Debating This Place with Little Option for Much Else

A few minutes ago, I retweeted about the Digital Disciples Charlotte Informational Survey and I have to admit, the response so far is a good bit discouraging. Yes, part of that has to do with the fact that I am not on Facebook – and frankly speaking, I don’t plan to be. Because of that decision, MMM is also not on Facebook.

And that’s ok. Really, it is (my marketing friend doesn’t like this argument). But, I don’t like the idea of being inside of closed systems. Heck, I don’t even like being on WordPress. Which kind of brings me to this post. I don’t like this place – that is WordPress/Twitter/pick your social network. They aren’t all that valuable without the relationships, and these relationships I don’t feel like placing into the context of these services to enable. I’d rather have these services extend my abilities to those relationships, rather than be locked into the services for the relationships to stay viable.

So much for that right?

I don’t think so.

I finished reading the book Open Mobile, and frankly speaking, I’m confident and excited about where mobile/web is going. Just not as confident for the limitations of where we are.

One of the points in the book talked about how in an open mobile ecosystem that you’d find the ability for users to own their content, and then authenticate aspects of that content (either the data itself or the associated metadata around the data, interactions, and relationships) on a user-provisionable basis. So, instead of me needing to give over my information to receive offers, pay bills, or connect with others, I can authenticate those entities to connect with my dataset – located on my mobile and/or in my cloud.

This idea of owning the ability to provision my content was what I really saw as key with the Nokia Mobile Web Server. It wasn’t just that I had my own server, but I had the literal pipes to connect that information to those it could matter to most via RSS, an authenticated workspace, and even REST APIs on Python Server Pages.

Ok, so that last part was really technical, but essentially it means that I could have made my own Twitter, WordPress, Flickr, and then plug my personal version of those services into public versions of those services.

Mobile isn’t all that open right now. I couldn’t figure out the model with which to propose to Nokia to keep the gateway aspect of the service up. I missed it. Think about it, a company that is moving to a services-enablement model literally made the ability for anyone to be the publisher. It literally broke the web open in the way it was always designed to be. Not in this mess of a model that we have now with all kinds of barriers to entry, management, privacy, and governance.

Maybe its worth playing again with other mobile web server services out there. Because I now see what’s possible. And maybe with this in mind, I can help them monetize the ability to be a service enabler, so that people can take an open mobile or web device, and then make something really positive and life-enabling out of it.

Thinking about it after all of this text written, sitting here on WordPress/LinkedIn/Twitter/etc. doesn’t seem so enabling. It actually feels limiting. There really isn’t an option for much else than those – at least in a manner that’s going to attract the kind of attention to change things.

I wonder if the Disapora folks want to really change things. Maybe they have the ability to help a bro move to open.