Whose Space

Ben Werdmuller, e-learning, Web 2.0, The World, May 17, 2006
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is a good article. It captures my own discontent with social networking sites (concerns I have expressed, say, in Public Spaces, Private Places and The Semantic Social Network). The author writes, "The model for the new web economy seems to be to run a single, centralised service that acts as a carrier for advertising...
Result: "new" media is subject to the same business interests as the old media. This is a mistake." Ad-driven sites, whether content or application driven, depend on centralization, because they depend on traffic. And centralized sites, sooner or later, are subject to control. The web thrives on distributed, personal and decentralized media, the sort of media that gives users the freedom they want. There is a tension here that won't go away.
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