Daniel's Web 2.0 related Blog

Data is the next Intel Inside | 11/Mar/2010

This blog entry is about the future of data and its effect on Web 2.0 applications.  In the lecture, we learned that Web 2.0 as we know it relies (in part) on open-source software and code.  Many elements of web access are already provided by open-source software – from Apache servers (that host the web content) to database management tools, like MySQL.

There can be little doubt that open-source development is on the rise.  In fact, according to Deshpande & Riehle (http://dirkriehle.com/publications/2008/the-total-growth-of-open-source/), it accounts for a large portion of the web server market.  To add to this, they describe the growth of open-source development tools as “exponential.”  The question is, are open-source applications providing the platform for a more “open”, free Internet?

Unfortunately, the answer is most likely no.  The reason is because open-source technologies are being absorbed by new IT giants, who have formed as a result of Web 2.0.  Like Intel in processor development, Google has a significant proportion of market share, as shown through by various measures (such as Nielsen polls).  But it could be argued that Google will only support the idea of open internet while it serves the interest of the business.  In fact, in an article about the strength of Google, Messina argues that “Google decides which ports it wants to open and for whom.” (http://factoryjoe.com/blog/2006/08/20/building-a-better-mouse-trap/). 

All of the above relates to the concept of “Data as the next Intel Inside” because, as O’Reilly argues, “…data as the Intel inside is the one that will close [web 2.0] down” (http://radar.oreilly.com/2006/09/open-data-small-pieces-loosely.html) – what this means is that the first business that can take the open-source content and utilise it to serve their own interests will influence the future development (or control, depending on your ideology) of Web 2.0, just as Intel has dominated PC processor development, almost uninterrupted, for almost 20 years. 

In this respect, perhaps Google, rather than the ubiquitous “Data” is the next “Intel Inside”.

Please feel free to comment and offer your views!

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4 Comments »

  1. hmmm interesting stuff, one ring to rule them all? Or small pieces loosely joined together..
    can the internet be ‘tamed’ and controlled by a few ‘big’ players? History to date is marked by empires rising and falling will the internet ’empire’ be different, the big player today won’t be the big player tomorrow?

    Comment by joanne taylor — 12/Mar/2010 @ 3:26 pm

    • Ah, what an interesting argument – I’d argue that the rise and stagnation of Yahoo! is the best example of “empires” rising (and falling – stay tuned :P) – thanks for your feedback!!! 😀

      Comment by dan12123 — 12/Mar/2010 @ 9:41 pm

    • Great post Daniel. I think Joanne has a point also, much like how myspace used to dominate social networking then fell to myspace.

      I think it’s more a case of adapting though. MySpace and Yahoo didn’t adapt to a changing market, whereas Google is constantly updating and changing.

      Comment by ryandodd — 13/Mar/2010 @ 5:50 pm

  2. So you don’t believe that Google actually follows the “Do no evil” ideology that they talk of? Of course they are a business and need to make a profit and that is important, I wouldn’t argue otherwise. However all I have ever seen Google do is make things improve and challenge the sedentary market leaders in such a way that they have to move and evolve too. Take a look at the changes to Microsoft’s Office products to include a web based platform as an example, something they never probably would have done on their own, it is counter productive to their old ways.

    Comment by Tyson — 14/Mar/2010 @ 9:31 pm


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I am an I.T./Education undergraduate at Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

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