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The Open Internet and Content Generation

July 16, 2011

A short opinion piece.

There’s much discussion about Google+ placement and strategy, specially when compared to facebook and twitter. I think many people just missed the point and I suggest checking this analysis to understand the grand design. It’s a very strong strategy to take the power from the Desktop OS after decades.

One question is fundamental in this matter: given that facebook’s news feed (status updates) is closed (you can’t read it from outside facebook’s interface, mashups are restricted to: like, follow, comments), some might say that being G+ open to any mashup the problem is solved. But there’s another problem: people has already stopped using email (in favor of FB’s personal messages), and most people don’t produce content (basically posts links to content they like).

So where does all this content (that we post as links) comes from? Blogs, news portals and the like. But apart from some personal bookmarks (mental or not), everybody looks for interesting content by using a search engine (or news feed search engine). So it is FUNDAMENTAL that the popular search engines remain unbiased.

Imagine if FB, releases a search engine from inside their interface. Do you think they’ll be as open as Google in separating real search results from ads (I honestly don’t know)? And what can be the implications to freedom of speech and the role of the press? Who governs how FB (or Google) filters the way we find content?

I decided to write this because after joining FB, and more recently G+, I was wondering if I still needed this site/blog. Then I remembered that I still need to keep resources to my students, and after that I decided that it is important to keep content distributed through different providers (google, wordpress, fb, twitter, and others) since it’s the competition which, in the end, might help us avoid the Orwellian society nightmare.

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