I like a thoughtful analysis that puts some conceptual order into larger sweeping trends. Take a quick read of The Medium–The Death of the Open Web on the NYTimes.com site, by Virginia Heffernan. She makes some very interesting points.
People who find the Web distasteful–ugly, uncivilized–have nonetheless been forced to live there: It’s the place to go for jobs, resources, services, social life, the future. But now, with the purchase of an iPhone or an iPad, there’s a way out, an orderly suburb that lets you sample the Web’s opportunities without having to mix with the riffraff. This suburb is defined by apps from the glittering App Store: neat, cute homes far from the Web city center, out in pristine Applecrest Estates. In the migration of dissenters from the “open” Web to pricey and secluded apps, we’re witnessing urban decentralization, suburbanization and the online equivalent of white flight.
I love a good analogy, and she’s got one: cities vs. suburbs. The teeming mass of opportunity, senses and smells, shoulder to shoulder with everybody; compared to the polite and relatively safe order. Well done.
I see why people fled cities, and I see why they’re fleeing the open Web. But I think we may also, one day, regret it.
(And my thanks to Steve King of SmallBizLabs, who pointed it out to me.)