Anil Dash on The Web We Lost

Anil DashI’ve not yet watched the video I’m embedding here yet, and probably won’t until I get back home, but last night I did read David Winberger’s live blog of the talk and given some of these quotes from that post it’s something I’ll be watching ASAP.

“We have a lot of software that forbids journalism.” He refers to the IoS [iphone operating system] Terms of Service for app developers that includes text that says, literally: “If you want to criticize a religion, write a book.” You can distribute that book through the Apple bookstore, but Apple doesn’t want you writing apps that criticize religion. Apple enforces an anti-journalism rule, banning an app that shows where drone strikes have been.

A decade ago, metadata was all the rage among the geeks. You could tag, geo-tag, or machine-tagFlickr photos. Flickr is from the old community. That’s why you can still do Creative Commonssearches at Flickr. But you can’t on Instagram. They don’t care about metadata. From an end-user point of view, RSS is out of favor. The new companies are not investing in creating metadata to make their work discoverable and shareable.

And this is true for all things that compete with the Web. The ideas locked into apps won’t survive the company’s acquisition, but this is true when we change devices as well. “Content tied to devices dies when those devices become obsolete.” We have “given up on standard formats.” “Those of us who cared about this stuff…have lost,” overall. Very few apps support standard formats, with jpg and html as exceptions. Likes and follows, etc., all use undocumented proprietary formats. The most dramatic shift: we’ve lost the expectation that they would be interoperable. The Web was built out of interoperability. “This went away with almost no public discourse about the implications of it.”

April 7th, 2013 by
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