As We May Interact?

David Wiley, iterating toward openness, Feb 21, 2006
Commentary by Stephen Downes

David Wiley asks, of Web 2.0 tools, "With the number of users of these tools, and the others in each of these categories, why on earth would we create a new tool in any of these spaces? When critical mass is the single most important part of a network, why would we build another 'walled garden' collection of applications?" Quite right, and the world does not need another walled garden. But I still think we need to explore and understand better the nature of distributed applications. Tools like Flickr, Friendster and Technorati each try to become, if you will, a destination for people, to aggregate as many users as they can. We need to focus less on these big centres and more on how even unpopular tools can be mashed up and aggregated. There needs to be, if you will, a long tail of Web 2.0 tools - but nobody knows how to do that yet.
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