm as Google has taken their dominance in search and used it to take control of other, adjacent data-driven applications. I noted this first with speech recognition, but it’s had the biggest business impact so far in location-based service

Tim O’Reilly offers a good analysis of the coming wars for control of the Web. Scary but unavoidable, I fear. I echo his call, at the end of his blog post, for every one to support open standards on the Web before it’s too late.

Google launches Knol

Various high-visibility tech people I follow on friendfeed.com are pointing out that Google Knol, a combination of Wikipedia and Squidoo, has launched. The main idea is to get experts to write articles on their areas of expertise, eponymously. Both Wired and Mashable have reviews; Wired’s review is lengthy and very informative. I am considering signing up to write stuff for Knol. You can find Knol at http://knol.google.com/k#.

But right now I need to get back to my book writing.