“So here is the problem: The more people that figure out that it’s not about proprietary applications, but about proprietary data, then we merely move from one walled garden to another….Where should we be going? Call it “data as the Intel outside”, where the innovation engine is how easily data can be recombined outside any one application. Turning things inside-out should be the Web 2.0 goal (or Web 3.0, as Steve Mallett puts it on his DataLibre site). We have open-source software messing up markets for shrink-wrap vendors of proprietary software, why shouldn’t open-source data vendors mess up the market for would-be Web 2.0 vendors who are trying to Balkanize things by locking up data inside their own apps?”
I totally agree with Paul, and I’ve been saying for years that one day we’ll wake up and find a “free data foundation” analogous to the “free software foundation” reminding us that data lock in has become a problem.
Paul continues the riff in his Drive by Data blog entry. Also a wonderful piece:
What was different about Flickr, Amazon’s book reviews, and so on, is that the community benefit came as a consequence of the site being useful for other reasons…. For most people their contributions will come because they are in the middle of living their life, in media res, as it were — and living throws off information. Call it drive-by data.